DOC TALK: “Persons of Interest” Screening and Q&A with Alison MacLean
DOC TALK: PERSONS OF INTEREST by ALISON MACLEAN and TOBIAS PERSE, 2004, 63 min.
Screening + Q&A with co-director Alison Maclean
Monday, November 6, 2017 at 1pm
Kellen Auditorium (Room N101)
One of the significant documentaries at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival was Persons of Interest, a film that portrayed the human cost of the U.S. government’s anti-terrorist campaign in the days and months after September 11. A collaboration between dramatic fiction filmmaker Alison Maclean and writer/producer Tobias Perse, the film centers on the fate of over 5,000 Arab-American citizens and residents who were detained indefinitely in abrogation of their civil liberties under the National Security Act. Detainees were subject to arbitrary arrest, solitary confinement, deportation and were frequently denied legal representation and communication with their families. To convey in heightened but minimalist cinematic terms the chilling experience of these wrongly suspected detainees, the filmmakers constructed a space, a bare, stripped-down set, in which individuals could tell their stories of confinement and interrogation, the embodied memories of their prison experience.
Alison Maclean, a Canadian filmmaker who grew up in New Zealand, is an independent writer/director who has worked mainly in fiction, directing the acclaimed Jesus’ Son in 1999, adapted from a Denis Johnson short story; and, most recently, The Rehearsal, featured at the 2016 New York Film Festival. Maclean made her directorial debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 1992 with her first feature Crush, a feminist neo-noir satirical drama. However, in the aftermath of September 11, Maclean turned to documentary to give dignity to a saga of wrongful detention and imprisonment which has prescient implications for the current moment.
Please join us for this Doc Talk presentation with singular filmmaker Alison Maclean and her cinematic act of conscience, the documentary film Persons of Interest.