Strip Search follows several parallel stories examining personal freedoms vs. national security in the aftermath of 9/11; two main subplots involve an American woman detained in China and an Arab man detained in New York City.
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In the aftermath of the September, 11th, in China, the American student Linda Sykes is interrogated by the military Liu Tsung-Yuan. In New York, the Arab student Sharif Bin Said is interrogated by the FBI agent Karen Moore. The psychological methods of interrogation are the same, amicable in the beginning and brutal in the end; but there is no evidence that the students are terrorists. Must security and safety of the State come at the price of freedom? Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In the post 9/11 world, fear has been indoctrinated into most aspects of our lives. Governments worldwide manipulated and capitalized on this for their own gain - financially, politically and strategically. The Bush-driven Patriot Act has seen many people (guilty and otherwise no doubt) detained, tortured and dehumanized. Since a large percentage of the population are unaware that political agendas of media owners exist, they passively believe what they see on their nightly TV news or read in their daily newspapers. They are taught to fear the unknown, to trust their leaders implicitly (because they use nice words in speeches like 'freedom' and 'family') and not to question motives.
'Strip Search' is a deliberate attempt to throw the light of reality into this collective 'un'consciousness.
The storyline involves parallel stories of two people being detained in custody: an American woman in China, and a Middle Eastern man in the US. By using almost exactly the same dialogue, we are shown how to think outside the usual spectrum, and to feel compassion for both people. Without the twin story of the American woman, people would undoubtedly walk away from this feel feeling a lot differently.
The acting is astonishing. One feels that this film meant more than just another job to the actors involved. I admire them immensely for their efforts.
Hopefully this film will change a few minds, and that as a result - the world might become just that little bit better.
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