Signs of Change Screening and Discussion Weekend

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Date/Time: 11/10/2008 12:00 am

Signs of Change Weekend of Screenings and Discussion
October 11-13, 2008
The Signs of Change Weekend of Screenings and Discussion brings together films and videos from the past 40 years that raise questions about what it means to participate in both cultural production and political action. The goal of the weekend is to provide a forum for sustained discussion of political documentary, its history, its uses, its aesthetics and politics. Taking as its focus the relation between moving images and social movements, we hope this weekend will prompt participants to think about the form and function of documentary images related to left-wing movements. Unlike a festival, each session is organized with equal emphasis on the screening and the discussion, which will not be structured as question and answer sessions with individual media makers. Instead, we have invited a number of media makers, scholars, and activists to engage with the issues and questions that the various programs raise in an effort to facilitate a discussion that will build over the course of this three day event. The weekend is open to all who are interested in the social use and impact of film and video and we hope that all who can, will join us for films, food and excellent conversation.
Curated and organized by Signs of Change (Dara Greenwald/Josh MacPhee) with Benj Gerdes and Paige Sarlin from 16beaver group
Saturday, Oct 11th at Exit Art
475 Tenth ave between 36th and 37th street, NY, NY
4 pm Revolutionary Worker’s Struggles on Film
Finally Got the News, League of Revolutionary Black Workers, 1970, rt 55 (Shown on 16mm)
7:30pm Peasants Struggles in Japan
7:30 Introduction by Sabu Kohso, writer and activist, Barbara Hammer, filmmaker
8:00 pm Narita: The Peasants of the Second Fortress, 1971, rt 143 min, Japanese w/English subititles
Screening Co-sponsored by Asian/Pacific/American Institute and Tisch Department of Photography & Imaging at NYU in conjunction with The Uses of 1968: Legacies of Art and Activism Symposium and 1968: Then and Now Exhibition
admission to this screening: $5
“In Japan, guerilla film activity reached high intensity during the war (Vietnam).The use made of Japan as a conduit for Vietnam war supplies generated strong anti-government feelings and many ‘protest films.’…It now saw such powerful films as the Sanrizuka series- three feature length films. The heavy air traffic through Japan-swollen by the war-hap prompted a 1966 decision to build a new international airport for Tokyo.The area chosen, Sanrizuka, was occupied by farmers who were determined to block seizures of their lands. For four years, the film maker Shinsuke Ogawa documented their struggle, which reached its climax in the third film, The Peasants of the Second Fortress. Here we see resistance turning into a pitched battle with riot police as farm women chain themselves to impoverished stockades, and students join the struggle for anti-government, anti-war motives. Ogawa, patiently recording the growth of resistance…achieved an extraordinary social document, and one of the most potent of protest films.
– Erik Barnouw, Documentary: A History of the Non-Fiction Film, (Oxford University Press, 1974)