Film and Discussion: State of Siege

Final Friday Films
Continuing the Anti-Bourgeois Film Series

“The problem is not to make political films but to make films politically.” —Godard / Gorin

France, 1973, 121 minutes
Directed by Costa-Gavras
featuring Yves Montand

State of Siege details the overt and covert practices of the Agency for International Development throughout the world, with a particular emphasis on events that took place in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1970. The actual taking of supposed American ambassador Daniel Mitrione by Tupamaro guerillas as a hostage for the release from prison of fellow Tupamaros, details in interviews themany training exercises conducted by American forces in both the US and Latin America, concerning psychological and physical torture techniques, which were accompanied by broad austerity measures and implementation of anti-trade union measures and broad militaristic attacks on other working class organizations.

In State of Siege, Mitrione is known as Philip Santore, is well-played by Yves Montand. The rightist military government of Uruguay would never have allowed Costa-Gavras to film in Uruguay. Instead, it was filmed in Chile, in and around Santiago, and in the coastal cities of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar. during the brief time of Salvador Allende, just before the 1973 Chilean coup d’état, planned with Nixon and Kissinger with Pinochet, in much the same way in which American policy is detailed in the staged interviews in State of Siege. Costa-Gavras would later dramatize the Chilean coup in the film Missing.

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Crises and Uprisings in Latin America Today

Four Thursdays with Gerardo Rénique and Fred Murphy

Join us for a closer look at the political and economic background to dramatic recent events in Latin America, where a tremendous struggle is taking place between popular movements opposed to neoliberalism and authoritarianism, and capitalist elites determined to defend their profits and privileges. Recent months have seen enormous uprisings by popular movements in Ecuador and Chile, a violent right-wing coup in Bolivia, the rise of a massive feminist movement in Argentina, and in Haiti prolonged protests against President Jovenel Moïse. These developments come in the wake of crises and setbacks experienced by so-called “pink tide” governments that had sought to redistribute wealth and challenge decades of domination by US imperialism, the IMF, and local elites.

Gerardo Rénique teaches history at the City College of the City University of New York. He is a frequent contributor to Socialism and Democracy and NACLA: Report on the Americas. His research interests include the political traditions of popular movements in Latin America, and race, national identity and state formation in Mexico.

Fred Murphy has led numerous study groups at the Marxist Education Project since 2015. He studied and taught Latin American history at the New School for Social Research. In the 1980s he traveled in Latin America as a journalist for several socialist publications.

All fees are sliding scale. No one is turned away for inability to pay

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Nicaragua in Crisis

A Forum with Father Octavio Altamirano • Jorge Blass •
Dan La Botz • Lisa Maya Knauer • Nicaraguan Students

co-sponsored with Haymarket Books, NACLA, New Politics and Democratic Socialists of America, NYC Chapter
Since late April the Nicaraguan Sandinista government of President Daniel Ortega has been challenged first by a popular uprising in which dozens were killed by the government and then by mass demonstrations demanding peace and justice. Now the Catholic Church is attempting to mediate between the Ortega government and the movement, but so far without success. What is the source of Nicaragua’s crisis today? And what are the roots of the problem in the experience of the last forty years? How does it affect Nicaraguan immigrants to the United States? What stand should progressive Americans take on the Nicaraguan crisis?


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Resistance and Solidarity Across the US-Mexican Border: 1946-2016

A presentation by Gerardo Renique
This presentation will cover the history and political implications of the making of the waves of US-Mexican international policy for contemporary struggles for labor, immigrant and civil rights across at the US-Mexican border region. We will look at the cross-border urban areas that depend on the same water, air and other natural resources, such as the broad expanse of San Diego to Tijuana metropolitan region. Significant consideration will be given to the tensions and contradictions generated by the uneven interdependence of capitalist development in the borderlands; the long history of solidarity, struggle and resistance against racial and capitalist oppression waged by Native Americans, Mexican Americans and the multinational working class in the region; and, the potential of these developments for the political challenges posed by transnational capitalism and globalization in Mexico and the United States.

Gerardo Renique teaches history at the City College of the City University of New York is a frequent contributor to Socialism and Democracy and NACLA: Report on the Americas. His research looks at the political traditions of popular movements in Latin America; race, national identity and state formation in Mexico. He co-directed with Tami Gold the video-documentary Frozen Happiness. Elections, Repression and Hope in Oaxaca, Mexico; and co-authored with G. Katsiaficas “A New Stage of Insurgencies: Latin American Popular Movements, the Gwangju Uprising, and the Occupy Movement” in Socialism and Democracy.

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