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Documentary Feature  





Directed by
Pamela Yates
PERU, USA / 2005 / 94 minutes minutes

Screening Times and Venues:
Upstate Films I
9/30/2005, 4:30PM
Bearsville Theater
10/2/2005, 12:30PM
How can an open society balance demands for security with democracy? STATE OF FEAR dramatizes the human and societal costs a democracy faces when it embarks on a war against terror, potentially without end, all too easily exploited by unscrupulous leaders seeking personal political gain. The film follows events in Peru, yet it serves as a cautionary tale for a nation like the United States. filmmakers Pamela Yates, Peter Kinoy, and Paco de Onís masterfully blend personal testimony, history, and archival footage to tell the story of escalating violence in the Andean nation and how the fear of terror undermined its democracy, making Peru a virtual dictatorship where official corruption replaced the rule of law. Terrorist attacks by Shining Path insurgents provoked a military occupation of the countryside. Military justice replaced civil authority, widespread abuses by the Peruvian Army went unpunished, and the terrorism continued to spread. Nearly 70,000 civilians eventually died at the hands of Shining Path and the Peruvian military.

"Parallels abound in this meticulously constructed chronology of the ease with which Peruvian democracy, reacting to terrorism, transformed itself into a despotic, corrupt and murderous regime. Twenty years of killing came to an end only when protests spearheaded by the Human Rights Movement ousted the regime and established the Truth and Reconciliation Committee."
(Barbara Pokras, A.C.E.)

Pamela Yates is a director with a breadth of experience in both commercial television and independent documentaries. Most recently she directed STATE OF FEAR, a feature length documentary that tells the epic story of Peru's 20-year war on terror based on the findings of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Before that, she directed PRESUMED GUILTY, a two-hour PBS special about public defenders that aired in fall 2002. She produced and directed CAUSE FOR MURDER, which was commissioned by the PBS international series WIDE ANGLE (2002). The film explores the cost of political bravery in the lives and deaths of two young Mexican lawyers, Digna Ochoa and Marigeli Tames. In 2000, she produced and directed BROTHERHOOD OF HATE, a study of violent white supremacy, broadcast on the Showtime Networks. BROTHERHOOD OF HATE and CAUSE FOR MURDER were both coproductions with The New York Times. Yates produced on the series, TRAUMA: LIFE AND DEATH IN THE ER. TRAUMA was the highest rated series on The Learning Channel (1997-1998) and Yates' program LOSS OF INNOCENCE received a national Emmy.

Yates was a producer from 1993 to 1995 on Michael Moore's TV NATION for NBC and Fox. Her independent films in Latin America include WITNESS TO WAR (Academy Award, 1985), about an American doctor behind rebel lines in El Salvador; WHEN THE MOUNTAINS TREMBLE (Special Jury Award, Sundance 1984), featuring Nobel Prize laureate Rigoberta Mench0;; and NICARAGUA: REPORT FROM THE FRONT. She also produced and directed TAKEOVER, (Official selection, Sundance 1991), POVERTY OUTLAW (Sundance 1995), and the Independent Television Service presentation OUTRIDERS on PBS (1999). Yates directed the first music video made in China, NO MORE DISGUISES, with Ciu Jian, which was named by Rolling Stone as one of the 10 best music videos of 1989 It had its U.S. premiere at the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival.

Yates is one of the founders and president of Skylight Pictures, a film and video production company in Manhattan. She is a member of the Director's Guild of America (DGA) and The Writers Guild (WGA).

Director(s): Pamela Yates
Cinematographer(s): Juan Durán
Composer(s)/Music: Tito La Rosa, Tavo Castillo


Paco de Onís



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