dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y

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An experimental documentary by Johan Grimonprez

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Buckle up for DIAL H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, the acclaimed hijacking documentary that eerily foreshadowed 9/11. We meet the romantic skyjackers who fought their revolutions and won airtime on the passenger planes of the 1960s and 1970s. By the 1990s, such characters were apparently no more, replaced on our TV screens by stories of anonymous bombs in suitcases.

Director Johan Grimonprez investigates the politics behind this change, at the same time unwrapping our own complicity in the urge for ultimate disaster. Playing on Don DeLillo's riff in his novel Mao II: "what terrorists gain, novelists lose" and "home is a failed idea," he blends archival footage of hijackings with surreal and banal themes, including fast food, pet statistics, disco, and his quirky home movies. David Shea composed the superb soundtrack to this free fall through history, best described in the words of one hijacked Pepsi executive as "running the gamut of many emotions, from surprise to shock to fear, to joy, to laughter, and then again, fear."

Selected Press Quotes

"Exceptional for its juice, its jazzy compelling fusion of social and aesthetic issues, and its stomach-churning power." —The New York Times

"A sense of urgency and a wrenching emotional attack." —The Times (London)

"Each cut turns a screw deeper until your mind hurts." —San Francisco Bay Guardian

"An eccentric, roller coaster ride through history." —Time Out

Special Features

  • Booklet with director Grimonprez interview on the politics of the Spectacle.
  • Subtitles in Japanese, French, Dutch, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Galician.

This DVD is NTSC, Region 0 (playable worldwide)

Author(s) Johan Grimonprez
Artist(s) Johan Grimonprez, Don Delillo, David Shea
Format DVD, NTSC, Region 0 Interzone
Year 1997
Language(s) English
Subtitles Japanese, French, Dutch, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Galician
Runtime 68 min
Publisher Other Cinema

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