CRITICS CHAPTER

'Criticism is the only thing that stands between the audience and advertising.' - Pauline Kael


WHO WE ARE

Dr David Archibald, University Of Glasgow
Film International, Financial Times, Cineaste


Liza Bear,
Bomb Magazine


Dan Bessie
Filmmaker and Culture Critic

Prof. Dennis Broe
Jump Cut, NY Newsday, Boston Phoenix

Dianne Brooks
The Film Files, Writemovies.com

Lisa Collins
Filmmaker

Benjamin Dickenson
Bright Lights Film Journal, UK

David Ehrenstein
Quarterly Review of Film and Video

Miguel Gardel
Proletaria Press


Michael Haas
Culture critic

Laura Hadden
Pacifica Radio

Gerald Horne
University Of Houston

Reynold Humphries
British Film Historian

Sikivu Hutchinson
BlackFemsLens.org, KPFK Radio

Jan Lisa Huttner
TheHotPinkPen.com, Films For Two

Cindy Lucia
Cineaste Magazine

Pat McGilligan
Film Historian

Prairie Miller
WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network

Logan Nakyanzi
Go Left TV, Huffington Post

Gerald Peary
Boston Phoenix

Steve Presence
Radical Film Network, UK


Louis Proyect
s
Counterpunch, Marxmail.org

Sandy Sanders
BlueJayWay.net

Nancy Schiesari,
BBC, Channel 4,
Univ. of Texas, Austin

Rebecca Schiller
Culture Critic

David Spaner, Hollywood Inc.

Luis Reyes
, Arsenal Pulp Press

Christopher Trumbo
RIP, January 8, 2011

Dave Wagner
Mother Jones, Film International

Linda Z
LFC Film Club

Noah Zweig
Telesur


Paul Robeson With Oakland, Ca. Shipyard Workers, 1942

Black August

So in order to best cover all bases, progressive film critics tend to consider three categories of assessment, rather than two: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The first two are self-explanatory. And the third category is reserved for movies that may have been impressively put together, but there's just something offensively anti-humanistic about them.

Stay tuned......

The Organizer

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hillary's America: The Not So Secret History Of The Democratic Party


As the rather mix 'n match title implies, Hillary's America: The Secret History Of The Democratic Party, is really two separate films rolled into one. And with the lion's share topically reserved for the latter assertion, while the former regarding the current presidential candidate feels tacked on, hasty and scattered. And actually, a rather redundant indictment of Hillary that has received a far more in-depth examination and incriminating revelations lately, by experts and civilian journalists alike online.

Which positions filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza and this followup to his 2012 critique Obama's America, in the rather ironic ideological space of concurring with those he aligns himself with (the Republicans on the right), but also at the other end of the political spectrum, the left who've embraced Bernie Sanders or the Green Party's Jill Stein. A peculiar place indeed for D'Souza to find himself, and only further reinforced by imploring conclusively that Americans therefore needs to vote Republican in this presidential election - without actually saying why.

So what is ultimately presented, is the unfortunately all too common one side to ever story reporting, delineating the historical sins of the Democratic Party while whitewashing the Republicans across the centuries - primarily through that other sin, of omission. And no, Inaccuracy Alert, Lincoln was not against slavery for quite some time ["If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it,” Lincoln wrote to Horace Greeley in 1862], while viewing the black population as inferior to whites [“I am in favour of the race to which I belong having the superior position...Free them [slaves] and make them politically and socially our equals? My own feelings will not admit of this. We cannot, then, make them equals.”] And in fact, Lincoln and the early capitalist North settling on anti-slavery as a war tactic, primarily to break the competitive economic back of the rebel South.

At the same time, D'Souza appears to tiptoe around the biggest Hillary elephant in the room - seeming ironically on the same side with her about this biggest of her current crimes most substantially outed in Wikileaks revelations - namely her covert collusion in rigging the Democratic presidential primaries in league with the DNC and corporate bought big media - and seemingly D'Souza carefully avoiding any defense or support for the victim on the left of those very questionable primary 'victories' - Bernie Sanders. Ideological Walking On Eggshells Alert. And, a potential backfiring of just what D'Souza is intending to do here - namely draw audiences into voting Republican, but potentially sending them off in droves to Jill Stein and the Green Party.

Political ironies aside here, D'Souza may come out of this with the appearance of being his own worst enemy. That is, regarding the extended sequences in the film where he seethes in jail about being railroaded there by Obama and the Democrats, following a campaign contribution conviction. A directorial state of mind which can readily be interpreted as subjectively motivated retaliation as - opposed to a measured critique.

And with such determined scrutiny, why in contrast is there a glaring omission of the historical crimes of the Republican Party. And actually, both parties behind the profit crazed ,genocidal military industrial complex mass murder of millions across the planet, under the superpower guise of US exceptionalism. While in fact at the same time, the modern history of presidents from both parties is ironically inconsequential. As those presidents function merely as the greased palms middlemen and the face of the secret permanent government behind the scenes - the banks and corporations.

Then there are several other assorted elephants in the room that inevitably comes to mind here, with the evidently elaborate and expensive production values lavished on this documentary, and that receives no explanation not to mention disclaimers in the closing credits  - Who funded your movie. And, if you're an apparently proudly guilty as charged advocate for the contemporary Republican Party, will you be following up with a professionally impartial sequel about that equally abhorrent entity - both of which have driven most voters this round to seek out candidates outside the political establishment?

That question may have already been answered in D'Souza's abrupt and swift sign-off at the end of his documentary - You know, just go vote Republican. Period.

Prairie Miller
WBAI Radio