THE HOUR OF LIBERATION:
Decolonizing Cinema, 1966-1981
Through Thursday, June 13
In the late 1960s and 70s, filmmakers from the so-called “Third World” recognized cinema as both a means for decolonization, and a medium to be decolonized. Directors like Ousmane Sembène (Senegal), Med Hondo (Mauritania), Kidlat Tahimik (Philippines), Fernando Solanas (Argentina), Mustafa Abu Ali (Palestine), Sara Gómez (Cuba), Glauber Rocha (Brazil), and Sarah Maldoror (a French/Guadeloupean filmmaker working in Angola and France) captured liberation movements in progress, satirized national elites and their European aspirations, questioned religious hypocrisy, issued calls to arms against neo-colonialism, considered the limits of revolution, and excavated histories of oppression and resistance — creating a new revolutionary cinema which was wildly inventive and politically explosive.
Special thanks to Suad Amiry, Annouchka de Andrade, Matthieu Grimault (Cinémathèque Française), Khadijeh Habashneh, Gerald Herman, Amèlie Garin-Davet (French Cultural Services), Eric Liknaitzky (Contemporary Films), Teemour Mambèty, Diarah N'Daw-Spech (ArtMattan), Marcia Pereiro dos Santos (Regina Films), Yasmina Price, Hannah Prouse (BFI), Jose Ambros (ICAIC), Ricardo Rivera, Marta Rodriguez, Kunal Sen, Heiny Srour, Elena Rossi-Snook (NYPL Reserve Film & Video Collection), John Sinno (ADF), Joana Sousa, Roselly Torres (Third World Newsreel), Mohanad Yaqubi, Eric Di Bernardo (Rialto Pictures), Emily Woodburne, Brian Belovarac, Ben Crossley-Marra (Janus Films), Carsten Zimmer (Arsenal), Livia Bloom (Icarus).
Programmed by Elspeth Carroll
Special support provided by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
“The anticolonial movements of the 1960s were both expressed and documented in cinema. Film Forum captures the spirit of those times in this series, which opens with classics like The Battle of Algiers and Ousmane Sembène’s Black Girl and expands to all corners of the globe.”
– Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times
“This galvanizing series showcases what used to be called ‘Third Cinema.’ Featuring such incendiary landmarks as The Battle of Algiers (1966) and The Hour of the Furnaces (1968).”
– J. Hoberman, The New York Review of Books
– Richard Brody, The New Yorker
“Film Forum’s blockbuster retrospective for early summer, couldn’t be more timely… It’s a three-week, forty-title exploration of a loose generation of filmmakers who saw their cameras as weapons of war. They were united by a desire to show subjugated people fighting their overlords, to mock the vanities and hypocrisies of national elites, to expose the calcified cultural practices that retarded progress in their respective nations.”
– Sukhdev Sandhu, 4 Columns