Strange Culture

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Released 2006

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Movie Summary

Director:
Lynn Hershman-Leeson
Released:
2006
Rating:
Not Available
Strange Culture is a documentary film that follows the story of artist and professor Steve Kurtz. Kurtz was a member of the Critical Art Ensemble (CAE), which deals with genetically modified food, as well as other public policy and science issues. When Kurtz's wife, Hope Kurtz, died of heart failure, investigators became suspicious of Kurtz due to the large amount of petri dishes and scientific equipment in the home. The investigators involved the FBI in the case, and Kurtz was detained under suspicion of bioterrorism. Since he could not legally discuss the case on film, the documentary uses actors to interpret the story, as well as interviews with other figures involved in the case. The documentary uses a combination of reenactment, animation, and testimonials to suggest that Kurtz was only targeted because he frequently questioned governmental policies. The documentary, Strange Culture, also features music by the avant-garde band, The Residents.

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Metacritic Score

  • 80

    The New York Times Jeannette Catsoulis

    Somewhere between documentary and dramatization, fact and impression, Strange Culture molds one man's tragedy into an engrossing narrative experiment that defies categorization.

  • 80

    Variety

    Younger filmmakers should be looking to Hershman Leeson for lessons on how to reinvent old forms while at the same time telling an urgently topical story.

  • 70

    Los Angeles Times Carina Chocano

    As sad as it is to realize that youth activism in this country is dead, it's sadder still to find yourself agreeing that they have a point. Just look at what happened to Kurtz.

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More Info About This Movie

Categories

Arts, Documentary, Drama

Themes

Politics, Independent