The Austin Chronicle

Cinematic Convergence

The 11th Annual Austin Film Festival

By Nora Ankrum, October 15, 2004, Screens

Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties

D: Nonny de la Peña

From Robert Greenwald, producer of Unprecedented and Uncovered, comes another "un" documentary, this one exploring the ramifications of the PATRIOT Act and the U.S. violations of the Geneva Accords. The interview subjects provide disturbing testimony, like that of Jose Padilla's lawyer, barred from contacting her client; members of a Syrian family who were yanked from their beds at 6am, handcuffed in their front yard; and the father of a Guantanamo Bay inmate. Yet even more interesting material comes from relatively ordinary sources: A librarian explains why she shreds library documents, while the deputy legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights recounts having to pull down her pants for airport security. Still, law professor David Cole's simple words regarding Guantanamo Bay prove to be the most chilling: "When we treat others like this in the name of fighting a war ... others fighting us can treat our soldiers like this."

Sunday, Oct. 17, 4pm at the Arbor; Wednesday, Oct. 20, 9:30pm at the Paramount (both screenings include Tricia Regan, David O. Russell, and Juan Carlos Zaldívar's "Soldier's Pay")

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