Persons Of Interest

As many as 5,000 Arab- or Muslim-Americans have been detained by the U.S. government since 9/11, some for longer than a year, without any connection to terror attacks being established. Alison Maclean and Tobias Perse interview a few of them and their family members for this 2003 documentary, shooting from a single camera position in a single, mainly empty room, though at the end the subjects all appear together and their various situations are updated. The facts of their grim treatment, often exacerbated by their estrangement from their countries of origin, sometimes recall the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, and one isn’t exactly reassured by John Ashcroft’s disclaimers, which are periodically intercut with the stories. 63 min. (JR)

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