Left-wing films

HISTORY OF THE LEFT

1900 - Robert DeNiro learned to speak Italian for this 3-hour saga about the Italian Communist party and the rise of the Black Shirts.

Absolute Beginners - A one-hour show about the Bolshevik-Menshevik split, starring Patrick Stewart as Lenin, which is one of 13 episodes of the British Series "Fall of Eagles" series.

Bread and Roses (1994) - Summarises the early life of politician Sonja Davies. Sonja is a young independent socialist embarking on a career in nursing during World War 2.

Dr. Bethune (Donald Sutherland, 1993) - True story of a Canadian leftist hero. Bethune was one of the first great voices for Canadian socialized medicine -- to Spain as a republican partisan who pioneered battlefield blood transfusions during the civil war, and, to Mao's 8th route army, developing battlefield medical innovations in the fight against imperial Japan. - Terry Gaines.

Daens (1992) - In the 1890s, Father Adolf Daens goes to Aalst, a textile town where child labour is rife, pay and working conditions are horrible, the poor have no vote, and the Catholic church backs the petite bourgeoisie in oppressing workers. He writes a few columns for the Catholic paper, and soon workers are listening and the powerful are in an uproar. He's expelled from the Catholic party, so he starts the Christian Democrats and is elected to Parliament. After Rome disciplines him, he must choose between two callings, as priest and as champion of workers. In sub-plots, a courageous young woman falls in love with a socialist and survives a shop foreman's rape; children die; prelates play billiards. (138 min) Summary written by J. Hailey.

Daniel - Timothy Hutton turns in a powerful performance as a young man trying to clear his family name years after his parents are executed for conspiracy. Taken from the best-selling novel by E.L. Doctorow and based on the tragedy of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. (130 min.)

Entertaining Angels (Martin Sheen, 1996) - The story of Dorothy Day, the socialist journalist who founded the Catholic Worker newspaper and movement. She went on to demonstrate Christianity as Jesus would have wanted, ministering to those in need. Pressured by clerics she refused to remove the moniker Worker—- due to its socialist connotation -- from her journal's title. -Terry Gaines

Fame is the Spur - A British film starring Michael Redgrave on the life of Ramsay MacDonald, the first Labour PM.

The Good Fight (1983) - A documentary on the Spanish Civil War and the role that America's Lincoln Brigade played in the battle for justice and freedom.

Half a Life - Winner of the Camera D'Or at the 1982 Cannes Festival and the Cesar, Half a Life is a personal memoir of that brief moment in French history, during the late ‘60's, when the youthful Left seemed to be successfully storming the Bastille. (95 min.)

Land and Freedom (Tierra y Libertad) (1995) - An old man dies. Looking through his papers, his grand—daughter realises that he had fought in the Spanish Civil War. ''In the Spring of 1936, a young unemployed communist, David, left his home town Liverpool to join the fight against fascism in Spain. He joins an international group of Militia-men and women, the POUM (Partido Obrero de Unificacion Marxista). After being wounded he goes to Barcelona, where he decides to join another group of fighters. They remain in Barcelona and end up fighting other anti-fascist groups. David is disappointed and decides to go back to his old band." - Walter de Rijk

Last Emperor, The - Bernardo Bertolucci's beautiful story of the last Emperor of China, demonstrating the necessity and horror of the Chinese Revolution.

Man of Marble (1977, Andrzej Wajda) - This film and Wajda's sequel, Man of Iron, not only documented the Solidarity movement, they became part of it."Review by John Sayles, in Mother Jones, 1996"

May Fools - A 1990 Louise Malle film about a bourgeois French family screwing around at a funeral in May 1968, and suddenly realizing the country is in revolution.

Reds - The 1981 history of John Reed, author of Ten Days That Shook the World and a founder of the American Communist movement, and his wife Louise Bryant. Though the portrayal of Socialist Party politics has an unfortunate tilt towards the Bolshevik faction, the main point is the struggle between love and political sacrifice. Starring Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson.

Rosa Luxemburg (1986) - The story of the Polish socialist leader who neared turned the tide for socialism in Western Europe after the Russian Revolution. (122 min)

Seeing Red - Done by the same independent producers as Union Maids, this documentary history of the U.S. Communist Party pulls its punches, never asking its respondents the hard questions about support for Uncle Joe, or the Hitler-Stalin pact.

The Slingshot (1994, Ake Sandgren, Sweden) - The young son of an immigrant Russian-Jewish feminist and a Swedish socialist faces anti-Semitic and anti- Bolshevik hostility in 1920's Sweden. The title of the film refers to slingshots the boy makes out of condoms his mother illegally distributes. (Steve Press)

Things to Come - This 1933 H.G. Wells novel was a summary of his vision of the coming of world-wide war with total weapons, leading to the rising of a scientific dictatorship which will rebuild society, and establish a utopian world government.

The Way We Were - Barbara Streisand as a Communist, and then former Communist left-liberal, involved with Robert Redford.

Wrestling with God (1990) - The story of Alexander Campbell, a radical 19th century American clergyman. includes a debate about God between Campbell and Robert Owen, the socalist communalist.

SOCIALIST REALISM

American Pictures - Undoubtedly one of the top ten social realist cultural products of the 20th century. For five years Jacob Holdt, a young Dane, hitch-hiked 100,000 miles throughout the U .S., living with some 350 families. American Pictures is not only a stunning visual essay on the vast disparities between American affluence and poverty, but also a fascinating personal meditation on one man's experience. This is a very powerful move and if shown should allow for an hour after the presentation for discussion. It is often times appalling and is continuously disturbing. (105m min.)

Grapes of Wrath, The (1940) - Henry Fonda in the classic tale of exploited Okie labourers in the 30's.

Let Him Have It - that is the English title to a UK film, a naturalist style production in which a young man, with a mental age of 12, is sentenced to hang for "inciting" a fellow youth to murder. A little over—long perhaps, but the "Bentley case" certainly aroused some heated debate at the time, so it seems worth-while in an era in which young people around the world are hung as part of some bizarre social ritual designed perhaps to prove "justice always works"

The Saint of Fort Washington - About the drugs trade and criminality thriving in the homeless shelters of your country, as the pollies pretend that the have "solved" homelessness. Very sad ending involving the death of a young schizophrenic {as many homeless are}, and the prolonged loneliness of a black, Vietnam war vet who was his only friend. Very bleak and disillusioning, a real tear-jerker.

Sammie and Rosie Get Laid - An interracial couple deal with life in Thatcher's England.

The Skin Game - 1931 - One of Hitchcock's first films, he brilliantly depicts the struggle between the rising industrial bourgeoisie and the old British aristocracy, full of noblesse oblige for their peasant dependants.

FILMS ON LABOR AND BIG BUSINESS

9-to-5 - Dolly Parton, Lilly Tomlin, and Jane Fonda are secretaries who unite to throw off corporate patriarchy in the persona of evil boss, Dabney Coleman. Check out the fantasy dope-smoking scene.

Agitator, The (1944) A British film about a socialist who inherits the ownership of a major firm and begins wrestling with his beliefs.

Alien, Aliens and Aliens Ill An underlying message in this series, especially in Aliens, seems to be that unrestrained capitalism is monopolistic, deceptive, and inhuman, often with horrifying consequences. The film's Company men, along for want to bring back live specimens of Alien for use as biological weapons. There's a strong implication that the Company is ready to sacrifice individuals, whole communities, and ultimately human civilization, to the proft motive. At one point one of the humans says of the aliens that "at least they don't fuck each other over for a percentage." Doesn't paint a pleasant picture of the military as unwitting cannon fodder, either. It does, however, have a strong, intelligent, active female lead whose match can only be found in Sarah Connor's Terminator 2 performance.

American Dream (1990, Barbara Kopple) Kopple's earlier 1976 documentary about striking Kentucky coal miners, Harlan County, U.S.A., might seem a more obvious choice. But American Dream speaks directly to the era of downsizing, and the waning power and focus of labour unions. During the long, painful strike at the Hormel meatpacking plant in Austin, Minn., we realize the union members are fighting each other while the employers hold all the cards." Review by Roger Ebert, in Mother Jones,1996"

Blue Collar (1978, Paul Schrader) The ending is purposely didactic, but the trip there delves into racial and union politics at a depth seldom matched before or since." Review by John Sayles, in Mother Jones, 1996"

Business as Usual - A British drama about a woman fired for protesting sexual harassment, who inspires a nation—wide strike that successfully gets her reappointed. Along the way it portrays the failures of the labour movement as the result of collaboration, and is sympathetic to the Labour Party's Militant Tendency.

Carry On at Your Convenience (1971) This is the tale of industrial strife at WC Boggs' Lavatory factory. Vic Spanner is the union representative who calls a strike at the drop of a hat; eventually everyone has to get fed up with him.

A Christmas Carol -— This is certainly generally done as a parable about the need for the wealthy employer to be generous and paternalistic, rather than as a criticism of systemic inequality, but the 1951 Alistair Sim version shows the Leftist nature of the parable very clearly - Christmas Present with Ignorance and Want under his robe!

Eight Men Out - The loose history, directed by John Sayles, of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox scandal. The players received a pittance and turned to the only source of financial security they could find, the bookies. With stunning performance by John Cusack as the only player who refuses to go along, and a cameo by Studs Terkel.

F.l.S.T. - Sly Stallone plays a young truck driver who organizes a truckers union, gets heavily indebted to Mafia guns in his rise to power, and then (dumb, dumb) tries to distance himself from the Mob. Loosely based on Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamsters, is very sympathetic to the difficulties of workers against armed company goons.

Force of Evil (Abraham Polonsky, 1948) John Garfield, as a gambling syndicate lawyer, is pitted against his brother who runs a small, independent bookmaking operation. Racketeering is portrayed as a form of monopoly capitalism. (Steve Press)

The Funeral (Abel Ferrara, 1996) Christopher Walken and Chris Penn, gangster brothers involved in labour racketeering, are arranging the funeral of a third brother who had been developing leftist sympathies. (Steve Press)

The Garmet Jungle (Vincent Sherman, 1957) Robert Loggia as an ILGWU organizer trying to get a contract for workers at a clothing factory owned by Lee J. Cobb, who has hired a vicious union-busting outfit. This is one of a relatively small number of American films that is explicitly pro—union. —Steve Press

Germinal is the story of a group of coal miners in late 19th century France, and to me it had some similarities to "The Grapes of Wrath", even though the setting was different.

Grosse Pointe Blank (George Armitage, 1997). Though a case can perhaps be made that a running gag in this film, Dan Aykroyd's attempt to form a union of hit men, underscores the film's portrayal of professional killers as the hired help of the ruling class, that argument is undercut by protagonist John Cusack's anti-union position. The real left-wing content of this film is the subverting of the product placement trend in movies and the solidarity with the Detroit newspaper strike by placing a "No News or Free Press Wanted" sign in a storefront window. - Steve Press

Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989) Set in Brooklyn during the 1940s against a backdrop of union corruption and violence. A prostitute falls in love with one of her customers. Also a disturbed man discovers that he's gay.

Matewan - The brutal confrontations between mine operators and striking workers in West Virginia's coal fields during the 1920's. Created by writerl director John Sayles in this stunning drama of diverse people united by a common goal (132 min.)

Melvin and Howard (1980, Jonathan Demme) The Odyssey of the American working stiff. Media—driven dreams, divorce, restlessness, serial employment--like a wake-up call for the '80s." Review by John Sayles, in Mother Jones, 199 "

Modern Times — Charlie Chaplin's classic take on the exploitation of the worker.

Norma Rae - This 1975 classic of labour and feminist history tells the story of Norma Rae's struggle to organize her fellow textile workers in a small town in the South. Sally Field in Oscar winning performance, based on a true story.

On the Waterfront - This hard-hitting drama about corruption in the Longshoremen's Union stands as a major achievement in American film. Without losing any of its dramatic force, it tackles complex social, political and personal issues. The implicit support for those who testified before the HUAC gives thisMcCarthy-era film a disturbing edge. (108 min.)

Riff-Raff - (1991, Ken Loach) - British socialist director Ken Loach takes you on a tour of a building site during the Thatcher era. The workers are exploited and underpaid; unions not permitted; conditions in which the men work are extremely hazardous. After one of the "mates" is killed because of unsafe equipment the workers strike back. The legacy of Thatcherism and the inept Labour Party seen through the eyes of the multi- ethnic crew at a construction site." Review by John Sayles, in Mother Jones 1996" Riff Raff, a British Film, provides an excellent portrayal of abuse of workers on a construction site in London (it appearsto be London at least). Among other things, it is explicitly critical of Thacherite polices in Britain.

Roger & Me (1989, Michael Moore) - This surprisingly successful film was a populist thumb in the eye of General Motors. Wearing a baseball cap and dingy windbreaker, Moore elbowed his way into GM offices and stockholder meetings, and documented what he considered the company's rape of his hometown ofFlint, Mich. Yes, the film took cheap shots--but it took them openly and gleefully, and that was part of the fun. "Review by Roger Ebert, in Mother Jones, 1996"

Salt of the Earth - LAB Tells the story of a New Mexico zinc miner's strike that was taken over by the wives of the miners when they were prohibited from picketing. Most of the film crew was black listed in Hollywood in 1954 for doing this film. This movie remains a stirring demand for worker unity and sexualequality. (94 min.)

A Taxing Woman (1987, Juzo ltami) - The individual's relationship to the group and to the state in modern Japan, played out in a duel between a love-hotel franchiser and a tax investigator. How many movies make you want to hang with an IRS agent? " Review by John Sayles, in Mother Jones, 1996"

Thieves’ Highway (Jules Dassin, 1949) - Richard Conte is a truck driver who takes on crooked wholesaler Lee J. Cobb, who has been playing the drivers off against each other. - Steve Press

Total Recall - Arnold Schwarzenegger is a brainwashed Martian cop on the run, or maybe just a tripping Earth-bound worker on holiday. In any case, a corporate fascist government is exploiting workers on Mars and something's got to be done about it.

The Triangle Shirt Factory Fire Scandal - LAB Real-life drama of the tragic sweatshop fire in 1911 New York that awakened public awareness, as seen through the eyes of four women that worked there. Starring Stephanie Zimbalist, David Dukes and Tovah Feldshuh. (98 min.)

Tucker: The Man and His Dream - is the true story of Preston Tucker, a brilliant automobile designer of the 1940s who overcame extraordinary obstacles to realize a lifetime dream- the manufacture of his own "car of tomorrow, today." Instead of embracing the higher standards and innovative features advocated by Tucker, Detroit manufacturers forced him out of business. Although his dreams were crushed by big business during his lifetime, Tucker's extraordinary vision made him immortal. (111 min.)

Union Maids - A documentary about three women in the Communist Party who organized in the Back-of-the-Yards meatpacking district of Chicago in the 1930s. DSA's own Vickie Starr stars as "Stella Nowickie".

Out of Control - A 1990 documentary which combines first hand experiences of workers and industry experts to explain the deterioration of worker safety in the petrochemical industry (30 min.) [OCAW Visual Productions, PO Box 2812, Denver, CO 80201]

Wall Street — The archetypal film of 80's corporate greed, graft and decadence.

PEACE, IMPERIALISM and the THIRD WORLD

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) — A classic pacifist tale set in WI. America's Defense Monitor. Over 200 half-hour episodes on military related subjects that challenge the insanity of U.S. military policy. These programs are a staple in college classrooms and over 100 PBS and cable systems around the country.

Apocalypse Now — Based on Conrad's Heart of Darkness, about a rogue general in Vietnam driven crazy by the war.

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982, Robert M. Young) A late skirmish in the so-called Mexican War. The oppressor's need to demonize the oppressed has seldom been better realized."Review by John Sayles, in Mother Jones, 1996"

Battle of Algiers - This 1962 film is widely considered the best radical film ever made. Directed by Pontecorvo in cinema verite, documentary style, it chronicles the Algerian war against French colonialism. French with English subtitles. There are two versions, one is about 150 min., the other about 210 min.

Billy Jack (1971) - Have your cake and eat it too: Billy Jack is a very serious pacifist, a Gandhian...until the racist jerks and ruling class push him a little too far. They he has to break out the whup-ass. "At times a slightly cheesy story, but nonetheless powerful. Packed with themes that are little dated. Seems to take on almost every single issue that Left Wing folks care about. Followed by 2 sequels: The Trial of Billy Jack and Billy Jack Goes to Washington. The latter of these two sequels is supposed to have been suppressed by the powers that be, since it wassupposed to have really exposed the system of corporate contribution to government. A very difficult film to find — it's never had a mainstream video release and the original 35MM master may be lost forever - leaving only 16MM black and white prints of dubious quality." — Jherek Carnelian

Braveheart (1995) - Award-winning story of the medieval Scottish struggle against British imperialism.

Breaker Morant — Edward Woodward plays a soldier commanding a squad of Australian fighting for Britain during South Africa's Boer War. Explores the brutality and corruption of the British colonial struggle.

Camp de Thiaroye - Senegalese film about African soldiers forced by the French to fight on front lines in Europe against Hitler. Takes place mostly in a holding camp following the Allied Victory. Also, see Sembene's "Black Girl," about a Senegalese woman who leaves Dakar to be a nanny for her French employers, is exploited and learns the true nature of black-white neo-imperialist relations.

Coming Home (1978) - Jane Fonda and Jon Voight in one of the first post- Vietnam films about Vietnam vets.

Dades Kaden - by Akira Kurosawa, shows the devastation left by WWll in Japanese town.

Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam (1987, Bill Couturie) - Couturie takes a simple idea--matching letters from soldiers in Vietnam with images of the war-—and creates a powerful yet surprisingly subtle film. Couturie screened the entire archive of NBC News war footage, and in many cases matches letter writers with TV, film, home movies, and photographs of them at play, in action, wounded, and dead."Review by Roger Ebert, in Mother Jones, 1996"

Dr. Strangelove - The Kennedy-era classic that spoofs the Cold War in a story about a mad American general who blows up the world. Brilliant performances by Peter Sellers in three or four roles.

El Norte - (1983, Gregory Nava and Anna Thomas) - Beginning in the remote mountain jungles of Guatemala, this extraordinary odyssey focuses on two young people seeking a better life as their world begins to crumble. When their mother is abducted by soldiers and their father killed,Enrique and Rosa are forced to set out for the "promised land" of the noith- "el norte"-The U.S. They must travel dangerous roads and cross heavily patrolled boarders. Once in America, they are "illegals" and must live in constant fear of discovery. But they do have each other and thefaith and fortitude of their native land. Spanish with English subtitles. (141 min.)

Fat Man and Little Boy - Paul Newman stars in this movie about the development and deployment of the atomic bomb.

For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943) - Hemingway's tale of the Spanish Civil War. Gandhi - Ben Kingsley won an Oscar for this portrayal. (188 min.)

Good Morning Vietnam - Based on a true story, Robin Williams plays a very funny disk jockey who got very popular in Vietnam and then got booted out.

Hidden Agenda (1990, Ken Loach) - Loach's films are always, in one way or another, political. This one is based on the Stalker Affair, a scandal involving a senior British police official (Brian Cox) who is investigating a shooting by security forces and gets reassigned after he discovers the killing was unjustified. Set in Northern Ireland, Hidden Agenda argues that a right-wing cabal successfully plotted a "dirty tricks" campaign against Prime Minister Harold Wilson."Review by Roger Ebert, in Mother Jones, 1996"

How I See The World, by Albert Einstein - Einstein opposed World War One, and was a socialist.

I Am Cuba - made by Russian film-makers in the early '60s and explores the communist uprising in Cuba. The cinematography is mind boggling and the film is extremely moving.

Killing Fields, The - Based on a true story of friendship between an American and Cambodian covering the fall of Cambodia at the end of the Vietnam War. The Cambodian was captured by the Khmer Rouge and then escapes to freedom. (135 min.)

Land and Freedom - by Ken Loach about an unemployed man in Liverpool who goes to fight in the spanish civil War against Franco.

La Hora de los Hornos (The Hour of the Furnaces) - This semi-documentary was made by Argentinian revolutionaries Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino in 1968. Designed specifically to make the audience participants instead of just spectators, this film not only called for political revolution in the name of Marx, Che, and others, it also called for a cinematic revolution. The two co-wrote "Towards a Third Cinema," a manifesto criticizing the American "first cinema" approach to film-making. Not just revolutionary propaganda (although it contains a great deal of that), the film examines the American/European imperialism and neocolonialism which caused widespread poverty and class distinctions across Argentina and the whole continent of South America.

Missing — (1982, Constantin Costa-Gavras) - Based on the true story of the disappearance of an American writer, Charles Horman, after the Pinochet coup in Chile. Focuses on the political transformation of Charles's father Ed Horman, a New York businessman who arrives in Chile to try to find his son. Initially trusting his advice from the U.S. embassy, Ed Harman comes to recognize the complicity of the United States in the coup. Like Reds, it reinforces the idea that if an American wasn't present it didn't really happen, but explores sharp implications about U. S. imperialism. Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek get to the point. "Review by John Sayles, in Mother Jones, 1996" Mission, The - Based on a true story, about Jesuits in Amazon in the 1600s who solidarize with their converts and lead an unsuccessful Indian revolt against the conquistadors.

Moses (1994) - Ben Kingsley leads the people of Israel out of bondage.

My Brilliant Career Movie about an Australian woman discovering herself in the outback.

On the Beach A chillingly depressing depiction of the final survivors of a nuclear war, waiting for the end.

The Panama Deception, "a somewhat stilted but nonetheless informative documentary by leftist producers about the events leading up to the US invasion of Panama. An indictment of press control and neo-imperialism." - Ronald Brackett

Paths of Glory (1957) Directed by Stanley Kubrick. When soldiers are sent on a suicide mission and fail, their ambitious General chooses from the survivors at random to face court-martial. Kirk Douglas is the soldier-lawyer defending his comrades.

Platoon (1986, Oliver Stone). Platoon helped vets feel acknowledged, which The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now, or The Green Berets never did.

Red Sorghum - Traditional Chinese class and sex relations, and the struggle against the Japanese imperialist aggression against China.

Salvador - James Woods brilliantly portrays the outspoken American photojournalist Richard Boyle in 1980 during the civil war in El Salvador. The real life Boyle collaborated with director Oliver Stone to create a movie which is thrilling, terrifying, suspenseful and impossible to forget. This is an exceptionally powerfulfilm which will promote intense discussion. (123 min.)

Sugarcane Alley, "takes place in Martinique during the 1930's, is an excellent portrayal of French imperial possessions. A black boy is so smart that he gets into a white school. The movie talks about racism, mistreatment of workers and, of course colonialism." - Ronald Brackett

Swimming to Cambodia - Brilliant one-man performance art piece by Spalding Gray about his participation in the making of The Killing Fields, and dissects American foreign policy along the way.

Ten Commandments The - Charlton Heston leads the chosen people out of slavery to the land of milk and honey.

Testament (1983, Lynne Littman) Many films have portrayed life after a nuclear war, but none were so shattering as this. Jane Alexander stars as a suburban mother trying to hold her family together in the aftermath of the Bomb. We never see a mushroom cloud or know who started the war. What we see is even more affecting: A speculation about how communities of survivors might organize after the devastation."Review by Roger Ebert, in Mother Jones, 1996"

Under Fire with Nick Nolte, Joanna Cassady and Gene Hackman, on the U.S. presence in the war in Nicaragua.

Utu (1983)...Anti-imperialist film. The colonial British army pillages Maori villages. A Maori corporal who quits the army to fight against it seeks revenge. Simplistic, but the film does not try to gloss over the anger of Maori by arming them with Western values.

War Games (Matthew Broderick , Ally Sheedy, Dabney Coleman - 1983) High school computer wizard David Lightman (Broderick) breaks into computer not knowing it belongs to the United States Air Force. Lightman sets a Soviet suprise nuclear attack simulation as a joke. It backfired. Lightman escapes from Federal custody to find Dr. Stephen Falken, an elusive and enigmatic computer expert, for he alone knows what Joshua (USAF's computer) can do.

Year of Living Dangerously - Follows a journalist in the midst of Suharto's bloody coup to overthrow the democratically elected, leftist Indonesian government of Sukarno.

RACE RELATIONS

World Apart - Based on a true story, Barbara Hershey is arrested for her anti- apartheid activities, leaving her troubled teenage daughter to cope with the tumult. (112 min.)

Alien Nation - Aliens land in L.A. and take the place of blacks and Latinos in the underclass. An alien cop and a human cop team up against alien drug pushers exploiting the alien ghetto.

Bad Day at Black Rock (John Sturges,1955) Set just after WW ll. Spencer Tracy plays a one-armed man who arrives in a small western town to deliver a medal to the father of a Japanese-American solder who served with him and was killed in Europe. He is met by an extremely hostile populace, led by RobertRyan, and hiding a racially based murder of the father. (Steve Press)

Bread and Chocolate - An Italian film, portraying the discrimination, partly based on skin colour, of the Swiss against their imported Italian laborers.

Boyz N the Hood (1991, John Singleton) - "Boyz N the Hood let people into a world they didn't want to know existed." Review by John Sayles, in Mother Jones, 1996 "A first film of astonishing power and insight, showing how the fates of inner-city black youths can be decided by the social environment. As the hero's father (Larry Fishburne) tries to focus his son (Cuba Gooding Jr.) on the future, the danger of guns and gangs is always present. The best of an extraordinary group of debut films, including Menace ll Society, Straight Out of Brooklyn, and Fresh." Review by Roger Ebert in Mother Jones 1996"

Brother From Another Planet - An alien slave, who bears a striking resemblance to an African, hides from alien cops, who look like whites, in the ghetto.

Bulworth (1998) - A mix of hip-hop and politics, after putting a hit out on himself Senator Bulworth becomes a rapping politician that isn't afraid to say anything he wants and offends anyone he wants to. (108 min) Summary written by Guy Johns

Burn, starring Marlon Brando is a fictionalization of the Haitian Revolution and the freedom fighter Toussaint L'Ouverture's struggle to free his people from the yoke of colonial imperialism. One of Brando's favourite films. - terrill

Countdown to Freedom - A documentary chronicle of campaigns and days leading up to first post-apartheid elections in South Africa. Directed by Danny Schechter.

Chocolat - A highly charged relationship between a French family and their African servants in Africa.

Cry Freedom - Stirring drama by Richard Attenborough that follows the friendship between white South African journalist Donald Woods (Kevin Kline) and black activist Stephen Biko (Denzel Washington) through the violent struggle against their countrys racist regime. (157 min.)

Cry the Beloved Country - A Black South African priest travels to the city in search of his, son, only to learn that the boy has been sentenced to death for murder. (105 min.)

Dances with Wolves (1990) - Lt. John Dunbar is dubbed a hero after he accidentally leads Union troops to a victory during the Civil War. He requests a position on the western frontier, but finds it deserted. He soon finds out he is not alone, but meets a wolf he dubs "Two-socks" and a curious Indian tribe. Dunbar quickly makes friends with the tribe, and discovers a white woman who was raised by the Indians. He gradually earns the respect these native people, and sheds his white-man's ways.

Dead Presidents - a young black Vietnam vet sees the system for what it is, gets exposed to radical politics, and decides to rob a bank. An amazing film with an even more amazing soundtrack.

Do the Right Thing (1989, Spike Lee) This record of one hot summer day in Bedford-Stuyvesant is the most important and moving film about race in America. What empowers the film is its fairness; watching it, you can identify with most of the characters, black and white. As a series of trivial incidents and misunderstandings escalate into the death of a man at the hands of police, and then the destruction of a pizzeria, Lee shows that the divide of racism, more than any particular event, has led to the film's disturbing conclusion." Review by Roger Ebert, in Mother Jones, 199 "

Dry White Season - Donald Sutherland awakening to the horror of S. African apartheid in the 1970s.

The Glass Shield (Charles Burnett, 1995) Racism and corruption at a Southern Calif. sheriff's station as seen through the eyes of an ethically compromised black rookie. - Steve Press

Great White Hope, The - James Earl Jones is Jack Johnson, the first Black Heavyweight World Boxing Champion. Even when stripped of his title by whites, Johnson triumphs over his persecutors. Jane Alexander gives a remarkable performance as Johnson's girlfriend, who is torn apart by her ordeal and the boxer's unfocused hostility. (103 min.)

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) - Sidney Poiter stars as the young black UN diplomat who surprises middle class liberals on the Upper West Side, Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, by proposing marriage to their daughter.

Hate (French with subtitles) - excellent French film that deals with racism, and classism by following three immigrant youth in France over the course of a day under the backdrop of social unrest. This movie kicks ass in its stark and gritty realism of life for working class immigrant youth in France.

Homicide (David Mamet,1991) Joe Montegna as a Jewish policeman, who identifies as a cop, not a Jew, is assigned, against his will, to investigate the murder of an elderly Jewish woman, in what appears at first to be a racially motivated killing (Black on white/Jewish). (Steve Press)

Hoop Dreams (1994, Steve James) Not really about basketball at all, but the most powerful American documentary of modern times. It's a story, told over five years, of two inner-city Chicago boys who dream that their basketball skills will provide them a college education, and perhaps a ticket to the NBA. How could the film-makers have guessed, as they filmed their subjects in eighth grade, that their stories would encompass so many aspects of big-city African-American life? " Review by Roger Ebert in Mother Jones 1996"

House Made of Dawn - based on N. Scott Momaday's book about the condition of American Indians has been made into a poetically beautiful film. More convincing and authentic than any Hollywood effort to understand the Indian, it is clearly the definitive statement on the plight of Native Americans. (91 min.)

KKK - B-grade melodrama about Southern racism.

Last Wave, The (1977) - An Australian lawyer defends an aborigine on trial for murder, while having premonitions that white Australia will be destroyed for its genocide against native people. Liberation of L.B. Jones - Story of Southern racism. (102m)

Little Big Man - Dustin Hoffman as a white boy kidnapped and _raised"by Indians, then taken back to "civilization" in adolescence, and then_ returning to the human beings" as an Indian scout for General Custer. A lot funnier than Dances with Wolves, and just as radical.

The Long Days of Summer - A small town in the 1930's New England is the focus for this look at prejudice, as seen through the eyes of a young Jewish boy whose lawyer father comes under attack from the townspeople. (78 min.)

Malcolm X (1992, Spike Lee) Lee maintains what Alex Haley's Autobiography of Malcolm X captured the incredible evolution of Malcolm X's thought. Review b John Sayles, in Mother Jones, 1996"

Mandela -The courage and self-sacrifice of South African freedom fighters Nelson and Winnie Mandela is the subject of this critically acclaimed production, starring Danny Glover and Alfre Woodard. Their enduring_love and dignity despite three_ decades of imprisonment and oppression symbolize the determination of an entire people. (135 min.)

Mississippi Burning - A supposed dramatization of the investigation of the Cheney et al. murders during Freedom Summer. A total whitewash of the FBl's role in ignoring Klan activity.

Mississippi Masala - Indian girl and black man start affair that scandalizes both communities.

Native Son - [1951] The first filming of Richard Wright's controversial novel. Wright stars as the young black chauffeur who is befriended by his employer's daughter and her beau...with tragic consequences.(90 min.) [also a 1987 version with Oprah Vlfinfrey, Matt Dillon and Victor Love, 112 min.]

No Way Out (Joseph L. Mankiewicz,1950) Richard Widmark as a racist hoodlum who blames E.R. physician Sidney Poitier for the death of his brother after he and his brother had been wounded while committing a robbery. (Steve Press)

Nothing But a Man (Michael Roehmer,1964) Racism from outside as well as class conflict within the Black community in Alabama. (Steve Press)

Odds Against Tomorrow (Robert Wise,1959) Mutual racial hatred between Robert Ryan and Harry Belafonte, both participants in a bank robbery. (Although Robert

Ryan often played bigots, he was an active member of the ACLU and SANE.) (Steve Press)

Once Were Warriors - The title is ironic as this recent New Zealand film deals with the collapsing Maori {native NZ} family. Quite shocking and a welcome antidote to the conservative "family values" bull-shit, which is set in another world from that of oppressed peoples. Includes youth suicide, child rape, and several feminist themes.

Open Secret (John Reinhardt, 1948) - With the help of an Italian-American policeman, a young couple on their honeymoon busts a gang of white-supremacist, anti-Semitic thugs. - Steve Press

Panther -It's about the Black Panthers. Though not completely historically accurate it is still a neat film.

Planet of the Apes (1967-1973) - These five movies are, in part, an exploration of racism and slavery transposed to speciesism, culminating in the 1973 Battle for the Planet of the Apes in which our enslaved simian servants revolt.

Prisoners of Hope - A documentary chronicle of the reunion in 1995 of 1500 political prisoners formerly held captive on Robben Island, South Africa, where President Nelson Mandela was also imprisoned.

Sarafina (1992) - The film version, with Whoopi Goldberg, of the hit musical from South Africa about a township heroine.

Smoke Signals is the first full length all-Native American film. A wonderful film -- coming out of 'rez humour’ and poverty. - Steve Press

Sounder - Black share croppers in the 1930s. (105m)

A Time to Kill (1996) - A black man is tried for killing the white men who raped his daughter. Two young white lawyers defending him experience anti-racist redemption.

To Kill a Mockingbird - Black man gets framed for rape of white girl, town goes into racist lynch frenzy, and he gets defended by courageous white man.

Voices of Sarafina - The beautiful musical, performed by kids from Soweto, about a courageous girl "comrade" in the township.

The Well (Leo Popkin, Russell Rouse,1951) - A young black girl falls down a well, but before that is discovered as the reason for her disappearance, a white stranger in town is accused of kidnapping her. (Steve Press)

White Man's Burden (1995) - John Travolta and Harry Belafonte in an America in which whites are the poor underclass and blacks are the ruling class.

FEMINIST FILMS

A League of Their Own - Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Rosie O'Donnell and Madonna star in this dramatization of the true story of a group of women enlisted by the government and professional baseball to play baseball (albeit lik: ladies, in miniskirts) while the men were in WWII. Though the league faded away in the early 1950s, it paved the way for new attitudes towards women in sports.

Accused, The - (1988, Jonathan Kaplan) An ambitious assistant district attorney (Kelly McGillis) and a free-spirited waitress (Jodie Foster) wage a personal battle against the legal system in this gripping’ h)' contemporary drama. Foster stars as the victim of a brutal bar-room gang rape that is witnessed by a roomful of patrons and employees. Foster and McGil|is join forces in a determined attempt to bring to trial the people who are as guilty as the men who committed the crime- the bystanders who let it happen. The Accused is an EXTREMELY disturbing film that explores the devastating after-effects of a vicious crime and the shocking apathy that allowed it to occur. (110 min.) Hollywood comes to grips with rape as a pervasive attitude rather than an isolated incident. Anchored by Jodie Foster's she's-no-angel protagonist, it launched a whole genre of made-for- TV movies, an indication that a film has hit a cultural nerve."Review by John Sayles, in Mother Jones, 1996"

An Angel at My Table - A film by Jane Campion (The Piano) based on an autobiography of an New Zealand woman writer who was diagnosed as mentally ill, and long mistreated in the health care system.

Betrayal - A woman is sexually abused by her psychiatrist and brings him to trial on rape charges in this timely, emotional drama. Starring Rip Torn, Lesley Ann Warren, Richard Masur and Ron Silver. (100 min.)

Born in Flames (1983) Set ten years after the most peaceful revolution in United States history, a revolution in which a socialist government gains power, this films presents a dystopia in which the issues of many progressive groups — minorities, liberals, gay rights organizations, feminists - are ostensibly dealt with by the government, and yet there are still problems with jobs, with gender issues, with governmental preference and violence. In New York City, in this future time, a group of women decide to organize and mobilize, to take the revolution farther than any man - and many women — ever imagined in their lifetimes. (90min) Summary written by Gary Dickerson.

Bread and Roses (1994)...Summarises the early life of politician Sonja Davies. Sonja is a young independent socialist embarking on a career in nursing during World War 2.

Frida - A biography of the Mexican, transgendered, disabled, Trotskyist, bisexual artist, Frida Kahlo. '

Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) - Jessica Tandy, Kathy Bates, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker. An elderly woman recounts her lesbian feminist past in hostile, rural America.

Handmaid's Tale - A horrific vision of a world where Pat Buchanan/Pat Robertson-types have taken over in a Christian fascist coup, and enslaved the few remaining fertile women as the breeders for the elite.

Heavenly Creatures (1994)...Based on the true story of Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, two close friends who share a love of fantasy and literature, who conspire to kill Pauline's mother when she tries to end the girls‘ intense and obsessive relationship.

I, the Worst of All (1995) - This Spanish movie is a beautiful, deeply affecting dramatization of the life of Sister Juana Ines de la Cruz, one of the greatest Spanish language poets. Sor Juana became a nun in the 16th century in Mexico because she would not have been allowed to pursue alife of scholarship and writing as an aristocratic married woman. The free-thinking and feminist sentiments of her poetry, however, bring her into conflict with the intensely misogynist ArchBishop. She is protected from the Inquisition by her erotic muse and special friend, the wife of theGovernor of Mexico. Her Sapphic poems to the governess eventually bring about her downfall.

I Want to Live - This true story stars Susan Hayward as a woman framed for murder and sentenced to death for a crime she didn't commit. (122 min.)

Kahlo — A documentary about the Mexican, transgendered, disabled, Trotskyist, bisexual artist, Frida Kahlo.

Katherine - An absorbing drama fuelled by a stand-out performance from Sissy

Spacek. A spoiled little rich girl, through her fight against social injustice, turns to radicalism and eventually, political terrorism. (98 min.)

Killing Us Softly - Advertising's image of women is a 30 min. film based on a multi-media presentation created by Jean Kilbourne. This movie was made in 1981, so therefore, much of the material is dated. The information presented is often very disturbing and provides a great backdrop for sexual stereotypes discussion. '

Ladybird Ladybird: an award winning film by English Socialist Ken Loach examines the life of an unmarried mother of four, all by different fathers, and the social services agencies and courts who remove her children from her care.

She meets a Paraguayan political refugee who changes her life. Based on a true story.

Marie: A True Story - Sissy Spacek stars as a Tennessee criminal justice head who uncovers a massive conspiracy of graft and corruption that reaches the state capital, and her battle against the system also stars Jeff Daniels and Morgan Freeman. (112 min.) ’

Mildred Pierce - is a story of a woman who rises from waitress to restaurateur in order to support her spoiled daughter.(111 min.)

Out of Africa — the accounts of lsak Dinesen's life in 1910's Africa. Meryl Streep stars as the Danish woman who reluctantly goes to Africa with her husband

Klaus Brandauer to run a coffee plantation, but slowly comes to fall in love with the land. (161 min.)

The Piano - Jane Campion's story of repression and self-discovery in New Zealand.

Rape and Marriage:The Rideout Case - A timely drama set around the 1978 court case where a woman charged her husband with rape. Starring Mikey Rourke, Rip Torn, Linda Hamilton and Conchata Ferrell. (96 min.)

SEXUAL FREEDOM

Bostonians, The - Vanessa Redgrave as a lesbian suffragist, involved in the Socialist milieu in the 1910's. Not a very happy picture of pre-WWI gay life.

Buddha of Suburbia - An hilarious tour of racial, sexual and political turmoil of Britain in the 1970srom the perspective of a bisexual Pakistani man.

Carrington (1995) - Emma Thompson in the true story of the love triangle around the gay 19th century British author Lytton Strachey.

Celluloid Closet, The (1995) - A brilliant documentary on the 100-year history of Hollywood depictions of gays and lesbians, with wonderful interviews and video clips (102 min).

Crying Game, The (1992) - The most sympathetic portrayal of transgender love in a mainstream film, against the backdrop of the craziness of IRA terrorism.

Desert Hearts - Two women fall in love at a women's writers’ retreat.

Dresser, The - Albert Finney is a cantankerous, ageing, Shakespearean actor; Tom Courtenay is the doting dresser who cares for him and lives vicariously through his performances. (1 18 min.)

Edward II - A reinterpretation of the Marlowe classic that makes explicit the gay subtext. Entre Nous - A homoerotic friendship between two women.

Harold and Maude (1971) - A love affair between a neurotic young aristocrat, and a fesity old Jewish anarchist Holocaust-survivor.

Henry and June - The story of the ménage-a-trois of Henry Miller, Anais Nin, and June, Henry Miller's wife.

Incredibly True Story of Two Girls in Love (1995) - A light-hearted, and optimistic, teen lesbian love story that explores race and class in unexpected ways. I, the Worst of All (1995) - This Spanish movie is a beautiful, deeply affecting dramatization of the life of Sister Juana Ines de la Cruz, one of the greatest Spanish language poets. Sor Juana became a nun in the 16th century in Mexico because she would not have been allowed to pursue a life of scholarship and writing as an aristocratic married woman. The free-thinking and feminist sentiments of her poetry, however, bring her into conflict with the intensely misogynist Archbishop. She is protected from the Inquisition by her erotic muse and special friend, the wife of the Governor of Mexico. Her Sapphic poems to the governess eventually bring about her downfall.

Kiss of the Spider Woman - Two prisoners in a Latin American jail, Raoul Julia, a Spartan revolutionary leader, and William Hurt, a movie-obsessed homosexual, find their lives and destinies intertwined in this bizarre drama that blurs the lines between reality and fantasy, freedom and entrapment. (119 min.) Lianna - Lianna is a wife and mother who returns to college and falls in love with Ruth, her child psychology professor. John Sayles captures the joy and pain of a woman coming to terms with her sexuality and depicts the effect her decision has on her family.

The Living End, two HIV positive men do a Thelma and Louise.

Long Time Companion - Story of AIDS and gay life in the 80s, centred on a group of friends. (96m)

Making Love - Yuppie angst when married man has affair with another man. (103m)

Maurice - E.M. Forster story about a young Brit coming to terms with his gayness in 1910s. (135m)

My Beautiful Launderette - A Pakistani youth living in London starts working for his businessman uncle and is given a laundromat that he, along with his English lover, renovates into a neighbourhood landmark. A unique serio-comedy that blends dark humor, racial drama and offbeat romance for an intriguing look at modern British society. (93 min.)

My Own Private Idaho - River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves as male prostitutes in Seattle who have a tragic love affair while everyone recites Henry IV (102m)

The Naked Civil Servant - is a biographical look at Quentin Crisp, a British author who was one of the first crusaders for gay rights. Based on Crisp's best-selling memoirs, the film is touching and inspiring in its view of one man's struggle to live his life. (80 min.)

Paris is Burning - A documentary about drag queen subculture in New York. Parting Glances (1986, Bill Sherwood) One of the earliest films about gay men to acknowledge AIDS, it never loses its sense of fun and solidarity."Review by John Sayles, in Mother Jones 1996

Prick up Your Ears - Based on a true story, about the tragic relationship of a gay novelist and his lover.

Times of Harvey Milk — Academy Award-winning, powerful documentary about the powerful, charismatic, compassionate, gay San Francisco city official Harvey Milk, who was suddenly assassinated. (90 min.)

The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a hilarious poof of 50s science fiction movies, with a great celebratory attitude about sexuality in general, and bisexuality in particular. Spawned a cult following in the 70s that must have led to untold millions of sexual experiments.

Strawberry and Chocolate (1995) - A Cuban film that contrasts a straight Communist man with his gay friend who wants to leave.

Summer Vacation 1999, a beautiful Japanese film about a school boy who committed suicide and returns to woo his beloved class mate who spurned him, claiming he's someone else.

Torch Song Trilogy - Harvey Fierstein brilliantly re-creates the role he originated on stage, that of Arnold Beckoff, a shy, introspective female impersonator who longs for love and self-fulfilment, but never loses his sense of humour. Matthew Broderick and Brian Kerwin co-star as Fierstein's lovers and Anne Bancroft is perfect as his nagging Jewish mother. (126 min.)

The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960) - Dramatization of the events leading to Oscar Wilde's imprisonment

Urinal - Famous, dead, gay artists are mysteriously collected to fight homophobia in modern Canada.

We Were One Man - A simple French farmer and a wounded, abandoned German soldier are ultimately united in an openly sexual relationship in this award winning French film. French with English subtitles. (90 min.)

When Night is Falling - A repressed woman confronts her lesbian desires. Critics choice at the Berlin Film Festival in 93

Wild Life - A video portrait of two 15-year-old gay Latinos, this work by John Goss combines documentary-style interviews with fictional segments in which the young men act out their fantasized day in Los Angeles. As they talk about their lives, we see scenes of them changing into wild clothes on the street,cruising around "Gay City," meeting their friends at the park, and "throwing attitude." They are questioned about the nature of being gay, relationships with friends and lovers, style and image, and their use of gay language. (40 min.)

The Woman Inside - A young man comes to grips with his own sexual identity in this dramatic look at transsexualism. Medical science makes him a woman, but can she find acceptance and love? (94 min.)

Sergeant Matlovich Vs. The U.S. Air Force — Real-life drama of a decorated Air Force officer who takes the military to court after he's dishonourably discharged because of his homosexuality. (96 min.)

ANTI-AUTHORITARIAN STRUGGLE FILMS

10 Rillington Place - True drama of a British murder case that led to the abolition of the death penalty. John Hurt stars as a man sentenced to die for the murder of his family, a crime he didn't commit.(111 min.)

1984 — The 1984 production with the Eurhythmics soundtrack and Richard Burton as the party official. (115m)

Arise, My Love (Mitchell Leisen, 1940) Claudette Colbert is a journalist who, in trying to demonstrate that women can take on non-fluff assignments, rescues Ray Milland from a Franco firing squad. Together they attempt to get the U.S. out of its isolationist complacency. (Steve Press)

The Bad Sleep Well (directed by Kurosawa, 1960) Kurosawa's hero attempts to avenge his dead father. The protagonist goes up against his father's business associates, respected powerful men of a large Japanese corporation.

Blade Runner - The plight of enslaved cyborgs and our corporate-dominated future through eyes of a sympathetic cop. (113m)

The Blue Kite (1993, Tian Zhuang- zhuang) A boy, born in Beijing in 1954, grows up amid the political upheaval and zealotry of the Cultural Revolution. One day his father's library co-workers meet to practice "self—criticism" and to identify reactionaries in their midst. When the boy's father returns from the toilet, all eyes are on him: He has been selected as the reactionary, and that is his death sentence. The mother remarries twice seeking stability, unsuccessfully. It's a remarkable portrait of a society victimized by ideology." Review by Roger Ebert, in Mother Jones, 199 "

Brazil (1985, Terry Gilliam) In a dystopian vision, Gilliam takes what Kafka started to operatic heights in a film that is fantastic but not, finally, unrealistic." Review by John Sayles, in Mother Jones, 1996"

Brute Force (Jules Dassin, 1947) Burt Lancaster and Charles Bickford are leaders of two gangs of inmates in a prison. They form a united front to effect a break-out, as the sadistic captain of the guards (Hume Cronyn) stages a coup d'etat and overthrows the more humane, but impotent warden. While the film is an obvious metaphoric depiction of fascism, it is also a statement of existential despair:no one ever escapes. (Steve Press)

Burnt by the Sun (1994, Nikita Mikhalkov) A lament for the loss of idealism. A populist Red general and eccentrics holed up in an artists’ retreat are the last to get the news of Stalin's purges. The director and his own daughter play the leads. " Review b John Sayles, in Mother Jones, 1996"

Catch 22 - A brilliant dark comedy about mercantilism and the military.

The Fallen Sparrow (Richard Wallace, 1943). John Garfield plays a Spanish Civil War veteran who is haunted by his experiences of torture at the hands of Franco s army, and who is being pursued by Fascists in New York. (Steve Press)

Farewell My Concubine Chen Kaige's beautiful and achingly sad portrayal of a doomed love triangle between two Chinese opera stars, and a former prostitute. Following the protagonists from the '49 revolution through the Cultural Revolution, portrays the horror of Maoist totalitarianism.

Fatherland In this HBO special, it is 1964 in an alternative history. The Normandy invasion failed. Germany conquered Europe. Russian Communist guerrillas continue a defensive fight against occupying Germany. Dignitaries gather in Berlin, the capital of European Germania, to celebrate the Fuhrer's 75th birthday. The focal point is the scheduled meeting between Hitler and U.S. President Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., which may bring an end to U.S. aid to the Russian guerrillas. But a German police officer and a visiting American journalist discover evidence of the completely covered-up Holocaust, and race to deliver it to the American delegation to prevent detention.

Good Will Hunting - Makes reference to Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky. Completely trashes U.S. Intelligence agencies and their questionable practices. - Steve Press

Hangmen Also Die (Fritz Lang, 1943) Brian Donlevy assassinates Nazi butcher Reinhard Heydrich in occupied Czechoslovakia. (Steve Press)

Harakiri (directed by Kobayashi, 1962) Extraordinary samurai film. Every bit as good as Seven Samurai. A brave and principled samurai learns that the word "honour" is just a fig leaf for knavery when power and wealth are at risk. - Terry Gaines

Heatwave (Phillip Noyce, 1983, Australia) Judy Davis plays an activist fighting the demolition and replacement of homes in a low-income neighbourhood with high end housing. The film, which is based on real events, depicts a shadowy relationship between legitimate developers and organized crime. Based on the same events, The Killing of Angel Street (Donald Crombie, 1981, Australia) further explores corrupt official involvement, from the local police all the way up to the highest levels of government. (Steve Press)

Hey, Babu Riba (Gala Videnovic, 1986,.Yugoslavia) Coming of age film set in Yugoslavia just after Tito broke with Stalin. (Steve Press)

In the Name of the Father (1993, Jim Sheridan) A 'paddy thief' is swept into the black hole of the Irish-British conflict. Sheridan presents his main characters as unwilling pawns, then uses them to flush out the bigger players."Review by John Sayles, in Mother Jones, 1996"

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Don Siegel,_19§6)_ Can be taken as red scare _ propaganda or as a warning against the authoritarianism and mind-numbing conformity of the McCarthy era. In Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Phil Kaufman, 1978), the first remake, global pollution is the enemy. In The BodySnatchers (Abel Ferrara, 1993), the second remake, the military is the enemy. (Steve Press)

The Kiss of the Spider-woman - A radical activist imprisoned by a Latin dictatorship in the same cell with a romantic homosexual, discovers their solidarity against oppression.

The Last Supper (1996) - a group of liberal grad students take it upon themselves to rid the world of future right-wing extremists (abortion doctor killers, anti-feminists, homophobics, book banners) by inviting them over for Sunday dinner and poisoning them....if their minds can't be changed. A lovely little dark comedy!

Lord of the Flies — Classic, chilling tale of British schoolboys stranded on a remote island without adults, and their home-made society's slide into savagery. (90 min.)

Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media - A documentary about Noam Chomsky. - Steve Press

Mephisto (1981, lstvan Szabo) "Klaus Maria Brandauer, in one of the best performances I've ever seen, plays a German actor who is, at first, a socialist and the proud lover of a black woman--but by the end has found that his beliefs were a pose, and happily discards them to gain success under Hitler. As he climbs to the top of the Nazi propaganda structure and the bottom of his own soul, the movie is both merciless and understanding. This is a weak and shameful man, the film seems to say--but then it cautions us against throwing the first stone."Review by Roger Ebert, in Mother Jones, 1996"

Metropolis - Robot woman leads the oppressed workers in revolt.

Modern Times - Worker guy, Charlie Chaplin, caught in the cogs of the industrial wheel.

Mother Night - This is the film version of another Kurt Vonnegut novel. Among other things, it pokes fun at white-supremacist groups. — Steve Press

Nasty Girl, The - German woman gets in big trouble when she starts investigating her town's collaboration with the Third Reich.

Not Without My Daughter — True story of an American woman who risked life and veil to rescue her daughter from Islamic fundamentalist Iran.

The Official Story - (1985, Luis Puenzo) The adoptive parents of children whose parents were disappeared by the Argentine junta. The emotional fallout of Argentina's "dirty war," starring a terrific Norma Aleandro. Posits that political awareness is a

responsibility, not an option." Review by John Sayles, in Mother Jones, 1996"

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) - A rebellious mental patient challenges institution, gets fried, inspires native American to seek freedom.

People Under the Stairs - Courageous African-American house burglar liberates tongue less zombies from the basement of Ron and Nancy Reagan's prison-America.

The Rapture - Woman confronts God, the ultimate dictator, after she kills her daughter in a religious frenzy.

Romero - The life and death of El Salvador's martyred social justice Bishop.

Seven Samurai, The - Kurosawa's masterpiece, about seven samurai who train a village in armed self-defence, helping them defeat marauding bandits. The depiction of class and caste is raw and riveting.

Schindler's List (1993, Steven Spielberg) The story of a flawed and complex man who decides, while working for the Nazi war machine, to shelter some 1,000 Jews. Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) begins by sucking up to the Nazis, but some deep chord in his soul is struck, and he begins to cheat them of money, work, and lives. It's a rare blending of superb Hollywood artistry and deeply felt emotional and political content."Review by Roger Ebert, in Mother Jones, 1996"

Shoah (1985, Claude Lanzmann) This nine-hour film is one of the most remarkable documents imaginable about the Holocaust. Without using documentary footage from the war, Lanzmann relies on eyewitnesses, narration, and the eerie remains of the death camps to investigate a chapter of human horror. His film is patient: He listens to his subjects as they run through their rehearsed feelings about events that occurred 40 years earlier, and we watch them reveal the lessons they've absorbed into their very beings."Review by Roger Ebert, in Mother Jones, 199 "

Slaughterhouse-Five - This is the film version of Kurt Vonnegut's classic novel. Many references to the Allied fire-bombing of Dresden, Germany during the second World War.- Steve Press

Sleeper - Woody Allen, refugee from the 20th century, becomes leader of the revolt against a future oppressive regime.

Sleeping Dogs (1977)...Recluse Smith (Sam Neill) is drawn into a revolutionary struggle between guerillas and right—wingers in New Zealand. Implicated in a murder and framed as a revolutionary conspirator, Smith tries to maintain an attitude of non- violence while caught between warring factions.

Sneakers (1992) A group of security analysts, including Robert Redford, Dan Akroyd, and Sidney Poitier, are offered a job by the CIA and when they are reluctant, pressure is brought to bear by the threat to disclose the identity of their leader, a 60s radical with outstanding warrants. A chip exists that will allow anycomputer to be cracked, and organized crime will soon control it, though sudden changes in their police records suggest that it is already operational.

Spartacus (1960) - Classic story of Roman slave revolt leader. Watch for the homoerotic "do you like snails?" master-slave scene that was expurgated by the censors, but added back in re-release.

The Story of Qiu Ju - The beautiful Gong Li in a film about a pregnant rural woman's search for justice through the Chinese legal system. Her husband was kicked by the village headman and she wants an apology.

Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press (documentary) The story of a true American hero. A journalistic giant. George Seldes was hated and despised by all the best people. He was threatened by the Bolsheviks, by Mussolini and by Franco. J. Edgar Hoover read his mail to try and shut him up. Despised by fascists everywhere he was one of the working people's best friends till his death in 1995 at the age of 104. — terrill gaines

Terminator, Terminator 2 - Arnold Schwarzenegger makes a lot of radical films, such as the Terminator movies, for the Republican bimbo that he is. In the Terminator films, the military-industrial complexes computers have become sentient, and carried out their anti-human programming. In T1, the future robot empire sends a cyborg back in time to kill the mother of the future leader of the human resistance. In T2, a suspense-action classic, this same mother is a hardened guerrilla who mid-way through the movie blows up a central military-industrial research facility.

They Live - A homeless drifter discovers that yuppies and the Republican elite of the U.S. have been bought out by ugly aliens, who are beaming obedience messages at us from billboards, newspapers and TV. Problem is you can't see that they're aliens unless you're wearing these special sunglasses, so people get a little upset when he starts blowing the yuppie alien heads off.

THX—113 - More horrific than 1984, George Lucas‘ first film, produced by Francis Ford Coppola, and starring Robert Duvall as the worker drone awakening to the need for freedom in a subterranean, post-individualist society. Tin Drum, The - Midget with a drum terrorizes the Third Reich.

Tito and Me (Goran Markovic, 1992, Yugoslavia) A young boy causes delightfully anarchic chaos during a party—sponsored "march around Tito's homeland" (i.e., Croatia). - Steve Press

The White Rose - German film with sub-titles, about a group of young Germans resisting the Nazis during WWII - a tragic ending

Wisdom - Emilio Estevez stars as a chronically unemployed ex-con who sets himself up as a modern day Robin Hood, knocking over banks to destroy mortgages and help the poor. (109 min.)

Yellow Submarine - The struggle against the Blue Meanies by the boys from Liverpool is a brilliant allegory for world uprising against the Bad guys.

2 - A gripping true-life Greek drama about the assassination and cover-up of a leader of the resistance movement in Greece. This is an exciting film by Costa-Gavras. Dubbed in English. (127 min.)

ENVIRONMENTAL AND FARM STRUGGLE FILMS

Atomic Café - A montage of American propaganda films depicting the threat we faced from Soviet expansionism, and our optimism about the winnability of nuclear war. Hilarious.

Babe (1995) - Pig wins sheep dog competition. Portrays the horror of animal-flesh- eating more slyly than any other talking animal movie.

Bear, The - A very emotional tale of an orphaned cub who is befriended by an older male bear.

The Burning Season: The Chico Mendes Story - dir: John Frankenheimer Raul Julia, Sonia Braga, Kamala Dawson, Luis Guzman, Nigel Havers, Thomas Milian, Esai Morales, Tony Plana, Marco Rodriguez, Edward James Olmos Warner Brothers/HBO, 1994, 123 min film blurb: "Some call his a hero. Others label him bad for business. But enemies of Brazilian rain forest activist Chico Mendes call him something else: a target. ''In one of his last roles, Raul Julia plays real-life hero Mendes in the powerful adventure "The Burning Season", directed by John Frankenheimer. Spurred to action after a key organizer of the rain forest's working poor is slain, Mendes stands firm against slash-and-burn deforestation. He becomes a non-violent activist, union leader, political candidate and a recognized authority who helps alert the world to the plight of the Amazon. With unflinching courage, Mendes puts his principles to the test -- even when the test means a deadly showdown with destiny." Some scenes in this film are clearly derived from Julia's earlier film "Romero" (1989) -- to which it could almost be a (more-or-less) secular counterpart. (From Kelsey@iw.net)

Chernobyl: Chronicle of Difficult Weeks — This film was shot continuously for three months. It chronicles a lifeless city, empty villages, a dead forest, and the movie itself was exposed with white blotches- a radiation leakage. (53 min.)

China Syndrome, The — A classic anti-nuclear power movie with Jane Fonda, about a plant that almost blows up and the ensuing cover-up.

Country - Jessica Lange portrays a soft-spoken, hard-working woman who fights to keep her family united and to prevent the loss of her family's farm.

Dark Circle - this film interweaves dramatic personal stories of American nuclear victims with rare footage of the secret world where the hydrogen bomb is manufactured, tested and sold. It is a major accomplishment which serves as a reminder of the great dangers posed by nuclear technology. (82 min.)

Emerald Forest, The - A unique adventure based on a true story. Powers Boothe stars as an engineer working in a culture totally foreign to Western civilization. A fascinating story of parental love, culture-clash, and the results of "progress." (113 min.) '

Free Zone: Democracy meets the Nuclear Threat - is the first film to document the growing international nuclear-free zone movement. The film also provides a a useful overview of the economic and environmental consequences of the arms race and raises fundamental questions about the sacrifice of basic democratic freedoms in the name of national security. (57 min.)

Gorillas In The Mist - Sigourney Weaver stars as Diane Fossey, a pioneer in the field of gorilla studies. Her work has helped to preserve the gorilla population and has curbed the selling of these animals and subsequent poaching. This is a very in depth look into Fossey and her work and is a must-see for any environmentalist/animal rights activist.

Medicine Man stars Sean Connery as a scientist who may have discovered the cure for cancer. Unfortunately the cure is found in the Brazilian Rain Forest which is being slashed and burned around his ears, literally.

Millagro Beanfield War - Mexican—Americans do battle against capitalist exploitation, with the intercession of magic.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind a Japanese animated film set in the distant future in a world that is slowly healing itself from pollution. A young girl tries to stop both a war between two rival clans, and the destruction of the misunderstood "toxic forest". The environmental aspect of this movie is subtle.

Never Cry Wolf - A biologist takes to Northern Canada to conduct a study on the wolf population. His unforgettable experiences prove a valuable lesson in survival. Splendid wildlife photography, lots of good humour and fine performances. (105 min.)

People of No Interest - This film shows a concrete example of the struggle between the local people at the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil victimized by several enormous development projects, the multinational corporations and the government of Brazil. (29 min.)

Places in the Heart - The triumph of a young widow during the depression who succeeds in keeping her family together by harvesting a crop against all odds. (110min)

Project X - Action/drama staring Matthew Broderick as a maverick Air Force pilot whose stunts get him demoted to "nurse-maiding" a group of lab chimps. When he learns of the experiments’ fatal consequences, he teams up with the apes's trainee to arrange a break out. (108 min.)

The Quiet Earth (1985) Human experimentation with a world wide power grid has lead to unanticipated consequences. A scientist who had tried to commit suicide wakes up to discover that everyone else in the world appears to have vanished and descends into madness.

The Rainbow Warrior (1992) True story of the 1985 bombing of the Greenpeace ship in NZ harbours by French governmental terrorists and the ensuing investigation.

Soylent Green - The world is over-populated and dominated by mega-rich corporations in walled-off compounds. A detective discovers the link between the Stop-and-Kill-Yourself suicide centres and the new green protein crackers used to quell food riots. Based on Harry Harrison's Make Room, Make Room.

Toxic Avenger, The - A cult classic about a man deformed by pollution who wreaks havoc on the polluters.

Where Have All The Dolphins Gone? - (In the Tuna Every One. - ed.) Documents the confrontation between major multi-national companies and environmental groups, which see the plight of the dolphins as symbolic of the crisis facing many species today. The film portrays the beauty and charm of our aquatic relatives. Rare footage also dramatically depicts the slaughter of these gentle mammals. (58 min.)

Stopping the Coming Ice Age - This program dramatically illustrates how the greenhouse effect may be increasing temperature differences, creating more clouds, and transferring huge quantities of moisture to the higher latitudes, building up the polar glaciers. Combines expert commentary with excellent visuals. (45 min.)

The River That Harms - documents the largest radioactive waste spill in U.S. history- a national tragedy that has received little media attention. This film tells the story of this tragedy and the toll it continues to take on the Navajos, who have lost the use of their water and witnessed the sickness and death of their animals. To the Navajos this event is also a prophetic warning for all humanity. (45 min.)

Comments

No Godard?

No "Jonah who will be 25 in the Year 2000"?
No "Bill Brand"?