Tag Archives: Movies

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:

Continue reading

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.

Movie Trailer: Workers’ Republic

Following on the heels Kari Lydersen’s book, Revolt on Goose Island and Michael Moore’s new documentary Capitalism: A Love Story, here comes another documentary film featuring the heroic Republic Windows and Doors factory occupation – Andrew Freund’s Workers Republic:

See also the outstanding pamphlet on class struggle unionism by the Labor Commission of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, “Build a Fighting Workers’ Movement.”

Capitalism: A Love Story

The following movie review from Fight Back! News is by Doug Michel:

Michael Moore has done it again, only this time he’s coming out strong against the most pervasive evil in the United States: capitalism. Moore serves to moviegoers a searing critique of capitalism that is well needed during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

capitalismalovestoryposterOn Thursday, Oct. 1, a supportive crowd of 200 progressives and activists came to one of the many locations in Chicago showing Capitalism: A Love Story. The special showings benefited United Electrical Union Local 1110, the same local that carried out the historic Republic Windows and Doors factory occupation this past December.

Capitalism: A Love Story is filled with comedy, satire, and chilling analysis of the economic crisis in the U.S. It highlights the American people’s “love affair” with capitalism that ends in heartbreak for believers in the “American Dream”.

Continue reading

Film from the People’s Republic of China: “My Long March”

This movie, “My Long March”, was made by the PRC’s August First Film Studio in 2006 to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Long March.

1/11

2/11

3/11 (the Zunyi Conference)

Continue reading

They Chose China

This is a short documentary film (40 minutes approx.) by Shuibo Wang. It is about P.O.W.s who defected/renounced their U.S. citizenship after the Korean War and went to China to live. It’s a very interesting film, though short. These ex-patriot vets spoke out clearly against imperialism and war, as well as against red-baiting and McCarthyism. The movie also raises some interesting questions about criticism and self-criticism and thought reform. I would encourage people who want to learn more about this sort of thing to read the book Prisoners of Liberation (and/or listen to this excellent interview) by Allyn Ricket. Thanks to AKC for pointing out this video.

Guerrillera

This is an important documentary (and one of my favorites) about a young woman in Colombia who decides to join the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP). The FARC-EP has been fighting a people’s war for national liberation and socialism for more than 40 years. This film follows this young woman as she trains to fight with the Marxist guerrillas.

Keep up with news in Colombia here on The Marxist Leninist blog and at Fight Back! News. Below is a resolution from FRSO’s 5th congress.

Resolution in Support of the Colombian Revolution

We in Freedom Road Socialist Organization salute the Colombian people’s heroic struggle for national liberation and socialism.

We oppose the U.S. government’s continuing intervention in Colombian affairs. The U.S. government has a long history of interfering with the sovereignty of Latin American countries that seek independence from the domination of imperialism. This interference has come in the form of political, economic, and military interventions. Today, the Colombian people are utilizing all means necessary to liberate themselves from this unjust assault on their national sovereignty. Continue reading

Documentary about Colombia’s Patriotic Union: The Red Dance

With the mistaken impression that they have the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) on the ropes, the imperialists and the Colombian oligarchs are raising a cry for the FARC to put down their arms. But there are very clear reasons why this will not happen. This is explained quite well in James Petras’ article, “Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Peoples Army (FARC-EP): The Cost of Unilateral Humanitarian Initiatives“, which dates back to the murder of FARC commander Raúl Reyes. But even some Marxists have become a little confused, so it is necessary to say a little more and look a little deeper at the experience of the Colombian people’s struggle.

The Red Dance: Memory of the Silenced is about the systematic assassination of thousands of Unión Patriótica (Patriotic Union – UP) activists. The UP was founded by the initiative of the FARC out of a desire for peace, and because of its popularity and its electoral victories against the Colombian ruling classes, it was destroyed. This documentary tells its story.


Watch “The Red Dance” Continue reading

Mao! Mao! : Review of Jean-Luc Godard’s “La Chinoise”

“Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.” – Bertolt Brecht

As of this May, La Chinoise (1967), Jean-Luc Godard’s classic film about the Maoist movement in France (based on Dostoevsky’s book, The Devils), is now available on DVD! I just finished watching it for the first time, and I’d like to share a few initial thoughts, which, because of the film’s freshness in my mind, are not very systematic.

First, I’d seen two of Godard’s movies before: Breathless (1960), which I didn’t care for, and Le Petit Soldat (also from 1960), which I enjoyed. So I wasn’t sure what to expect, aside from a general idea that this was a somewhat experimental film about Maoism. Godard himself identified as a Maoist, and along with Jean-Paul Sartre, was gravitating around the Gauche Prolétarienne (GP). Additionally, this film had a big impact on French Maoism after the events of May 1968. It is characteristic of the ultraleft, however, in that it is fairly light on the Mass Line – “from the masses, to the masses” and all that. Continue reading

Maoist Film from the Cultural Revolution: Breaking With Old Ideas

Breaking With Old Ideas is a Chinese film from 1975 about revolutionizing education in the countryside and trasforming in a fundamental way the way people relate to nature, to society as a whole, and to each other. This revolutionary film is now available for free viewing.

Continue reading