CPH:DOX Review: 2nd Chance

Richard Davis

There are many stupid and completely incomprehensible things about America for non-Americans to try and get their heads round but nothing is more baffling than the relationship the US has with guns. A country where it is legal, in many States, to openly carry weapons and also a nation which has over a hundred firearms deaths every day. Not to mention regular mass shootings. A place where, for many, the solution is more guns.

After being assaulted in 1969, it all became too much for Richard Davis. Determined to do something useful, the pizza delivery owner sets about inventing the bulletproof vest. At least, that’s his self-proclaimed ‘origin story’. The amateur filmmaker and showman was a natural entertainer, crazy enough to demonstrate the products on himself, but also a mine of contradictions. In 2nd Chance, the new documentary from Ramin Bahrani, we’re afforded a peek into his crazy world.

2nd Chance starts out as a fairly standard biography, although the subject is never less than entertaining. Slowly but surely, it turns into something else entirely. There’s a much darker side to Richard, one which doesn’t necessarily value life or others as much as you’d expect. There are also huge question marks over his reliability as a narrator. 2nd Chance is a film which grows the more it peels back the layers of this walking conundrum.

2nd Chance screens at CPH:DOX.

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