Latin America and Political Prisoners Film Series
Loyola University (downtown campus)
Corboy Law Center, room 422
25 E. Pearson Street, Chicago
September 15 Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up? By Saul Landau 2010 85 min
Twelve years after five Cubans were arrested in America for espionage, Saul Landau has made a film hoping to bring the trial and harsh sentences of the men, who are now known as “The Cuban Five,” to the public eye. Landau, obtained access to rare footage from Cuban archives, presents an understanding of what led to their unjust convictions. These five Cubans came to Miami to stop the sabotage and bombings in their homeland by infiltrating terrorist groups here. When our government was given uncontestable evidence of terrorist activity against Cuba flourishing in our country, they arrested the informants instead and did nothing about the criminal activity. The film includes interviews of known Miami terrorists LuisPosasdaCarriles, Orlando Bosch and José Basulto, who are given the opportunity to defend their acts of sabotage that resulted, in one instance, in the deaths of 73 passengers onboard a Cuban airliner in 1976. What the film reveals above all else is U.S. hypocrisy when dealing with terrorism.
September 22: The Battle of Chile 1976 88min. On September 11, 1973, President Salvador Allende’s democratically-elected Chilean government was overthrown in a bloody U.S. backed coup by General Augusto Pinochet’s army. The film is an epic chronicle of that country’s open and peaceful socialist revolution, and of the violent counter-revolution against it. It personifies the class struggle in a way that has never been done before, carrying an authenticity that could never be achieved through merely symbolic figures. In this sense, it goes beyond all previous “people’s films.” “Not only the best film about Allende and the coup d’etat, but among the best documentary films ever made, changing our concepts of political documentary within a framework accessible to the widest audience.” – Time Out Film Guide
September 29: Cointelpro 101 2010 56 min
Cointelpro 101 exposes illegal surveillance, disruption, and outright murder committed by the US government in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Cointelpro refers to the official FBI COunter INTELigence PROgram carried out to surveil, imprison, and eliminate leaders of Black liberation and social justice movements and to disrupt, divide, and destroy the movements as well. Many of the government’s crimes are still unknown. Through interviews with activists who experienced these abuses first-hand, with rare historical footage, the film provides an educational introduction to a period of intense repression and draws relevant lessons for the present and future.
October 6: Aristide and the Endless Revolution 2005 82min
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the first democratically elected president of Haiti, former Catholic priest and friend of the poor, was removed from office by U.S.-backed coup d’etats. The film investigates the events that led to the coups, the economic alliances between the Haitian and U.S. elite, the armed criminals posing as freedom fighters and other factors that have consistently threatened this country. The film reveals the foreign domination and deceit and political violence that has brought the world’s first black republic to its knees. Interviews with President Aristide, Danny Glover, Noam Chomsky, Roger Noriega (Assistant Secretary of State under Bush), Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and many Haitian voices. Won best feature documentary award at the Los Angeles Pan-African Film Festival.
October 13 The End of Poverty 2008 104 min
This thought-provoking documentary revealing that global poverty is not an accident. It began with military conquest, slavery and colonization that resulted in the seizure of land, minerals and forced labor. Today, the problem persists because of unfair debt, trade and tax policies — in other words, wealthy countries keeping poor countries trapped in that condition, exploiting the weaknesses of poor, developing countries. The film asks why today 20% of the planet’s population uses 80% of its resources and consumes 30% more than the planet can regenerate. Includes Nobel prize winners in Economics, Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz; authors Susan George, Eric Toussaint, John Perkins, Chalmers Johnson; government ministers such as Bolivia’s Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera. The film was selected to over 25 international film festivals.
October 20: Cuba: The Uncompromising Revolution 1988 54 min
The film portrays Cuba after three decades of revolution. It weaves together archival footage, occasional flashbacks from earlier Landau pictures, personal interviews with Castro and scores of on-the-street and on-location interviews with women, professionals and workers. The Cuban leader reflects on his life and Cuba–past, present and future. In numerous other interviews, including encounters with people on the streets, Cuban citizens voice their pro and con feelings about the revolution and Cuban society. Saul Landau, the director, also adds his own commentary on the state of the revolution and his views of its problems.
Discussion about Cuba after the film with Gisela and Gilda Lopez, the two Cuban sisters who have been involved in the Cuban revolutionary struggle since before the 1959 victory
October 27: Under Arpaio 2011 63 min
Sheriff Arpaio is an unapologetic crusader against Mexican immigration. He is infamous in the media for his antics of forcing inmates to wear pink underwear, work on chain gangs, and live in tents. This documentary shows the people in the Phoenix area who are the ones on the daily front lines as Arpaio continues to conduct raids on migrant and Latino neighborhoods, ignore bad jail conditions, and waste hundreds of millions of dollars in tax payer money. Under Arpaio features activists, low-income residents, attorneys, reporters, elected officials, and indigenous people who speak truth to power. In the face of all of this, the community targeted by Arpaio has not stood still but has organized and continues to fight. This is their story of struggle against one of the most well-known law enforcement figures in recent U.S. history.
Discussion after the film with Buddy Bell, member of No More Deaths, http://www.nomoredeathsvolunteers.org/
November 10: Mumia, Long Distance Revolutionary 2012 120 min
This documentary on the U.S.’s most famous political prisoner features contributions from Cornel West, Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Rubin Hurricane Carter, Dick Gregory, Ruby Dee, Robin Alexander, Tariq Ali, Michael Parenti, Ramsay Clark and Amy Goodman. The film focuses on Abu-Jamal’s career as a prolific writer, journalist and political activist before and since his 1981 imprisonment. It follows Mumia’s early career in journalism as a writer for the Black Panther newspaper (at age 15), to a reporter for NPR. The story then exposes his battles with the American legal system to continue his revolutionary journalism and radio broadcasts from Death Row – a battle he continues to wage to this very day. Included is Manufacturing Guilt, which details the efforts of the Philadelphia Police Department and District Attorney’s office to frame Mumia Abu-Jamal.
December 1: Cocalero 2007 86 min
Cocalero shows Bolivian President Evo Morales and his rise to prominence. The story follows the presidential campaign of Morales as he moves from union meetings in the Andes and Amazon to formal fundraising dinners and mass rallies in cities. The rise of Evo, an outspoken critic of the United States, whose political power base is in the coca-growing areas of central Bolivia, dates to his work with farmers resisting a coca eradication drive prompted by the US-backed war on drugs. In 2005 Morales, of Aymara Indian heritage, was elected as Bolivia’s first-ever indigenous president, winning the election by the largest majority in the country’s history.
December 8: Ecuador: Rainforest vs. Globalization 2011 72 min
In 2006 Rafael Correa was elected president of Ecuador. An economist, he came to politics with a mission to transform a country struggling under poverty and debt into a self-sufficient, social, independent, ecological and participative democracy. From the Yasuni Initiative, where the country would no longer rely on exploiting and their natural oil resources, to analyzing the IMF debt plans, he has given Ecuadorians genuine reason to believe that a new type of government and economy is possible. Correa began to implement a new form of government, one pragmatic and humanistic, so that for the first time, ordinary Ecuadorians began to feel that their voices mattered and would be heard. This documentary travels inside of Correa’s groundbreaking project to evaluate its success and suggest a new structural model for Latin American governments of the future.
December 15: The Colombia Connection 2012 75 min.
This documentary program reveals the ugly face of U.S. military aid to Colombia and of the American government’s interference in the affairs of Latin American nations. The director, Pablo Navarrete, who made Inside the Revolution, explains, “In Colombia, left-wing guerrillas (mainly the FARC) have been fighting the Colombian state for nearly 50 years in a brutal armed and social conflict, whose victims run into the millions. Human rights violations have been committed by all sides, but the vast majority of these have been attributed to the Colombian army, security services and rightwing paramilitary death squads closely aligned to them. The Colombia Connection refers to the key role of the US government in this conflict, primarily through its funding of the Colombian security services. Colombia has had traditionally strong ties with the US, which have been deepened, particularly in the military sphere, under rightwing presidents Alvaro Uribe and now his successor Juan Manuel Santos. Colombia is the biggest recipient of US military aid in Latin America and one of the largest recipients of US military aid in the world, having received around $8 billion since the year 2000.”
Sponsors: Loyola University Department of Sociology, Loyola Latin America Studies Progam, Loyola Film and Digital Media Program, Chicago Committee to Free the Cuban 5
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org, 773-322-3168