Investigation of a Flame | Chicago Reader

Investigation of a Flame

This poetic 2001 video essay by Lynne Sachs offers the perfect antidote to PBS: there's no omniscient narrator talking down to the viewer, reciting facts and explaining what to think, yet the story is perfectly clear. Sachs examines the Catonsville Nine, who in 1968 stole records from a Maryland draft office and set fire to them with homemade napalm. Brothers Phil and Dan Berrigan, who led the protest, appear both in the present and in archival footage, a mix that makes their commitment palpable, while images like a newspaper going in and out of focus remind us that shifting contexts alter our understanding of complex events. 45 min.

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