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
Mother Küsters’ Trip to Heaven (German: Mutter Küsters’ Fahrt zum Himmel) is a 1975 German film written and directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. It stars Brigitte Mira, Ingrid Caven, Karlheinz Böhm and Margit Carstensen. The film was shot over 20 days between February and March of 1975 in Frankfurt am Main.
Emma Küsters (Mira), a working-class woman lives in Frankfurt with her son and daughter-in-law. While she is doing outreach work assembling electric plugs, Frau Küsters learns that her husband Hermann (a tire-factory worker for twenty years) has killed his supervisor and then committed suicide. It later becomes apparent that Mr. Küsters had become temporarily insane after hearing layoff announcements. Continue reading
A group of people -students, an elderly couple, a violinist searching for her husband (taken by the KGB), anxious parents, a priest and others- find themselves in the same place, on the evening of January 12, 1991. They are defending their newly-established freedom against the Soviet occupiers. They position themselves at the Television Tower where the Soviet troops are trying to take control of communications (under the orders of Mikhail Gorbachev). The protesters are unarmed. New friendships are formed. But soon the tanks and troops advance and threaten the singing protesters. Continue reading
Thom Andersen and Noël Burch’s provocative documentary looks with fresh eyes at “Red” Hollywood—films by screenwriters and directors who were communists, ex-communists, or sympathizers and who were in some way implicated by the Hollywood investigations of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Drawing on their extensive research and an array of arresting film clips, as well as on the reminiscences of blacklisted artists Paul Jarrico, Ring Lardner, Jr., Alfred Levitt, and Abraham Polonsky, the video reveals the degree to which the Hollywood left was able to tint movies with its political convictions. Taking issue with Billy Wilder’s oft-quoted put-down, “Of the Unfriendly Ten, only two had talent, the other eight were just unfriendly,” Red Hollywood reveals a largely neglected Hollywood legacy: films committed to raising questions regarding class, gender, and racism. Films that questioned the System itself—whether capitalism or the studio—and were answered with the blacklist. —Pacific Film Archive Continue reading
Description: Soviet documentary “defending the Chinese people from their enemies, the Maoists”. NB: The film clearly documents the activities of the Red Guards although it never mentions them by name. This has been reflected in the cataloguing. Also, ‘Peking’ has been used instead of ‘Beijing’, again to reflect the content of the film. Continue reading
A Wall of Silence (1993 ) , the debut of the famous film producer Lita Stantic , is an episode of collective biography of the generation of 68 in Argentina who lived optimism of the sixties and seventies brutal repression and now remakes his life in a democracy based on oblivion. Unlike many Argentine films that address the issue of missing persons, ‘A Wall’ leans more towards the historical and political approach, which also adopted in this article , analyzing the references to optimism of El Cordobazo and around Peron dictatorship and the development of democracy since 1983. We consider the contributions of filmmakers Lita Stantic and Maria Luisa Bemberg – members for a decade – to the Argentinian film and end with a question about the importance of the recovery of the memory in the current Argentina society. Continue reading
“Liberté, la nuit, 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” Continue reading