We Have Rather Been Invaded (2016, Ed Webb-Ingall)

Ed Webb-Ingall’s We Have Rather Been Invaded, a film that takes it title from a statement made by a news announcer during a studio invasion in protest of Section 28, begins from that discriminatory law—passed in 1978 and revoked only as recently as 2003—but expands beyond it, exploring the legacy of that law on a group of community activists, involved separately then, but brought together in dialogue now. Ingall, sitting at a round table with the activists, leads discussion over a number of predefined topics relating to the law and its effects, acting as a moderator in a panel of his own composing. Guiding dialogue without taking it over, he draws from his contributors impressions of their individual involvement as well as a sense of how it also impacted those who aren’t present. Meanwhile, the camera spirals around them as they talk, fixating on their faces as the memories return to them. Overlain archive (clips, newspaper headlines and photos) accompanies the points they raise.As a film it is straightforward, rudimentary in technique as to reflect the community video style it is inspired by (where record is tantamount, and aesthetics are secondary), but the eventual effect is quite powerful. The law, less draconian than intentionally hostile, designed to divide individuals and encourage them to police one another, seemed also to bring many people together. Resistance builds community, and though the law is in the past, the work is continual. “It seemed almost Victorian” reminisces one member of the group. “We’re still there,” says another.

Originally posted on the Open City Documentary Festival blog.

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