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Phoenix Bird

USA / Denmark, 1984 (MIFF 1985)

Director: Jon Bang Carlsen

In Carlsen's "documentaries" reality is staged: real people play "themselves" to give an impression of how they perceive themselves. In this case we meet James R. Jarrett, a returned warrior who brings his Vietnam experience home to Arizona and teaches American families how to defend themselves, not only against nuclear war but against any criminal violator. "Survival requires no apology" is his motto. Whilst never actually condoning the tactics of the abrasive Jarrett, the film digs into the mentality of those for whom the threat of of extermination is constantly present. The result is chilling.

- London Film Festival programme

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