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network 03/11/2015 - 05:00PM

New Acquisition – (T)ERROR

Cinema Politica is thrilled to announce that we have acquired the rights to screen (T)ERROR (Lyric R. Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe, 2014) throughout our network of locals.

(T)ERROR follows a professional FBI informant’s investigation of a newly-assigned “Person Of Interest” (POI): a converted Muslim-American man who openly criticizes the American government over social media who makes regular use of a local rifle-shooting range. As with his previous assignments—all of which have led to lucrative convictions—, the informant’s job is to befriend the POI and coerce him into expressing sympathies towards Al-Qaeda without committing entrapment. As the investigation plays out, the filmmaker reveals startling information about (T)ERROR’s narrative framework: not only is the FBI unaware that the informant is starring in a documentary about the investigation, but the informant and POI are both unaware that the filmmakers are interviewing and following both of them.

Stills from (T)error

On one hand, (T)ERROR has all the drama and suspense of a Hollywood thriller; on the other hand, if this kind of story occurs in a documentary about a real-life terrorism investigation, (T)ERROR forces a greater reflection on the ethics of unchecked police and federal investigation programs. Moreover, Cabral and Sutcliffe’s complicated participation within the FBI’s surveillance network forms a murky middle space between accomplice and whistleblower: to what extent does (T)ERROR perpetuate the very injustices that it so harshly criticizes? Is it possible for documentary filmmakers to be participants and bystanders at the same time?

(T)ERROR’s treatment of issues like Islamophobia, terrorism, surveillance, and accountable policing is sure to make the film a popular title within the Cinema Politica network.  

Just keep reminding yourself that it’s real.