Strip Search follows several parallel stories examining personal freedoms vs. national security in the aftermath of 9/11; two main subplots involve an American woman detained in China and an Arab man detained in New York City.
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In the aftermath of the September, 11th, in China, the American student Linda Sykes is interrogated by the military Liu Tsung-Yuan. In New York, the Arab student Sharif Bin Said is interrogated by the FBI agent Karen Moore. The psychological methods of interrogation are the same, amicable in the beginning and brutal in the end; but there is no evidence that the students are terrorists. Must security and safety of the State come at the price of freedom? Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When Adolf Hitler solidified his hold on Germany he asked Germans to give up little things so that he could make them stronger. He slowly took more and more freedoms away until there was no freedom at all. As Americans we believe that this could not happen here, we are too democratic. However, many totalitarian governments start slow. In this play, two suspects are being put through a degrading interrogation. One is an American woman being interrogated by a Chinese officer. The other is an Arab being interrogated by an American agent. As the interrogation takes place, the two interrogators become interchangable, saying the same lines. It is a not so subtle way of saying we in the US have become what we had always spoken against. Of course, we can use the argument that we are doing it to protect our way of life. But can't the Chinese use that same excuse? I thought the film was rather blunt, but the message effective. If we are truly the most humane and democratic country in the world, if due process is still alive, then we must show it, not just say it.
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