Part of SFFILM Festival
The American Sector
Universal Studios in Florida, a Hilton Hotel in Dallas, Museum of World Treasures in Kansas, and private homes in the Hollywood Hills are just some of the places that slabs of the Berlin wall have ended up on display. From the interstates of middle America to museums to public parks, filmmakers Courtney Stephens and Pacho Velez document the present remnants of the wall’s architecture while evoking the past with home video footage, creating a disjointed view on history, what we ascribe to it, and how easily it is scattered.
“Public art and political divisions, the sway of history, and the impulse toward freedom are inseparable elements in the doc’s richly nuanced palette … What might seem at first an inquiry into another nation’s story builds into a provocative illumination of all our histories, and of the here and now. Another wall — one that’s still more concept than reality and on many Americans’ minds — is alluded to and left to the viewer’s contemplation.” –Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter
Redwood City native Courtney Stephens is a documentary and experimental filmmaker who studied at the American Film Institute. Her short films include White Gloves (2011), Sweet Prospects (2012), and Mixed Signals (Festival 2019). The American Sector is her debut feature.
Pacho Velez studied at the California Institute for the Arts and teaches filmmaking at New York’s New School. Among his documentary features are Manakamana (Festival 2014), winner of the Golden Leopard at Locarno, and The Reagan Show (2017).
Language English, German
Premiere North American
Director Courtney Stephens, Pacho Velez
Producer Pacho Velez
Writer Dounia Sichov, Courtney Stephens
Editor Dounia Sichov, Courtney Stephens
Cinematographer Pacho Velez
Music Sara Davachi