Themed Playlist: An Introduction to the Radical Film Network
About the lists: Calls to socially distance and self-isolate are driving people to look for things to watch. But the sheer amount of options out there can be overwhelming. For this reason, we at the Centre for Screen Cultures are producing themed playlists of film, video, and television so you can organise your own series or festival at home (or home school). They will update here and here: https://screenculture.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/category/media-playlists/
Clive Myer of Eclectic Films Ltd has worked with the Radical Film Network to produce a playlist to get you started on the remarkable collection of activist and experimental films produced by members of the RFN.
An Introduction to the Radical Film Network
The Radical Film Network was set up in 2013 to facilitate communication and collaboration among those involved in radical film culture around the world. It comprises activists, academics, filmmakers, and programmers involved in many forms of activist and experimental film culture, as well as almost 200 organisations across four continents. The RFN Vimeo group is a space for filmmakers in the network to promote their work. At this present moment there are over 120 films available, free of charge, to students, researchers, the academic community and the public at large on the Vimeo Group [URL: https://vimeo.com/groups/463726]
To make them more accessible we have collated a small sample of short tasters/trailers placed within four areas of Political, Environmental, Experimental and Community. We are excited to share them and hope they entice viewers to look at the wider range of what we have to offer.
No More Beyond (Matthias Kispert, 2015)
A video essay filmed in the city of Melilla, a Spanish enclave in northern Morocco, where 11.5 km of heavily patrolled triple wire fence separate EU territory from migrants trying to enter. The full film is available here: https://vimeo.com/131399936
Shooting Covid-19: Media Frontliners in Manila (King Catoy, 2020)
Uncertainty and fear loom as Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatens “quarantine violators” while dissatisfaction with the government’s COVID-19 pandemic response grows. The full film is available here: https://b.engagemedia.org/2020/covid-media-manila-video-for-change
The Acting Class (Deidre O’Neill & Mike Wayne, 2017)
A film about how class shapes who gets to be an actor on British screens and stage and why it matters. Christopher Eccleston, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Maxine Peake and Samuel West are among those who feature in this film talking about the barriers to success. The full film is available to view here: https://vimeo.com/226025988/223116008.
Singing A Great Dream (Anna Stirr, 2020)
People’s singer, songwriter, and Maoist cultural leader Khusiram Pakhrin’s musical journey through nearly 4 decades of political movements and revolution in Nepal. To read the article written to accompany the film, cluck on this link: annamariestirr.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/tears-for-the-revolution.pdf. (Reference: Stirr, Anna. “Tears for the Revolution: Nepali Musical Nationalism, Emotion, and the Maoist Movement.” In Marie LeComte-Tilouine, ed. Revolution in Nepal. Oxford and New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 367-392.) The full film is available to view here: https://vimeo.com/groups/radicalfilmnetwork/videos/365249884.
Berta Didn’t Die, She Multiplied! (Sam Vinal, 2017)
In Honduras, the most dangerous country in the world to be a land defender, Berta Cáceres’ death has not silenced the many campesinxs fighting for justice and Indigenous Sovereignty. They mourn Berta’s assassination with powerful chants of ‘Berta Didn’t Die, She Multiplied!’ The full film is available here: https://vimeo.com/243485649
Every day the news gets worse. Millions of people are displaced by record-breaking heatwaves and droughts, violent mega-storms and flash floods. Unprecedented wildfires burn out of control, scorching massive tracts of forest and brush, and plunging nearby urban metropolises into surreal scenes of mid-afternoon darkness. The entire film is available for viewing here: https://sub.media/video/trouble-23-prelude-to-a-disaster/
Cuba: Living Between Hurricanes (Michael Chanan, 2019)
A film about climate, commodities and sustainability. On Sunday 7th June there will be a screening (4pm BST) and Q&A (5.15pm BST) with the director and others as part of the series ‘Latin America: Crisis and Coronavirus’ hosted by Sheffield Cuba Solidarity Campaign & Chile Solidarity Network. You can register for the event here.
The full film can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/369196618
Breathing Still 2020 (Jill Daniels, 2020)
A poetic catalyst for action, Breathing Still 2020 reflects on our dark times through stills, low resolution video, found footage and revolutionary song. Daniels’ voiced flaneuse, a disciple of Rosa Luxemburg, roams Berlin streets, memorials and demonstrations, contemplating the rise of nationalism past and present.
Breathing Still (2018) can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/253291495
The Orchard (Lynda Myer-Bennett & Clive Myer, 2013)
A unique take on the world’s most performed play The Cherry Orchard. The film explores Chekhov’s play and Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author creating a new space between narrative and documentary whilst asking the question, ‘Where do personal and social politics cross?’. Derek Jarman’s producer called the film “an innovative and daring approach to directing screen acting, placing The Orchard on the world stage of new approaches to film”.
Estate: A Reverie (Andrea Zimmerman, 2015)
This extraordinary film, which documents the last days of a Hackney housing estate, is both profound and original. Having herself lived on the estate for many years, her tender portrait exhibits deep feelings of community and solidarity – sentiments almost entirely missing from our contemporary political vocabulary. The film can be rented here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/estateareverie
The film appears to be available to view under the title: United We Will Swim…. Again (2015) here: https://vimeo.com/126246286
Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle (Paul Sng, 2017)
The film explores the agenda behind the neglect, demolition and regeneration of council estates in the U.K. over the past thirty years. The film reveals how individuals and communities are fighting against the state and private developers, as they try to save their homes from demolition. The full film is available to rent on YouTube and Google Play.
Clive Myer is founder and former Director of the International Film School Wales, The Film Academy at the University of Glamorgan, and the Skillset Screen Academy Wales. He established Ffresh, one of the most successful student film festivals in the UK, now in its 18th year and is Chair of WOW!, Wales One World Film Festival, now also in its 18th year and continuing to bring world cinema to Wales. He has produced and/or directed and photographed experimental drama and documentary films for over 30 years. With his partner Lynda Myer-Bennett, his most recent feature films include The Orchard (2013), Maurice El Medioni: The Birth of PianOriental (2016) and The Mire Archive (2020). His book, Critical Cinema: Beyond the Theory of Practice, is published by Wallflower/Columbia University Press.