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American Sector

  • Wednesday, July 28, 2021
  • 12:00 p.m.
  • Week-long Film Presentation
  • Virtual Program

Streamed online July 28 through August 3

Over a period of 18 months, filmmakers Courtney Stephens and Pacho Velez visited over 75 locations throughout the United States where hefty parts of the Berlin Wall are currently on display. Filming in Super 16mm, they interviewed passersby as well as owners and caretakers of these giant pieces of concrete, visually contextualizing the relics within different landscapes and locations. People share stories about their connection to these often graffiti-covered symbols as they grapple with ideas of what constitutes “freedom” and what relevance the history of the Cold War might still have today. Xenophobia, current border disputes, and plans to fortify the wall along the Mexican border are all pondered. The American Sector “powerfully evokes the active presence of history in daily civic life—and reveals the politics that inhere in its commemoration. Yields extraordinary results through audacious methods.” — Richard Brody, The New Yorker. (Courtney Stephens and Pacho Velez, 2020, 69 minutes)