Having a regular socialist film night has proven very useful to the left in Swindon, not only as a sociable way of keeping comrades in touch and generating some discussion, but it has also allowed us to organise joint events with other organisations, such as the Climate Change Action Network, Stop the War Coalition or even animal welfare activists, where out interests coincide.
We are just planning our programme for the next six months, and these are the films we have chosen.
it is often difficult thinking of films to show, especially as some very good films are only avialable in Region 1 format (USA) and the pub we show them in doesn't have a licence to show region 1 films. if you have any suggestions for future movies we would be very pleased, especially short documentaries by activists.
11th June - Commissar
Made in 1967 but banned in Russia for the next two decades for depicting anti-semitism, Askoldov's only film as a director is a beautiful, poignant meditation on war, religion, childhood and human nature. In it, pregnant Red Army commissar Klavdia Vavilova stays with an impoverished Jewish family during the 1917-22 civil war.
9th July - Ghosts
Famed documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield's second feature film is a dramatisation of the events in which 21 Chinese illegal immigrants were drowned whilst fishing for cockles off the South East coast in February 2004. The title refers to the term the Chinese use to describe white westerners, but it equally applies to the legions of poorly paid, non-British workers who provide for British restaurants and supermarkets.
13th August - Battle of Algiers
Powerful, dispassionate account of the Algerian war of Independence which generated huge political and aesthetic ripples. With its gripping documentary-style realism providing a very believable immediacy, it’s a compelling indictment of colonialism. Aided by Morricone's score it's a film that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and doesn't let go. Could be 1957, could be 2003, 2004... 2007
10th September - North Country
A fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States -- Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines, where a woman who endured a range of abuse while working as a miner filed and won the landmark 1984 lawsuit.
8th October - Venezuela - Journey with the Revolution
A journey into the heart of the Venezuelan revolution. Meet the midwives, nurses, doctors, housewives, teachers, gay and disability activists, who are transforming Venezuela. Visit health clinics, soup kitchens, land committees,education and micro-credit programmes… The excitement of the revolution is contagious. If you want to find out what a revolution is, this is the film for you.
12th November - Iluminados por el fuego
A wonderful Argentinian film, directed by Tristán Bauer and loosely based on the real experiences of some young Argentinian soldiers that fought in the 1982 Falklands war. A deeply moving and poignant story