Robert Kramer (1939-1999)

Jay Moore research at
Sun Nov 14 20:50:55 MST 1999

Comrades --

The radical New York-born film maker, Robert Kramer, who spent most of his
recent life in exile in France, died two days ago in Paris.  He was the
principal founder of the very important New Left SDS-affiliated film
collective, Newsreel which brought, with great immediacy, the sights and
sounds of Third World revolutionary movements to college campuses, ghettos,
barrios, and other venues and which provided the basis for many organizing
efforts of the day.  The Godardesque films typically started with the rapid
staccato of a machine gun firing and, well before the end, made you ready to
pick up the gun and fight, too, against imperialism.  Kramer travelled with
several others in the collective to North Vietnam in 1969 and made a
powerful film, "People's War" depicting the courage of the Vietnamese people
suffering under the incessent U.S. bombing campaign (including the shooting
down of a U.S. jet, a scene which still makes me cheer every time I see
it!).  Unlike others of his generation, including Godard, he continued to
make left-wing political films.  He will be missed.

The French "Liberation" has a long obituary:

Friends in Vermont have put up a memorial Web site:

Roz Paine, another former collective member has the Newsreel films:


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