Politics

Yilmaz Güney – Duvar (1983)

Synopsis:
Teens in a Turkish prison struggle to survive under hideous conditions. Made by dying Yilmaz Guney in France, after he escaped from a Turkish prison, enabling him to accept his award at Cannes for Yol (The Road). When the Turkish superstar leading man turned human rights activist, Guney was convicted for pro-Kurdish political activity and murder, by the Turkish military regime. Director/writer Guney’s last film, Duvar (The Wall), was banned in Turkey for 17 years. The incarcerated teens organize and fight back, brutalize each other, exult over the smallest triumph, while joking, suffering and learning from the inhumanity they wallow in. The prison also separately houses men and women, many played by other Turkish expatriates. Read More »

Julien Duvivier – Le Petit monde de Don Camillo aka The Little World of Don Camillo (1952)

Plot summary :
In a village of the Po valley where the earth is hard and life miserly, the priest and the communist mayor are always fighting to be the head of the community. If in secret, they admired and liked each other, politics still divided them as it is dividing the country. And when the mayor wants his “People’s House”; the priest wants his “Garden City” for the poor. Division exist between the richest and the poorest, the pious and the atheists and even between lovers. But if the people are hard as the country, they are good in the bottom of there heart. Read More »

Frederico Lobo & Pedro Pinho – Bab Sebta AKA The Door of Ceuta (2008)

Quote:
Bab Sebta means The door of Ceuta in Arabic, the name of one of the two Spanish enclaves situated in the North of Morocco. It is in the direction of this name, at this doorway, that most of the emigrants from the African continent who want to reach Europe converge. Read More »

Chris Marker – L’ambassade AKA The Embassy (1973)

An unexpected response to Pinochet’s 1973 coup d’etat in Chile. A Super-8 film apparently found in an embassy -as it’s written in the original title-, where political activists had taken refuge after a military coup d’état. But the events -and their setting- are not what they first appear to be. Read More »

Peter Watkins – Punishment Park (1971)

“A VIVIDLY EXECUTED PIECE OF PROVOCATION”

Quote:
A key film in the unimpeachable cry-in-the-wilderness corpus of Peter Watkins—a major filmography long marginalized and only now being prepped and released on any form of video— Punishment Park (1971) is an act of howling political righteousness, a dystopian critique intended for the peace-movement years but possibly even more relevant today. The premise is so simple it leaves singe marks: Watkins begins with the very real McCarran Act (just as he had based The War Game on Britain’s own nuclear-warfare cost analysis and contingency plans), which grants Ashcroftian summary-judgment powers to the president in times of potential “insurrection.” The Nixon-‘Nam years were those times, and so the film follows two groups of arrested protesters as they’re led to the Western desert, interrogated by a tribunal and then sent running, with national guardsmen and riot police following on the hunt. Read More »

Carol Reed – The Young Mr. Pitt (1942)

Synopsis:
William Pitt the Younger, son of a famous politician father, becomes the youngest Prime Minister England has ever known, wins an election on the promise of peace and prosperity, yet ironically ends up as the presiding spirit of an interminable war with Revolutionary France. Both his health and his private life suffer from the strain. Read More »

Peter Watkins – Aftenlandet AKA Evening Land (1977)

Evening Land presents fictitious events in the Europe of those days. It opens in a Copenhagen shipyard with a strike due to the construction of four submarines, potential carriers of nuclear weapons for the French Navy, beside the salary freeze that the deal has entailed, and as an anti-nuclear protest. In parallel with this, a group of radical demonstrators kidnaps the Danish minister of the EC during a summit, as a token of support with the strikers. The Danish police brutally repress the demo and crush the “terrorists”. Evening Land was released to both a hostile left and right wing, and the few film critics who valued it pointed out that it strayed from the style that Watkins had developed in his previous films. Danmarks Radio refused to broadcast it, and Watkins decided it was high time to leave Scandinavia and start what would be a new period of voluntary exile. Read More »