DIVIDED HEAVEN (Konrad Wolf, 1964)

Along tracks in a train car factory in Halle, East Germany, Rita Seidel collapses; youth hasn’t protected her from nervous exhaustion. The image of her in a hospital bed launches flashbacks; are they hers, or do they appear without her intervention or participation, as though she is divided from her own experience? (Discontinuous, the voiceover […]

STORM CENTER (Daniel Taradash, 1956)

Well, belatedly I’ve seen it: the first Hollywood film to address openly and directly McCarthyism and the postwar reactionary atmosphere engendering hysteria and fear in the U.S.; (as far as I know) the first Hollywood film to use the term “civil liberties”; the first Hollywood film to ask the pertinent question, “What would Thomas Jefferson […]

THE TILLMAN STORY (Amir Bar-Lev, 2010)

The Tillman Story, which won the documentary prize of the San Francisco critics, is another sharp, powerful work by U.S. documentarian Amir Bar-Lev. While it refers specifically to official lies regarding the death of a soldier, a high-profile celebrity, in Afghanistan, and the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld Administration’s and the U.S. military’s subsequent exploitation of his memory to […]