Workshop in Revolutionary Film

  • Instructor: Bob Devine
  • Date: Every Monday from July 19 to August 23
  • Time: 7:00 PM
  • Place: Nonstop Institute, 305 N. Walnut, Yellow Springs
  • Cost: Pay as you are able
  • This workshop will examine narrative films that are oppositional in (a) production circumstance, (b) form, (c) content, or (d) circumstance of reception. Each film will be screened, with discussions of the historical and cultural context of the films, in order to discern patterns across cultures that might be considered revolutionary. Selected films from Russia, the U.S., Algeria, Cuba, Senegal and Zimbabwe will be screened and discussed. The six screenings in this workshop can be attended individually or as a series.

  • Mon, Jul 19, 7 PM — Russia—Strike—Eisenstein—1925
  • Sergei Eisenstein’s Strike (1925) is a classic portrayal of the working class as a collective hero, introducing the techniques of agit-prop, and realizing his elaborate theory of the “Montage of Attractions”.

  • Mon, Jul 26, 7 PM — United States—Salt of the Earth—Biberman—1953
  • Salt of the Earth (1953) by Herbert Biberman was banned in the U.S. for many years for its depiction of the intersection of race, class and gender in this neorealist re-creation by the workers of the strike at Empire Zinc in New Mexico in 1950.

  • Mon, Aug 2, 7 PM — Algeria—Battle of Algiers—Pontecorvo—1966
  • Battle of Algiers (1966), a re-creation by Gillo Pontecorvo, Franco Solinas, and Saadi Yacef of a major battle in the Algerian war for independence, two years after it occurred. The film focuses less on the violence than the fundamental characteristic of urban revolutionary warfare and organization.

  • Mon, Aug 9, 7 PM — Senegal—Black Girl—Ousmene—1966
  • Ousmane Sembene’s first feature-length film, Black Girl (1966) denounces the French colonialism that persists in a new form of African slave trade, and the new African class which was neocolonialism’s accomplice.

  • Mon, Aug 16, 7 PM — Cuba—Memories of Underdevelopment—Gutierrez-Alea—1968
  • Tomas Gutierrez-Alea, Memories of Underdevelopment (1968) interrogates the manner in which people continue to carry the mentality of the underdeveloped within them, and speculates on the means for moving beyond the cultural, intellectual, emotional and ideological state of underdevelopment to make a true revolution.

  • Mon, Aug 23, 7 PM — Zimbabwe—Flame—Sinclair—1996
  • Ingrid Sinclair’s Flame (1996) aims to recover and reinterpret the history of the Zimbabwean liberation struggle through a narrative of the life of the woman known as “Flame,” spanning the period from the height of the liberation struggle in 1974 until roughly 1994, 15 years after independence.


    About the Instructor: Bob Devine was one of the founding members of Antioch College’s critical communications program, has been teaching courses in media and social change, film and communications theory for forty years, and has been actively involved in the fields of community media, public access and participatory democratic media outside the academy. His field work has involved the start-up, leadership and management of the Dallas, Milwaukee and Manhattan community access systems, as well as policy planning, system design, community ascertainment and system evaluation for a number of access organizations across the country. Bob has served on the Editorial Board of Community Media Review a number of times, and has contributed to that journal for several decades. He has also served on the national Board of the Alliance for Community Media. In 2005 he served as Interim Executive Director of Manhattan Neighborhood Network, and in 2008 he served an extended term as an Executive Consultant for ‘‘Ōlelo Community Media in Honolulu, these organizations being the two largest community media centers in the country. At Antioch, Bob served as Academic Dean in 1994-95, and then as President of the College from 1996-2001, while continuing to teach in the field of communication and community media. Most recently Bob taught courses and independent studies for NonStop. Bob is the 1994 recipient of the Alliance for Community Media’s “George Stoney Award for Humanistic Communications” recognizing his national contributions to the field of community media, and the 2002 recipient of the Antioch College Alumni Association’s “J.D. Dawson Award” recognizing his contributions to the College. Bob is also co-author of Interdisciplinary Communication: A Cross Disciplinary Approach, and director of several dozen documentaries.