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BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT

UK, 1967 (MIFF 1968, Programme 39)

Director: Peter Whitehead

When Peter Brook's production of "US" for the Royal Shakespeare Company was presented at the Aldwych Theatre, London, in the winter of 1966-7, it aroused considerable controversy. By the use of shock techniques rarely employed in any theatre, it attempted to involve its audiences in the proposition that they were, like it or not, involved in the Vietnam War.

Benefit of the Doubt is a film containing excerpts from the stage play, "US", intercut with the actors and director discussing their conception of the play and its relationship to reality. The film gives us both the best of the play and a commentary on it. It is further distinguished by handsome colour photography by Whitehead himself, who had previously made the controversial Wholly Communion.

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