What right do governments and corporations have to collect and retain information on our daily communications? What tools — both today and in the past — have been used to monitor citizens’ activities? What are the immediate and far-reaching effects of living in a culture of surveillance? At a time when governments and corporations around the world expand their efforts to track our communications and activities, this thematic block presents six thought-provoking films that explore the theme of surveillance from various angles, ranging from the long-term effects of the socialist-era secret police intervention with private life and creative work of individuals (Engelbecken, I Love You All) , to surveillance in the US maximum-security prisons (Prison Images), during a covert drone war in Pakistan (Drone) , and even in the imaginary world of the future where the total control equals full elimination of individual personality (Faceless). The program also includes Oscar-awarded Citizenfour, which follows the recent NSA surveillance revelations, from first contact with whistleblower Edward Snowden, to his secret interviews and the ensuing global fallout. Creatively redeploying CCTV and other found footage, the films in the selection demonstrate not only the terrifying extent of technological control, but the ways of creative resistance to the watchful eye of a mechanical “big brother.”
This program is organized in conjunction with the Watching You, Watching Me photographic exhibition on show at the Open Society Archives.
Documenting Surveillance Film Program Curator
Watching Me Watching You, Exhibition Curator
Films in Toldi, Művész, Cirko-Gejzír and KINO are screened in original language with English subtitles.