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Left-Wing Films

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it will give you lots of ideas for films to show at cell meetings, for public events, or as a means to brainwash conservative youth that you kidnapped from Boy Scout outings. Of course, any film can be watched and deconstructed for its lessons about race, class, gender and power, but these films make those discussions a little easier. Showing films can be a great way to have political discussions at the same time you are having fun. You can even use them as fund-raising events, since most only cost $10 to $20 a piece. (You aren't suppose to charge people to see movies you rent from a store.)

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Atomic Cafe - A montage of American propaganda films depicting the threat we faced from Soviet expansionism, and our optimism about the winnability of nuclear war. Hilarious.

Babe (1995) - Pig wins sheep dog competition. Portrays the horror of animal-flesh-eating more slyly than any other talking animal movie.

Bear, The - A very emotional tale of an orphaned cub who is befriended by an older male bear.

The Burning Season: The Chico Mendes Story - dir: John Frankenheimer Raul Julia, Sonia Braga, Kamala Dawson, Luis Guzman, Nigel Havers, Thomas Milian, Esai Morales, Tony Plana, Marco Rodriguez, Edward James Olmos Warner Brothers/HBO, 1994, 123 min film blurb: "Some call his a hero. Others label him bad for business. But enemies of Brazilian rain forest activist Chico Mendes call him something else: a target. "In one of his last roles, Raul Julia plays real-life hero Mendes in the powerful adventure "The Burning Season", directed by John Frankenheimer. Spurred to action after a key organizer of the rain forest's working poor is slain, Mendes stands firm against slash-and-burn deforestation. He becomes a nonviolent activist, union leader, political candidate and a recognized authority who helps alert the world to the plight of the Amazon. With unflinching courage, Mendes puts his principles to the test -- even when the test means a deadly showdown with destiny." Some scenes in this film are clearly derived from Julia's earlier film "Romero" (1989) -- to which it could almost be a (more-or-less) secular counterpart. (From Kelsey@iw.net)

Chernobyl: Chronicle of Difficult Weeks - This film was shot contiuously for three months. It chronicles a lifeless city, empty villages, a dead forest, and the movie itself was exposed with white bloches- a radiation leakage. (53 min.)

China Syndrome, The - A classic anti-nuclear power movie with Jane Fonda, about a plant that almost blows up and the ensuing cover-up.

Country - Jessica Lange portrays a soft-spoken, hard-working woman who fights to keep her family united and to prevent the loss of her family's farm.

Dark Circle - this film interweaves dramatic personal stories of American nuclear victims with rare footage of the secret world where the hydrogen bomb is manufactured, tested and sold. It is a major accomplishment which serves as a reminder of the great dangers posed by nuclear technology. (82 min.)

Emerald Forest, The - A unique adventure based on a true story. Powers Boothe stars as an engineer working in a culture totally foreign to Western civilization. A fascinating story of parental love, culture-clash, and the results of "progress." (113 min.)

Free Zone: Democracy meets the Nuclear Threat - is the first film to document the growing international nuclear-free zone movement.The film also provides a a useful overview of the economic and environmental consequences of the arms race and raises fundamental questions about the sacrifice of basic democratic freedoms in the name of national security. (57 min.)

Gorillas In The Mist - Sigourney Weaver stars as Diane Fossey, a pioneer in the field of gorilla studies. Her work has helped to preserve the gorilla population and has curbed the selling of these animals and subsequent poaching. This is a very indepth look into Fossey and her work and is a must-see for any environmentalist/animal rights activist.

Medicine Man stars Sean Connery as a scientist who may have discovered the cure for cancer. Unfortunately the cure is found in the Brazilian Rain Forest which is being slashed and burned around his ears, literally.

Millagro Beanfield War - Mexican-Americans do battle against capitalist exploitation, with the intercession of magic.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind a Japanese animated film set in the distant future in a world that is slowly healing itself from pollution. A young girl tries to stop both a war between two rival clans, and the destruction of the misunderstood "toxic forest". The environmental aspect of this movie is sublte.

Never Cry Wolf - A biologist takes to Northern Canada to conduct a study on the wolf population. His unforgettable experiences prove a valuable lesson in survival. Splendid wildlife photography, lots of good humor and fine performances. (105 min.)

People of No Interest - This film shows a concrete example of the struggle between the local people at the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil victimized by several enormous development projects, the multinational corporations and the government of Brazil. (29 min.)

Places in the Heart - The triumph of a young widow during the depression who succeeds in keeping her family together by harvesting a crop against all odds. (110min)

Project X - Action/drama staring Matthew Broderick as a maverick Air Force pilot whose stunts get him demoted to "nursemaiding" a group of lab chimps. When he learns of the experiments' fatal consequences, he teams up with the apes's trainee to arrange a break out. (108 min.)

The Quiet Earth (1985)  Human experimentation with a world wide power grid has lead to unanticipated consequences. A scientist who had tried to commit suicide wakes up to discover that everyone else in the world appears to have vanished and descends into madness.

The Rainbow Warrior (1992)  True story of the 1985 bombing of the Greenpeace ship in NZ harbours by French governmental terrorists and the ensuing investigation.

Soylent Green - The world is over-populated and dominated by mega-rich corporations in walled-off compounds. A detective discovers the link between the Stop-and-Kill-Yourself suicide centers and the new green protein crackers used to quell food riots. Based on Harry Harrison's Make Room, Make Room.

Toxic Avenger, The - A cult classic about a man deformed by pollution who wreaks havoc on the polluters.

Where Have All The Dolphins Gone? - (In the Tuna Every One. - ed.) Documents the confrontation between major multi-national companies and environmental groups, which see the plight of the dolphins as symbolic of the crisis facing many species today. The film portrays the beauty and charm of our aquatic relatives. Rare footage also dramatically depicts the slaughter of these gentle mammals. (58 min.)

Stopping the Coming Ice Age -This program dramatically illustrates how the greenhouse effect may be increasing temperature differences, creating more clouds, and transferring huge quantities of moisture to the higher latitudes, building up the polar glaciers. Combines expert commentary with excellent visuals. (45 min.)

The River That Harms - documents the largest radioactive waste spill in U.S. history- a national tragedy that has received little media attention. This film tells the story of this tragedy and the toll it continues to take on the Navajos, who have lost the use of their water and witnessed the sickness and death of their animals. To the Navajos this event is also a prophetic warning for all humanity. (45 min.)