“Ruth Stoops is a poor indigent drug-user (a huffer – inhaling glue and paint for a high) whose down and out existence is complicated once more by becoming pregnant (she has had and lost four children already). When a judge orders that she gets an abortion or face a felony charge, she is befriended by Gail Stoney, a pro-lifer whose husband is president of the local ‘Babysavers’ group. Suddenly Ruth is thrust into the middle of the pro-choice/pro-life struggle, with each side wanting her to take their side as a ‘message’ to others – and the situation escalates…” Continue reading
Tahmineh Milani’s “The Fifth Reaction”
An Iranian Woman Fighting for Her Rights
By Josef Schnelle
Five women sit in a restaurant in Tehran and talk about their husbands and their marriages. First, the conversations are quite amusing, but later on we notice that each woman faces serious problems below the thin surface of legal rights granted to women in Iran. Continue reading
Following his passionate involvement in the 1968 demonstrations (Maselli was one of the supporters of the protest at the 1969 Venice Biennial), he made two explicitly “political” films, Lettera aperta ad un giornale della sera (1970) and Il sospetto di Francesco Maselli (1975). In Lettera ad un giornale della sera, which prompted fierce discussion about the idea of “political commitment” amongst left-wing intellectuals, Maselli played one of the characters, thereby openly involving himself in the debate, together with Nanni Loy and other politically active colleagues and friends.
For this film, Maselli used a style which in many ways was similar to certain paradigms of “cinema-verité”: the film was shot in 16 mm with heavy use of the zoom, the hand-held camera and out-of-sync sound.
Maselli returned to a more relaxed cinematic language and a more concise structure with Il sospetto. Dubbed “one of the best political films of all time”, it was set in the year of the “turning-point” (1934), one of the most important moments in the evolution of the Communist party.
Gian Maria Volonté gave a splendid performance in the role of Emilio, the protagonist, a militant Communist who has emigrated to France, embroiled in an affair so fraught that it turns into a thriller. Continue reading
The Social Democratic party was originally founded as the political arm of German Marxism. Extremely successful in mobilizing support in the working class, it was almost from the first torn by a question it never successfully resolved. Was the purpose of the party to advance the cause of the working class through legal, democratic means, or as it simply to represent those interests as best it could until capitalism collapsed from its contradictions and gave way to socialism? This debate continued more or less up until the defining moment for European socialism, the outbreak of World War I, and it is this context that ROSA LUXEMBURG dramatizes. The right-wing of the party, which believed in legal means, like their counterparts across Europe sided with their national governments and voted in favor of war. These right wing socialists were also entrusted with leading the German state after the Armistice. Continue reading
A look at a rally to free Huey Newton. Continue reading
The indignados movement, known also as 15M, represents a unique phenomenon for our times: a transversal, transnational, transhistorical. It has brought back concepts and ideas that seemed to have been forgotten. This film is a journalistic period piece updated on the years of the international crisis, through the protesters’ voices, slogans, chants, where the only solution to the crumbling Spanish economy seems to be class warfare. – Festival Scope
With VERS MADRID Sylvain George makes a “newsreel” with the cinematic experiments in mind conducted by the likes of for example Robert Kramer, Jean-Luc Godard during the seventies. A newsreel which presents views, scenes, political moments of class struggle and revolution in Madrid in 2011, 2012, 2013. As a “newsreel experimental”, the film tries to present political and poetical experiments, but also shows new forms of life, implemented by generations which have remained too long in silence. Past and future meet in the present at Place Puerta del Sol, where they are constantly reinvented. —Joana Ribelle Continue reading
The changing and turbulent history of Hungary is seen through the eyes of three men over a 30-year period in this somber drama. The three recall the highlights of their lives in flashbacks as they reminisce in the mid 1960s. The venerable trio begin their story in the 1930s, through World War II, and the decade beyond the communist invasion of 1956.
It was entered into the 1967 Cannes Film Festival where Kósa won the award for Best Director.