Missing Allen

At its most conventional, this docu, about the disappearance of Chi cameraman Allen Ross, plays like an extended "Unsolved Mysteries" reenactment. But pic develops into something more substantial: a personal query into how well we really know the people we think we know best, and a look at how easy it can be to disappear into America.

With:
With: Deb Ellis, Marcus Greiner, Kate Kirtz, Charly Langrall, Hal Marshall, Marion McCreedy, Vladimir Van Maule, Robert Metrick, Greg Nickson, Tom Palazzolo, Brad Ross, Laurids Ross, Barbara Scharres, Bill Stamets, Father John Sweeney, John Van Wagner, Brenda Webb, Rick Weldon, Andrew Yuncza.

At its most conventional, this docu, about the disappearance of Chicago cameraman Allen Ross, plays like an extended “Unsolved Mysteries” reenactment. But as this real-life detective story winds its way from the Chicago suburbs to a Cheyenne, Wyo. landfill, it develops into something more substantial: a deeply personal query into how well we really know the people we think we know best, and a look at how easy it can be to disappear into America. A co-production of French and German television, pic, which has opened on a single L.A.-area screen for Academy qualification, will be broadcast internationally next year.

Helmer Christian Bauer, who had collaborated with Ross on a series of docus, started investigating his colleague’s disappearance after watching the case gestate in the police’s “missing persons” file for over four years. Bauer discovered a lurid underbelly of dissenting fringe groups lurking beneath the picturesque vistas of the American Midwest. Could the mild-mannered, self-effacing Ross have been a member of a religious cult with ties to the Waco Branch Davidians? As answers come forth, pic becomes more and more unnerving.

Missing Allen

France-Germany

Production: A Tangram presentation of a Tangram production, in association with Bayerischer Rundfunk and Saarlandischer Rundfunk. Produced by Christian Bauer. Executive producer, Dagmar Biller. Co-producers, Simone Stewens, Jochen Kolsch, Ulle Schroder, Vera Meyer-Matheis. Directed by Christian Bauer.

Crew: Camera (color, video), Michael Goock; editor, Julia Furch; music, Titus Vollmer. Reviewed on videocassette, L.A., Oct. 26, 2001. Running time: 91 MIN.

With: With: Deb Ellis, Marcus Greiner, Kate Kirtz, Charly Langrall, Hal Marshall, Marion McCreedy, Vladimir Van Maule, Robert Metrick, Greg Nickson, Tom Palazzolo, Brad Ross, Laurids Ross, Barbara Scharres, Bill Stamets, Father John Sweeney, John Van Wagner, Brenda Webb, Rick Weldon, Andrew Yuncza.

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