Mr. Hoover and I

Director: Emile de Antonio
Screenwriters: Emile de Antonio

Institute History

  • 1990 Sundance Film Festival


When he was sixteen, the FBI began a file on Emile de Antonio, Harvard frosh and new member of the Young Communist League. Now approaching seventy, the independent documentary filmmaker, who over the last thirty years has probably raised more pertinent questions about America than any other, returns Edgar Hoover's interest by pissing on him, so to speak, cinematically. "It's time somebody should," the filmmaker suggests; "He was one of the most dishonorable people in the whole history of this great country. Hoover was never interested in crime; he was interested in a secret police. He was closer to Stalin than he was to Jefferson or Lincoln. He was closer to a tradition alien to this country."

In this tradition the U.S. gathered more than ten thousand pages for de Antonio's dossier. most of which the filmmaker secured through the Freedom of Information Act. Although they arrived censored, they did give the creator of—among other films—Point of Order, Rush to Judgment, In the Year of the Pig, and Underground a rich personal opportunity to muse about Political abuse directly to the camera, while he is watching his friend John Cage cook, speaking to students, and having his hair cut. His observations are sharp and funny. The style of Mr. Hoover and I is spare, the intent wicked and the effect exhilarating.

Saturday, January 20 1:30p.m.
Holiday Village Cinema I

Tuesday, January 23 4:00p.m.
Egyptian Theatre

Wednesday, January 24 10:30a.m.
Holiday Village Cinema I

Thursday, January 25 10:00 p.m.
Holiday Village Cinema


— Larry Kardish

Screening Details

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