Sour Grapes
Of course we're Fair and Balanced!



I was unable to find anything else by googling (both the web and news) on this story, but if it's true — and there's no reason to think it's not — I'd sure like to know more. Some people will be put off by the strident tone of this particular telling, but I'm hoping it will get picked up by others.

Independent filmmaker Jem Cohen shoots movies the old-fashioned way, using a hand-wound 16mm Bolex camera. That alone makes him unique among today�s digitized, computerized crop of indie filmmakers....

On January 7 of this year, Cohen sat in a window seat of an Amtrak train en route to Washington to New York. With his hand-wound Bolex, he filmed the passing scene out the window of the train. Or at least he tried to.

Shortly after leaving New York, the Amtrak ticket taker told Cohen he couldn�t shoot pictures through the window because he was in a "quiet car" and such activity might disturb other passengers.

So Cohen tried to move but was told he couldn�t shoot out the windows of any other car on the train. When the train arrived in Philadelphia, four armed cops escorted him off the train and demanded his film. He rewound it in the camera and turned it over and got back on the train for the rest of the trip to Washington.

At Washington�s Union Station, the FBI and plainclothes officers for Homeland Security questioned Cohen about his motives. He explained he was an independent filmmaker, gave them the names of some of his movies and noted that he has been filming scenes out of the windows of passenger trains for about 15 years....

When Cohen asked about getting his film back, [he was told] the film had been turned over the National Terrorism Task Force. That was five months ago and he is still waiting to get his footage back.

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