Film is a Weapon: Screening Series

Film is a Weapon. Use it!
Screening Series
Second Season.

Find the First Season here



Cinema Action’s Viva Portugal!


Viva Portugal was made by a group of French and West German journalists (the English version was assembled by cinema action), and traces the first year of the Portuguese revolution.

Besides documenting the political changes, from the overthrow of Caetano's dictatorship to the failure of a right wing coup in March 1975 (largely because soldiers questioned their officers' orders), the film deals with the effect of the revolution on the people. Factory and village committees, independent trade unions, are shown being set up; the plight of the farmworkers and the power of the anti-Communist Church are dealt with. It culminates with the occupation of an empty manor house, which is converted into a people's hospital.

27th March, 7pm
Cuba, an African Odyssey (2007)
explores how Cuba, under the leadership of Fidel Castro, gave critical support to Africa’s liberation movements. This influence was instrumental in advancing the decolonisation process, which brought independence to much of the continent. There will be Q&A with the filmmaker Jihan El Tahri after the film.

26th April, 7pm
The Hour of the Furnaces (La hora de los hornos 1968 Argentina 260 mins)
Made in Argentina in 1968, this film established the paradigm of revolutionary activist cinema. ‘For the first time’, said filmmaker, Octavio Getino, ‘we demonstrated that it was possible to produce and distribute a film in a non-liberated country with the specific aim of contributing to the political process of liberation’.

24th May, 7pm
What Makes Alberto Pinto Angry (Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai, 1980)
The story of a Mumbai mechanic’s journey from petit-bourgeois aspiration to solidarity with the striking textile workers. Set in industrial Mumbai in the lead up to the great textile strike of 1982, filmmaker Mirza, incorporates documentary footage as the backdrop to the film.

As part of the Film is a Weapon. Use it! series we will also be re-publish some of the material that we hold on the Film and Photography Leagues of the 1930’s- if you would like to get involved with this collection of material please contact rosemary [AT] maydayrooms.org

Documents from the Archive of the Film and Photography League

The Film & Photo League

From 1934 to 1935 the (Workers’) Film & Photo League represented a grass-roots manifestation in Britain of the Communist International’s cultural politics, during the period of the ‘left turn’. Guided by the ‘united front from below’ strategy, the League articulated the Comintern’s ‘class against class’ policy through the means of agitprop. This involved using filmmaking, photography, exhibitions and screening events as tools for mobilising working-class politics. MayDay Rooms holds a collection of materials from the Film & Photo League, which also provides a powerful visual record of the conditions of working people’s everyday lives and related Communist campaigns, such as the National Unemployed Workers’ Movement. The material was collated by the photographer Terry Dennett in the 1970s for a study ‘of the cultural politics of the interwar period’. This informed his own subsequent work, examples of which can be found in another MayDay Rooms’ collection: The Worker Photographer