[Marxism] Meeting with a radical documentarian
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Dec 8 11:35:53 MST 2006
Last night I went down to the Christmas party hosted by First Run Features,
a distribution company whose movies I have reviewed in abundance. I had the
good fortune to speak with Peter Miller, the director of "Sacco and
Vanzetti" and "The Internationale". He told me that the discussion on
Marxmail generated by my review moved him deeply, especially Sayan's
reminiscences about Communist workers singing the song in Bengal when he
was 14. Peter said that sales of his videos spiked on amazon.com after my
reviews, something I found very gratifying.
Peter is 45 years old and has a full-time job working for Ken Burns, the
PBS documentary film-maker. Using that job in more or less the same way I
use my day job at Columbia, he launches projects that are his true
inspiration, namely neglected but important stories of the American left.
He told me about the two projects in the planning stages now. One is about
the Latino civil rights movement of the 1950s, something that I had no idea
existed and the other is about Abby Hoffman.
He said that he decided to make such films when he was an undergraduate in
the late 80s when the USSR was beginning to collapse. He had leftists
professors (my age, I would assume) who convinced him that socialism was
worth fighting for even if the Soviet government was rotten at the core.
My sentiments exactly.
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