Tag Archives: Investigation of a Flame

Prismatic Ground Hosts Two Programs of Films by Lynne Sachs

https://www.prismaticground.com/lynne-sachs


Lynne Sachs in Conversation with Brett Kashmere (Canyon Cinema) – Ground Glass Award Presentation


Hosted April 8-18 , 2021
Here: https://www.prismaticground.com/

Prismatic Ground is a new film festival centered on experimental documentary. The inaugural edition of the festival, founded by Inney Prakash, will be hosted virtually in partnership with Maysles Documentary Center and Screen Slate. Catch the ‘Opening Night,’ ‘Centerpiece,’ and ‘Closing Night’ events live via Screen Slate’s Twitch channel. The rest of the films, split into four loosely themed sections or ‘waves’, will be available for the festival’s duration at prismaticground.com and through maysles.org. On April 10, at 4PM ET, Prismatic Ground will present the inaugural Ground Glass Award for outstanding contribution in the field of experimental media to Lynne Sachs. Other live engagements TBA.


MUBI and Prismatic Ground Film Festival

Questions from Mubi Notebook interview for the article Experimenting and Expanding at Prismatic Ground

1. How did Prismatic Ground get on your radar, and what drew you to the festival?

I met Prismatic Ground Film Festival director Inney Prakash about a year ago when I was teaching my very first virtual film and poetry workshop at the Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem where Inney works as a programmer.  Of course, the workshop was supposed to be a face-to-face experience, but it was May of 2020 and there was no way that was going to happen!  We were living in the beginning of a global pandemic!  Inney was a critical part of our pivot to an online experience that could nourish participants from anywhere in the world.  To our surprise, it worked extraordinarily well and 17 participants from the US, Ireland and Uruguay collaborated on making a series of fantastic video poems.  From that point on, I have a feeling that Inney started to think that anything was possible in terms of making and viewing non-commercial, experimental documentaries. A few months later, he wrote to me to ask me if I would accept the first ever Ground Glass Award from his new founded Prismatic Ground Film Festival. I love the name of the award and thoroughly understand the meaning of the term “ground glass” since I have been making 16mm films since the mid 1980s!  By the way, “ground glass” is the frosted glass surface in a film camera that allows the light projected from the lens to bounce off of a mirror and then be recorded as an image on the film surface.

2. What has your experience been with virtual premieres and screenings? And how has Prismatic Ground been different, if at all?

I had four films circulating in 2020 and 2021, “A Month of Single Frames” (14 min) and “Film About a Father Who” (74 min.), “Girl is Presence” (4 min.), and “Epistolary: Letter to Jean Vigo” (5 min.), plus career retrospectives at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City and at the Sheffield Doc/ Fest in the UK. I was also on the jury for the Ann Arbor Film Festival and the FestCurtas Belo Horizante Film Festival in Brazil. It’s been a daunting but exciting year. Everything was virtual, but somehow it worked. I loved these experiences and felt that they successfully brought filmmakers from all over the world together. The “in real life” experience can often be quite elitist just because air travel and hotel accommodations are so extraordinarily expensive.

     Prismatic Ground embraced an entirely new, unbelievably adventurous yet compassionate approach to the viewing of experimentally driven cinema, beyond anything I have never seen in my life.  Inney presented such an astonishing array of FREE work, never privileging a feature film over a shorter work, or a more accessible film over a more challenging one.  His Q and A’s were informed, respectful and inviting. 

     I also want to say something about the festival website design and graphics which subtly forced all of us as audience to watch the films with focus and commitment.  You could not scroll through a film or go backward or forward. While you were allowed to pause, you could not be a dilettante and hop around from one film to another without losing your place in a movie.  This created the closest experience to the one we have in a theater that I have ever witnessed online. In addition, the aesthetics of the website allowed Inney to frame each film on a page in relationship to others in the same “wave” which meant that you were always aware of his curating and the intricate relationships and themes he wanted you to recognize between the films.

3. Do you have a dream vision for a post-COVID festival ecosystem? Can be as broad as “more digital screenings,” or as specific as “curated specifically for underseen/experimental artists,” anything at all.

I think that the virtual is here to stay, but I also am praying for a return to being in a space with other people, with all the breaths, whispers, laughs, weeping, and shuffling of our bodies. We must accept that the virtual is vital. It allows homebound, less affluent audiences to access work outside mainstream, commercially driven movie culture. It can also put less emphasis on box office revenue which means experimental, underground, alternative cinema can travel on the magic carpet of the internet.  I have noticed that more and more people throughout the world are becoming interested in the history of avant-garde film.  They are discovering the work of artists like Jonas Mekas, Chick Strand, William Greaves, Carolee Schneemann Fernando Solanas and others, not just in museums or in classrooms, but at home. This is a revolution of the mind, the eye and the ear!

4. How has the last year of relative isolation influenced your work, if at all?

Despite the annus horribilis of 2020 (and beyond), I have actually met really interesting, dynamic, risk-taking people in the filmmaking community, all through the virtual portal of Zoom. For example, I was incredibly sad not to be able to attend the retrospective of my work at the Sheffield Doc/ Fest and at Prismatic Ground, but I was still able to meet Trinidadian essay filmmaker Che Applewhaite through our shared screenings at both festivals. Over the last few months, we have corresponded a great deal and recently even managed to meet in person here in NYC.

      As I mentioned, I was on the jury for the 2020 Ann Arbor Film Festival and the Belo Horizante International Short Film Festival in Brazil. While I was not able to talk, face-to-face, or hang out in local bars with my fellow jury members after the screenings, we did develop quite profound relationships that allowed us to share our aesthetic passions and our personal pandemic struggles.

     As an artist, I was able to make several short films that reflected my thinking during these troubling times. One of my most lasting discoveries has been that you can actually make collaborative work with artists from anywhere on the globe, and that this interactive experience can be revelatory.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think this could be possible. Over the course of the last year, I found creative and intellectual comrades with whom I could work on such a surprising and generative level.  Who knew?

Lynne Sachs

Lynne Sachs Awarded “Ground Glass Award” at Prismatic Ground

Prismatic Ground 
March 2021
Screen Slate 
https://www.screenslate.com/articles/prismatic-ground

Hosted April 8-18 
Here: https://www.prismaticground.com/

Prismatic Ground is a new film festival centered on experimental documentary. The inaugural edition of the festival, founded by Inney Prakash, will be hosted virtually in partnership with Maysles Documentary Center and Screen Slate. Catch the ‘Opening Night,’ ‘Centerpiece,’ and ‘Closing Night’ events live via Screen Slate’s Twitch channel. The rest of the films, split into four loosely themed sections or ‘waves’, will be available for the festival’s duration at prismaticground.com and through maysles.org. On April 10, at 4PM ET, Prismatic Ground will present the inaugural Ground Glass Award for outstanding contribution in the field of experimental media to Lynne Sachs. Other live engagements TBA.

Logo: Kelsey Kaptur


Opening Night: Thursday, April 8th at 8PM ET on twitch.tv/screenslate

The Films of Anita Thacher
Co-presented by Microscope Gallery. Film critic Amy Taubin in conversation.


Centerpiece: Thursday, April 15th at 8PM ET on twitch.tv/screenslate

Newsreels of the Distant Now, a special presentation by Creative Agitation (Erin and Travis Wilkerson)
Filmmakers in conversation.


Closing Night: Sunday, April 18th at 8PM ET on twitch.tv/screenslate

Second Star to the Right and Straight on ‘Til Morning (dir. Bill and Turner Ross) + Dadli (dir. Shabier Kirchner, 2018, 14 min.)
Filmmakers in conversation.

Streaming through the festival’s duration at prismaticground.com and through maysles.org:

Ground Glass Award
Prismatic Ground will present the inaugural Ground Glass award for outstanding contribution in the field of experimental media to filmmaker Lynne Sachs on April 10, 2021 at 4PM ET. A selection of Sachs’ work curated by Craig Baldwin will be available for the festival’s duration, courtesy of Baldwin, Sachs, and Canyon Cinema:

Still Life with Woman and Four Objects (4 min., 1986)
Sermons and Sacred Pictures (29 min., 1989)
The House of Science: a museum of false facts (30 min., 1991)
Which Way Is East: Notebooks from Vietnam (made with Dana Sachs) (33 min., 1994)
A Month of Single Frames (for Barbara Hammer) (14 min., 2019)
Investigation of a Flame (45 min., 2001)
And Then We Marched (4 min., 2017)
The Washing Society (co-directed with Lizzie Olesker) (44 min., 2018)


Drawn & Quartered will also be streaming in the program- wave 4: through the flowering fields of the sea

Home in the Woods (dir. Brandon Wilson, 2020, 96 min.)
Bodes In Dissent (dir. Ufuoma Essi, 2021, 6 min.)
Make Sure the Sea Is Still There (dir. Gloria Chung, 2021, 8 min.)
The Aquarium (dir. Paweł Wojtasik, 2006, 22 min.)
hold — fuel — when — burning (dir. dd. chu, 2020, 11 min.)
Depths (dir. Ryan Marino, 2020, 5 min.)
Look Then Below (dir. Ben Rivers, 2019, 22 min.)
Drawn & Quartered (dir. Lynne Sachs, 1986, 4 min.)
End of the Season (dir. Jason Evans, 2020, 13 min.)
Learning About Flowers and Their Seeds (dir. Emily Apter and Annie Horner, 2021, 4 min.)
A Slight Wrinkle in the Strata (dir. Ryan Clancy, 2021, 30 min.)
Back Yard (dir. Arlin Golden, 2020, 7 min.)
In Our Nature (dir. Sara Leavitt, 2019, 3 min.)
By Way of Canarsie (dir. Lesley Steele and Emily Packer, 2019, 14 min.)


About Prismatic Ground
Prismatic Ground is a New York festival centered on experimental documentary. Hosted by Maysles Documentary Center and online NYC film resource Screen Slate, the festival will be primarily virtual for its first year barring a timely end to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

We seek work that pushes the formal boundaries of non-fiction in the spirit and tradition of experimental filmmaking. This “spirit” is somewhat amorphous, undefinable, and open to interpretation, but refers to work that engages with its own materiality, and that privileges a heightened artistic experience over clear meaning.

For a better sense of what we’re looking for, here are some filmmakers that inspire us: Chris Marker, Lynne Sachs, Kevin Jerome Everson, The Otolith Group, Black Audio Film Collective, Pat O’Neill, Cecilia Condit, Edward Owens, Chick Strand, Barbara Hammer, Khalik Allah, Michael Snow, Janie Geiser, Isaac Julien, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Sky Hopinka, Fern Silva, Akosua Adoma Owusu…

“Investigation of a Flame” Streaming with MoMA March 4 – 9

Investigation of a Flame. 2001
Directed by Lynne Sachs
Thu, Mar 4, 12:00 p.m.–Tue, Mar 9, 12:00 p.m.
moma.org
https://www.moma.org/calendar/events/6950

This film accompanies 20 Years of Doc Fortnight.
This film is part of Film Programming.

Virtual Cinema screenings are available exclusively to MoMA
members. Not a member? Join today and start streaming.

Investigation of a Flame. 2001. USA. Directed by Lynne Sachs. 45 min.

On May 17, 1968, a group of Catholic anti–Vietnam War protestors armed with homemade napalm confiscated hundreds of selective service records and set fire to them in a Catonsville, Maryland, parking lot. Decades later, director Lynne Sachs interviews the surviving members of the Catonsville Nine about their acts of resistance and their unwavering commitment to peace. Screened on opening night of Documentary Fortnight’s inaugural year, only months after 9/11—and now 20 years later in a new era of discontent—Investigation of a Flame is as powerful as ever, a call to action in the face of turmoil and injustice. Courtesy the Film-Makers’ Cooperative

Virtual Cinema is not available to Annual Pass members. With the exception of Modern Mondays programs, Virtual Cinema screenings are not available outside the US.

Kino Rebelde to Represent Lynne Sachs’ Catalogue Internationally

http://www.kinorebelde.com/kino2020/lynne-sachs-retrospective/

Kino Rebelde has created a retrospective that traces a delicate line connecting intimacy, power relations, violence, memory, migration, desire, love, and war in Lynne’s films. By looking at each of these works, we can see a director facing her own fears and contradictions, as well as her sense of friendship and motherhood.  Moving from idea to emotion and back again, our retrospective takes us on a journey through Sachs’ life as a filmmaker, beginning in 1986 and moving all the way to the present.

With the intention of allowing her work to cross boundaries, to interpret and to inquire into her distinctive mode of engaging with the camera as an apparatus for expression, we are delighted to present 37 films that comprise the complete filmmography, so far, of Lynne Sachs as visual artist and filmmaker. Regardless of the passage of time, these works continue to be extremely contemporary, coherent and radical in their artistic conception.


About Kino Rebelde

Kino Rebelde is a Sales and Festival Distribution Agency created by María Vera in early 2017. Its exclusively dedicated to promotion of non-fiction cinema, hybrid narratives and experimental.

Based on the creative distribution of few titles by year, Kino Rebelde established itself as a “boutique agency”, working on a specialized strategy for each film, within its own characteristics, market potential, niches and formal and alternative windows.

This company supports short, medium and long feature films, from any country, with linear or non-linear narratives. They can be in development or WIP, preferably in the editing stage.

The focus: author point of view, pulse of stories, chaos, risk, more questions, less answers, aesthetic and politic transgression, empathy, identities, desires and memory.

Kino Rebelde was born in Madrid, but as its films, this is a nomadic project. In the last years María has been living in Lisbon, Belgrade and Hanoi and she’ll keep moving around.

About María Vera

Festival Distributor and Sales Agent born in Argentina. Founder of Kino Rebelde, a company focused on creative distribution of non-fiction, experimental and hybrid narratives.

Her films have been selected and awarded in festivals as Berlinale, IFFR Rotterdam, IDFA, Visions Du Réel, New York FF, Hot Docs, Jeonju IFF, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Sarajevo FF, Doclisboa and Viennale, among others.

María has a background as producer of socio-political and human rights contents as well as a film curator.Envelope

vera@kinorebelde.com


Lynne Sachs (1961) is an American filmmaker and poet living in Brooklyn, New York. Her moving image work ranges from documentaries, to essay films, to experimental shorts, to hybrid live performances.

Working from a feminist perspective, Lynne weaves together social criticism with personal subjectivity. Her films embrace a radical use of archives, performance and intricate sound work. Between 2013 and 2020, she collaborated with renowned musician and sound artist Stephen Vitiello on five films.

Strongly committed to a dialogue between cinematic theory and practice, she searches for a rigorous play between image and sound, pushing the visual and aural textures in each new project.

Between 1994 and 2009, Lynne directed five essay films that took her to Vietnam, Bosnia, Israel, Italy and Germany – sites affected by international war – where she looked at the space between a community’s collective memory and her own perception. 

Over the course of her career, she has worked closely with film artists Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Ernie Gehr, Barbara Hammer, Chris Marker, Gunvor Nelson, and Trinh T. Min-ha.

THE FILMS OF LYNNE SACHS Curated by Craig Baldwin at the Roxie (San Francisco)

THE FILMS OF LYNNE SACHS 
Curated by Craig Baldwin 

https://www.roxie.com/the-films-of-lynne-sachs/

Film About a Father Who +

Two Sidebar Programs

Starts February 12

Fresh from her early 2021 retrospective at New York City’s Museum of the Moving Image, filmmaker Lynne Sachs returns to San Francisco where she lived and went to school (SFSU & SFAI) between 1985 and ‘95. It was here that Lynne really immersed herself in our city’s experimental and documentary community, working closely with local artists Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Barbara Hammer, Gunvor Nelson and Trinh T. Minh-ha and spending time at the Film Arts Foundation (RIP), Canyon Cinema, SF Cinematheque, and Other Cinema.

“For more than thirty years, artist Lynne Sachs has constructed short, bold mid-length, and feature films incorporating elements of the essay film, collage, performance, and observational documentary. Her highly self-reflexive films have variously explored the relations between the body, camera, and the materiality of film itself; histories of personal, social, and political conflict; marginalized communities and their labor; and her own family life, slipping seamlessly between modes, from documentary essays to diaristic shorts.” – Edo Choi, Assistant Curator of Film, Museum of the Moving Image.

Accompanying our Bay Area premiere of Sachs’s Film About a Father Who, the Roxie offers two accompanying shorts sidebars programmed by filmmaker and Other Cinema curator Craig Baldwin.

Special thanks to Other CinemaCanyon Cinema, and Cinema Guild for their support in organizing this program.

FILM ABOUT A FATHER WHO 

Over a period of 35 years between 1984 and 2019, filmmaker Lynne Sachs shot 8 and 16mm film, videotape and digital images of her father, Ira Sachs Sr., a bon vivant and pioneering businessman from Park City, Utah. Film About a Father Who is her attempt to understand the web that connects a child to her parent and a sister to her siblings. With a nod to the Cubist renderings of a face, Sachs’ cinematic exploration of her father offers simultaneous, sometimes contradictory, views of one seemingly unknowable man who is publicly the uninhibited center of the frame yet privately ensconced in secrets. In the process, Sachs allows herself and her audience inside to see beyond the surface of the skin, the projected reality. As the startling facts mount, Sachs as a daughter discovers more about her father than she had ever hoped to reveal. (74 min., 2020, A Cinema Guild Release)

Critic’s Pick! “[A] brisk, prismatic and richly psychodramatic family portrait.” – Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times

“Sachs achieves a poetic resignation about unknowability inside families, and the hidden roots never explained from looking at a family tree.” – Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

“Formidable in its candor and ambition.” – Jonathan Romney, Screen International

Tickets for FILM ABOUT A FATHER WHO will be available on February 12

SACHS SHORTS SIDEBARS

Sidebar 1: INQUIRIES INTO SELF AND OTHER

Still from “The House of Science: a museum of false facts”

Still Life with Woman and Four Objects (4 min., 1986)
Sermons and Sacred Pictures (29 min., 1989)
The House of Science: a museum of false facts (30 min., 1991)
Which Way Is East: Notebooks from Vietnam (made with Dana Sachs) (33 min., 1994)

“As sidebar to her fresh Father feature, here is the first of two shorts programs, showcasing the astonishing cinematic artistry of Lynne Sachs…all made during her san fran years and recently digitally restored. Her ‘89 Sermons offers an early glimmer of her sensitivity to both marginalized communities and their archives, as she gracefully threads ultra-rare ‘30s & ’40s footage from Rev. LO Taylor into a tapestry of visibility and respect for Memphis’ Black community. Her facility for celluloid extrapolation is demonstrated in even more creative ways in House of Science, a personal essay on female identity, told through found footage, poetic text, and playful experimental technique. Which Way is East raises its eyes to engagements in international waters, and to insightful exchanges with her expat sister Dana, towards new understandings of and in the oh-so-historically charged Republic of Vietnam.  Opening is Lynne’s first ever 16mm, Still Life.” – CB

TRT: 96 min.

Tickets for Sidebar 1: INQUIRIES INTO SELF AND OTHER will be available on February 12

Sidebar 2: PROFILES IN COURAGE

A Month of Single Frames (for Barbara Hammer) (14 min., 2019)
Investigation of a Flame (45 min., 2001)
And Then We Marched (4 min., 2017)
The Washing Society (co-directed with Lizzie Olesker) (44 min., 2018)

“Characteristically, Sachs speaks in first person to cultural difference and dissent, here particularly valorizing acts of resistance and struggles for justice. Her collaboration with the recently deceased lesbian maker Barbara Hammer keynotes this ‘Solidarity’ set, with Lynne literally framing/finishing her mentor’s last project. Younger allies are also acknowledged in Sachs’ inspiring 2017 celebration of women’s political power on contested Washington, DC turf. The 2001 Investigation is a tribute to the courage and conscience of the epochal Berrigan-led burning of Baltimore draft records, made while Sachs was teaching in that town. And the local debut of The Washing Society, produced with playwright Lizzie Olesker, stakes their support of NYC’s low-paid laundry workers—mostly women of color—in even another radiant illumination of the little-seen truths of contemporary race/class inequity.” – CB

TRT: 107 min.

Tickets for Sidebar 2: PROFILES IN COURAGE will be available on February 12

Stuart Klawens writes in The Nation on Investigation of a Flame at Metrograph

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The Nation Magazine‘s  film critic Stuart Klawans writes: “The Metrograph is showing ….. Lynne Sachs’s almost tactile resurrection of the resistance to the Vietnam War, Investigation of a Flame” in his review of Icarus Films at 40 Retrospective!, screening.

Klawans’ whole review in The Nation (https://www.thenation.com/article/look-around/0):

“This column has put me in a retrospective mood, since it marks my 30th anniversary writing about films for The Nation. So it’s fortunate that I have a 40th anniversary to write about, and a series to peg it to. For the second half of September, the Metrograph theater in Manhattan is offering a birthday salute to the distributor Icarus Films, screening 56 titles that demonstrate a principle dear to both that company and me: the conviction that a movie can have strong social or political content and still do something interesting as film.

I had the good luck to write on just that theme for one of the first pictures I reviewed here, Marcel Ophüls’s Hôtel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie, and dozens of other films in the series implicitly make the same point. The Metrograph is showing, among others, Chris Marker’s epic (or perhaps encyclopedic, or maybe satiric) recent history of the global left, A Grin Without a Cat; Patricio Guzmán’s gorgeous meditation on astronomy and the collection of human remains, Nostalgia for the Light; Chantal Akerman’s magnificent, wordless journey into the regions of her unlived past, D’Est; Lynne Sachs’s almost tactile resurrection of the resistance to the Vietnam War, Investigation of a Flame; and, for those in a truly retrospective mood, Heddy Honigmann’s Forever, an infinitely touching documentary about the Père Lachaise cemetery and its visitors. If the Metrograph is far from you, please be aware that almost all of the films in the Icarus series are available on streaming services, making it possible for you, too, to look back, and look around.

Tang Teaching Museum presents Investigation of Flame at Skidmore

Skidmore logotang-exploresaratogahero

 

 

 

 

 

The Tang Teaching Museum’s series Whole Grain explores classic and contemporary work in experimental film and video. Whole Grain is programmed by Educator for College and Public Programs, Tom Yoshikami. All events are free and open to the public.

Join us on Thursday, September 13, at 7:00 PM, for a screening of Investigation of a Flame: A Portrait of the Catonsville Nine, followed by a discussion with filmmaker Lynne Sachs.

Investigation of a Flame (2001, US, 45 min., 16mm) is an intimate, experimental documentary portrait of the Catonsville Nine, this disparate band of resisters who chose to break the law in a defiant, poetic act of civil disobedience. It follows nine Vietnam War protesters led by Daniel and Philip Berrigan, who, on May 17, 1968, walked into a Catonsville, Maryland draft board office, grabbed hundreds of selective service records, and burned them with homemade napalm.

This screening is part of our series Whole Grain: Experiments in Film and Video and is held in conjunction with the exhibition Give a damn., on view at the Tang through September 30.

Lynne also taught a workshop in the

THE JOHN B. MOORE DOCUMENTARY STUDIES COLLABORATIVE (MDOCS)

https://tang.skidmore.edu/calendar/880-whole-grain-investigation-of-a-flame-a-portrait-of-the-catonsville-nine

Expressions of a Flame: In the Intense Now at Northwest Film Forum

1968-Expressions-Flame_Poster-1200x1778

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northwest Film Center presents
1968: Expressions of a Flame
1515 12th Ave.
Seattle, WA

Sept. 1, 2018

https://nwfilmforum.org/films/1968-expressions-of-a-flame-in-the-intense-now/

The year 1968 signaled revolution, but that call for change was heard differently, unevenly. In the streets, it was louder than a bomb and echoed with joy; in mansions and police precincts, an incomprehensible tune sung in an impossible language. A student in Mexico City goes to a demonstration, a communist in Tokyo buys a saxophone, a CIA operative spies on Black nationalists in Cleveland, and the Los Angeles rich look in the mirror and don’t recognize their faces. This film series explores the many manifestations of this global upheaval through cinema.

Series programmer: Austin McCann

Investigation of a Flame and El Pueblo Se Levanta are two documentaries centered around the church as a site of community organizing.

Investigation of a Flame
(Lynne Sachs, US, 2003, 43 min)

In her elegiac tribute to the Catonsville Nine, acclaimed documentarian Lynne Sachs ponders the moral dilemma that moved nine middle-class Catholics to break into their local Maryland draft office and burn 378 draft records with homemade napalm. The film combines insightful interviews with a more abstract visual sensibility attuned to the quotidian spaces of the resisters. A beautiful portrait of faith in opposition to war featuring Daniel and Philip Berrigan.

El Pueblo Se Levanta
(Prod. Third World Newsreel Film Collective, US, 1971, 42 min)

The Young Lords were a US-based Puerto Rican militant organization dedicated to improving the lives of their communities through direct action and community programs. In this hard-hitting 1971 newsreel, we witness the Young Lords organizing in Harlem in the late ’60s, including an extensive church occupation.

 

 

Screen Slate reviews Investigation of a Flame

InvestigationofaflameDDcover

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to Screen Slate review: https://www.screenslate.com/features/825

Investigation of a Flame – Review
by Chris Shields     Featured May 27th 2018

On May 17th 1968, nine Catholic activists entered the draft board in Catonsville, Maryland. They took 378 draft files, brought them to the parking lot, and burned them using homemade napalm. In order to get to the files, the group was forced to struggle with a clerk, Mary Murphy, who was working at the office that day. Later, from jail, the activists sent Murphy a bouquet of flowers and an apology.

This curious detail is one among many that come to light in Lynne Sachs elegiac 2001 film Investigation of a Flame, screening tonight at Anthology Film Archives. This poetic cinematic essay integrates interviews, archival footage, and experimental flourishes into a gentle evocation of the Catonsville Nine’s direct action. From this variety of material, the film develops its own deliberate cadence, where found and original footage create an effortless dialogue across time. Sachs gives us a rich vision of the event, the people involved, and its political and philosophical context, that’s always elegant, never didactic.

Sound maintains the leading role in Sachs’ film. It binds her images together, giving the formally playful passages their necessary freedom while keeping them tethered just closely enough to the larger subject. A variety of voices are also key. In Investigation of a Flame, we hear from the Nine themselves and Mary Murphy, the draft board clerk, and the Catonsville Nine prosecuting attorney as well. These voices of seeming dissent are not at odds with the work at large, but rather become some of its greatest strengths, achieving, strangely enough, the kind of dialogue advocated by a steady stream of present-day editorials. The perspectives of the Nine, Mary Murphy, and others however, so many years after the incident, are still reckoning with questions of duty, faith, and violence. What results is a not a work of lifeless history, but a vital, wisened film about the nature of protest.