[Marxism] 3-7-77

Jeffrey Masko j.alan.masko at gmail.com
Thu Sep 22 12:05:08 MDT 2016

Travis Wilkerson's film, *An Injury to One* (2002) uses this (and many
other onscreen texts) to dig into the mining wars in Butte and the death of
Frank Little. The film has little photographic evidence to use (only one
shot of Little exists) but uses the text of Hammett's Red Harvest to
explore the authors involvement with the Butte strike during this period.
This historical backdrop of the Anaconda mines (which would later be bought
by ARCO) foreshadows the ecological and economic devastation by big capital
of the area as symbolized by the huge toxic open pit mining dump known as
Butte Lake.

Wilkerson's film is best described as a self-reflexive documentary whose
Marxist sympathies are not didactically drawn, but build as the viewer must
piece together ideological fragments as part of the visual film experience.
This is done through the incomplete visual and onscreen texts that induce
viewer participation. Notable is the inclusions of songs, whose lyrics are
now sung, but only seen as on screen text that must be sung in the heads of
the viewers to be complete. So rather than simply dumping information in
the form of talking heads or moving lectures, the film experience itself is
designed to create a class consciousness in sympathy for the workers then
and now, linking the red-scares and capitalist exploitation of the past
with those of today. Like *Maquilapolis: City of Factories* (Funari and De
La Torre, 2006), these films move far away from complacent and conventional
formal arrangements such as expository or participatory documentary modes
that are easily digested into the political economy of mass media by
requiring more than passive engagement and offering a political experiences
when viewing film.

​http://www.tlaxcala-int.org/article.asp?reference=11448  * Injury To One *
(full film)​

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUQgFzkE3i0  *Maquilapolis: City of
Factories* (Funari and De La Torre, 2006)
(full film)

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