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AFI DOCS Announces 84-Film Full Slate

The AFI DOCS documentary film festival announced its full slate of 84 movies today , and the list includes several films that touch on issues with contemporary political currency.  

At a time when the public and its representatives in Congress are exploring the extent of the government’s surveillance of everyday citizens, the movie “1971” touches on a decades-old incident that shows such topics are perennial in American society. Johanna Hamilton’s picture is about a March 1971 break-in at an FBI office in Media, Pa., by activists calling themselves the Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI, who stole top secret files on the agency’s domestic surveillance program and sent them to news organizations. Betty Medsger’s book, “The Burglary,” released earlier this year, is also about the case.  

In the same vein, Kate Davis and David Heilbroner’s “The Newburgh Sting” is about a more contemporary FBI case, and explores whether the bureau entrapped four men who were later convicted of terrorism. Both movies were part of last month’s Tribeca Film Festival as well.  

Other politically themed movies on the schedule include “Silenced,” about government whistleblowers, and “We Are The Giant,” about the Arab Spring, as well as “Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus,” about an underground acting troupe who risks imprisonment or worse in Belarus.  

The festival runs June 18-22, at multiple locations in Washington and Silver Spring, Md.