[Marxism] Fwd: 2016 Socially Relevant Film Festival previews: part one | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Feb 27 15:49:18 MST 2016

This is the first in a series of articles about some of the films 
scheduled for this year’s Socially Relevant Film Festival that I have 
been covering since its inception in 2014. This year I am proud to be on 
its Documentary award jury. I must admit, however, that my tendency 
would be to give a blue ribbon to everybody whose film is being shown in 
SR 2016 since making such films as an alternative to much of the junk 
receiving an Oscar tomorrow night is to be celebrated in and of itself.

As the founder of the SR film festivals, Nora Armani is blessed with an 
uncommon ability to curate some of the most important films being made 
today. As I have made clear in my survey of SR 2014 and SR 2015, these 
are films that are focused on the real problems of ordinary people and a 
welcome alternative to Cineplex escapism. It is not just that films 
about refugees or oppressed nationalities demand your attention as 
thinking and caring adults; it is that they are intensely dramatic as 
the struggles of refugees and the victims of national oppression tend to be.

These are issues obviously very close to Nora Armani’s heart given her 
Armenian ancestry. Indeed, she resolved to create such an annual film 
festival to honor two relatives that were killed by religious fanatics 
in Egypt. Given my strong identification with her artistic and social 
mission, I thought it would be appropriate to start off with two films 
about the Armenian genocide that were made a full century after it 
occurred. After watching them, it dawned on me that they are not just 
about a terrible crime committed against an innocent people. They also 
help to shed light on the phenomenon of ethnic cleansing that is tearing 
apart the social fabric of the Middle East and Anatolia today just as it 
did a century ago and for the same reason: to create a “pure” 
nation-state in whose name the elites can protect their own narrow class 
interests using the kind of demagogy that Hitler made infamous.


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