Coco Fusco b. 1960
a/k/a Mrs. George Gilbert (2004)
a/k/a Mrs. George Gilbert extends Coco Fusco’s in-depth examination of racialized imagery. Fusco combines fictional and documentary source materials to reflect on the use of electronic surveillance against black intellectuals and activists in the 1960s and 1970s as part of covert FBI operations that bear a striking resemblance to the current Patriot Act-inspired activities of American law enforcement.
a/k/a Mrs. George Gilbert is the story of an FBI agent who confesses his involvement in the nation-wide search for Angela Davis, the black philosopher who was fired from UCLA in 1969 at the order of then governor Ronald Reagan, and in 1970 was placed on the FBI's “Ten Most Wanted List," after which she went underground. During the two months that Davis was a fugitive, hundreds, if not thousands, of other women were incorrectly identified by law enforcement officials and many were arrested as Miss Davis. Her case culminated in one of the most famous trials in recent history and she was acquitted of all charges in 1972.
Fusco weaves together archival footage, simulated surveillance footage of many Davis “lookalikes,” actual trial transcripts, FBI records and press clips with memorabilia from the international campaign to free Davis to create an imaginative recreation of a crucial political moment in US history.
She collaborated with Rick Moody, the author of The Ice Storm on the writing of the script.