A new feature documentary by Göran Hugo Olsson
Concerning Violence is a bold and fresh visual narrative from Africa based on archive material from Swedish documentaries 1966-1987 covering the most daring moments in the struggle for liberation from colonial rule. This powerful footage is combined with text from Frantz Fanon’s landmark book The Wretched of the Earth – written in 1960 and still a major tool for understanding and illuminating the neocolonialism happening today, as well as the unrest and the reactions against it.
“Colonialism is not a thinking machine, nor a body endowed with reasoning faculties. It is violence in its natural state, and it will only yield when confronted with greater violence.” Continue reading
On the movie :
Numéro Deux, by Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville, is a 1975 experimental film about a young family in a social housing complex in France. The film’s distinct style involves presenting two images on screen simultaneously, leading to multiple interpretations of the story and to comments on the film-making and editing process.
The film is divided into two parts. For the first third of the movie, Godard discusses what it takes to make a film (money) and describes how he got the money. In the second part, the remaining two thirds, each character in the story discusses their quotidian experiences through dialogue which is primarily poetic, and secondarily political. Continue reading
A paranoid police procedural, a perverse parable about the corrupting elements of power, and a candidate for the greatest predated Patriot Act movie ever, Elio Petri’s stunning thriller makes no attempt to hide the culprit behind the film’s grisly murder: It wants you to know that Gian Maria Volonté’s dapper killer is responsible for the beautiful corpse splayed out on those black silk bedsheets. The shocks here are (a) that the spaghetti-Western stalwart isn’t wearing a cowboy hat for once, and (b) that Volonté is not just the criminal, he’s also the homicide detective heading up the investigation. Deliberately hiding some clues while planting others in plain sight—bloody footprints, a strand of his tie purposefully inserted under her fingernails—the rising-up-the-precinct-ladder cop plays a game of cat-versus-other-dumber-cats, all while ordering copious wiretaps and amassing blackmail fodder against radical agitators. Is he toying with his fellow officers to demonstrate his sociopathic superiority? Or is he trying to take down a rotten system from the inside, debunking the notion that any citizen is above suspicion? Continue reading
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