Amerikan Passport | Chicago Reader

Amerikan Passport

In early 1989, 23-year-old film student Reed Paget embarked on a trip to see the ancient wonders of the world but got sidetracked after filming the Tiananmen Square crackdown. Over the next year or so, by accident or design, he traveled to hot spots around the globe—Cambodia, Nicaragua, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Moscow—and documented political crises as they unfolded. In his narration Paget frames this 1998 journal as an ideological debate with his grandfather, an oil man in China during the 40s who helped U.S. intelligence in its efforts against Mao. Yet Paget's rather naive knee-jerk liberalism betrays a shallow understanding of the countries he briefly visited, and his swaggering self-importance (hey, I'm an eyewitness to history!) gets in the way during interviews. The pictures, edited from more then 50 hours of footage, are far more eloquent than his rambling commentary—in particular the dead bodies documented after the Tiananmen massacre.

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