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Film is a Weapon. Use it!
3rd Wednesday of the Month At MDR.
MDR and Platform films has recently embarked on a large digitisation programme of 16mm film from the ’68 onwards, the collection included such gems of footage as Stokey Carmicheal's speech in Camden, solidarity with hunger strikes in Northern Ireland, raw footage from cinema action, and many more we have not looked at yet!
In anticipation of this hefty haul of revolutionary AVI files we will be putting on monthly screenings of films that antagonise and document.
First Screening will be…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