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By David Finkelstein | March 30, 2005

This short, evocative film presents images which recall the pervasive sense of terror in contemporary American life, where our government bombards us with vague, unspecified stories of looming attacks at every possible opportunity. (It did seem strange that the intelligence “chatter” about acts of terrorism was so high during the Democratic Convention, and in Ohio wherever votes were being counted, yet was absent during the Republican Convention.)

Lind combines footage of the Average Suburban Family with ominous scenes of military teams in gas masks, x-rays, diagrams of infected cells, and a nurse trying to cope with an unspecified disaster. These images are slowed down, blurred, colorized, and otherwise treated, skillfully blending them into an ominous montage. Hobart and Capella’s music adds to the feeling of slowly creeping menace.

Having seen quite a few films in this genre recently, I have to ask myself what exactly is the point of an artist making a film which merely recreates the floating, unspecified sense of threat which the Bush administration seems to find it so useful to instill in the public? Certainly we all recognize that there are real networks of terrorists who are actually working on plots to commit terrible deeds, both here and elsewhere. But this doesn’t excuse the Bush administration’s tactic of holding America hostage to its destructive agenda, by keeping us in a constant state of fear. Do films like this one, which provide images of that state of fear, without providing an explicit critique of it’s political uses, merely aid the Bush agenda? I’m still not sure.

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