Politics

Groupe Dziga Vertov & Jean-Luc Godard & Jean-Pierre Gorin – Vladimir et Rosa (1971)

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Vladimir and Rosa was in many ways the last true product of the experimental revolutionary filmmaking cooperative the Dziga Vertov Group: the final film produced under the group’s banner before Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin went on to make the feature Tout va bien and the short Letter To Jane under their own names, before parting ways for good. Taking its title from Vladimir Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg, this film is typical of Godard and Gorin’s late 60s/early 70s collaborations. That is to say, it’s shrill, antagonistic, messy and often intentionally grating, as dense and complex as it is difficult and polemical. Read More »

Pere Portabella – Informe general sobre unas cuestiones de interés para una proyección pública (1977) (HD)

Shot in the months after the death of Franco, Informe general is a “documentary” shot with the techniques of a fiction film—exploring the limits of film representations. The speakers are concerned with one question: How do you go from a dictatorship to a democracy?

The lucid, radical work of Pere Portabella creates an invaluable space for rethinking reality, fiction and the political dimension of both. We’re honoured to present two films that bridge crucial moments in the History of Spain (and Europe) starting with this monumental landmark of activist cinema. Read More »

Philippe Garrel – Liberté, la nuit (1983)

a title with a comma in the middle for a film divided in two parts. A film in black and white with a dark side and a jovial side. The first part of the title evokes politics, as the story recalls the days of the Algerian War of Independence; the second part represents the mood that hovers over the eminently painful images. There isn’t even a hint of daylight in the freedom of the title. It only lives metaphorically in the darkness and languor of the night. — description by Violeta Kovacsics in the book “Philippe Garrel: Filmmaking Revealed” Read More »

Raoul Peck – Haitian Corner (1987)

A poet from Haiti flees to America after being imprisoned in his native country. Recovering from the experience, he begins to examine his past. One day he encounters his former torturer, and becomes obsessed with taking his revenge. Read More »

Luis Puenzo – La historia oficial AKA The Official Story (1985)

During the final months of Argentinian Military Dictatorship in 1983, a high school teacher sets out to find out who the mother of her adopted daughter is.

Based on actual events during Argentina’s military dictatorship of the 1970s, this powerful film–superbly acted and directed–raises important questions about the individual’s obligations to society. As such it is a fitting vehicle for a medical humanities discussion. In addition, there are specific issues about adoption that could also be discussed–questions about origins, disclosure, rights of the birth mother and relatives, rights of the adoptive family, and above all, how all concerned may feel about these issues. Read More »

Raoul Peck – Lumumba: La mort du prophète AKA Lumumba, Death of a Prophet (1990)

Lumumba: la mort du Prophete offers a unique opportunity to reconsider the life and legacy of one of the legendary figures of modern African history. Like Malcolm X, Patrice Lumumba is remembered less for his lasting achievements than as an enduring symbol of the struggle for self-determination. This deeply personal reflection by acclaimed fimmaker Raoul Peck on the events of Lumumba’s brief twelve month rise and fall is a moving memorial to a man described as a giant, a prophet, a devil, “a mystic of freedom,” and “the Elvis Presley of African politics.” Read More »

Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda – Le damier AKA The Draughtsmen Clash (1996)

A wicked political satire about African dictators, this film tells the story of the president of a fictitious African nation who spends a sleepless night playing checkers with a pot-smoking vagabond who is claimed to be the “all-around champion”. However the rules of the game entail opponents howling vulgar and foul obscenities at one another. The Champion proceeds to insult, and trounce the President. His reward – and fate – are not exactly unexpected in this hilarious send-up of living under tyranny. Read More »