Here is list of the films that were shown. There may be some mistakes (as some films got switched around after they were initially announced), but most of the dates and showings are believed to be accurate. For the most part, the film descriptions were provided over the years by John Fitzgerald and Jennifer Murphy (respectively), with a few by Ross Plesset.
------March 7, 2003------
This Renewable House
This Renewable House takes some of the mystery out of converting your home to solar energy.
Manufacturing Consent part I
We are gathering this Friday, March 21st, 7:30 pm at Flor y Canto
Community Center --3706 N. Figueroa Ave.-- for the film Manufacturing
Consent (exploring the work of Noam Chomsky). But more than that we will take the opportunity to support and encourage each other in this crucial and terrible moment. As before, we
invite all sorts of pot-luck goodies and other ideas for our time together. A lot of us want to demonstrate for a while on Figueroa. We will also have time to share news and plans for the future.
Manufacturing Consent part II
Battle of Algiers
It was made in 1966 by an innovative Italian director named Gillo Pontecorvo. It is
shot in a realistic style, yet it uses no actual newsreel footage. It
follows events from the begining of the Algerian struggle for
independance in 1952 until the French crushed the movement in 1957.
This is not a simple bit of propaganda. It invites us to see the
struggle from several sides, and it never shrinks from the horrors of
war. It is not an easy film to watch, and it can help us more deeply
understand the complex and horrible scene that faces us today.
Film Night at FyC resumes this Friday, April 18th at 7pm with the showing of the film Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election. More info about the film can be found at http://www.unprecedented.org It's been turning into a potluck as of late, so feel free to bring your own goodies! See you here. Flor y Canto.
Salt of the Earth
We are going to see the classic film about labor organizing in New Mexico in the 1930's, Salt of the Earth. http://us.imdb.com/Title?0047443 I really can't say enough about this one. It is great on every level, just beautiful photography, based on a true and heroic story, focused on working people and women, an inspiration!
Afghanistan, Collateral Damages?
We have a great opportunity to see a powerful film, Afghanistan, Collateral Damages? It was produced by an Italian group called Emergency. http://www.emergency.it/eng/index.html They focus on civilian victims of war worldwide.
Barbara Johns' Iraq film
A local woman named Barbara was in Iraq before this recent
invasion and made a video about what she saw. This will be a chance to
bring the issues to a very personal level. Barbara will be present to
share her experience with us.
All Quiet on the Western Front
Flor y Canto Friday Film Night continues with a classic anti-war film
from 1930, "All Quiet on the Western Front". Faithfully based on the
novel of the same name, the film portrays the old men glorifying war and
sending the naive children off to find out the true, pointless horror of
it all. This novel and film were created in a moment of history when the
world was still reeling from the horrors of WWI and had not yet cranked
up the machinery for WWII.
Here comes another exceptional night of film at Flor y Canto. We will show a French film from 1995 called "La Haine" (Hate) The movie is as stark and direct as its title. Check out some info on the film at http://us.imdb.com/Title?0113247
I saw it in the theater when it first came out and it has stuck with me ever since. The story follows three young people in the outskirts of Paris, not the romantic, Eifel Tower Paris but a conflicted, gritty Paris that could stand in for parts of Los Angeles.
Our film series at Flor y Canto continues this Friday, May 30th with Bob Roberts, a film from 1992, starring Tim Robbins who also wrote and directed. (I think he also ran the catering truck.) As we enter this deadly serious election cycle it might help us keep some perspective to see this very funny skewering of our electoral system.
The Flor y Canto Friday Film Series rolls on! June 6th we will see the 1964 film Fail Safe. As our government presses ahead with a Star Wars missile shield and "useable nuclear weapons" it is a good time to look at this film that explores the folly of trusting our lives to these horrible machines.
Come by early and enjoy the space. The film will begin around 8:30. Discussion after (before and during.) As ever, you are encouraged to bring some snacks to share.
The Cradle Will Rock
This coming Friday, June 13th we are lucky to see another Tim Robbins creation, The Cradle Will Rock. The story takes place in depression era New York. All aspects of society are depicted in this huge story which centers on a theater troupe trying to produce a new radical political opera. Sideline stories include Diego Rivera painting a mural for Nelson Rockefeller, an Italian immigrant family split by Mussolini's politics, and the emerging anti-communist witch hunts. It all comes down to the question of the artists/ activist's role in resisting forces of oppression. It all comes down to the choices we make. Sound familiar?
On June 20th Friday films at Flor y Canto continues to think about the unthinkable with the 1982 non-fiction mind blower, "The Atomic Café". Put together from newsreel footage, government archives, military training films and fifties music, this film tells the story of the paranoia and insane business-as-usual attitude of the early atomic age. Somehow it all seems so current.
6/27 off (Bush demo in Century City)
7/4 off (firecracker night)
Wrong is Right
"Wrong is Right" is the fictional tale of a President who has prior knowledge of a terrorist attack and allows it to go on anyhow and proceeds to take political advantage of the ensuing fear and instability. Oddly, this film has been very hard to find lately. I'm not trying to suggest any special connection here about our current political situation. It's bad enough with the facts we already have. But what if . . .?
Unknown date in July
Jon Alpert's Bridge to Baghdad
A satellite TV conversation between students in New York City and Iraq. [This was definitely shown.]
US war crimes in Korea
Ross has a documentary for us about US war crimes in Korea. It is timely both because our armed forces are engaged in probable crimes in Iraq right now and war planners are hard at work setting up the next attack on Korea. No wonder our government will not allow us to be judged in an international court.
And to help usher in the new Gold Line MTA train, Ross has very rare short film of a proposal by Walt Disney to build monorails in Los Angeles. Disney had special effects footage created depicting the 5 freeway and City Hall with monorails going around them. This could spark some discussion about the old light rail system here and the plot by the oil and auto industries that destroyed it.
August 1, 2003
Roger & Me
Michael Moore sold his home and just about everything else he could get his hands on to make this film. It follows his pursuit of General Motors chairman Roger Smith as Moore tries to find out why GM abused and then abandoned his hometown of Flint Michigan.
Worth seeing and seeing again.
Ah! The Hopeful Pageantry of Bread and Puppet Theater
Here's part of what somebody else says about them:
"The Bread and Puppet Theater has been a source of hope and vision for people all over the world. Their performances have been in theaters, on college campuses, in churches and parks, and above all in the streets. Bread and Puppet has taught generations of activists to construct large puppets, to paint iconographic banners and to print mobilizing posters. The film includes scenes from performances, puppeteers building puppets and props, weeding the garden, peeling the garlic and kneading the bread, strung together with the unique B & P musical combination of marching band, rumba and sacred harp singing. Neither a straight documentary nor an ‘educational’ rendition of theater history, AH! Is more like a Bread and Puppet movie than a film ABOUT Bread and Puppet. Bread and Puppet has shown that we can create new worlds, starting with very humble and accessible tools such as cardboard and cloth. Their collective spirit and the magnitude of their vision makes their work an important model for the future." (whew!)
We Interrupt This Empire…
On Friday August 15th we will present some street level video from the huge, historic demonstrations against the war that came off in San Francisco right after Emperor George and his crew unleashed terror on Iraq. Here's what they say about themselves:
" 'We Interrupt This Empire...' is a collaborative work by many of the Bay Area's independent video activists which documents the direct actions that shut down the financial district of San Francisco in the weeks following the United States' invasion of Iraq. With the audio backdrop including the live broadcasts of Enemy Combatant Radio from the SF Independent Media Center to SFPD's tactical communications that were picked up by police scanners, the documentary takes a look at the diverse show of resistance from the streets of San Francisco as well as providing a critique of the corporate media coverage of the war and exploring such issues as the Military Industrial Complex, attack on civil liberties, and the United States' current imperialist drive."
Films like these are the very reason we have Friday night videos at Flor y Canto. Don't miss them!
Alice in Wonderland (1933)
Next (August 22) we will see a truly bizarre and wonderful film, made before Hollywood became so full of itself. The 1933 version of "Alice in Wonderland" is full of great costumes, cheesy yet effective sets and bit parts by big stars like W.C. Fields and Cary Grant. It is very faithful to the text and the spirit of the book. Like the book, you can read a lot of meaning into it. Subcomandante Marcos of the EZLN has drawn political lessons from it. Or you can just enjoy the whole Cheshire Cat insanity of it.
"Hombre Mirando al Sudeste" ("Man Facing Southeast").
For our next Friday film at Flor y Canto we go to Argentina for "Hombre Mirando al Sudeste" ("Man Facing Southeast"). This 1986 film centers on a new patient who mysteriously appears in a psychiatric ward. He claims to come from another planet to study humans and their behavior. The alien is gentle and loving. He points out our folly for our harsh treatment of each other. The assigned psychiatrist, affected by the patient's insight, is conflicted by the order to treat the patient according to institutional procedure.
This is a beautiful film presenting an outsider view of our society. Without preconceptions would we see through the crap we now accept? A year or two ago Hollywood made a pretty crummy movie on this same premise with Kevin Spacey called "K-Pax". They got it all wrong with the smug acting and total failure to take a risk. Come to Flor y Canto and see it done right.
musical set in the US south featuring an Irish immigrant, a leprechaun, and interracial love.
In 1968 Francis Ford Coppola teamed up with the formerly blacklisted Yip Harberg (who wrote the music and words for "Wizard of Oz") for a musical fantasy romp, "Finian's Rainbow". I've wanted to see this ever since I heard of it. Now here's a chance for us to discover this together.
September 19 (my last week)
A Thousand Clowns
non-conformist man raising his young nephew confronts the system.
We'll see a great film from 1965, "A Thousand Clowns". It’s a pretty typical Hollywood movie in a lot of ways, except it's about a guy who refuses to submit to conventional society. He won't hold down a regular job and instead lives in simple dignity on a lot less money and a lot more freedom
Bowling for Columbine by Michael Moore
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
On April 11th of last year , filmmakers Kim Bartley and Donnacha O'Brian were in the Venezuelan presidential palace and documented the coup against President Hugo Chavez, which ultimately failed. This revealing footage is starkly juxtaposed with coverage in American media.
Visions of Utopia: Experiments in Sustainable Culture.
A documentary Geoph Kozeny. Today many people are looking for ways to bring more community into their lives. Ordinary people with extraordinary visions tell their stories of living and working together to build a better world.
See and hear community members tell their stories in their own words. This documentary, more than four years in the making, [was] produced by community Catalyst Project in association with FIC.
Friday, October 17, at Flor y Canto
Sunstroke in Cancun: Collapse of the WTO
This will be one of the first screenings, anywhere, of the IMC (Independent Media Center) collaborative film on the protests and collapse of the 5th WTO ministerial in cancun (September 2003). It was produced by Big Noise Films (Zapatista), Paper Tiger, Denverevolution, IMC-Cancun, and IMC-Chiapas
Questions and discussion will follow with Dr. Armory Starr of Chapman University, fresh from the protests in Cancun. What are the implications of the collapse? What is the significance of the suicide of Lee Kyang? What about the upcoming FTAA (NAFTA for all of Latin America) meetings this November in Miami? Come to Flor y Canto and find out.
To get us in a Halloween mood, the Friday, October 24th Neighbors for Peace and Justice video/potluck will feature the 2002 documentary:
Hell House by George Ratliff.
"Hell House is a documentary about Dallas’ Pentecostal Trinity Church and the controversial haunted house that it puts on each Halloween. In depicting a gay man dying of AIDS and cursing God for it, a girl who attends a rave and has only herself to blame when she is raped, and a teenage school shooter all being dragged off to hell for their sins, the church hopes to make the 12,000 attendees each year see the light.
It is to director George Ratliff’s credit that he refuses to exploit the Trinity folks or depict them as freaks. The Pentecostals speaking in tongues and laying on hands is all presented matter-of-factly and without judgment. And aside from this, these people seem ordinary in every other way except the terms in which they couch reality.
In today’s climate, a movie like Hell House cannot help but raise issues of religious fanaticism. Despite being among the most zealous of Protestant Christian denominations, Pentecostals would certainly be repulsed by any comparison to Islamic fundamentalist members of the Taliban or Al Qaeda. The exploitation of stereotypes for a haunted house is, of course, on a completely different moral footing than the oppression of women or terrorist bombings. Yet what they have in common is an unqualified devotion to a divine cause, the intensity of which may frighten others who do not share their beliefs. The problem with unquestioning belief in abstract absolutes is that performing just about anything in the name of that belief becomes justifiable in the mind of the believer."
review by George Wu of www.rottentomatoes.com
This film is not appropriate for children
Twenty years ago, we had Reagan in the White House promoting the fantasy that "with enough shovels we'll all survive a nuclear war." The powerful film "Testament," released in 1983, told another story.
Director Lynne Littman made a quiet disaster film... no explosions, no soap opera, no special effects, yet it is one of the most effective films on the horrors of nuclear war.
It opens with the life of a small town family dealing with everyday problems. But the familiarity of the everyday is turned upside down once the bombs fall. The fabric of life is slowly torn away. We don't see millions of people die, but we know the worst has happened.
As the number of deaths from radiation mounts, the images speak volumes: a playground has been converted into a cemetery. A swing moves slowly in the breeze, behind it are dozens of new graves. There is no power, running water, heat, telephone, and almost no food. The family's large, well furnished home is little more than a roof and four walls.
Testament is hard to watch, but the performances by Jane Alexander and the supporting cast are very strong. While times and politics have changed a lot since 1983, this is film is still very relevant today.
Harlan County, USA (1974)
In honor of the striking grocery clerks and bus mechanics, we will be showing the 1974 Oscar-winning documentary "Harlan County USA". This unabashedly partisan film takes us into the harsh lives of Kentucky coal miners and their families during a brutal strike against the Eastover Mining Co. As the strikers strive to remain united through a difficult year, Kopple photographs the picketing, the company's use of state troopers to keep the roads open for scabs, the showdowns between the miners and strikebreakers brandishing firearms. After several shootings, one miner is finally killed. The man's wake is an especially memorable scene. Harlan County, USA is a landmark in the history of American documentary filmmaking.
Tree-Sit: the Art of Resistance (2003)
Amidst the redwood rainforest of Humboldt County a ragged band of young activists have taken the art of resistance to new heights. Surrounded by clearcuts while perched in the high canopy of ancient forests for extended periods of time, activists such as Julia Butterfly Hill have used creative, non-violent, direct action and civil disobedience to slow down the chainsaws and bring attention to the destruction of old growth forests.
"Tree-Sit:the Art of Resistance" (2003) is a poignant look inside the Earth First! movement. It takes us from the struggle to "Save Headwaters Forest"; the assassination attempt of Judi Bari; the pepper spray torture of young activists; to the establishment of permanent "tree-villages" hundreds of feet up; and culminates in the WTO protests on the tear-gassed filled streets of Seattle.
also showing 11/21, the 12 minute
Veggie Van Voyage (2003)
Joshua Tickell documents an inspirational journey through the windows of his "Veggie Van", the only van to take a two-year long adventure across the USA fueled by biodiesel made from used French fry oil. We meet tree huggers, scientists, farmers and visionaries along the way.
The Big One (1997)
On his Midwest book tour for "Downsize This," Michael Moore (Bowling for Columbine) exposes more wrongdoing by greedy big businesses, and callous politicians around America.
Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War (2003)
A New Documentary About How the Truth Became the First American Casualty in Iraq.
Just released, this controversial and arresting film takes you behind the walls of government, as CIA, Pentagon and foreign service experts speak out, many for the first time, detailing the lies, misstatements and exaggerations that served as the reasons to fight a "preemptive" war that wasn't necessary. The war with Iraq brought about unparalleled resistance, both in the streets and in the chambers of government. This documentary offers an in-depth look at the unsettling distortion of intelligence and the "spin and hype" presented to the American people, the Congress and the press. Fighting wars to bring about regime change is in breach of international law. Yet, throughout the fall of 2002, and into the weeks preceding the war in Iraq, the Bush administration systematically distorted intelligence evidence and misled the public in order to turn opinion favor of "regime change" in Iraq." Executive Producer Robert Greenwald, also produced "Unprecedented," which documented the theft of the 2000 presidency.
The Globalization Tapes (2003)
Sharman Sinaga's granddaughter looks bored as her grandfather demonstrates for the camera his favored technique of market liberalization: holding union activists upside down in flooded fields. He mimics their gargles as they choke in the mud. He could hold down two or three at a time he boasts; he seems faintly nostalgic in the dim light and the smoke; his only regret, that his arms and knees aren't what they used to be. The orders to hold people upside-down came from the top, he tells us, from Surhato, with support from high on Washington's Capitol Hill.
The Globalization Tapes were made in collaboration with those a little further down the pile, closer to the mud, closer to the memories of the massacre that cleared the way for Indonesia’s modernization. Using their own forbidden history as a case study, the Indonesian filmmakers trace the development of contemporary globalization from its roots in colonialism to the present. Through chilling first-hand accounts, hilarious improvised interventions, collective debate and archival collage, The Globalization Tapes exposes the devastating role of militarism and repression in building the "global economy", and explores the relationships between trade, third-world debt, and international institutions like the IMF and the World Trade Organization. The film is a densely lyrical and incisive account of how these institutions shape and enforce the corporate world order (and its systems of chaos).
Mad Cowboy (1998)
Howard Lyman, known as the Mad Cowboy, offers "Plain truth from the Cattle Rancher who won't eat meat". He is a fourth-generation family farmer from Montana. His rude awakening came when, soon after his brother died of dioxin poisoning, Howard faced a bout with life-threatening cancer. A death-bed promise caused him to re-prioritize his life's values. After 20 years of operating a feed lot, he sold his ranch and started working for farmers in financial trouble. He was a lobbyist in Washington, and ran for Congress in 1982.
He is the former Director of the "Beyond Beef Campaign" & the Humane Society of the United States' "Eating With Conscience" Campaign; past President of both the International Vegetarian Union, and EarthSave International; and is currently President of Voice for a Viable Future.
He and Oprah Winfrey won the 1998 "Veggie Libel" suit, precipitated by Lyman's remarks to Oprah's 20 million viewers that "Mad Cow Disease" could make AIDS look like child's play if the American meat industry continued turning cows into cannibals.
Also showing the 13 minute short:
Life Behind Bars: the Sad Truth About Factory Farming
Life Behind Bars is narrated by Mary Tyler Moore and documents the acute animal suffering caused by extreme confinement on mechanized farms. With undercover footage taken by Farm Sanctuary, this compelling video provides a rare first-hand look inside factory farm warehouses and exposes the brutal conditions that agribusiness wants to keep hidden from public view.
[At some point, perhaps on this night, we also ran the short animated film The Meatrix. It can be downloaded and is also one of the “extras” on the DVD of Fast Food Nation (along with two Meatrix sequels).]
------January 2, 2004------
Venezuela: a 21st Century Revolution (2003)
Produced by the Global Women's Strike, this documentary tells the story of the popular uprising that, in two days, defeated the coup and saved the Venezuelan revolution, it's government and constitution, with a particular focus on the role of women.
It includes interviews with grassroots women and men, moving oratory by Chavez, and information people in the US need to know about what this 21st century revolution is winning and its implications for all of us.
The Weather Underground (2003, 92 minutes)
''When you feel you have right on your side, you can do some pretty horrific things.'' So says Brian Flanagan in ''The Weather Underground,'' a documentary film featuring former members of the Weathermen, the revolutionary antiwar group that began in 1969The Weathermen, a splinter group of the Students for a Democratic Society, felt the peace movement wasn't going far enough. They were young, violent and glamorous militants determined to overthrow the United States government, believing it had criminally waged war in Vietnam and persecuted groups like the Black Panthers. As a former Weatherman, Ms. Jaffe, puts it: ''We felt that doing nothing in a period of repressive violence was itself a form of violence. That's really the part I think is hardest for people to understand.''
This solid piece of filmmaking lets the former Weathermen, now in their 50's and older, speak into the camera and reveal some of their personal histories as well as what the peace movement meant to them. Reflecting on the impact of their behavior -- the group took responsibility for bombing two dozen public buildings, including the Pentagon -- these former radicals now reconsider their approach.
Arsenal of Hypocrisy: The Space Program and the
Military Industrial Complex (2003, 60 min.)
Arsenal of Hypocrisy, released by the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, features Bruce Gagnon, Noam Chomsky and Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell talking about the dangers of moving the arms race into space.
Mitchell, the 6th man to walk on the moon, warns that a war in space would create massive bits of space junk that would create a mine field surrounding the Earth making it virtually impossible to launch anything into
the heavens. Mitchell calls space a fragile environment that must be protected.
Chomsky reminds the viewer that the U.S. refuses to negotiate a global ban on weapons in space. He also speaks about the role of the media in suppressing this important issue.
Produced by filmmaker Randy Atkins, the film uses archival footage and Pentagon documents to clearly outline U.S. plans for the militarization of space.This includes the dangers of the Bush "Nuclear Systems Initiative" that will expand the use of nuclear power in space with Project Prometheus -- the nuclear rocket.
Plan Colombia (2002, 58 min.)
From the producers of "The Hidden Wars Of Desert Storm" comes another high-quality documentary, this time about the ongoing violence in Colombia. Narrated by Ed Asner, the film will give you the background necessary to understand why the ”war on drugs“ in Colombia is both a failure and a smokescreen for the US government's geopolitical plans there.
It includes interviews with Noam Chomsky, the late Senator Paul Wellstone, Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, Representative John Conyers, and Colombians from all walks of life.
Fat of the Land: Biodiesel as an Alternative Fuel, with special guest Sabrina Merlo (1996, 56 min.)
Five women, one van, 3,000 miles. This is the hilarious and informative story of five enterprising young women who drive their Chevy diesel van across the United States fueling their vehicle entirely with used vegetable oil procured from fast food restaurants during their trip. They prove there is a sustainable and renewable alternative to petroleum, that can be made locally, even in your own backyard, and run in an unmodified diesel engine.
The humorous and the serious merge in this comprehensive introduction to the alternative fuel of bio-diesel. Comments from curious bystanders are interspersed with conversations with scientists in Colorado who are doing extensive research with vegetable oil as a replacement fuel.
The women use some great theatrics to engage the public during the trip, alternately wearing bright orange waitress uniforms straight out of the 50's or garage coveralls, both with name patches sewn on, while conducting interviews or lugging out jugs of oil from the back of fast food joints. Scenes where they show how to transform used vegetable oil into bio-diesel are reminiscent of a Saturday night live skit of a Julia Child cooking show!
The old auto industry film footage and hip soundtrack alone are reason enough to watch this positive and entertaining documentary. Can left-over grease from French Fries power the cars of the future? See for yourself.
DAM/AGE: A Film with Arundhati Roy (50 minutes 2002)
by Aradhana Seth
DAM/AGE traces writer Arundhati Roy's bold and controversial campaign against the Narmada dam project in India, which will displace up to a million people. She is the author of The God of Small Things, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 1998. Her most recent book Power Politics challenges the idea that only experts can speak out on such urgent matters as nuclear war, the privatization of India's power supply by Enron and issues like the Narmada dam project.
As the film traces the events that led up to her imprisonment, Roy meditates on her own personal negotiation with her fame, the responsibility it places on her as a writer, a political thinker and a citizen. It shows how Roy chose to use her fame to stand up to powerful interests supported by multinational corporations and the Indian government. For her, the story of the Narmada Valley is not just the story of modern India, but of what is happening in the world today, "Who counts, who doesn't, what matters, what doesn't, what counts as a cost, what doesn't, what counts as collateral damage, what doesn't."
In a clear and accessible manner, the film weaves together a number of issues that lie at the heart of politics today: from the consequences of development and globalization to the urgent need for state accountability and the freedom of speech.
Before Night Falls (rated R, 2001, 2 hr 13 min) Directed By Julian Schnabel
To honor the tragic side of love on Valentine's Day weekend, join us for Before Night Falls, Julian Schnabel's beautiful adaptation of the memoirs of gay Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas. It’s not so much a chronicle of his life as it is a diary of images: from his early years in the lush Cuban countryside and his sexual initiation, moving on to his carefree life in Havana finding lovers, basking in the sun, and writing, the combination of which leads to years of imprisonment. As Arenas dryly points out, "The Revolution wasn’t for everybody. Arenas left Cuba in 1980 during the Mariel Boatlift and the darkest period is of his final years in New York, before his suicide in 1990.
The acting is superb. The talented Spanish actor Javier Bardem embodies the passion of a man unable to be anyone else. Dual cameos by Johnny Depp as transvestite Bon Bon and a hypocritical military lieutenant prove once again how capable he is, and Sean Penn as a Cuban farmer who gives a young Arenas a lift is a plus. While not a political movie in the usual sense, the Revolution plays a major role in this film of the passionate life of an artist caught in a homophobic tragedy.
Peace is Every Step: Thich Nhat Hanh (52 min)
To celebrate his February 22nd lecture in Irvine (www.eSangha.org ) please join us for an homage to one of the great peace activists alive today, Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn. Peace is Every Step presents him intimately and directly. It is the first work to document the full range of his life and work -- his efforts to help heal a world in conflict and provide tools for anyone wishing to lead a meaningful life.
We join Thich Nhat Hanh at Plum Village in France; the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.; at retreats with environmentalists, veterans, families, and at public events worldwide. Also featured are the insights of leading activists and writers and rare archival footage of his peace work in Vietnam during the war, for which he was nominated for the Nobel Prize by Martin Luther King. Narrated by Oscar Winner Ben Kingsley, and directed by award-winning filmmaker Gaetano Kazuo Maida.
Following the success of our Biodiesel night, we are featuring two more videos on sustainable living:
"Ecological Design: Inventing the Future" (1994, 64 min.)
and Dennis Weaver's "EarthShip" (1998, 28 min.)
"Ecological Design" is a film about integrating nature, technology, and humanity. It illuminates the emergence of ecological design, featuring the ideas and prototypes of pioneering designers who have trail-blazed the development of sustainable architecture, cities, energy systems, transport, and industry.
Beginning in the 1920s with the work of Buckminster Fuller and moving through the end of the twentieth century, the film follows the evolution of ecological design from the visions of a few independent thinkers to the powerful movement it is becoming.
As each designer leads us on a deep exploration of their design process, they reveal their methods, metaphors, inspirations, and commitment to a vision of a desirable future. Their prototypes range from microorganisms to megastructure. As the film interweaves ideas and artifacts, designers and history, it forms a tapestry of vision for the twenty-first century — and an emerging field of ecological design unfolds. Features Paul Fuller, MacReady. Paolo Soleri, Pliny Fisk, James Wines, Ian McHarg, Hunter and Amory Lovins, John Todd, Michael Corbett and others. Topics include solar architecture, bio shelters, city farming, domed cities, electric cars, solar and soft energy systems and so much more. Produced by Chris Zelov and Phil Cousineau.
"Earthship" tells the story of a specific example of ecological design. Actor Dennis Weaver and his wife Gerry have built a unique and beautiful home tucked into the hills near Ridgway, Colorado. Called an Earthship, this type of house uses recycled materials as a part of the structure and requires very little maintenance. The home, almost 10,000 square feet, includes a root cellar, workshop and three car garage. It was built from over 3000 tires, 100,000 aluminum cans and packed earth. It uses solar mass to conserve heat and solar power, enabling it to hold a constant temperature winter and summer.
Friday, March 5
Holding the Line (2004, 16 min.)
See the brand new video about the current UFCW strike!
also showing: One Day Longer (1999, 46 min.)
On September 21, 1991 five hundred and fifty hotel and restaurant workers walked off their jobs at the Frontier Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. For 6 years, 4 months and 10 days they maintained a 24-hour picket line, sometimes in 120 degree heat, and not one worker crossed the line to return to work. "One Day Longer" celebrates the solidarity and courage of the Frontier Strikers who have become a national example of the success that can be achieved when all unions come together and persevere. Las Vegas has subsequently been called the "hottest union town in America." The issues at stake were basic: the casino owner tried to take away their pension and healthcare. Featuring interviews from some of today's top labor leaders, including: John Sweeney, (AFL-CIO), Artie Rodriguez (United Farmworkers), Richard Trumka (AFL-CIO), John Wilhelm (HEREIU), Gerald McEntee (AFSCME), Rev. Jesse Jackson and the late Caesar Chavez (United Farmworkers). Music by Bruce Springsteen, Bill Withers, Sweet Honey and the Rock, Billy Bragg, and WILCO.
Director Amie Williams describes the striker's dedication this way "The night we all marched in together is the opening scene of the film, and perhaps the most moving of anything I have ever filmed. It gave me hope as a filmmaker and a person, witnessing what a handful of people can do to affect monumental change in society."
This Friday (3/19) night's film at Flor y Canto will be screened in honor of our nation's veterans, to mark the one year anniversary of the start of the Iraq war.
Winter Soldier (1971, 90 minutes)
This documentary captures the historic testimonies of more than 200 ex-GIs at the 1971 Detroit Winter Soldier Investigation concerning American atrocities in Vietnam. This investigation is the basis of the famous anti-war speech of the same name, later given by John Kerry to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The film, made about and with the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, was a prize winner at Cannes and Berlin Film Festivals. Not surprisingly, Winter Solder was largely ignored during the Vietnam War by American press and distributors. Made by fifteen independent filmmakers of the Winterfilm Collective, including Fred Aranow, who will join us for a discussion afterward.
The Global Banquet: the Politics of Food (2003, 60 minutes)
This film begins in rural North Dakota with a farmer who inherited his land -- and love for the soil -- from his father. He tells of his efforts to preserve the ecological integrity of the land and to grow healthy crops through organic farming methods. Testifying to the tragedy of high suicide rates among many small farmers throughout the country, he says the problem cannot be traced to honest competition, locally or internationally. Instead, the cause lies squarely on governmental and global-trade agreements that, in effect, force small farmers, who are regularly blamed for using "traditional" farming methods that do not keep pace with so-called "advances" in biogenetic
science, to join the agribusiness monopoly.
The Global Banquet explores the politics that threaten global food security, and demonstrates the destructive aspects of the corporate globalization of food. It shows how a handful of powerful
corporations control the world's food system, endangering the livelihoods of small farmers in the U.S. and developing countries. It examines how corporate globalization of food supplies is contributing to mounting hunger worldwide, despite an overabundance of food.
Produced by the Maryknoll Sisters, the perspectives of farmers, indigenous people, environmentalists, church groups and students working to change unjust free trade policies are all included in the documentary.
Also showing Santiago's Story (1999, 16 minutes)
"Santiago's Story" is a documentary about the dramatic changes Fair Trade has brought to the lives of a coffee farmer and his family in the mountains of Nicaragua. Like most coffee growers, Santiago Rivera and his family have been poor all their lives. Preyed upon by coffee middlemen, or coyotes, Santiago could never earn enough from his harvest to rise up out of poverty. But when Rivera joined a cooperative of small growers who export their coffee to the Fair Trade market, things began to change. The success stories of Fair Trade unfold - a better diet, a new mule, new farm equipment, schooling for his children: these are all now within the Rivera's reach. "Santiago's Story" is the story of over 500,000 small farmers all over the world who have turned to Fair Trade for a decent living wage. The film shows us the tremendous impact we can have in the
lives of people like Santiago when we choose to buy Fair Trade coffee.
Two films about Haiti.
1) Haiti: Killing The Dream (1992)
Traces the history of U.S. imperialism and indifference in the Caribbean and South America, portraying the poverty and violence that ravage Haiti. The film presents a stark look at the country whose 19th-century origins as the world's first independent black republic have been obscured bydecades of harsh repression. In the wake of the 1986 flight of Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier, Haiti's poor and oppressed were given hope with the emergence of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a priest elected with a whopping 67% of the vote in December 1990. Haiti's first democratically elected president, Aristide set up literacy programs, AIDS education, land reform, and concentrated on narrowing the awesome gap between the
super-rich who paid no taxes and the country's impoverished majority. However, despite his popular appeal, Aristide was opposed by the U.S. government. In the eyes of the military, Aristide sealed his fate when he requested that several generals resign. The military carried out the coup d'état ousting Aristide only seven months into his presidential term, forcing
him into exile.
2) Mickey Mouse Goes to Haiti: Disney and the Science
of Exploitation (1996)
The Disney Co. (as well as Nike, Gap, DKNY and others) are increasingly coming under public pressure for their sweatshops and horrid work conditions in Haiti, Burma and other countries. Despite the fact that Disney is one of the BIGGEST multi national
corporations in the world, it pays it workers pennies an hour, and HORRIBLY abuses their basic human rights. Come see what a RAT Mickey really is.
Friday, April 9, one year anniversary of the Friday Night Video/Potlucks
Baraka (1992, 93 minutes)
Six continents and 24 countries provide spectacular Todd AO-70mm footage of the balance between nature and man. Baraka is an ancient Sufi word, which can be translated as "a blessing, or as the breath, or essence of life from which the evolutionary process unfolds." For many people Baraka is the definitive film in this style (Ron Fricke also did Koyaanisqatsi) . Breathtaking shots from around the world show the beauty and destruction of nature and man. Coupled with an incredible soundtrack including music from Michael Stern, Dead Can Dance and Monks of the Dip Tse Chok Ling Monastery.
April 16 2004
Zapatista (56 min, 1998)
It is New Years Night 1994, the day the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) comes into effect. To the Mayan communities in the Lacandon Jungle of Southeastern Mexico, NAFTA symbolizes the culmination of over 500 years of exploitation. During the night, 2,000 indigenous soldiers occupy several cities in the state of Chiapas and declare political and economic independence. They call themselves the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN). Darryl Hannah, Edward James Olmos, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and Rage Against the Machine team up with three young film makers to produce ZAPATISTA!, a film from the front lines of the civil war in Mexico. The product of over two years of filming and research, it combines first hand footage with extensive interviews and testimonies from campesinos, rebel leaders, activists and intellectuals working on both sides of the border. Zapatista locates the struggle in a global and historical context, revealing the ways in which Zapatismo grows out of 500 years of indigenous resistance and tracing the connections the Zapatistas have made to movements around the world. The film is a provocative, hip, graphic exposé of an inspiring human struggle.
This Friday 4/30 at Flor y Canto is BIKE NIGHT! We celebrate bike power and alternative transportation choices with 2 films about bike culture and politics. Some LA Critical Mass riders will be joining us after their ride.
Return of the Scorcher (30 minutes, 1992)
This documentary looks at bike culture and bike lifestyles around the world with beautiful and inspiring scenes of bike use filmed in China, The Netherlands, Denmark, and the U.S. In the 1890's, before automobiles ruled the roads, bicyclists were referred to as "Scorchers" because of their blazing speed. A century later, in a world filled with car-related environmental and social problems, Return of the Scorcher discovers an inspired and evolving bicycling renaissance. Film by Ted White.
We ARE Traffic! (50 minutes, 1999)
This Ted White film chronicles the history and development of the "Critical Mass" bicycle movement, one of the most spirited and dynamic social/political movements of the apathetic 90's. In over 100 cities in 14 different countries, Critical Mass has now become a monthly ritual of reclaiming the streets by bicycle activists riding en masse. With traffic congestion, pollution, and road rage on the rise, growing numbers around the world are advocating for transportation alternatives, and Critical Mass is at the cutting edge of this mindset.
We Are Traffic! tracks this leaderless, grassroots movement from its beginnings in San Francisco in 1992 to its spread across the globe. With a radical direct-action approach the participants of Critical Mass are celebrating the bicycle and in turn taking on perhaps the century's most sacred cow: the automobile.
May 7, 2004
The Friendship Village (51 minutes, 2003)
The Friendship Village is a documentary film about an international group of veterans who are building a village in Vietnam for children with Agent Orange-related deformities. Built on a former rice paddy near Hanoi, the Vietnam Village of Friendship stands not only as a symbol of peace and reconciliation, but as a testament to the potential for all people to come to terms with the past, heal the wounds of war, and create a better world.
Following the story of the village's founder, American veteran George Mizo, The Friendship Village takes us through his experiences of war's horror to the personal transformation that led to the birth of this remarkable village. Working alongside the Vietnamese general responsible for killing his entire platoon in 1968, George and other veterans from the US, Vietnam, France, Germany, Japan, Great Britain and Australia are attempting to mitigate the ongoing effects of the toxic herbicide sprayed during the war. Their efforts are a powerful example of how average people can still make a profound difference in our increasingly globalized world. As such, the Vietnam Friendship Village has the potential to change not only the lives of the children who live in it and the men who build it, but all who come to understand its vision.
The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of The American Dream (78 minutes, 2004)
Since World War II North Americans have invested much of their newfound wealth in suburbia. It has promised a sense of space, affordability, family life and upward mobility. As the population of suburban sprawl has exploded in the past 50 years, so too the suburban way of life has become embedded in the American consciousness.
But as we enter the 21st century, serious questions are beginning to emerge about the sustainability of this way of life. With brutal honesty and a touch of irony, The End of Suburbia explores the American Way of Life and its prospects as the planet approaches a critical era, as global demand for fossil fuels begins to outstrip supply. World Oil Peak and the inevitable decline of fossil fuels are upon us now, some scientists and policy makers argue in this documentary. The consequences of inaction in the face of this global crisis are enormous. What does Oil Peak mean for North America? As energy prices skyrocket in the coming years, how will the populations of suburbia react to the collapse of their dream? Are today's suburbs destined to become the slums of tomorrow? And what can be done NOW, individually and collectively, to avoid The End of Suburbia?
Let My Country Awake (2003, 50 minutes), with special guests
This film chronicles American opposition to the 2003 war on Iraq. Filmed in San Francisco, New York, Washington and Los Angeles, it features congressional representatives, political activists, celebrities and concerned citizens. The film reveals dramatic predictions for the consequences being felt now in 2004, as a result of the Bush Administration's rush to war. The film was created to give a face to the millions of concerned citizens whose voices were drowned out by network news coverage of military strategies and fear-based propaganda. It is a film of hope, celebrating the beauty of citizens uniting and taking action.
KPFA On the Air (2000, 60 minutes)
A lively documentary providing food for thought about the potential for alternative visions of media and their relationships to community. KPFA, sister Pacifica station to our own KPFK, began broadcasting in April 1949, and soon became a beacon of open-ended discourse in the McCarthy period of the 1950s. Included among its guests were Langston Hughes, Dylan Thomas, Allen Ginsberg and Linus Pauling, along with Caspar Weinberger, Edward Teller, the father of the H- Bomb, and the John Birch Society. The video documents the growth of KPFA from the brainstorm of some WWII pacifists to a rare and dynamic voice for cultural and political pluralism through the 1950s,and as a voice for the social movements of the 1960s. It provides diverse perspectives on the complexities of building a multi-cultural media community. Alice Walker narrates viewers through this lively documentary on the history of this pioneer of listener-sponsored radio.
The Fog of War (2003, 95 minutes)
This is the story of America as seen through the eyes of the former Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara. One of the most controversial figures in world politics, he takes us on an insider's view of the 20th Century. From the firebombing of Tokyo in 1945 to the brink of nuclear catastrophe during the Cuban missile crisis to the devastating effects of the Vietnam War, “The Fog of War” examines the psychology and reasoning of the government decision-makers who send men to war. As American forces occupy Iraq, “The Fog of War” is essential viewing for anyone who wants to understand how the American government justifies the use of military force. Combining archival footage, recreations, newly declassified White House recordings, and a score by Philip Glass, the film is a disquieting, powerful essay on war, rationality, and human nature. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary.
June 18th, In honor of Gay Pride month
After Stonewall (2000, 90 minutes)
On June 27, 1969, in what is considered the birth of the modern gay civil rights movement, the patrons of the Stonewall Bar in New York City spontaneously united and fought back against chronic police harassment. “After Stonewall: from the Riots to the Millennium” chronicles the gay and lesbian experience since the Stonewall riots. From the emergence of the 70's Gay Liberation Movement and Womyn's music festivals to the onslaught of AIDS, the vibrant Gay Games movement and Ellen DeGeneres' highly publicized coming out performance, the documentary captures the struggles, defeats and triumphs of a proud, though still stigmatized, community. Filmmakers interviewed more than 200 people, including author Armistead Maupin; early activists Frank Kameny, Jewelle Gomez and Barbara Gittings; Representative Barney Frank; novelist Dorothy Allison; presidential advisor David Mixner; drag entertainer Charles Ching; best-selling author Rita Mae Brown; gay community leader Elizabeth Birch; and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered individuals from all walks of life.
No film tonight
We were so inspired by April's Bike night film about Critical Mass that we've joined them! You can too, meet at Sunset and Parkman in Silverlake at 6:30pm, the last Friday of every month. www.cicle.org/cm/criticalmass.html
No film tonight
Go out and celebrate what's left of our freedom!
Gaza Strip (2002, 74 minutes)
A look at the Israeli-Palestinian situation in the occupied territory, this documentary gives a voice to a population largely ignored by the mainstream media. Shot almost entirely in a cinema vérité style and presented without narration, the film focuses on ordinary Palestinians rather than politicians and pundits. “Gaza Strip” is an extraordinary and painful journey into the lives of Palestinians struggling with the day-to-day trials of the Israeli occupation. In January of 2001, filmmaker Longley traveled to the occupied territory. His plan was to stay for two weeks to collect preliminary material for a documentary film on the Intifada. It was during his stay that Ariel Sharon was elected as Israeli Prime Minister. As violence erupted around him, Longley threw away his return ticket and filmed for the next three months, acquiring 75 hours of footage. “Gaza Strip” follows a range of people and events, including the first major armed incursion into "Area A" by IDF forces. More observation than political argument, it offers a rare look inside the stark realities of life under Israeli military occupation.
Culturejam: Hijacking Commercial Culture (2001, 55 minutes)
Jammers, cultural commentators, a billboard advertiser and a constitutional lawyer take us on a wild roller coaster ride through the back streets of our mental environment. Stopping over in San Francisco, New York's Times Square, and Toronto, we catch the cultural jamming in action with Batman-inspired Jack Napier of the Billboard Liberation Front, Disney arch-enemy Reverend Billy from the Church of Stop Shopping and Media Tigress Carly Stasko. Culturejam asks: Is Culture Jamming civil disobedience? Senseless vandalism? The only form of self-defense left?
Juvies (2004, 66 minutes)
Four years ago, high school student Duc Ta was arrested for driving a car from which a gun was shot. Although no one was injured, and Duc was not a member of a gang, had no priors, and was 16 years old, he received a sentence of 35 years to life. Juvies is a riveting look at a world most of us will never see: the world of juvenile offenders who are serving incomprehensibly long prison sentences for crimes they either did not commit or were only marginally involved in. For two years, filmmaker Leslie Neale taught a video production class at Los Angeles Central Juvenile Hall to 12 juveniles who were being tried as adults. Juvies is the product of that class. The film builds a powerful argument, questioning what in our American culture has caused us to demonize our youth and allow the collapse of the juvenile justice system, which has turned its back on its initial mission to protect young people and now sends over 200,000 kids through the adult system each year.
No film tonight (Critical Mass, see June 28)
Outfoxed (2004, 77 minutes)
An in-depth look at Fox News and the dangers of ever-enlarging corporations taking control of the public's right to know. "Outfoxed" examines how media empires, led by Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, have been running a "race to the bottom" in television news. The film explores Murdoch's burgeoning kingdom and the impact on society when a broad swath of media is controlled by one person.
Media experts, including Walter Cronkite, Jeff Cohen (FAIR) Bob McChesney (Free Press), Chellie Pingree (Common Cause), Jeff Chester (Center for Digital Democracy) and David Brock (Media Matters) provide context and guidance for the story of Fox News and its effect on society.
This documentary also reveals the secrets of Former Fox news producers, reporters, bookers and writers who expose what it's like to work for Fox News. These former Fox employees talk about how they were forced to push a "right-wing" point of view or risk their jobs. Some have even chosen to remain anonymous in order to protect their current livelihoods. As one employee said "There's no sense of integrity as far as having a line that can't be crossed."
Director/Producer Robert Greenwald is the director of Uncovered and the Executive Producer of the UN series - Unprecedented, Uncovered and the soon to be released Unconstitutional.
A Night of Shorts
This Friday join Northeast Neighbors for Peace & Justice for a night of short films at Flor y Canto, including a couple by local talents:
Los Mismos (19 minutes) with special guest, filmmaker Jose Luis Zuazua II
In this Social Commentary / Urban Tragedy / Cop Thriller, Detective Rodolfo "Rudy" Beltran is hot on the trail of the pickpocket who stole his gun. Aided by his older, more experienced partner, the two scour East Los Angeles in the hopes of finding the gun before it falls into the wrong hands.
Scenes From An Endless War (32 minutes)
This is an experimental video on militarism, globalization, and the 'war against terrorism'. Part meditation, part commentary, it employs recontextualization, commercial images, rewritten news crawls, and original footage and interviews to question received wisdom and common sense assumptions about current American policies. This is a fast paced collage of images and sounds revealing the smirks, distortions and lies about real and imagined enemies. Directed by Norman Cowie and brought to us by way of the Take Back Democracy Film Festival. More films from this festival will be shown in October.
Agua Caliente (12minutes) with special guest filmaker Jim Balsam
A Bechtel Corp. surveyor and his wife get abducted by Tupac Amaru-type rebels in Cochabamba, Bolivia while attempting to do a water survey so that Bechtel can privatize (steal) the locals' water. Based very loosely on a true story
and starring Calixto Hernandez (former proprietor of Juvee Skate Shop/nightclub in Silverlake) Kelli Hughes, and Bill Mahoney (from The Cinnamon Roll Gang).
and some surprises!
And some surprises!
in honor of the upcoming Burning Man Festival
Gifting It (2002, 74 minutes)
This film documents the gift economy culture that lives at the heart of Burning Man, the 17-year-old celebration of art and creativity that draws 30,000 people to the Nevada desert for the week leading up to Labor Day. This thriving experimental community creates itself anew each year through radical self-reliance and self-expression. There are several other documentaries about Burning Man, and they tend to focus on the naked people, the wild art, the giant burning Man. Well, there's some of that here too, but as most who've been there can attest, the main reason the event is so compelling is the openness, the connection with others, and the gift economy. Soak up a little virtual playa dust!
Special preview screening:
Poetry in Wartime (2004, 75 minutes)
followed by live poetry by Antonietta Villamel, who is featured in the film
This new documentary sharply etches the experience of war through powerful images and the words of poets – unknown and world-famous. It brings to life how poetry and war have been intertwined since the beginning of recorded history – from ancient Babylonia and the Trojan War up through the great conflicts of the 20th century and the current war in Iraq. Soldiers, journalists, historians and experts on combat provide diverse perspectives on war’s effects on soldiers, civilians and society. Poets from the United States and Colombia to Britain and Nigeria to Iraq and India, share their views and experiences of war that extend beyond national borders and into the depth of the human soul. Part of The September Project, a local, national, and global effort to create a day of engagement, conversation, and democracy on Septmeber 11th.
PEACE & DIGNITY VIDEO PLATICAS *on*spirituality*culture*traditions*globalization*with video*discussion*poetry*photographs*
This will be a rare chance to learn about the ancient indigenous prophecy, culture, and traditions carried out by spiritual runners from all over the Americas in the Peace & Dignity Intercontinental Runs. These spiritual runs generate prayers to heal the Nations, and to honor the Ancestors, Elders, Children, Leaders, Future Generation, and those who are in the Spirit World. Other goals are to inform the world of the desire for a peaceful co-existence with all peoples and to make people aware of the sacredness and delicate balance of nature.
Past runners and organizers will be at Flor y Canto to discuss the run's purpose and their own experiences. A short video documentary will be shown. Donations encouraged to benefit the current run now in Mexico on route to Panama.
Just One Step (1987, 90 minutes) with special guest filmmaker James Knight
Almost 20 years ago, a group of 500 people walked across the US on the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament. Just One Step documents this extraordinary journey. It is a film about persistence, commitment, passion, counter-cultural and mainstream America. People from all walks of life—many of whom had never marched for anything before—gathered in a historic effort to affect the politics of a nation. The film chronicles not only the logistical, emotional, and spiritual trials of the marchers—living in tents, walking through all terrains and weather—but also their interaction with thousands of Americans in rural and urban communities along the way. Today the threat of nuclear destruction still looms over us, but when this film was made few people dreamed that Nelson Mandela would become president of South Africa, that the Berlin Wall would come down, that the Soviet Union would break up, or that America would invade Iraq. The Great Peace March is an important and relevant lesson in what's possible.
Continued in Part 2