Lynne Sachs

Investigation of a Flame (2001) DVD NTSC, color, 45 min

Genre: Documentary, Experimental

Keywords: political / social activism

On May 17, 1968 nine Vietnam War protesters led by Daniel and Philip Berrigan, walked into a catonsville, Maryland draft board office, grabbed hundreds of selective service records and burned them with homemade napalm. "Investigation of a Flame" is an intimate, experimental documentary portrait of the Cantonsville Nine, this disparate band of resisters who chose to break the law in a defiant, poetic act of civil disobedience. How did the photos, trial publicity and news of the two year prison sentences help to galvanize a disillusioned American public' "Investigation of a Flame" explores this politically and religiously motivated performance of the 1960's in the context of extremely different times- times in which critics of Middle East peace agreements, abortion and technology resort to violence of the most random and sanguine kind in order to access the public imagination.

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