Category Archives: Movies

Woman Rebel: new documentary about Nepalese Maoist woman guerrilla

This is a trailer for the movie “Woman Rebel“, a documentary about “Silu” a battalion commander in the Nepalese Maoist’s People’s Liberation Army. It will air on HBO tonight August 18 at 8pm and again August 26 at 11:45am. Check out the synopsis on HBO’s website.

New film from China: The Founding of a Republic (建国大业)

The following is the 2009 film, “The Founding of a Republic“, from the People’s Republic of China. The movie covers the Third Revolutionary Civil War Period, from the defeat of Japan to the defeat of the Kuomintang.

Like the excellent 2006 film, “My Long March” made to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Long March, this movie was made in honor of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the PRC.

It can be watched below with English subtitles in 14 parts.

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Joseph E. Davies: “Mission to Moscow” (1943)

Here is the 1943 U.S. film “Mission to Moscow” which tells the experiences of the lawyer and U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Joseph E. Davies. The basis of the film’s narrative focuses on the journey of Davies and his family. First, their physical journey from the United States to the Soviet Union. And, second, their journey from skeptics of communism and the Soviet Union into sympathizers. “No leaders of a nation have been so misrepresented and misunderstood as those in the Soviet government during those critical years between the two world wars,” Davies says at the film’s beginning. In the 1950s the film became a target of McCarthyism. This film is presented in 10 parts, below, though it appears to be cut short at the end.

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Blazing Trail: Video on the History and Development of the Naxalite Movement in India

Eyes on the Rainbow: A Documentary film with Assata Shakur

The following documentary about former Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army leader, Assata Shakur, who is currently living in exile in Cuba, is in 6 parts below:

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Video: Stalin’s Magical World

This is the short film, “New Moscow“, circa 1937, which highlights “Stalinist Architecture.” Here it is set to a different kind of tune, “Magical World” by the 1960s and 70s psychedelic soul band, Rotary Connection:

Soviet Film: Three Songs of Lenin (1934)

This 1934 film, directed by Dziga Vertov, is structured around three Russian folk songs and skilfully used archive and original footage to celebrate the revolutionary life and legacy of Lenin. H G Wells described this film as “one of the greatest and most beautiful films I have ever seen”. The first song, ‘My face was in a dark prison’, concerns the life of a young Muslim woman. ‘We loved him’ deals with Lenin’s life and death. The third song ‘In a big city of stone’, shows the accomplishments of socialism. Using the previously unpublished verses by W H Auden, the film becomes an even more eloquent tribute to Lenin. This film was made ten years after Lenin’s death, when the CPSU(B) under the leadership of Stalin was carrying forward the line of Lenin in building socialism in the USSR. (description from the Stalin Society – UK)

Documentary: Crossing the Line

“On August 15th, at noon in broad daylight when everybody was eating lunch, I hit the road. Yes I was afraid. Am I gonna live or die? And when I stepped into the minefield and I seen it with my own eyes, I started sweating. I crossed over, looking for my new life.”

James Joseph Dresnok (Comrade Joe) defected from the U.S. Army in 1963 to a better life in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK – North Korea), he has lived there for 43 years. Dresnok has stated that he intends to spend the rest of his life in North Korea, and that no amount of money could entice him back to the West.

In this documentary, “Crossing the Line”, (here in 9 parts) he tells the story of his fascinating life.

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Documentary: Chicano! The History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement

The following documentary film, “Chicano! The History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement – Quest for a Homeland”, examines the beginnings of the modern Chicano Liberation Movement. For a revolutionary analysis of the Chicano struggle for national self-determination and full equality, see the 1979 article “The Struggle for Chicano Liberation” by the U.S. League for Revolutionary Struggle (Marxist-Leninist), and the important 2003 interview with Brown Berets co-founder, Carlos Montes, “Young Chicano Revolutionaries” conducted by Fight Back! News, the newspaper of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization:

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Post-Soviet Russia: Death of a Nation

The following documentary film (in six parts) explores the consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union for the Russian people. Whatever problems existed for Socialism in the Soviet Union, even during the period of revisionist leadership from 1956 to 1991, people were clearly better off. As Keeran and Kenny put it in their book Socialism Betrayed:

A brief review of the Soviet Union’s accomplishments underscores what was lost. The Soviet Union not only eliminated the exploiting classes of the old order, but ended inflation, unemployment, racial and national discrimination, grinding poverty, and glaring inequalities of wealth, income, education, and opportunity. In fifty years, the country went from an industral production that was only 12 percent of that in the United States to industrial production that was 80 percent and an agricultural output 85 percent of the U.S. Though Soviet per capita consumption remained lower than in the U.S., no society had ever increased living standards and consumption so rapidly in such a short period of time for all its people. Employment was guaranteed. Free education was available for all, from kindergarten through secondary schools (general, technical and vocational), universities, and after-work schools. Besides free tuition, post-secondary students recieved living stipends. Free health care existed for all, with about twice as many doctors per person as in the United States. Workers who were injured or ill had job guarantees and sick pay. In the mid-1970s, workers averaged 21.2 working days of vacation (a month’s vaction), and sanitariums, resorts, and childrens camps were either free or subsidized. Trade unions had the power to veto firings and recall managers. The state regulated all prices and subsidized the cost of basic food and housing. Rents constituted only 2-3 percent of the family budget; water and utilities only 4-5 percent… State subsidies kept the price of books, periodicals and cultural events at a minimum.

To look more closely at the causes of the collapse of the Soviet Union see Ludo Martens’ article, “Balance of the Collapse of the Soviet Union: On the Causes of a Betrayal and the Tasks Ahead for Communists“. This documentary clearly demonstrates what the complete restoration of capitalism has meant in a very concrete and material way.