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USA, 2004 (MIFF 2004, Documentaries)

Director: Alison Maclean

Persons of Interest USA

In the fog of paranoia and outright fear in the weeks following 9/11, the US Attorney General invoked 'national security' as a reason to round up and detain more than 5,000 Arab or Muslim immigrants. The Department of Justice has never released accurate figures of exactly how many people were pulled out of their homes, workplaces and schools and then spirited off to various secret locations for interrogation.

Persons of Interest presents a dozen stories rife with deprivation, abuse and threats. In many cases, American Muslims simply disappeared. They were not allowed to contact their families and were held for months. They lost jobs, homes, friends. The human rights issues alone make this film a terrifying document. That the US government could come for its citizens in the night and spirit them away, granting no legal counsel and no clue to their ultimate fate, should give us all pause for thought.

'Filmmakers Alison Maclean (Jesus' Son, MIFF 1999) and Tobias Perse go where most major media has feared to tread. If these detainees' accounts are even half-true, the wonder is why the media has failed to follow the odour of unconstitutional behaviour by law enforcement.' -Variety

D Alison Maclean, Tobias Perse P Lawrence Konner L English, Arabic, Spanish w/English subtitles WS The Documentary Campaign TD Video/Col/2003/63mins

Alison Maclean was born in Ontario, Canada, in 1958. Films include: Kitchen Sink (1989), Crush (1992), Jesus' Son (MIFF 2000).

Tobias Perse's films inlcude: Bald (1999).

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