StoryAfter the Sept.11 terrorist attacks, more than 5,000 people, mainly non-U.S. nationals of South Asian or Middle Eastern origin, were taken into custody by the U.S. Justice Department and held indefinitely on grounds of national security. Muslim immigrants were subject to arbitrary arrest, secret detention, solitary confinement, and deportation. Many were denied access to legal representation and communication with their families.
During a period when the U.S. government has made every effort to depersonalize these detentions, refusing to reveal the names or even the number of immigrants detained, the voices of those affected — their testimonials and experiences — become our only window into the human costs of post September 11th immigration policies.
Following an unconventional format, Persons of Interest presents a series of encounters between former detainees and directors Alison Maclean (Jesus' Son) and Tobias Perse in an empty room which serves both visually and symbolically as an interrogation room, home, and prison cell. Through interviews, family photographs, and letters from prison, the directors have fashioned a compelling and poignant film, allowing those affected a chance to tell their own stories.