After 87 years of abiding the law, J.L. “Red” Rountree robbed a bank in 1998. In fact, he became a serial bank robber, robbing banks until his final incarceration at age 92. The documentary This Is Not a Robbery explores how this could have happened. Spoiler: nonagenarians do not excel at the art of the getaway.
Cleverly structured, This Is Not a Robbery intersperses the modern robberies with biographical segments that finally reveal the arc of Rountree’s singular journey. We get to see Rountree explaining himself. He’s a kick, but the most revealing comments are from his friends, who relate the pivotal points in his business career and family life.
At only 70 minutes long, it’s a good watch. This Is Not a Robbery is available on DVD, on Netflix streaming and sometimes plays on the Sundance Channel.