a/k/a Mrs. George Gilbert

Coco Fusco

2004 | 00:31:00 | United States | English | B&W | Mono | 4:3 | Video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Activism, African-American, History, Politics, Race, Surveillance

a/k/a Mrs. George Gilbert extends Coco Fusco’s in-depth examination of racialized imagery. Fusco combines fictional and documentary source materials to reflect on the use of electronic surveillance against Black intellectuals and activists in the 1960s and 1970s as part of covert FBI operations. These actions bear a striking resemblance to contemporary Patriot Act-inspired activities of American law enforcement.

This experimental work follows the story of an FBI agent who confesses his involvement in the nation-wide search for Angela Davis: the Black philosopher who was fired from UCLA in 1969 at the order of then governor Ronald Reagan, and in 1970 was placed on the FBI's “Ten Most Wanted List," after which she went underground. During the two months that Davis was a fugitive, hundreds, if not thousands, of other women were incorrectly identified by law enforcement officials (and many were arrested) as Miss Davis. Her case culminated in one of the most famous trials in recent history, and she was acquitted of all charges in 1972.

Fusco weaves together archival footage, simulated surveillance footage of many Davis “lookalikes”, actual trial transcripts, FBI records and press clips with memorabilia from the international campaign to free Davis, creating an imaginative recreation of a crucial political moment in U.S. history.

Rick Moody, the author of The Ice Storm, collaborated with Fusco on writing the script.

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