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(T)ERROR (#HotDocs15 Review)

Directed by David Felix Sutcliffe and Lyric R. Cabral

It’s not often a documentary film crew gets to tag along on an undercover FBI assignment. But in (T)ERROR, Saeed Shariff Torres is an informant, enlisted to spy on potential terrorist sympathizers and trade them to the US government in exchange for the “forgiveness” of some of his past misdeeds. Not exactly proud of what he does but with no other lucrative option in sight (his dream of opening a bakery just won’t cut it when it comes to supporting his young son), he invites filmmakers David Felix Sutcliffe and Lyric R. Cabral to document his most recent mission.


What the audience is allowed a glimpse into is exactly what one might expect – some very questionable strategies employed by the FBI in their attempts to single out anyone who may eventually pose a threat to national security. Their use of convicted criminals as informants all but guarantees them a willingness on the part of their agent to trade loyalties, to have no problem becoming close to someone with the sole purpose of ultimately betraying them.


If the end result of these missions were the capture and takedown of a genuine threat, these would not be such ambiguous issues. But as Sutcliffe and Cabral expose in (T)ERROR, the individuals being targeted might not necessarily be the monsters they are accused of being.  An interesting and more than slightly disconcerting look at what can constitute “treason”.

3.5 sheep

(T)ERROR will have its International Premiere at the HotDocs Canadian International Documentary Festival, as part of the Special Presentations program.

Screening Schedule …

Sunday, April 26, 9:45 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox

Tuesday, April 28, 4:00 PM, Scotiabank Theatre

Sunday, May 3, 11:30 AM, TIFF Bell Lightbox

For more information and for tickets, please visit

Your turn!

How many sheep would you give (T)ERROR?



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