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General Orders No. 9

Robert Person's bizarro, experimental documentary hunkers somewhere between the poetic montage of Godfrey Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi and the profound obscurity of a Terrence Malick film (The Tree of Life, maybe). General Orders is intended as a ruminative, genealogical portrait of the state of Georgia. It's probably trying to say something about the impact modern urban development has had on the Deep South's environment, history and community. In other words: Trees are good, cities are bad. But you may find it hard to pick out that message from the welter of maps, patterns, shapes and pleasingly symmetrical compositions that swell and fade in front of Person's lens. If you want, call it an "ambient documentary." 72 minutes