World Premiere: In The Shadow Of The Revolution


By Staff of The Caracas Chronicles – Caracas Chronicles is proud to be the venue chosen by long-time friend and much-appreciated copy-editor Clifton Ross, and his colleague J.Arturo Albarrán, to premiere their latest film project, In the Shadow of the Revolution. The authors hope this timely work will challenge the Bolivarian government’s narrative about itself and the opposition through interviews with Left social movement activists, journalists, academics and intellectuals. Through this latest collaboration, Albarrán and Ross hope to reach an international public that has been subject to a bombardment of propaganda from the Bolivarian government. You’d be surprised how many people still buy into chavismo propaganda, and the narrative in which a popular, Left-wing government that brought great benefits to a nation is under attack by imperialists and a right-wing “fascist” opposition. The film disputes that line and offers a much-needed alternative view from the perspective of social movements and a democratic left. That this narrative comes in the voice of the very supporters that chavismo claimed to champion, now disillusioned and oppressed, is what really lends this film its powerful authenticity.

‘Whose Streets?’ Tracks Inspirational Call For Social Justice

A scene from the new documentary "Whose Streets?" about the rise of social justice activism in Ferguson, Mo. (Magnolia Pictures)

By Jordan Riefe for Truth Dig – On Aug. 9 three years ago, unarmed teen Michael Brown was shot dead by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo. The killing took place under disputed circumstances, and Wilson was never charged for the shooting. In the days that followed, peaceful demonstrators were met by a military show of force that escalated into violence, mayhem and looting. “A riot is the language of the unheard” is Martin Luther King Jr.’s answer to those who ask why the disaffected don’t pursue justice through established channels. “Ain’t no Constitution in Ferguson,” says a protester in the gritty new documentary “Whose Streets?” as he ponders Barack Obama’s days as a constitutional law professor. “Tell that n—– he needs to teach a new class and bring his ass to Ferguson, Missouri, and tell us why there ain’t no Constitution.” While a wide majority of protests in the wake of Brown’s killing were peaceful, the media focused on looting and destruction of property. In the eyes of the public, the images shown on TV rationalized the militarization of police forces, newly fortified after the Department of Defense 2013 decision to provide surplus MRAPs (mine-resistant ambush protected military vehicles), bayonets, grenade launchers, assault rifles and other tactical weapons to local law enforcement.

Borneo (Kalimantan): A Frontline For Survival Of Our Planet


By Andre Vltchek for Counter Currents – But after visiting Borneo earlier this year (2017), something changed inside me. The island used to be one of the most beautiful places on earth, covered by impenetrable tropical forests, high mountains, and mighty rivers. Its many kingdoms and cultures were self-sufficient and thoroughly unique. Thousands of animal species were coexisting in harmony, sharing the living space with other creatures like birds, butterflies and rare plants, trees and flowers. It was a magic, gentle and pure world…And it was all not so long ago. Many things are even documented by stunning old photographs…Then, Western colonialism changed, basically ruined everything; as it had ruined everything almost everything, all over the world. Dutch and British invaders, showing no respect and no interest in local people and their habitat, began doing here what they have been doing everywhere for centuries: plundering, stealing, cutting down trees, extracting riches from under the earth, enslaving the locals. Later on, after semi-independence, the West corrupted local elites and introduced savage capitalism onto basicallythe entire island of Borneo.

Documents Expose How Hollywood Promotes War On Behalf Of Pentagon, CIA And NSA

Plato’s Cave reimagined for the Hollywood era — copyright Derek Swansonn

By Tom Secker for Insurge Intelligence/ Medium – Alongside the massive scale of these operations, our new book National Security Cinema details how US government involvement also includes script rewrites on some of the biggest and most popular films, including James Bond, the Transformers franchise, and movies from the Marvel and DC cinematic universes. A similar influence is exerted over military-supported TV, which ranges from Hawaii Five-O to America’s Got Talent, Oprah and Jay Leno to Cupcake Wars, along with numerous documentaries by PBS, the History Channel and the BBC. National Security Cinema also reveals how dozens of films and TV shows have been supported and influenced by the CIA, including the James Bond adventure Thunderball, the Tom Clancy thriller Patriot Games and more recent films, including Meet the Parents and Salt. The CIA even helped to make an episode of Top Chef that was hosted at Langley, featuring then-CIA director Leon Panetta who was shown as having to skip dessert to attend to vital business. Was this scene real, or was it a dramatic statement for the cameras?

“Do Not Resist”: Police Militarization Documentary Everyone Should See


By Ryan Devereaux for The Intercept – The officers, members of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department tactical team, were descending on a modest one-story house looking for drugs and guns. The team smashed through the windows of the home with iron pikes, then stormed the front door with rifles raised. Inside, they found a terrified family of four, including an infant. As the family members were pulled outside, Atkinson’s camera captured a scene that plays out with startling regularity in cities and towns across the country

Experience ‘RIKERS,’ Face To Face

Cecily McMillan, Occupy Wall Street Activist Released From Rikers

By Bill Moyers for Moyers & Company – Over the years I have landed at New York’s LaGuardia Airport knowing that the island just off and below the tip of the right wing was Rikers, the city’s largest jail, isolated in the East River within sight of the Manhattan skyline and separated from the borough of Queens by a single bridge. Looking across at the stark jumble of buildings, I had often thought of Alcatraz, on the other side of the continent: penal colonies framing America’s gateways.

20 Latino PBS Films To Stream For Free During Hispanic Heritage Month

Flickr/ Aberdeen Proving Ground

By Andrew S. Vargas for Remezcla – ll folks, it’s September again, which means a whole year has passed since we last celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month. A year that brought us cultural milestones like Jane the Virgin, Chile campeón, and Donald Trump – demonstrative evidence that in life you win some, and you lose some. So while we’ll let white America take Hispanic Heritage Month as an opportunity to reflect on the profound impact Latinos have had on American culture, from Jordi Farragut up through Sonia Sotomayor, it’s also a good opportunity for us to celebrate the richness and diversity of our own experience.

How ‘Snowden’ Film Could Help Win Pardon For Snowden The Man

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden in 'Snowden.' Courtesy of Open Road Films

By James Bamford for Reuters – The days leading up to last Friday’s release of director Oliver Stone’s Snowden looked like one long movie trailer. The American Civil Liberties Union and other human-right groups on Wednesday announced a campaign to win a presidential pardon for Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contract employee who leaked hundreds of thousands of its highly classified documents to journalists.

Why Oliver Stone’s Snowden Is The Best Film Of The Year

Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. (photo: Mark Blinch/Reuters)

By David Swanson for Counter Punch – Snowden is the most entertaining, informing, and important film you are likely to see this year. It’s the true story of an awakening. It traces the path of Edward Snowden’s career in the U.S. military, the CIA, the NSA, and at various contractors thereof. It also traces the path of Edward Snowden’s agonizingly slow awakening to the possibility that the U.S. government might sometimes be wrong, corrupt, or criminal. And of course the film takes us through Snowden’s courageous and principled act of whistleblowing.

Why I Am Returning My Award

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By Arundhati Roy for The Indian Express – Although I do not believe that awards are a measure of the work we do, I would like to add the National Award for Best Screenplay that I won in 1989 to the growing pile of returned awards. Also, I want to make it clear that I am not returning this award because I am “shocked” by what is being called the “growing intolerance” being fostered by the present government. First of all, “intolerance” is the wrong word to use for the lynching, shooting, burning and mass murder of fellow human beings. Second, we had plenty of advance notice of what lay in store for us — so I cannot claim to be shocked by what has happened after this government was enthusiastically voted into office with an overwhelming majority.

The Black Panthers Are Back

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By Reese Erlich for Common Dreams – Seeing a documentary on the Black Panthers while sitting next to Bobby Seale is quite an experience. As we watch a press preview of the film in an East Oakland home, the co-founder of the Panthers sometimes calls out the names of old comrades as they appear on screen, or he corrects an occasional error in the film. The documentary to be aired on PBS, “The Black Panther Party: Vanguard of the Revolution,” has a dramatic moment describing the 1969 Chicago 8 trial when Seale demanded the right to defend himself. The Chicago federal judge refused, and he ordered Seale shackled and gagged. As the film played audio tape of the scene, Bobby Seale, sitting next to me, recreates the sound of his speaking through the gag: “I want my freedom! I want my right to defend myself!” “The Black Panther Party” is the latest in series of feature films and documentaries about the Oakland group that shook the establishment then — and causes controversy even today.

Year Of The Woman

Art by Sally Edelstein

By Rebecca Traister in Huffington Post – For only five nights in the fall of 1973, a documentary called “Year of the Woman” played at the Fifth Avenue Cinema in Greenwich Village. Crowds lined up around the block. Arthur Schlesinger Jr., described it as “the greatest combination of sex and politics ever seen in a film.” And then “Year of the Woman” all but vanished for 42 years, robbing us of a movie that captures–in its raucous, weird, unmistakably ’70s style–one of the most pivotal moments in feminist history. The setting is the Democratic convention in Miami Beach. The time is July 1972. New York Rep. Shirley Chisholm has just completed a groundbreaking campaign for the presidency (“I ran because someone had to do it first,” she would later write), and the National Women’s Political Caucus, founded by icons including Betty Friedan, Dorothy Height and Gloria Steinem, is trying to leverage women’s power at a political convention for the first time.

The Guardian Review Of New Film: We Are Many

Panel at Guardian Live preview screening of We Are Many: (l-r) Tamsin Omond, Amir Amirani, Seumas Milne, Ruth London, John Rees and Katherine Connolly, 17 May 2015. Photograph: James Drew Turner/Guardian

We Are Many, Amir Amirani’s epic film about the global anti Iraq war protests of 2003, received a four-minute standing ovation when it debuted at the Sheffield International Documentary Festival last June. The buzz about its national cinema release this Thursday (21 May) was amplified by Stephen Fry enthusing: “I’m not sure a trailer has ever made me want to see a film more,” to his 9.7 million Twitter army. Britpop godfather Damon Albarn has announced that he will be joining Amir and a select panel for a Q&A that will be streamed live on the opening night of the film at all participating cinemas. As such, the documentary is blessed with credible hype, and the foyer of north-east London’s Rio cinema was thick with anticipation on Sunday afternoon as Guardian Members came together for an exclusive preview of the one-to-watch doc from the new Michael Moore on the block.

A Tale Of Two Movies


As a student and teacher of nonviolent action, I was disheartened last week to wake up and read of the box office success of what I thought was yet another shoot-em-up action film, the American Sniper, while the same day noting that a film about my field, Selma,though successful, was not even in the same ballpark with the money. It made me wonder why, so I went to see them. These movies tell the story of two American heroes, the most lethal sniper in American military history, Christopher Kyle, and the most remembered name in the US civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. We are presented with two very different kinds of heroes, by many accounts both played accurately by their actors.

Interview: Laura Poitras And Tom Engelhardt On Snowden

Edward Snowden photograph by Alex Healey

Tom Engelhardt: Could you start by laying out briefly what you think we’ve learned from Edward Snowden about how our world really works? Laura Poitras: The most striking thing Snowden has revealed is the depth of what the NSA and the Five Eyes countries [Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Great Britain, and the U.S.] are doing, their hunger for all data, for total bulk dragnet surveillance where they try to collect all communications and do it all sorts of different ways. Their ethos is “collect it all.” I worked on a story with Jim Risen of the New York Times about a document — a four-year plan for signals intelligence — in which they describe the era as being “the golden age of signals intelligence.” For them, that’s what the Internet is: the basis for a golden age to spy on everyone. This focus on bulk, dragnet, suspicionless surveillance of the planet is certainly what’s most staggering.