August 23 – 29, 2013
Jean-Luc Godard once declared it was no longer enough to make political films. “One must make films politically,” he said. Film Society of Lincoln Center presents a series of fiction and documentary films that have responded to urgent circumstances in precisely this spirit: radical in both content and form, ever mindful of the relationship between politics and aesthetics. Ranging from the Vietnam War to Occupy Wall Street, addressing conflicts in Algeria, Ireland, and Afghanistan, these films offer an essential view of cinema’s historical and continuing role in revolutionary culture. Programmed by Dennis Lim and filmmaker John Gianvito.
North American premiere of new restoration!
A lineup of international New Wave luminaries responded to Vietnam, their fragments coalescing into a splintered portrait of a Left consumed with shock and complicity over a conflict beyond its control.
Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan’s record of daily life in one of the most volatile regions of a war-torn, divided Vietnam is both a hazardous piece of first-hand journalism and a shattering work in its own right, simmering with barely repressed anger.
Firestone’s document of the 1971 Attica Prison uprising ended with a wake-up call in favor of penal reform—and then went out of circulation for 33 years until it was restored in 2007.
Watkin’s study of the 1871 Paris Commune’s rise and bloody fall is equal parts meticulous historical evocation, willful anachronism and self-conscious artifice.
Director John Gianvito in person for Q&A!
Gianvito’s modern update of Far From Vietnam consists of five brief vignettes (each the work of a different director) focused on guilt-ridden troops, shattered families, and indifferent Americans, interspersed with on-the-ground interviews with Afghan civilians.
Introduction by filmmaker Santiago Mitre (El Estudiante, NYFF 2011)!
Shot under the watchful eye of Argentina’s military dictatorship and edited at a fever pitch, this film functions as a history of Latin American politics, a discourse on the evils of neo-colonialism, and a defense of violent action in the face of extreme injustice.
Robert Kramer’s unclassifiable thriller, shot on grainy, black-and-white 16mm, takes a clear-eyed look at the inner workings of a fictional band of revolutionaries whose convictions and disputes were, for the Left of Kramer’s day, anything but fiction.
Alanis Obomsawin’s exhaustive documentary concerns a centuries-old land dispute in Oka, Quebec that culminated in a summer-long standoff by the Mohawks of Kanesatake over plans to expand a members-only golf course that would further restrict their territory.
Alberto Grifi (1938–2007) was one of the leading lights of Italian experimental cinema. His pioneering adoption of video in the early 1970s produced some of the decade’s most forward-thinking and challenging works of radical filmmaking.
Screening with Lia (Alberto Grifi, 1977, 26m)
Panel discussion to follow with artist Zoe Beloff, filmmaker Jem Cohen, Jon Dieringer (Occupy Cinema), and Matt Peterson (Red Channels). Moderated by Rachael Rakes, film editor of The Brooklyn Rail.
Organized in collaboration with Occupy Cinema, this program presents several observational pieces shot in and around the protests—including newsreels by filmmaker Jem Cohen (Museum Hours)—alongside a selection of kindred historical documents.
MacCaig’s thoughtful, probing analysis of Northern Ireland in the throes of revolution recasts what had long been deemed a religious conflict in political and economic terms: as a struggle between colonizer and colonized, ruling class and working class, oppressor and oppressed.
Due to a problem with the Beta, this film will be shown on DVD. We apologize for the inconvenience.
An imprisoned, unnamed Japanese Red Army member suffers a string of abuses, holds imaginary conversations with famous revolutionaries, and dreams fruitlessly of freedom in Adachi’s haunting amalgam of historical narrative, personal testimony, and poetic reverie.
In René Vautier’s scathing critique of the Algerian War, several young French pacifists find themselves in a moral and geographic wasteland after being sent off to fight in the desolate Aures mountains.
Sam Green (director, The Weather Underground) will introduce the August 25 screening!
For three days, a trio of filmmakers were given an audience with high-ranking members of the Weathermen—a militant faction of the Students for a Democratic Society that, after moving underground, committed itself to the violent overthrow of the U.S. government.
Med Hondo’s work of scathing satire and mirthful anger is a story of Western oppression told with the stylistic flourishes of big-budget Western cinema, a distinctly African take on the Hollywood musical, and a one-of-a-kind film primed for rediscovery.
The chilling filmed accounts of returning troops, made during The Winter Soldier Investigation hosted by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, tell of massacred children, prisoners tossed from places, towns burnt down, civilians killed and abused.
Screening with Interviews with My Lai Veterans (Joseph Strick, 1971, 22m)