A successful visual artist working in post-9/11 Manhattan, Asya lives the life of the hip and glamorous, replete with exclusive art parties, supermodels, and stretch limousines, while she carefully follows the situation in the Middle East on television. Out partying one night, Asya learns that her childhood friend, Faisal, has disappeared—the victim of a purported CIA abduction. That same night, she meets Javier, a sexy Mexican PhD student, and romance blossoms. Javier finds Asya’s conspiracy theories overly paranoid—but nothing in Asya’s world is as it seems.
Zeina Durra’s atmospheric debut feature is a splendidly alluring and intelligent look at the way the war on terror seeps into the texture of everyday American life. Gorgeous 16 mm grain imbues the film with an anachronistic feel that interestingly evokes times past. The Imperialists Are Still Alive! is an exceptional work and heralds the arrival of Durra as an exciting new directorial talent. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival]