Public Interest Pictures
Presents a film by Nonny de la Peña
Sponsored by the ACLU
"GRAND FESTIVAL AWARD - DOCUMENTARY"
at the The Berkeley Video & Film Festival @ 2004 Awards
The fall of 2001 brought us assaults against Americans' comfort zone on many fronts. We learned that we could fall victim to attacks on US soil and we learned that those guarantees provided to us in the Constitution were equally vulnerable.
Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties, is the third in a series of Public Interest Pictures films that follows Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election and Uncovered: The War on Iraq. True to their legacy, Unconstitutional provides the facts and stories that illuminate administration lies, wrongheaded policies, and the real victims of these actions--the American people.
Here, you'll get the real story behind the USA PATRIOT Act and other administration policies and the gut wrenching stories behind those affected--from law-abiding store clerks to United States Olympians unable to travel. It'll remind you of what America used to stand for and what it seems we're falling for now. In short, this one-hour film will affirm why you're angry and give you a tool to help others join your ranks.
"We created Unconstitutional to show Americans the extent to which our civil liberties and our freedoms have been trampled upon by our government since 9/11," said Robert Greenwald, the film's executive producer. "The more Americans understand what is at stake, and what has already been lost, the more determined we become to protect our rights." Unconstitutional, which was written, directed and produced by Nonny de la Peña, explores how the Patriot Act has taken away checks on law enforcement and continues to endanger the civil liberties of all Americans. The Patriot Act, which was passed just 45 days after September 11 with virtually no debate, is being met with a significant grassroots groundswell from across the political spectrum. Resolutions opposing the Patriot Act have passed in approximately 340 communities in 41 states, including four statewide resolutions. These communities represent over 53 million people who believe that the Patriot Act goes too far. Unconstitutional is a chilling look at how the Patriot Act went too far, too fast in restricting important liberties while not making us any safer," ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said. "The ACLU is proud to support Greenwald's effort to present a bipartisan view of the problems with the Patriot Act." By focusing on the personal stories of real people, Unconstitutional aims to reveal how paranoia, fear and racial profiling have led to gross infringements on freedom and democracy without strengthening national security. In addition to interviews with Romero, the film features a diverse cross-section of people, including:
- Vincent Cannistraro, former director of the CIA's counter-terrorism operations Aquil Abdullah, member of the U.S. rowing team at the 2004 Olympics Anne Turner, Librarian, Santa Cruz Public Library Bob Barr, former Republican Congressman from Georgia Major Michael Mori, U.S. military lawyer appointed to Guantanamo detainee David Hicks
- Sam Hamoui, a Seattle resident whose parents and sister were detained by federal agents
De la Peña has four feature length documentaries to her credit, including the critically acclaimed The Jaundiced Eye. She has also contributed investigative reports for BBC's Omnibus & Inside Story, A&E's Investigative Reports and The Discovery Channel, and was part of the team that created HBO's Death on the Job, which was nominated for an Academy Award.