2012, 90 minutes
Set in the quiet and idyllic village of Hewson, Vigilante is a dark and satirical mockumentary that provides insight into a group of villagers determined to eradicate crime and anti-social behaviour in their community. The villagers, driven by a lack of police intervention and a disdain for bystander apathy, have formed a vigilance committee with the goal of tracking down and dealing with those committing criminal offences. Through the eyes of a documentary film crew, we follow the story of committee member Pep (Simon Cassidy) a passionate and playful character, as he embarks on his nightly patrols of the village. Pep’s agenda is simple – to clean the streets of scum – by whatever means necessary, and it appears for a while that his methods are working; crime has lowered by 30%, criminals have moved out to surrounding villages and the elderly have begun to feel safe in their homes. With the local police force on his side Pep works harder than ever cleaning up the litter, intercepting graffiti artists and putting a stop to football hooligans singing in the street. But as the crew continue to follow him, his methods for controlling the ‘scum’ become evermore unorthodox and violent and, comparing himself to Batman, he begins to take on the role of judge, jury and executioner. In this comic, and at times harrowing, short film, Pep’s actions lay the foundations for a much wider debate, in which audiences are asked to interrogate their understanding of crime and punishment and ultimately to what lengths should we, and would we, go to make our community a better place.