USA, 2011, 94 min
Passionate young activists and authorities clash in Minneapolis in events surrounding the protests at the 2008 Republican National Convention. As arrests are made and accusations fly, the truth recedes behind a desperate and strained justice system abetted by the opportunism of chameleon-like activist Brandon Darby, a cofounder of Common Ground Relief. Darby’s cult of personality spins a nasty web that entangles the lives of two young protesters, childhood friends who had regarded Darby as their mentor and were eager to show him the genuineness of their political convictions. As the filmmakers follow the twists and turns of their legal defense, the young men confront a divisive moral dilemma that pits shared ideals against practical decisions, with immediate consequences for themselves and their families. From this tense situation, a poignant portrait emerges of the activists, their friends and loved ones. Intimate phone conversations, found footage, photographs and court transcripts merge with artful reenactments, while onscreen interviews include FBI officials and the federal prosecutor handling the case. Documentarians Kelly Duane de la Vega and Katie Galloway present a story that deals not only with problems of power and authority, freedom and democracy but also with the ultimate power of forgiveness and love.
This is a Cinema by the Bay film. GGA Documentary Feature Contender.