Director: Richard Bugajski
Screenwriters: Rob Forsyth, M.T. Kelly

Institute History


Richard Bugajski, the Polish expatriate director of the acclaimed Interrogation, conducts an uncompromising, often-brutal examination of the inadequacies of liberalism in this controversial melodrama. The narrative begins as a Native American community is facing an impending defeat in a land dispute. Peter, the white liberal lawyer who has shepherded their case through the courts, feels frustrated and helpless. Invited to participate in a sweat-lodge ceremony (the first real one ever filmed), he resolves to try again, but soon meets his antithesis, Arthur (Graham Greene), whose brute strength and power overwhelms him. Peter is swept up in a series of events over which he has no control. Finally, dragged into the north woods, he is confronted with a nightmare of violence which challenges all his “civilized” assumptions about behavior and the possibility of rational confrontation.
But rather than merely reinforcing stereotypical images of the Native American as savage, Clearcut raises complex questions about a civilization which seems bent on an inexorable march toward the total destruction of this planet. Where will it stop, and who will be responsible? Bugajski provides fertile ground for discussion.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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