Rat Film

Rat Film

June 26, 2018


Theo Anthony

Trace the history of Baltimore through the rat and the city's connection between infestations and economic inequity.


About the Documentary

“There ain’t never been a rat problem in Baltimore, it’s always been a people problem.”

In his critically-acclaimed directorial debut, Theo Anthony uses the rat to burrow into the dark, complicated history of Baltimore. A unique blend of history, science and sci-fi, poetry and portraiture, Rat Film explores how racial segregation, discriminatory lending practices known as “redlining,” and environmental racism built the Baltimore that exists today.

What begins as an examination of our interactions with rats – portraits of rat-afflicted citizens, rats as test subjects in labs, the development of rat poison – becomes a deeper exploration of Baltimore. Anthony investigates the history of the city, and the systemic racism that established the low-income and predominantly black neighborhoods that are still plagued by rats today.  

The Filmmakers

Theo Anthony

Theo Anthony is a writer, photographer, and filmmaker currently based in Baltimore, Maryland. His work has been featured by The Atlantic, Vice, BBC World News, and other international media outlets. His films have premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, Locarno International Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, SXSW, and Anthology Film Archives. In 2015, he was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” Rat Film, his first feature, debuted at the 2016 Locarno International Film Festival to critical acclaim.

Full Credits


  • Atlanta Film Festival Jury Award

    Best Documentary Feature

  • Sheffield International Documentary Festival

    Sheffield Youth Jury Award - Special Mention

Learn more about the documentary

Join the Discussion

How do you feel about rats?
Does your city have a rat problem? Did <i>Rat Film</i> make you think differently about urban planning?
Were you prepared for this film's unusual style and the way it told this story?


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