Ed Rampell

Trumbo” is a rarity: A Hollywood movie with a heroic lead identified as a Communist. Dalton Trumbo was reputedly postwar Hollywood’s highest paid screenwriter, with such scripts under his belt as 1940’s class conscious “Kitty Foyle,” for which Ginger Rogers won a Best Actress Oscar, and World War II morale boosters like “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo” starring Spencer Tracy. But to keep this prestigious, well-paying job, as Dalton is warned by MGM’s mogul Louis B. Mayer (Richard Portnow), he best avoid politics.  


Cate Blanchett in "Carol." Photo courtesy ZFF.

Progressives will find a lot to love among the 161 movies from 33 countries shown at the 11th annual Zürich Film Festival.


This films review of Latin American history packs a punch

Remembering Latin America’s Forgotten Ones

“Olvidados” is one of those gripping, hard hitting political pictures about Latin America, a tradition including Sergei Eisenstein’s 1932 epic “Que Viva Mexico!”, Costa-Gavras’ 1972 “State of Siege” and 1982 “Missing”, Roger Spottiswoode’s 1983 “Under Fire” and Oliver Stone’s 1986 “Salvador.”

Black Panthers from Sacramento, Free Huey Rally, Bobby Hutton Memorial Park in Oakland, CA, 1969. Courtsey of Pirkle Jones and Ruth-Marion Baruch

One wonders: If Huey patrolled the “pigs” today to make sure they did not violate citizens’ rights and were held accountable for their misdeeds, would he carry a cell phone instead of a rifle?

Straight Outa Compton hits theaters on August 14, during the ongoing state of emergency in Ferguson on the one-year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown. The timing is uncanny.


In their latest film, “Best of Enemies,” directors Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon capture the historic verbal jousting matches between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley during the 1968 Republican and Democratic conventions.

Photo: "Consumed" Promotional Picture

“Consumed” is an environmentally-themed movie featuring Zoe Lister-Jones as a single midwestern mom, waitress and student who discovers that genetically modified organisms are making her son sick.

Oscar winning director John Ridley spoke recently at the LA Film Festival on race, Hollywood and the current renaissance of black-themed film.


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This time we’ve got some advantages.


We need to improve the condition of workers this Thanksgiving weekend. Here's what you can do.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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