Vsevolod Pudovkin – Dezertir AKA The Deserter (1933)


In 1929, four years before making this film, Vsevolod Pudovkin and Sergei Eisenstein had collaborated on a Sound Manifesto that called for a radical use of asynchronous sound effects, which would be used in counterpoint to the screen image, rather than supporting it, as is normally the case. In DESERTER, Pudovkin put this theory into practice.

Starring Boris Livanov as German dockworker Karl Renn, the film focuses upon a politically unconscious figure who learns the error of his ways. Renn becomes involved in picketing and demonstrating on the dock but walks out on his comrades one day, doubtful about the value of this kind of political activity. Continue reading

Jean-Luc Godard – Prières pour Refusniks (2004)


Jean-Luc Godard address two cinematographic letters to young Israeli soldiers who were convicted after refusing to intervene in the occupied territories

Background context:

Refusal to serve in the IDF is a social phenomenon in Israel in which citizens refuse to serve in the Israel Defense Forces or disobey orders on the grounds of pacifism, antimilitarism, religious philosophy or political disagreement with Israeli policy such as the occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Conscientious objectors in Israel are known as sarvanim which is sometimes translated as “refuseniks”, or mishtamtim (evaders, dodgers) – wikipedia Continue reading

Göran Olsson – Concerning Violence (2014)


A new feature documentary by Göran Hugo Olsson

Concerning Violence is a bold and fresh visual narrative from Africa based on archive material from Swedish documentaries 1966-1987 covering the most daring moments in the struggle for liberation from colonial rule. This powerful footage is combined with text from Frantz Fanon’s landmark book The Wretched of the Earth – written in 1960 and still a major tool for understanding and illuminating the neocolonialism happening today, as well as the unrest and the reactions against it.

“Colonialism is not a thinking machine, nor a body endowed with reasoning faculties. It is violence in its natural state, and it will only yield when confronted with greater violence.” Continue reading

Jean-Luc Godard – Numéro deux (1975)


On the movie :
(Wikipedia !)

Numéro Deux, by Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville, is a 1975 experimental film about a young family in a social housing complex in France. The film’s distinct style involves presenting two images on screen simultaneously, leading to multiple interpretations of the story and to comments on the film-making and editing process.

The film is divided into two parts. For the first third of the movie, Godard discusses what it takes to make a film (money) and describes how he got the money. In the second part, the remaining two thirds, each character in the story discusses their quotidian experiences through dialogue which is primarily poetic, and secondarily political. Continue reading

Elio Petri – Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto AKA AKA Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970)


A paranoid police procedural, a perverse parable about the corrupting elements of power, and a candidate for the greatest predated Patriot Act movie ever, Elio Petri’s stunning thriller makes no attempt to hide the culprit behind the film’s grisly murder: It wants you to know that Gian Maria Volonté’s dapper killer is responsible for the beautiful corpse splayed out on those black silk bedsheets. The shocks here are (a) that the spaghetti-Western stalwart isn’t wearing a cowboy hat for once, and (b) that Volonté is not just the criminal, he’s also the homicide detective heading up the investigation. Deliberately hiding some clues while planting others in plain sight—bloody footprints, a strand of his tie purposefully inserted under her fingernails—the rising-up-the-precinct-ladder cop plays a game of cat-versus-other-dumber-cats, all while ordering copious wiretaps and amassing blackmail fodder against radical agitators. Is he toying with his fellow officers to demonstrate his sociopathic superiority? Or is he trying to take down a rotten system from the inside, debunking the notion that any citizen is above suspicion? Continue reading

Hito Steyerl – November (2004)

My best friend when I was 17, was a girl called Andrea Wolf. She died in 1998, when she was shot as a Kurdish terrorist in Eastern Anatolia. There was a warrant out for her in Germany, as she was suspected of having participated in terrorist activities, for example the complete destruction of the deportation prison in Weiterstadt. She was also suspected of having been an associate to the Red Army Faction.
In 1996, she chose to go to Kurdistan in order to join the womens army of the PKK, the Workers Party Kurdistan. She took on the name “Ronahi”, trained and lived with the womens army for a few months, mostly in camps in Northern Iraq. Then in October 1998, her unit was tracked by the Turkish army close to the border. A heavy firefight took place. Only a few of the units members remained alive. They were under heavy fire by Army helicopters. Most of the survivors took refuge in what is being described as an earth hole. As surviving earwitnesses who remained in the hole say, she was shot by either army members or Kurdish village keepers after having been dragged out as a prisoner. Her case is only one of the many extralegal executions which structure this war. Continue reading