Empty Metal takes place in a world similar to ours—one of mass surveillance, pervasive policing, and increasing individual apathy. The lives of several people, each inhabiting poles of American social and political consciousness, weave together as each attempts to achieve some kind of forward motion, sometimes in contradiction, and always under the eye of more controlling powers.

A taut thriller, the film reveals a political fantasy, an alternative reality whose characters teeter on the dull knife edge that is contemporary American politics, at the same time refusing to fall right of left. Instead, they lash out from the soul, under the radar, in an attempt to achieve what their mainstream predecessors have yet to accomplish.

"Filled with energy, rage, and the smallest measure of hope, Empty Metal is a new kind of political film for these extraordinary times." —Film Society of Lincoln Center

Q&A with filmmakers Adam Khalil & Bayley Sweitzer

Adam Khalil & Bayley Sweitzer

Adam Khalil (Ojibway) is a filmmaker and artist. His practice attempts to subvert traditional forms of ethnography through humor, relation, and transgression. Adam's work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, Sundance Film Festival, Walker Arts Center, UnionDocs, e-flux, Artist Space, Microscope Gallery (New York), Spektrum (Berlin), Trailer Gallery (Sweden), Carnival of eCreativity (Bombay). He is a 2017 Sundance Art of Nonfiction grantee, 2017 Sundance Institute Indigenous Film Opportunity Fellow, UnionDocs Collaborative Fellow and Gates Millennium Scholar. In 2011, he graduated from the Film and Electronic Arts program at Bard College.

Bayley Sweitzer is a filmmaker from Southern Vermont, currently based in Brooklyn. His practice revolves around a dynamic, high-mobility engagement with the margins; a practice in which techno-formal precision is secondary to heartfelt vigor. His work has been shown at Film Society Lincoln Center, SEFF Binghamton, Anthology Film Archives, Rochester International Film Festival, Motel Gallery (New York) and MIIT House (Osaka). Bayley works professionally as a camera assistant and is a member of the International Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600.


Adam Khalil:

The Violence of a Civilization Without Secrets (with Zack Khalil and Jackson Polys, 2018), INAATE/SE (with Zack Khalil, 2016)

Bayley Sweitzer:

Cor Childe (2015), The Economy (2012), Julian's an Alien (2012), The Hills Have Houses (2011)