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Category Archives: Communism/Socialism

Sorry to Bother You (2018)

R | 1h 51min | Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi | 13 July 2018 (USA)
Director: Boots Riley
Writer: Boots Riley
Stars: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler
website

NYT article here
“Sorry to Bother You” comes out in wide release in July 2018. The film is visually ingenious and funny, yet grounded by pointed arguments about the obstacles to black success in America, the power of strikes and the soul-draining predations of capitalism.

 

‘Prairie Trilogy,’ All-American Stories of Socialism

Companion pieces to Mr. Hanson and Mr. Nilsson’s 1978 feature “Northern Lights,”

The first of the three films is “Prairie Fire,”
The other two films, “Rebel Earth” and “Survivor”

John Hanson and Rob Nilsson, co-directors of Cannes Camera d’Or winner Northern Lights and fellow members of San Francisco’s Cine Manifest film collective, collaborated on this remarkable series of documentaries underwritten by the North Dakota Humanities Council and the North Dakota AFL-CIO. In Prairie Fire, 97-year-old ex-organizer and poet Henry Martinson recounts the 1916 birth of the Socialist Nonpartisan League—also the subject of Northern Lights—his narrative accompanied by images shot by Nilsson’s own grandfather, Frithjof Holmboe. Rebel Earth finds Martinson, accompanied by a younger farmer, revisiting the scenes of his life, seeking out the spot of his Divide County homestead. Survivor, finished the year before Martinson’s death, focuses on the biography of its subject, found in a funny and expansive mood. A gorgeously-shot work of documentary-as-historical corrective, which finds hope for the future through excavating a radical past.

 

The Issue of Mr. O’Dell

Documentary about the life and work of Jack O’Dell, veteran African-American civil rights activist.

Directed and produced by Rami Katz

New Film Reveals Life of Civil Rights Activist Jack O’Dell

Awards:
President’s Award, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival ’18
Best International Short: Baltimore International Black Film Festival ’18
Honourable Mention, Documentary Short: Roxbury International Film Festival ’18

Festivals:
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival ’18
Freep Film Festival ’18
DOXA Documentary Film Festival ’18
Roxbury International Film Festival ’18
Rhode Island International Film Festival ’18
Montreal International Black Film Festival ’18
Baltimore International Black Film Festival ’18
St. Louis International Film Festival ’18
North Carolina Black Film Festival ’18

Educational Distributor (US): Cinema Guild
store.cinemaguild.com/nontheatrical/product/2581.html

“[A] personal and humanizing portrait” – Pat Mullen, POV Magazine
povmagazine.com/articles/view/review-the-issue-of-mr.-odell

“As a viewer, I was left wanting more.” – Esther Sun, Discorder Magazine
citr.ca/discorder/may-2018/doxa-2018-the-issue-of-mr-odell/

“O’Dell shares his insightful outlook on past and present race relations in the United States, augmented beautifully with the stark and poignant imagery” – Danielle Piper, The Georgia Straight
straight.com/movies/1069136/doxa-2018-review-issue-mr-odell

“Filmmaker Rami Katz combines archival material with beautifully shot footage of O’Dell in conversation to weave the story of a man who has fought his whole life for justice.” – Ljudmila Petrovic, Sad Mag
sadmag.ca/blog/2018/4/24/preview-belinda-and-the-issue-of-mr-odell-at-doxa

Facebook page: facebook.com/theissueofmrodell

Website: ramihkatz.com/theissueofmrodell

 

From Cable Street to Brick Lane (2012)

A non-linear tribute to successive generations of immigrants and trade unionists in London’s East End, and their triumph over prejudice and intolerance.

Archive footage brings to life the 1936 Battle of Cable Street when Irish dockers ran to the aid of Jews, socialists, anarchists and communists whose protest against a march by the British Union of Fascists provoked an attack by the police. Interviewees – including artist Bob & Roberta Smith and writer Rachel Lichtenstein – recall the subsequent struggles of anti-fascists against racial and homophobic violence in the 1970s and 1990s, depicting a vibrant but disparate community united against hate.

 

Complicit

Complicit is about migrant workers in China. Journey of Chinese factory migrant worker-turned-activist Yi Yeting, who takes his fight against the global electronic industry from his hospital bed to the international stage. While battling his own work-induced leukemia, Yi Yeting teaches himself labour law and joins the struggle to defend the lives of teenage workers poisoned by toxic working conditions in the making of smartphones.

But defending the lives of millions of Chinese workers from becoming terminally ill due to working conditions necessitates confrontation with some of the world’s largest brands including Apple and Samsung….

Heather White, Producer/Co-Director
heatherhsw@gmail.com

“A Harrowing, Powerful Look at the Real Price of Our Devices”

REVIEWS:
POV: “As one gazes into the screen and taps one’s thumbs on the keyboard icons, one grasps one’s involvement and complicity in a major human rights issue. Even reviewing the film, staring at a screen on a laptop, feels uncomfortably inappropriate and ironic after viewing this compelling documentary.”
http://povmagazine.com/articles/view/review-complicit

The Reel Word: “Complicit is a harrowing and powerful documentary that may be set in fast developing China, but it raises an ethical question that we should all consider: From the smartphones we swipe to the Fitbits we wear, what really happens along the supply chain? Directors Heather White and Lynn Zhang make audiences face the uncomfortable truth that there is a devastating human cost to the conveniences we enjoy on a daily basis.”

THE REEL SCORE: 10/10
https://www.thereelword.net/complicit-documentary-review-china-2017/0/

Film Doo: “COMPLICIT is a shattering comment on inequality and the forces that work to maintain the unjust status-quo.”
https://www.filmdoo.com/blog/2017/03/08/review-complicit-2017/

Faze: “Complicit, A Shocking Film On Global Outsourcing Featured At Human Rights Watch Film Festival”
http://faze.ca/movie-review-complicit-global-outsourcing/

Toronto Globe and Mail: “In this year’s festival, the most complex film to assess was Complicit, a doc about Chinese activists struggling to help factory workers poisoned by the chemicals used to make cellphones and computers. In that instance, Human Rights Watch had to call on the expertise of three different departments: its China division; the health division; and the business division.”
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/film/human-rights-watch-film-festival-critically-curates-documentaries/article34400377/

The Platform: “Complicit…forces one to ponder how much a life is truly worth in our profit obsessed world.”
http://www.the-platform.org.uk/2017/03/25/film-nights-for-human-rights-complicit/

PressReader: “Complicit reveals the human costs of global outsourcing while highlighting the choices made by a group of inspired activists seeking change.”
https://www.pressreader.com/canada/the-globe-and-mail-metro-ontario-edition/20170324/282535838196685

In The Seats: “Complicit is pointed exploration into the various levels of corporate and governmental corruption impacting China’s manufacturing industry. Aiming to inspire consumers to stand up and demand better from corporations, Complicit is a film worth putting our electronics down for.

http://intheseats.ca/human-rights-watch-festival-2017-review-complicit/
The Georgia Straight: “Complicit reveals the inhumane ways in which hopeful, hardworking citizens are exposed to toxic chemicals on the job and the shady attempts by multi-billion-dollar corporations to shed all responsibility. The result is equal parts devastating, gut-wrenching, and infuriating—a necessary call for westerners to re-evaluate their relationship with capitalism and its astronomical cost.

 

YOUNG KARL MARX, THE [LE JEUNE KARL MARX; DER JUNGE KARL MARX]

Following his documentary I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, Raoul Peck takes on the story of the formative friendship of Karl Marx (August Diehl) and Friedrich Engels (Stefan Konarske). From Germany to France to England, the young thinkers pursue justice for the working class, who toiled under obscenely exploitative conditions to enrich their employers (including Engels’ father, a mill owner) during the peak of the Industrial Revolution. Peck crafts an accessible biopic about these two larger-than-life thinkers, taking them down from their historicized pedestals and allowing viewers to relate to them as young strivers disrupting an inequitable status quo through the power of persuasion and organization. Official selection, 2017 Berlin International Film Festival. DIR/SCR/PROD Raoul Peck; SCR Pascal Bonitzer; PROD Nicolas Blanc, Rémi Grellety, Robert Guédiguian. Germany/France/Belgium, 2017, color, 118 min. In German, English and French with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Run Time: 118 Minutes
Genre: Historical drama

 

MINER, THE [RUDAR]

2018 Oscar Selection, Slovenia
Since leaving Bosnia in the 1970s, Alija (Leon Lučev) has been working as a miner in Slovenia’s Zasavje coal region. One of many migrant workers employed in a failing industry, Alija is afraid to refuse when he is tasked with opening a long-sealed mineshaft to declare it empty. When he opens the abandoned shaft, however, Alija uncovers some terrible secrets. Refusing to bow to his employers’ demands to stay quiet, Alija sets out to expose the truth. Based on a true story, Slovenian director Hanna Slak’s (BLIND SPOT) powerful third feature reveals a dark chapter in Slovenia’s history with honesty and compassion. Winner, Best Director and Best Actor, 2017 Festival of Slovenian Film. DIR/SCR Hanna Slak; PROD Miha Knific, Siniša Juričić. Slovenia/Croatia, 2017, color, 98 min. In Slovenian with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Run Time: 98 Minutes
Genre: Thriller