Public Hearing

Year2012 Duration110 min. DirectorJames N. Kienitz Wilkins

Public Hearing is the verbatim performance of an American town meeting transcript, downloaded as publicly available information. Shot entirely in close-up on black-and-white 16mm film, a cast of actors and non-actors debate the replacement of an existing Wal-Mart with a super Wal-Mart. The seemingly mundane details of their faces and hands open a world of material distractions and mini-narratives contrasted against a series of monologues. Gradually, what becomes more significant than the environmental issue at stake is the bureaucratic process in motion. The real words of real people express a frustration with rules, guidelines, big business, poverty, misinformation and contemporary life. Those in charge—the necessarily detached moderators—struggle with their own emotions as they attempt to control the microscopic dramas of many people gathered in one room, all learning to speak a new and foreign civic language. It’s a tragicomic struggle, re-imagined through the formal language of cinema, reading between the official lines.

James N. Kienitz Wilkins

James N. Kienitz Wilkins

James N. Kienitz WilkinsBorn 1983, he is an artist and filmmaker from the United States of America. He is the recipient of numerous grants and periodic awards for various projects of specific and/or universal proportions. He is a graduate of the Cooper Union School of Art in New York City. He lives in Brooklyn.

Selected filmography:

  • Public Hearing (2012)
  • The Big Black Girl (2010)
  • History Minor (2010) (Dir. Ryan Garrett/camera/sound)
  • Nature Mature (2008)
Promoted by
Gobierno de Navarra
Organized by
With the aid of
Con la financiación del Gobierno de España. Instituto de la Cinematografía y las Artes Audiovisuales Acción Cultural Española Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia Financiado por la Unión Europea. NexGenerationEU

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