BURNING FRAME: A MONTHLY ANARCHIST FILM SERIES

CALLING ALL RADICAL LEFTISTS! Come join us for a welcome respite from endless organizing work. The past two years have been a whirlwind: exhausting, invigorating, and ever ripe with potential. It can be difficult to find moments of pause and reflection when in the thick of it. Especially when “it” refers to the rise of fascism on a global scale with any number of future cataclysms hovering just past the horizon. But we digress.

The films in this series (presented as double-features) have been specially chosen by anarchists for anarchists, but really anyone far left-of-center in their beliefs and actions will find much to identify with and mull over. Come for the great works of radical political filmmaking, stay for the generative discussions, or even just to commiserate about how little has fundamentally changed over the past 50 years (the span of time which the films in this series will cover). The overriding hope is that these films, and their authentic representations of successes, defeats, and the messy work of direct action will help grant us the willpower and imagination to break through cycles of repeated structures.

To butcher the title of a great film for the sake of a mildly applicable pun: “Throw away your dogma, rally in the cinema.


Exactly a month after the innocent pranks of April Fools come the fiery clowning of May Day. On April 1st, join us for a Surprise Screening that looks at the connection between these holidays, and find out what it means to have your soda and drink it, too (politically speaking).

Exactly a month after the innocent pranks of April Fools come the fiery clowning of May Day. On April 1st, join us for a Surprise Screening that looks at the connection between these holidays, and find out what it means to have your soda and drink it, too (politically speaking).

MONDAY, APRIL 1 – 7:30 PM

In December 1970, the Polish government announced price raises on many basic goods, including dairy and coal. Strikes, demonstrations and workplace occupations spread across the Baltic coast. This film is not about that. It is about something that happened in the months before those events. It is about something that is still happening now.


MONDAY, APRIL 1 – 10 PM

This past January, one of the great radical filmmakers passed away. A filmmaker whose work has been referred to as “anarchic,” in its form and political antics, perhaps more than any other. Burning Frame has decided to celebrate this director how he would have wanted, which is to say in the most perverse way possible: by screening his anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist Outback comedy, the only film that dares address the deliciously diabolical role of carbonated beverages in planet-wide corporate hegemony. Journey with us back to a time when the Left didn’t want you to eat candy or have fun, when watching primetime resulted in false consciousness, when discrepancies in musical taste were a cause for division and ad hominem finger pointing. For Just One Night we take a break from our regularly scheduled doom and gloom for a program devoted to the questions that are really on our minds: Does the industrial nature of most 20th-century cinema make it inherently bourgeois? Is art class war by other means? Are you a Pepper™?




TO DIE IN MADRID
Dir. Frederic Rossif, 1963
85 min.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21 – 7:30 PM

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Frederic Rossif’s masterful To Die In Madrid was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1963. Not that awards matter: plaudits or no, this is the greatest film about the Spanish Civil War ever made, and a seminal work in the documentary genre. Filled with indelible imagery from the war, and accompanied by narration that is by turns rousing and heartfelt, this is a vivid elegy to the brave efforts that were made against the fascist front. A film which demands to be seen by radical leftists, and anyone who believes that our revolution one day will come.



FURY OVER SPAIN
Dir. Louis Frank, 1937
52 min.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21 – 10 PM

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An explicit work of docu-propaganda that was screened in London with assistance from Emma Goldman, Fury Over Spain resonates today, both as an insightful vision of from the past and a powerful call to arms today. Produced as a collaborative effort by, and featuring copious footage of, the F.A.I. (Iberian Anarchist Federation) and C.N.T. (Anarchist National Confederation of Labor) as they mounted a defense of the besieged Madrid and launched offensives in Catalonia.

playing with:
THE WILL OF A PEOPLE
Louis Frank, 1938
45 min.

An impressively wide-ranging survey of the terrain of lived experience during the Spanish Civil War, The Will of a People presents the nuts-and-bolts of the war effort (everything from weapon-making to food-harvesting) woven throughout with commentary on Spain’s historical iconography.




REBELLIOUS CITY
Dir. Willy Lindwer, 80 min.
Netherlands, 2015

TUESDAY, JANUARY 22 – 7:30 PM

A recent, under-seen documentary, chronicling the Provo movement, a loose-knit collection of Dutch radicals and artists who captured the popular imagination and spurred change with boldly confrontational happenings.  Featuring the likes of Cor Jaring, Roel van Duijn, Saar Stolk, Luud Schimmelpennink, Hans Metz, Bernhard de Vries, Irene van de Weetering, and Robert Jasper Grootveld, as they talk about the creative, playful and inspiring Sixties and the rise and fall of the Provo Movement.



THE TROUBLEMAKERS
dir. Robert Manchover, 50 min.
USA, 1966

TUESDAY, JANUARY 22 – 10 PM

In the late 60s, the Newark Community Union Project was created as a bloc within the Students for a Democratic Society. Their aim was to engage with the inner-city black community in Newark. The result is an unflinchingly honest film about the difficulties of community organizing, particularly attempts to engage across divides of race and class. Despite the group’s work to overcome these hurdles, the government does not bend to the community’s small demands — demonstrating the utter futility that is engaging with government bureaucracy. Produced with involvement from the late Robert Kramer.

screening with:
COINTELPRO: THE FBI’S WAR ON BLACK AMERICA
dir. Denis Mueller and Deb Ellis, 53 min.
USA, 1989

A clear-eyed run through of how the U.S. Government conspired to violently quell the Black Power movement.




THE EDGE
Dir. Robert Kramer, 100 mins.
USA, 1968

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15 – 7:30 and 10 PM

Shot in 1967, at the height of the American antiwar protests, The Edge captures a particular strain of ideological tension felt by the radical organizers of the time, between the pragmatism of peaceful organization and movement building, and the appeal of individual acts of insurrectionary violence — a tension that necessarily threatens the cohesion of the organizing bodies which, in this film, ultimately fracture under the weight of the resulting discord. A piercing study of the dangers of disillusionment and isolation in radical spaces, the film also perceptively deals with the friction that often exists between radicality and the maintenance of personal relationships. A radical work of narrative filmmaking, both in content and form. The late, great leftist filmmaker Robert Kramer, a founding member of the legendary Newsreel outfit, shot this ambitious project on a microbudget, fashioning aesthetic limitations into a political tool. The imagery is stark and no-frills, the overdubbed dialogue disembodied and distant — at once an expression of interiority and a seething, repressed exteriority that painfully rises to the surface.

This film will be followed by a special Encore Program at 10:00.




REBELLION IN PATAGONIA
(aka LA PATAGONIA REBELDE)
Dir. Hector Olivera, 1974.
Argentina. 110 minutes.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29 – 7:30 AND 10 PM

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REBELLION IN PATAGONIA represents a sterling work of Anarchist memorialization bravely brought to the screen by it’s director, Hector Olivera. Based on Oswaldo Bayer’s historical novel Patagonia Rebelde, about an anarcho-syndicalist labor union’s insurrectionary uprising against the Argentinian elite in the 1920s, which was banned and publicly burned in the 70’s along with the aforementioned feature film adaptation.

The film begins with an anarchist-led hotel workers’ strike so successful one forgets how the working class could ever lose sight of its inherent collective strength. But soon after the workers’ victory, cold reality swings back into sharp focus as the landowners conspire with the government to violently repress the strikers and rollback the gains made, a turn which the strikers had not foreseen. A cautionary tale for trusting state powers to uphold hard-won gains in worker’s rights.

For decades, Argentinian politics swung between the Nationalist populism of Juan Peron and a series of military coups, eventually centrally coordinated under Operation Condor, aimed at suppressing the socialist elements that made Peron so widely popular.

In 1976 the military seized power once again, ushering in a brutal 7 year dictatorship in which the film was banned, Bayer, Olivera, and several of the film’s actors were blacklisted, and Cepernic was imprisoned. In jail, he asked his warden if he deserved such cruel treatment simply for being a member of a Left-of-center party. “No, you’re not a prisoner because of your affiliation,” the warden reportedly said. “You’re a prisoner because you allowed Rebellion in Patagonia to be filmed.”

This film will be followed by a special Encore Program at 10:00.

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