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Rush to Judgment

Screening on Film
Directed by Emile de Antonio.
US, 1966, 16mm, black & white, 98 min.

Made with attorney Mark Lane, Rush to Judgment was a seminal entry in the burgeoning field of JFK assassination documentaries. Most striking today is the film's understatement, its lack of paranoia or hysterical speculation; it offers no theory about who killed JFK, but punches holes in the 1964 Warren Report. For the movie's press kit, de Antonio wrote: "In documentary film content is all. Further, documentary is anti-camp. Susan Sontag, pace. Rush to Judgment is like 'art brut.' The camera simply records what's there. Angles, tricks, staging, effects would have been self-defeating as well as unneeded. Content carries itself: it is quite simply a brief for the defense which becomes an attack on tin gods and power structures." He later added, "Film, tape, the camera, the recorder and the moviola on which film is edited are neutral – when not in use. They are neutral like a gun."

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