Politics

Santiago Álvarez – Hanoi, martes 13 AKA Hanoi, Tuesday March 13th (1968)

Filmed in Hanoi on December 13, 1966, this documentary records the lives of people in the Vietnam capital and surrounding countryside at the height of U.S. bombing. “One of Alvarez’s indisputable masterpieces, this is a film of great sensitivity. It also displays the greatest integrity and is constructed with the greatest economy of means… Although the means are of the simplest, the editing is exceedingly subtle. The narrative line is there, yet it’s anything but linear. The result is that the film informs in a way quite alien to what documentary orthodoxy has taught us to expect.” Read More »

Santiago Álvarez – Ciclón AKA Cyclone (1963)

CICLÓN is a coverage of hurricane Flora’s sweeping the Cuban provinces of Camagüey and Oriente in October 1963: the damage, the evacuation of the villages, and the aid to victims. Read More »

Santiago Álvarez – Now (1965)

Using morgue photos, newsreel footage, and a recording by Lena Horne, Cuban filmmaker Santiago Alvarez fired off ‘Now!’, one of the most powerful bursts of propaganda rendered in the 1960s. Read More »

Santiago Álvarez – Mi hermano Fidel AKA My Brother Fidel (1977)

On the 82nd anniversary of the landing of José Martí and Máximo Gómez on the cost for the war of liberation of Cuba, Fidel Castro meets with Salustiano Leyva, who at 11 years old, received in his home a visit from Martí and Gómez. Read More »

Andreas Johnsen – Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case (2013)

From the website:
After 81 days of solitary detention world famous Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is put under house arrest. He suffers from sleeping disorder and memory loss, 18 cameras are monitoring his studio and home, police agents follow his every move, and heavy restrictions from the Kafkaesque Chinese authorities weigh him down. Journalists, the art world and his family all want a piece of him and on top of that he is met with a gigantic lawsuit from the Chinese government, soon to be named ‘The Fake Case’. Ai Weiwei is shaken, but during the year on probation he steadily finds new ways to provoke and challenge the mighty powers of the Chinese authorities in his fight for human rights. Ai Weiwei strongly believes that China is ready for change. And he will do everything to make it happen. Read More »

Santiago Álvarez – El tigre saltó y mató, pero morirá… morirá… AKA The Tiger Leaps and Kills, but it Will Die… It Will Die… (1973)

Cuban filmmaker Santiago Alvarez’s hurried response to the 1973 Chilean coup d’état rests upon the music of Victor Jara, the folk singer who was brutally murdered within days after Augusto Pinochet assumed power. Connecting events in Chile to other repressive police crackdowns throughout the world (and specifically to C.I.A. malfeasance), Alvarez calls for solidarity in a characteristically bravura choreography of text and image. Read More »

Jan Nemec – O slavnosti a hostech AKA The Party and the Guests (1966)

Distinguished as being ‘banned forever’ in its native Czechoslovakia, Nemec’s film is a masterpiece of barbed, darkly sinister wit. As a biting satire of governmental and institutional power and with its astute observations of human nature and conformity, it is a film whose relevance continues to this day.
Considered the most politically dangerous film made during the short flowering of the Czech New Wave in the 1960s, this is its first-ever release on DVD. Read More »