Films: Abandoned Detroit / Chasing Ice

 By GAETANA CALDWELL-SMITH “Detropia,” a documentary film, written and directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. “Detropia,” created by noted documentarians (“Jesus Camp”) Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, is a powerful film about the demise of Detroit, one of America’s largest cities, home of Motown and General Motors, whose economy had been based on the … Continue reading Films: Abandoned Detroit / Chasing Ice

Jean Paul Marat — presente!

By MICHAEL SCHREIBER “Jean Paul Marat: Tribune of the French Revolution,” by Clifford D. Conner. Pluto Press, London 2012. Historians have not been kind to Jean Paul Marat. Published scholars of the French Revolution, at least in the English language, almost invariably disparage Marat and his work, portraying him as a wild man, a demagogue, … Continue reading Jean Paul Marat — presente!

Review of “Pink Ribbons, Inc.”

PINK RIBBONs, INC., directed by Léa Pool, written by Patricia Kearns and Léa Pool; based on the book by Samantha King.          Statistics show that every 23 seconds a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, and one dies every 69 seconds from the disease.          The eye-opening Canadian documentary, “Pink Ribbons, Inc.,” is aptly subtitled “Capitalizing on … Continue reading Review of “Pink Ribbons, Inc.”

Review of “The Hunger Games”

“The Hunger Games”, directed by Gary Ross; written by Ross, Susan Collins and Billy Ray,  from the novel by Susan Collins, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, and Elizabeth Banks. Director Gary Ross’s film adaptation of “The Hunger Games,” from Susan Collins’ eponymous novel, has a lot going for it. For one thing, it … Continue reading Review of “The Hunger Games”

A Few Words of Appreciation for Hunter S Thompson

by Joe Auciello /  April 2005 issue of Socialist Action   Journalist Hunter S. Thompson, author of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail,” committed suicide on Feb. 20 at his home in Aspen, Colorado.   Whether intended or not, Thompson chose a fate similar to a writer … Continue reading A Few Words of Appreciation for Hunter S Thompson

A tale of courage and determination set during the Black holocaust

For Black History Month, or at any time, here is a book worth reading. “The Book of Negroes,” a novel by Lawrence Hill (published by Harper Collins, 2007, Toronto, 680 pages), won the 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was CBC Radio’s “Canada Reads” 2009 top choice. Hill’s protagonist is a holocaust survivor. Aminata Diallo, an … Continue reading A tale of courage and determination set during the Black holocaust

Bay Area forums to hear author of book on Kevin Cooper

A coalition of social justice activists in the San Francisco Bay Area has organized a Feb. 5-12 book tour for J. Patrick O’Connor, the author of “Scapegoat: The Chino Hills Murders and the framing of Kevin Cooper.” O’Connor’s new book provides a detailed analysis of Cooper’s case and exposes the broken criminal “justice” system in … Continue reading Bay Area forums to hear author of book on Kevin Cooper

‘Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975’

“Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975,” a documentary in English and Swedish with English subtitles, directed by Göran Olsson and co-produced by Danny Glover.
“Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975” is a powerful documentary film, an unprecedented account of a significant era in the U.S. covering assassinations, riots, and the rise of the Black Power movement against the … Continue reading ‘Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975’

Mass(ey) Destruction

“The Last Mountain,” a documentary film directed by Bill Haney, featuring Robert Kennedy, Jr.As I walked into the theater to see “The Last Mountain,” the ticket taker said, “Enjoy the movie!” then added, “Oh, well, I guess that’s not the right thing to say about this film.” You don’t go to a movie about the possible … Continue reading Mass(ey) Destruction

Nowhere to go but up

“Everything Must Go,” starring Will Farrell, Rebecca Hall, and Christopher Gordon Wallace; directed by Dan Rush; adapted by Dan Rush from, “Why Don’t You Dance,” a short story by Raymond Carver. In director Dan Rush’s “Everything Must Go,” an engaging film depicting one man’s quiet desperation, Nick Halsey (Will Ferrell) has a high-paying position at … Continue reading Nowhere to go but up

Where’s Phil Ochs when we need him?

by Gaetana Caldwell-Smith“Phil Ochs: There, But for Fortune,” a documentary film written and directed by Kenneth Bowser.Director Kenneth Bowser’s stirring documentary, “Phil Ochs: There, But for Fortune,” couldn’t have come at a better time. The film leaves you both inspired and depressed.While watching the film, I couldn’t help but feel that we need a protest singer … Continue reading Where’s Phil Ochs when we need him?

Films: The Company Men

by Gaetana Caldwell-SmithThe Company Men, written and directed by John Wells, starring Ben Affleck and Tommy Lee Jones.Emmy-winning TV series director John Wells (“ER”, “The West Wing”) brings us a slickly produced film about high-paid “white-collar” workers in “The Company Men,” featuring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, and Chris Cooper. The film illustrates what happens … Continue reading Films: The Company Men