BIFF 2020: 23. september - 1. oktober

World screening of 1971


As the only festival in Europe, the renowned documentary filmmaker Michael Moore's festival in Traverse City has invited BIFF to participate in a unique worldwide co-operation on August 1st. The film 1971 by Johanna Hamilton will be screened on all seven continents simultaneously. After the movie, all seven audiences will be avble to see each other on screen and ask questions to the filmmakers in Traverse City.

1971 will be screened at Cinemateket USF in Bergen on Friday 1 August at. 21.00 with a subsequent Q & A session with director Johanna Hamilton and producer Laura Poitras. Tickets kr 50,-

1971 is produced by Laura Poitras who has produced films like MY COUNTY, MY COUNTRY (2006) and THE OATH (2010), which was screened at BIFF in 2011. Poitras was one of three journalists who met Edward Snowden in Hong Kong in 2013 and received NSA documents from him. According to one of the two other journalists - Glenn Greenwald - it's just he and Poitras who has the full NSA archives from Snowden.

Decades before the world heard about Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, a group originated who called themselves "Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI". On March 8 1971, when the Vietnam War was at its worst, eight people broke into an FBI office in the small town of Media, Pennsylvania. They would leak potentially compromising information they may come across - and found abundant evidence of abuse of power far beyond law enforcement mandates.

It was revealed that the FBI was involved in extensive surveillance of civilian citizens, which afterwards necessarily had to involve significant changes in the procedures for this type of business. A direct consequence was also that the FBI removed these documents from most places the organization had offices in fear that similar incidents could happen again.

Filmmaker Johanna Hamilton has gotten the eight individuals who were behind the raid the FBI to come forward, so many years after the fact. The FBI did in fact never out who they were, despite intense investigation. Archival material and interviews with the brave people behind the leak are intelligently merged together in this interesting documentary that just had to come after the NSA scandals and WikiLeaks disclosures. One again the US authorities needed "a revision of the procedures for this type of business."