Tapestries: Interwoven voices of local and global identities


After the 2020 Twin Cities Uprising, the term “ACAB” (All Cops Are Bastards) surged in popularity though it has been in circulation for nearly a century. Applying an ACAB lens to films suggests an intentional approach to spectatorship by integrating a critical consciousness about the systemic racism that the police embody. Portrayals of police are an omnipresent occurrence in media of all kinds and often function to cultivate trust in their authority. Brian DePalma’s 1973 slasher Sisters and Robin Hardy’s 1973 cult classic The Wicker Man exhibit notable anti-police sentiment that may feel unexpectedly radical for a pre-Uprising world. Using a framework grounded in cultivation theory, discourse analysis, and abolitionist ideologies, I analyze these two 70s horror films to determine what has and has not changed in police terror and anti-police discourse in the US, almost 50 years later. This project interrogates how anti-police messaging can affect spectators’ beliefs and may help to build a world that is free of police and other white supremacist institutions. Film can generate communities that are aligned through both spectatorship and antiracist values and can be used as a tool to achieve an abolitionist future.

Author Biography

Anjali Moore (she/her) is a graduating senior American Studies major and Media Studies minor at Macalester College in St.Paul, Minnesota. She grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and spends most of her time watching films and engaging in abolition work. She would like to thank everyone who helped conceptualize and encourage this project.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.