Charged In The Name Of Terror: Portraits By Contemporary Artists

Former Chicagoan Paul Chan curated this hour-long program of video documentaries about remarkable, patriotic Americans who’ve been persecuted for their political convictions, partly thanks to the Patriot Act. All the shorts are experimental in their pairing of sound and image yet plainspoken in their address, and their portraiture is partly concerned with the glory of particular ways of being alive. The first and best is Chan’s Untitled Video on Lynne Stewart and Her Conviction, the Law, and Poetry (2006), in which the human-rights lawyer reads poetry and reflects on her life, work, and prospects. The others are Jim Fetterley and Angie Waller’s Steve Kurtz Waiting (2006); Susan Youssef’s For the Least, about Catholic Workers who marched to Guantanamo, and Mary Billyou and Annelisse Fifi’s Mohamed Yousry: A Life Stands Still (2006), about an academic who worked as Stewart’s translator. (JR)

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