Friday, March 20th- Saturday, March 21st, 7:30pm
(Co-presented by the Cinema Eye Honors For Non-Fiction Filmmaking)
Johanna Hamilton, 2014, 79 min
On March 8th, 1971, eight ordinary citizens broke into an FBI office in Media, PA. Calling themselves the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI, they removed every file in the office. Mailed anonymously, the stolen documents started to show up in newsrooms. The heist yielded a trove of damning evidence. The most significant revelation was COINTELPRO, a controversial, secret, illegal surveillance program overseen by lifelong Bureau director J. Edgar Hoover. Despite one of the largest investigations ever conducted, the FBI was unable to catch the burglars. Those responsible have never revealed their identities. Until now. For the first time the burglars have decided to speak about their actions. 1971 is their story, examining the consequences and implications of their actions - then and now.
"Joanna Hamilton's well-constructed documentary 1971 showcases ordinary people who broke into a local FBI office, stole all the files and published them, thereby revealing to the unsuspecting American public the shocking illegal practices of J. Edgar Hoover's agency. Despite an intensive five-year manhunt, the whistleblowers were never caught: 'This,' to quote the film, 'is their story.'Told through interviews with five of those involved, copious archival footage and detailed re-enactments of the political heist, the film offers surprisingly cogent, lived-in evocations of a period too often glossed over in impersonal, by-the-book montages." -- Ronnie Scheib, Variety
A Q&A with director Johanna Hamilton and subject Keith Forsyth in person, and Washington Post journalist Betty Medsger via skype will follow the screenings Friday, March 20th.
A skype Q&A with director Johanna Hamilton will follow the screening Saturday, March 21st.
1971 is the Winner of the 2015 Cinema Eye Spotlight Award which celebrates what's coming and what's already here. These films may be headed to theatres or DVD or iTunes and Netflix. Previous winners in this category include Jessica Oreck's Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo (2010), Andrei Ujica's The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (2011), Tatiana Huezo Sánchez' The Tiniest Place (2012), Wojciech Staron's The Argentinian Lesson (2013) and Cristian Soto and Catalina Vergara for The Last Station (2014).
Maysles Cinema (View)
343 Lenox Ave.
New York City, NY 10027