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12 November 2014 – PolitFilm #1 – Witnesses of history, an exhibition with film program

This is the first PolitFilm newsletter, which will in the future inform you about my efforts and activities in the area of political cinematography.

I would be honored if you would come to the opening of the exhibition with following film program: “Witnessing history: Stevan Labudović and fight for the liberation of Algeria” on Friday (November 14th) at 19:00 at the National Library of Serbia. At the exhibition we will be showing three films (November 14th at 20:00 and November 15th at 14:00 and 16:00) about the Algerian revolution and anti-colonial struggle.

As a young cameraman of “Movie News” from Belgrade, Stevan Labudović spent almost three years (1959–1962) with the Algerian partisans, carrying a camera in one hand and a rifle in other. In the early 1960s his photos and footage went around the globe and became testimony of very difficult conditions in which the Algerian people lived and fought for freedom from French colonial rule.

Special guest at the opening of the exhibition will be Stevan Labudović – witness of history himself, a Yugoslav proclaimed for a national hero of Algeria.

I organized this exhibition with Milica Tomić and Lola Joksimović, with the support of the National Library of Serbia, the Ministry of Culture, “Filmske novosti” and the Embassy of Algeria.

Event on FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/1534443500127231/
Full program in PDF: http://bit.ly/1zMAG45

I hope to see you on Friday at 19:00 at the opening of the Labudović’s exhibition and that together we will watch the film journals made by “Filmske novosti” in 1959. Also, I heard that there will be the finest Algerian wine.

In addition to the exhibition at the National Library of Serbia, in the next month I will organize three film screenings – on Monday, November 17th, we will watch the anthropological Horror Society (1989) in the “Illegal cinema” (4 Marko Kraljevic street), and in the Student Cultural Center of Kragujevac we will see the film by Mathieu Kassovitz “L’ ordre et la morale” from 2011 (Friday, November 28th) and two weeks later (December 12th) the movie Lord of War (2005) that deals with the global arms trade.

My best and see you soon!
Tadej Kurepa

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7 December 2014 – PolitFilm # 2 – Joint watching of the Journey (Resan), by director Peter Watkins

I would like to inform you that I have successfully obtained the film Resan – documentary from 1987 on the abuse of nuclear energy for military purposes and the militarization of the planet as a whole. The movie lasts 14 hours and 30 minutes! I suggest you learn more about this film directly from the website of Peter Watkins, author of the film: http://pwatkins.mnsi.net/journey.htm

I intend to organize a joint viewing of this film on one of the coming weekends – and I intend to watch the whole Resan in a one day. I invite you to join me. It will be a real test of strength, will and endurance! We will take a break only for toilet and to eat something quickly.

If you are interested please contact me by e-mail, and together we’ll decide on a date and location.

For me the Resan is particularly interesting not only because it is one of the best films on nuclear war that were ever made, but also because these days I extensively research films dealing with nuclear energy, nuclear war and similar topics. So please tell me if you know a good movie about the nuclear war or related topics.

Also, during next month we will have three film projections – on Friday, December 12th at the Student Cultural Center in Kragujevac we will watch the movie Lord of War (2005) on the arms trade. And in the Illegal Cinema (Kraljevića Marka 4) we will see the Brazilian movie Corações Sujos from 2011 (Monday, December 15th) based on actual events when in 1945 Japanese emigration in Brazil did not believe that Japan really capitulated; they considered these claims to be Allied propaganda. We will see what happened to those from Japanese community who did not share this belief. On January 19th we will watch the movie Conspiracy ( 2001), about the Wannsee Conference held on January 20th of 1942 where the Nazi bureaucrats made the final decision on the total elimination of the European Jews.

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24 April 2015 – PolitFilm #3 – Two movie screenings: Viva Maria! (1965) and Den brysomme mannen (2006)

After a few months of silence, I have some information for you:

1. In the next few days we will have two movie screenings in Belgrade

On Sunday, April 26th at 19:00 we will watch great Norwegian movie about alienation, Den brysomme mannen (2006), at the pub Ventil (Kapetan Mišina 14 street), and on Monday April 27th at 19:00 in the Illegal Cinema (Kraljevića Marka 4) you can come to screening of the hilarious revolutionary western Viva Maria (1965).

I the focus of Den brysomme mannen is a man who realizes that something is fundamentally wrong with the world he lives in, although no one around him seems to notice that. He is slowly becoming increasingly dissatisfied, but when he tries to change something, he gets severely punished. This film is an extraordinary allegory for the system in which we live and its ideological and repressive mechanisms for maintaining the social status quo.

In Viva Maria, Brigitte Bardo in the leading role plays a daughter of the Irish Republican terrorists at the beginning of the twentieth century. She is helping her father in blowing different things up, and after his death she joins the circus where she becomes a cancan dancer. However, when traveling circus comes to Mexico just in time for the Revolution, things start changing, and soon she takes up dynamite and machine guns …

2. I watched an excellent Yugoslav movie

It is The Journalist (1979) with Rade Šerbedžija in the leading role and directed by Fadil Hadžić. Most people I’ve talked with never heard of this film, let alone watched it. In a very powerful and striking way The Journalist deals with repression, alcoholism, progressive role of investigative journalism in society, blackmail and pressures that accompanied the decline of socialism in Yugoslavia, clearly visible in 1970s. This film by Fadil Hadžić is comparable to the best films of Costa Gavras in terms of camera and editing, as well as the political position of his sharp critique.

In late May, you can expect a discussion with the screening of the Jurnalist at the Student Cultural Centre in Kragujevac, and also maybe somewhere else if there is interest shown.

3. During May and June we will watch movies with the theme of nuclear war

In previous newsletter (from December), I announced a joint watching of the Resan, a documentary directed by Peter Watkins in 1987, about the abuse of nuclear energy by the military and the militarization of the planet as a whole. Film lasts for 14.5 hours.

I have an arrangement with the group “The Ignorant Schoolmaster and His Committees” (Resavska 21, Belgrade) several screenings of films dealing with nuclear war in their offices during May and June: Threads (1984) , The War Game (1965) and The Atomic Cafe (1982). Depending on response and interest shown, we will consider to organize joint watching of Resan on the the weekends during summer months – part by part, eight weeks in a row.

Greetings and see you soon!
Tadej Kurepa

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PolitFilm # 4 – Film projections about nuclear war: 1/8/15/22 of March

As a part of the preparations for the coming Apocalypse, Matrijaršija (address: Đorđa Čutukovića 13, Belgrade, or https://www.facebook.com/matrijarsija/) and PolitFilm.com invite you to screenings of films on the subject of nuclear war.

Entrance to all screenings is free.
Films will be presented by Tadej Kurepa with guests and non-guests.

Event on FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/1700304276883709/

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Tuesday, March 1 at 19:00
BAREFOOT GEN / Japan / 1983 / 85 min
language: Japanese, subtitle: Serbian

Japanese anime that portrays the throwing of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima in August 1945 and the direct consequences for the population.

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Tuesday, March 8 at 19:00
ATOMIC CAFE / USA / 1982 / 86 min
language: English, without subtitles

A compilation of US military informational films aimed at soldiers, as well as propaganda films intended for the general public from the 1940s and 1950s, which aim to convince that the atomic bomb is not a big deal and that radiation is actually not too dangerous.

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Tuesday, March 15 at 19:00
THE WAR GAME / UK / 1965 / 48 min
language: English, subtitle: English

Fake documentary about the occurrences in the vicinity of a typical English town in the event of nuclear war, based on estimates of possible developments in this situation.

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Tuesday, March 22 at 19:00
THREADS / UK / 1984 / 112 min
language: English, subtitle: Serbian

A very realistic and startling film about the collapse of the civilization in the event of nuclear war. Film features the footage of real instructions “Protect and Survive” prepared by the British Government in 1970s for broadcasting in case of eminent nuclear war. In the Threads people are trying to protect themselves and behave in ways described in this instructions, with catastrophic consequences.

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“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”, Robert Oppenheimer

Although in 2016 nuclear war is not an omnipresent threat as it was in 1986 or 1966, the possibility of nuclear resolution of international tensions remains a reality in times of economic, energy and environmental crisis.

The last wave of global interest in the issues of use of nuclear energy for the purposes of war passed in the mid-1980s. However, there is still about 23.000 thousand atomic bombs around the globe, an arsenal multiply sufficient to completely destroy civilization and most of life on Earth.

Speaking about his impressions during the first nuclear test (The Trinity Test) Robert Oppenheimer, known as “the father of the atomic bomb”, who after that became a big opponent of the use of nuclear energy, said: “We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and, to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.”

The bombs are still there. Waiting for the red buttons to be pressed.

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PolitFilm # 5 – 19.SEP @ SKC – Spanish Civil War on film

Screening of film excerpts, with a discussion on the topic “The Spanish Civil War on the film from the thirties to the present day” will be held tomorrow, on 19th of September at 20:30 in the garden of the Student Cultural Center in Belgrade.

Event on FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/1796545990626029/

Although the Spanish Civil War officially lasted from 17th of July 1936 to the 1st of April 1939, the social turmoil and class conflict that led to the Civil War and the revolution lasted for several decades prior to 1936, while low-intensity armed conflicts continued for several decades after 1939.

Key topic for discussion will be the Spanish Civil War as a class war, an armed conflict between social classes, the working class on the one side and the old ruling class on the other.

We prepared excerpts from a dozen films including “Land and Freedom”, “Libertarias”, “Las Hurdes: Tierra Sin Pan”, “L’arbre de Guernica”, “The Spanish Earth”, “There Be Dragons”, “Operacion Ogro”, which cover the period from the beginning of the 1930s to the beginning of the 1970s.

This event is part of the program “Anti-Fascist cinema”, whose editors in 2016 are Tadej Kurepa and Stevan Vuković.

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PolitFilm # 6 – Recommendations for online political films

Hello folks,

1
A few months ago, I created a mailing list where I regularly (mostly bi-weekly) send film recommendations with links for online watching.

If you want to be added to this mailing list, just click here and subscribe directly by filling in the form and checking the option ”recommendation”.

2
In the meantime, during the fall of 2016 I devised a campaign on the crowd-funding platform Patreon and, with the help of few friends, made promotional video for PolitFilm.

Patreon is a crowd-funding platform which enables you to donate small amounts of money to different projects over a longer period. It would be really nice if you’d check it out and think about supporting PolitFilm on Patreon.

3
The project I’ve been working on for some time now, and hope to finish it by the First of May or very soon afterwards, is an extensive list in Serbian language with descriptions of 250 political films and links for trailers and online films. The list of 250 political films is the product of several years of my work on PolitFilm, and it will be really informative and comprehensive.

As soon as I publish the list, I’ll send the link to people who follow PolitFilm and I’ll ask you to share the text about 250 political films via social networks, mail, or in some other way.

Thanks,
Tadej kurepa

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