BLACK RAT is a short documentary about Sydney’s own Real Life Superhero, The Black Rat, who prowls the streets of Newtown at night in his crusade against crime.
I was captivated by the story of The Black Rat, a real life superhero who patrols the neon lit streets of Newtown, a notorious part of Sydney. What attracted me to his crusade against crime was why would he do it? Through my interviews with the man himself, I was surprised by his sense of justice. I realize he is unlike most real life superheroes, who come across as fulfilling a fantasy or are desperate fame seekers. I learnt that The Black Rat is driven by his traumatic life experiences to make sure no one has to suffer like he did.
The Black Rat purpose stems from having failed to help someone in need in the past, his guilt in that encounter has haunted him to be a better person. In addition, he has experienced a violent mugging and it has scarred him for life. Instead of letting his guilt and trauma define and haunt him, The Black Rat uses these traumatic events to drive himself to personal triumph, protecting innocents from crime, so that they would not have to suffer what he has gone through. By taking the role of a real life superhero, The Black Rat not only seeks to improve himself but also inspire the community he lives in, to create positive change in the world.
While we had to tell his story in an interesting manner, the way I directed the film shied away from his comic book inspirations. The crew and I wanted to tell his story seriously, he isn’t a man in a costume but a man who wants to serve his community, he is not just a real life superhero but a real life hero. Through delving into the psyche of The Black Rat, BLACK RAT aims to show that the worst experiences of our lives, our defeats, failures and traumas, do not need to define us but can be channeled to motivate ourselves and inspire those around us to be better people.
About the Filmmaker
Submitted by Perry Lam
Perry Lam is an award winning film and commercials director. His work has been screened in different cities around the world and won multiple awards. Perry directed the documentary short film BLACK RAT, which has been to several film festivals and won awards, including Best Documentary at Phoenix Comicon 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. His latest short film Hard Vision, is currently on its festival run and was recently nominated for ‘Best Comedy’ in the International Monthly Film Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark. Perry’s ad work has also received acclaim, having won the 2015 AUG Video Competition with his entry ‘The Sydney Experience’.
Perry’s passion in filmmaking lies in creating visually striking story worlds for audiences to immerse themselves in and his work showcases his interest in this aspect of cinematic storytelling.
In addition to his filmmaking work, he is also a writer, writing film reviews and criticism.