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In the King of Prussia

Screening on Film
Directed by Emile de Antonio.
US, 1992, 16mm, color, 92 min.

In 1980, Father Daniel Berrigan led a group of radical, pacifist Catholics – the Plowshares 8 – in a symbolic defilement of nuclear bomb parts, then manufactured in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Decidedly not a theatrical film, this is de Antonio's most problematic work for critics and audiences. Shot mostly on videotape, it mixes documentary footage of protests, interviews, and a self-consciously staged reenactment of the trial at which the Plowshares 8 were convicted. An attempt to rejuvenate film form by undoing the stultifying conventions of commercial film and television, In the King of Prussia is meant to be both an exploration of new cinematic strategies and an organizing tool for the nuclear freeze movement and radical peace activists.

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Emile de Antonio’s America

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Cold War Chronicles. The Films of Emile de Antonio

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