9500 Liberty

Jun 25 - Jun 27, 2010

(Eric Byler & Annabel Park, USA, 2009, DigiBeta, 80 min)

Pre-dating the recent Arizona immigration law by three years, in 2007 Manassas, Virginia served as the flashpoint of an exceptionally contentious battle between longtime residents of the community and the growing population of new residents: immigrants.

A relatively quiet town outside of Washington, D.C., Manassa has grown exponentially in recent decades. Dissatisfied with the situation, charismatic Greg Letiecq started a blog spouting venomous rhetoric about the immigration population in Prince William Count. His commentary led to the formation of Help Save Manassas, a group set on creating an intolerable existence for immigrants. Their target: the local government. Their goal: the passage of the Prince William County Immigration Resolution, requiring police to check anyone with “probable cause” to determine whether or not he or she is an illegal alien. But how do you judge probable cause? And how do you train police officers to judge without racial profiling? As the resistance movement grew, the use of YouTube videos and virtual town halls became critical platforms for counter argument.

9500 Liberty depicts a completely unique kind of documentary format that incorporates new media and venues. It is a compelling story, and a microcosm of what is happening in other parts of the United States, where one group lives in hate, another in fear.

"What this film has in urgency and timeliness makes it a unique witness to our times." —Austin Chronicle

"... it's a powerful booster of the democratic process as anything Frank Capra ever imprinted into our collective memory." —Washington Post

"Makes it clear that when we as a nation of immigrants, debate the immigration issue, we are defining our very identity as Americans." —John Grisham, Best-selling author of The Firm, the Pelican Brief and The Client



Watch the trailer:



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