The Rum Diary

USA / UK 2011
Director : Bruce Robinson
Cast : Johnny Depp, Giovanni Ribisi, Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard

120 Min. | OmU | Original with german Subtitles

Retrospective

When »The Rum Diary« premiered in 2011, Bruce Robinson’s adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s novel seemed infused with nostalgia. It was as if Robinson was taking a pointedly ironic look back at past battles won. The circumstances that drove Paul Kemp up the wall in 1960s Puerto Rico had not been completely overcome in the Obama-era. But at least everything seemed as if they were not dominant anymore. Change seemed possible. What a colossal mistake! Today, in the time of Donald J. Trump, one sees Robinson’s and Thompson’s story about an angry writer finding himself in a completely different light. Writing horoscopes for a local paper in San Juan is the last available opportunity for New York journalist Paul Kemp. Robinson cunningly sharpens the conflicts inherent in Thompson’s novel. The diary drenched in rum becomes a subversive political thriller. As a lonely defender of truth, Kemp confronts speculators and crooks, exploiters and destroyers who will stop at nothing. The profitable end justifies the means. And that’s why the big question Kemp asks himself in the face of Richard Nixon debating JFK on television, is so important today: »How long can this blizzard of shame go on?«