States follows personal stories in marginalized non-states around the world, from the standoff in Western Sahara to the first Independence Day in Southern Sudan. These and other non-states proliferating throughout the post-colonial world lack the diplomatic expertise necessary to gain recognition in the international political theater. They do not have diplomats because they are not states, and they cannot become states (in part) because they have no diplomats. In response to this, a cadre of state-less diplomats, called The Independent Diplomat, offers its services to those seeking the right to exist.
As the characters navigate the rituals and customs of global politics, sovereignty will be explored as a contingent concept and an abstract idea with vast material consequences for the lives of the world’s least powerful. Through the distinct struggles of multiple non-states, each charting their own path toward recognition, the film looks at how the organization of peoples is the central political problem of our time, fundamental to war, famine, climate change, poverty and human rights.
- Directed by David Soll
- Produced by Daria Vaisman & Daniel J. Chalfen
- Executive Producer: Jim Butterworth