CUFF

EXIST Esther Bell

Feature Video 80:00 2004 US Premiere

‘At what point do you leave your middle-class existence and decide to put yourself in danger for the sake of people halfway across the world?’ ­Esther Bell

“Not a protest film, but a film about people who live for protest. Or even die for it. Shot with little money and much bravura.” ­ Rotterdam Film Festival

The story of two young activists who take the ultimate stand for what they believe. Set in the environment of squatters and anti-globalist political activists in Philadelphia, Exist captures the essence of personal relationships in the midst of turmoil, and explores how far people will go to be heard. Beginning with a script Bell incorporated improvisational changes, adapting her story as circumstances changed or other actors turned up. Real activists played most roles, even if some of them also aspire to be actors (Bell describes them as actorvists). Esther Bell is director of the film Godass (Best Feature CUFF 2000) and organizes the Un-American Film Festival.

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