Family and U.S. politics collide in Thanksgiving film 'The Oath'

FILE PHOTO: Cast member Ike Barinholtz arrives for the gala presentation of "The Disaster Artist" at the AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 12, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Satirical dark comedy “The Oath” could reflect many American households this Thanksgiving with its depiction of a family getting through the holiday while trying to avoid politically polarizing arguments.

Written, directed and starring Ike Barinholtz as a liberal news junkie, and Tiffany Haddish as his wife, the film is set around a Thanksgiving gathering after the government demands, on pain of arrest, all citizens to pledge an oath of allegiance to an unnamed U.S. president.

The movie, which arrives in U.S. theaters on Friday, turns into a tense horror film when law enforcement turns up to make an arrest and family members are forced to choose between their loyalty to each other and their political convictions.

Barinholtz denied the film’s premise was far-fetched.

“As we were making the movie, there were things happening in real life that were echoing the movie,” he told Reuters Television.

Barinholtz wrote the screenplay after President Donald Trump was elected to the White House in 2016, and although Trump is never mentioned in the film the director wanted it released before Americans vote in the Nov. 6 congressional midterm elections.

“We’re at this very high concentration point with politics and the midterms are going to be the next plateau. After that, we have another two years to see what happens, so we thought if we could get it out at this time we’d be hitting the target,” he said.

Barinholtz said he hopes the divisive nature of current U.S. politics would not permanently damage interpersonal relationships.

“Governments change ... We have to try and get to a point when that is over, that we still have some fragments of our relationships left,” he said.

Reporting by Reuters Television; Editing by Susan Thomas