A Greek-American filmmaker, known simply as «A», returns to his hometown in northern Greece for a screening of his latest controversial film. His real reason for coming back, however, is to track down three long-missing reels of film by Greece’s pioneering Manakia brothers who in the early years of cinema traveled through the Balkans, ignoring national and ethnic strife and recording ordinary people, especially craftsmen, on film. Their images, he believes, hold the key to lost innocence and essential truth, to an understanding of Balkan history.
Nanni Moretti’s documentary, La cosa (The Thing, 1990), represents the painful transformation of the PCI (Italian Communist Party) through the voices of the party’s members who met throughout Italy to discuss the changes proposed by the PCI’s leadership. From the confronting debates depicted in La cosa, the re-evocation of the history of the Italian Left and of its founding principles emerge as a background, creating a nostalgic longing for a style of politics that had disappeared in Italy.
This Weimar Germany film classic uses an avant-garde, fragmented narrative to tell the story of a working-class family in Berlin in 1931. Survival is difficult, with massive unemployment in the wake of the Great Depression. After Anni’s brother commits suicide in despair, her family finds itself forced to move to Kuhle Wampe, a lakeside camp on the outskirts of Berlin, now home to increasing numbers of unemployed. When Anni’s relationship with Franz ends, she moves back to Berlin and gets involved in the workers’ youth movement. Already censored in March 1932, the film was then banned by the Nazis in 1933 for having “communist tendencies.”
♦♦ Amos Vogel’s “Film as a Subversive Art” ♦♦
Sentenced to life imprisonment for illegal activities, Italian International member Giulio Manieri holds on to his political ideals while struggling against madness in the loneliness of his prison cell.
Seize the Time was shot in the United States following the activities of the Black Panther Party. Antonello Branca’s film blends fiction and documentary. One only professional actor, Norman Jacobs, goes through simbolic pop visions of american imperialism set against real images like police combings, students marches, drills, interviews. it is an America where black people and above all Pathers are killed and repressed according to a precise plan. The film should have been screened at the Venice Film Festival but Branca prefered to withdraw it due to the unacceptable conditions set by the festival direction.
The reunion of a group of former medical students results in a flood of bitter memories… An allegorical fiction between Cocteau and Brecht, making the portrait of a tormented society seeking for freedom. Censored by the Polish authorities, the film was reedited and new footage added by Skolimowski in 1981, merging an introduction in color shot at the time and the 1967 feature in his original B&W with a new director’s cut.
The film deals with the infamous “Kommando 52”, which was active in the 1960s civil war in the Congo and was recruited mainly from West German men. Among them is the former Wehrmacht officer Siegfried Müller. Based on personal accounts and original material – backed by tape recordings of interviewed mercenaries and photos of murdered Africans – it creates a hard hitting historical document.
October 5, 1974, on Santa Fe Street, in the suburbs of Santiago de Chile, Carmen Castillo is wounded and her partner, Miguel Enríquez, head of the MIR, dies in combat. Calle Santa Fe is the journey that Carmen undertakes for her history, for the history of the country and the MIR. A painful but restorative search, traversed by the obsession of knowing whether or not the acts of resistance of his colleagues from the MIR were worth it, whether or not Miguel’s death was felt.