At a traffic stop, distinguishing reality from fantasy becomes the difference between life and death. Pineland is a real-world Rashomon story inviting critical inquiry about truth, perception, and America's militarized institutions.
Pineland is informed by my background as a civil-rights lawyer representing victims of fatal police shootings. A collection of short films will tell this true story multiple times from a range of perspectives, in several genres:
The first version, Pineland/Hollywood, is an 11-minute experimental piece employing 483 fair-use Hollywood film clips to tell the story under a voice-over soundtrack of survivors' testimony from the actual court case. Two people testify about the same incident, but they seem to be inhabiting different worlds. We realize that the real testimony might as well have been scripted in Hollywood. Trauma is mined for entertainment. Testimony, in contrast, is meant to reveal truth. But is it, too, a performance influenced by fictional tropes?
A second version, Pineland/Police, will tell the story from the police officer's perspective using archival public-service announcement and police-training films. How does training prime police to perceive and act on unexpected developments?
If funded, the third version, Pineland/Redux, will be a staged reenactment starring one of the survivors of the original incident.
The story begins on the next page.
The Pineland concept was shortlisted for the 2019 & 2020 Tim Hetherington Trust Visionary Award.