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  • Wednesday, January 12, 2005


    Persons of Interest

    The joy of TiVO is that I get to feed my documentary addiction. The depressing side of it is that I see too many documentaries. The Sundance Channel and IFC (Independent Film Channel) both carry a fairly good selection of uncut docs not seen elsewhere. So I caught "Persons of Interest" and watched it. (Film Threat review here.) A strange syncronicity occured when I realized I had also taken "The Siege" out from the video store at the same time.

    "Persons of Interest" is mostly people talking to the camera in a bare room. It recounts the tales of twelve people who were picked up and held in the days and months after 9/11. Some were held for over a year. Because it's told from the perspective of the families and arrested people, it's difficult to assess whether the state had any case against them but it generally seems not from these tales. It is obvious though that enormous injustice was done against these people in the name of "fighting terrorism." And it should go without saying that almost all of them were of middle eastern descent. It was almost more than I could bear to hear these stories. Some of them are heartrending. Some lost their businesses. Many were deported, splitting families. I can't really even write about it.

    It's not a great doc but it does point up the excesses that can happen in times of crisis, leaving broken lives with no recourse for appeal.

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