Strange Culture

PlasticMountainMajesty presents:

Strange Culture

Strange Culture
Dir: Lynn Hershman Leeson, 2007
75 min. USA


The surreal nightmare of internationally-acclaimed artist and professor Steve Kurtz began when his wife, Hope, died in her sleep of heart failure.

When paramedics arrived they became suspicious when they noticed petri dishes and other scientific equipment related to Kurtz’s art in his home. They summoned the FBI, who detained Kurtz on suspicion of “bioterrorism”. Dozens of agents in Hazmat suits sifted through his work and impounded his computers, manuscripts, books, cat, and even his wife’s body.

At the time, Kurtz was unable to publicly speak about his case for legal reasons. Hershman worked around this and employed a hybrid narrative/documentary form to tell Kurtz’ story involving reenactments, interviews, news reports, and animation to scrutinze post-9/11 paranoia and suggest that Kurtz was targeted because his work questions government policies.

An important work of critique on the W. Bush presidential era that is still relevant today, despite the change in administrations.

We are lucky enough to have director Lynn Hershman Leeson in attendance to introduce Strange Culture and hold a QnA afterward.