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Strange Culture (2007)

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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 324 users   Metascore: 70/100
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A documentary in which actors interpret the legally touchy subject of artist Steve Kurtz, who is being held as a suspected terrorist because of his work.

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Title: Strange Culture (2007)

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Credited cast:
Steve Kurtz
Josh Kornbluth ...
Steve Kurtz ...
Shoresh Alaudini ...
Cassie Powell ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
FBI Agent
Gregg Bordowitz ...
Himself - Artist / CAE Defense Fund
Larissa Clayton ...
Beatriz da Costa ...
Susan Leeson ...
Herself (as Dr. Susan Leeson)
Marcie Prohofsky ...
FBI Agent


The surreal nightmare of internationally-acclaimed artist and professor Steve Kurtz began when his wife, Hope, died in her sleep of heart failure. Medics arrived, became suspicious of Kurtz's art, and called the FBI. Within hours the artist was detained as a suspected "bioterrorist", as dozens of agents in Hazmat suits sifted through his work and impounded his computers, manuscripts, books, cat, and even his wife's body. Today Kurtz and his long-time collaborator Dr. Robert Ferrell, former Chair of the Genetics Department at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, await a trial date. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

reenactment | See All (1) »




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Official Sites:



Release Date:

5 October 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Niebezpieczna kultura  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Official Selection, Locarno International Film Festival, 2007 See more »


[first lines]
news caster: Like many an unfortunate drama, the story begins with a death. Steve Kurtz called 911 early on the morning of May 11th, after his wife suffered cardiac arrest and died in her sleep. When police arrived on the scene they saw not a 45-year old woman claimed well before her time, but rather petri dishes and sophisticated scientific equipment...
See more »

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User Reviews

The Conspiracy
4 July 2008 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

I came to this because its folded. It is consists of some unsophisticated notions about "them" corrupting food, some art about it, deliberately folded into the artifacts, a documentary about the making of that art, a profile of the artist, outside the documentary, a story of how "they" interpret the art as a murder plot and a documentary of that story.

And it has Tilda Swinton whose presence usually signals something profound.

But the film is too clumsy to do its work. You can roughly get the facts.

Its another case of an event that becomes caught up in forces no one controls... that finds its way into film by way of combat with similar forces. Those forces come from story threads, conventions, urges that this filmmaker is as helpless to control as the protagonist.

There's one interesting idea here. The character played by Tilda is the artist's wife, Hope. She is the genius of an art collaborative, who is not an artist herself in the sense of creating. She is the "explainer," who makes the collaborative work by providing the story hooks into what these guys do.

The story is triggered by her death. The authorities arrive and without her storyweaving ability, put together their own conspiracy about a conspiracy. This film could have used her.

This film could have been "The Lives of Others," with the Bush FBI in place of the Stasi.

Still, even if the film fails it is far, far more powerful a message than Moore could put together.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.

6 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why reenactment? forgether
UK Release date? hollytorious
Saw this today at AFI Film Fest in LA utterchaos2
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