"A complex rumination on the power of protest." — LA Weekly

On May 17, 1968, three Catholic priests, a nurse, an artist and four others walked into a Catonsville, Maryland draft board office, grabbed hundreds of selective service records and burned them with homemade napalm. Their poetic act of civil disobedience helped galvanize an increasingly disillusioned American public against the Vietnam War. Investigation of a Flame is an intimate look at this Sixties protest within our current times, when foes of Middle East peace, abortion, and technology resort to violence to access the public imagination. Lynne Sachs combines volatile, long-unseen, archival footage with interviews with Daniel and Philip Berrigan and other members of the Catonsville Nine, encouraging viewers to ponder the relevance of civil disobedience and the implications of personal sacrifice today.

"To those who think that everything in a society and its culture must move in lock step at times of crisis, this film might seem to be 'off-message.' But it is in essence patriotic... saluting U.S. democracy as it pays homage to the U.S. tradition of dissent." — The Baltimore Sun

Sundance Channel Documentary Series

Museum of Modern Art Documentary Fortnight Opening Night

First Prize Documentary Athens Film Festival



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Funded by Program for Media Artists (formerly Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowships)