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184 Ratings

Public Hearing

United States, 2012
Avant-Garde, Drama


An American provincial town’s public consultation about the expansion of the Walmart supermarket, recreated in minute detail as a feature film shot in black-and-white 16mm.

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Public Hearing Directed by James N. Kienitz Wilkins
If Public Hearing serves to reveal an unexpected poetics in found municipal proceedings, littered with corporate and technical jargon material, the closing discussion of Mediums reveals that poetry, despite its best efforts, can hardly isolate itself from outside interests.
July 20, 2017
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After 110 minutes… I was still a little unclear on what exactly Public Hearing was. Yet afterwards Wilkins gave one of those rare Q&As that actually makes a movie seem more rather than less interesting, and the film wound up lingering with me after everything else I saw on that long weekend had faded from memory.
March 22, 2017
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Ineffectuality and meaninglessness cover the proceedings with the weight of a lead blanket, and Wilkins practically dares you to escape. Even a five-minute bathroom break is dutifully replicated, leaving you to stare at a black screen and ponder why, exactly, you feel obligated to remain seated. Yet the gaps that Wilkins opens between reality and performance (within both the re-enactment and the sham of the event itself) prove irresistible to contemplate, even in the face of such banality.
October 16, 2013
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