Upcoming Movies and Events

UP NEXT: Social revolution I: the falling empire – Screening – 5/9/2021

Movie Description:The Russian Revolution – 3-Part Series

(This is the first part of a 3-night series of documentaries on the Russian social revolution of 1917)
The World War I crushed 3 continental empires: Austro-Hungarian, Russian, and Ottoman. These empires possessed immense wealth, political, and military powers. They covered most of the Europe, large parts of Asia, and part of Northern Africa. Why did they fail so abruptly? In tsarist Russia, the republican movement has been growing since early 19th century. Abolition of serfdom (a form of slavery imposed on the majority of the country’s people) in 1861, enabled economic growth but also exposed hidden conflicts in the society. The emperor that lead the reform was killed by radicals fighting to overthrow monarchy, and his heir rolled back the reforms and re-established an oppressive rule. Nicholas II, the son of reactionary tsar, was a loving husband and caring father. At the same time, he was incapable of carrying power bestowed on him with the death of his father. His indecisive reforms and failed military campaigns led to resurgence of revolutionary movement and wide spread of terrorism. The first episodes of this movie show us how rampant inequality, concentration of power, failure of leadership, and escalating conflicts led the empire to the brink of collapse. This is a dystopia that really happened, an example the rest of the world shouldn’t follow.

Discussion Points:
When does a revolution begin and end?
Is it a result of revolutionaries’ power struggle, or a fault of the overthrown regime?
Who benefits from a revolution and who loses?
Are reforms better than a revolution? Can they achieve the same results?
Join us in the Theatre on May 9th at 7pm ET

Suggested Movies:

HyperNormalization – 3 part series (3 hour long documentary)

“HyperNormalization” spends nearly three hours telling us how we got to such a troubling moment in world history. From Donald Trump’s emergence as a celebrity business tycoon (despite his inability to keep his casinos afloat) to the Reagan Administration’s invention of Muammar Qaddafi as a global supervillain in order to avoid confrontation with a newly radicalized Syria, the film finds moment after moment where lies have become codified and accepted, where Western leaders have refused hard choices, ceded authority to global finance, and built simplistic, patently false narratives to steer the public away from the uncertainty and ambivalence of our times. That most of us have accepted these tall tales have had, according to Curtis, unintended and often terrifying consequences.

Angela Davis: Radical Frameworks for Social Justice – 60 mins.

Long time political activist and academic Angela Davis talks about social justice movements. Distinguishing between race/gender diversity and a broader concept of human rights she nurtures a more vibrant and sustainable dialog.

The Social Dilemma – (1.5 hrs) 2/2/2021 at 7pm ET.

The Social Dilemma is a 2020 American docudrama film that explores the rise of social media and the damage it has caused to society. The film focuses on exploitation and manipulation of users for financial gain through surveillance capitalism and data mining.

The film features interviews with many former employees, executives, and other professionals from top tech companies and social media platforms such as Facebook, Google, and Apple. These interviewees provide their first-hand experiences of working in and around the tech industry. They state that social media platforms and big tech companies have been instrumental in providing positive change for society; they also note that such platforms have also caused problematic social, political, and cultural consequences. These interviews are presented alongside scripted dramatizations of a teenager’s social media addiction and a primer on how a social media algorithm powered by artificial intelligence may work.

Discussion Points:

  • What techniques for manipulating users are shown in the movie?
  • How much are we influenced by these techniques? (a few online polls may be taken here)
  • What countermeasures can we take?
  • As an organization, how can we guard our business without blocking communications?
  • What role can secure messengers and federated services play in replacing centralized social networks?
  • Are federated services viable? Can they be addictive? How to resist that?
Naomi Klein – The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism – 50 mins.

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the New York Times and #1 international bestseller, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. This is a lecture she gave in Boulder, Colorado on December 8, 2007, where she explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Exposing the thinking, the money trail and the puppet strings behind the world-changing crises and wars of the last four decades, and how America’s “free market” policies have come to dominate the world– through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries.

The Old Corruption (Britain’s Slave Trade Documentary) – 50 mins.

The Old Corruption challenges the accepted version of the history of abolition, that the passive, suffering slaves were freed by benevolent white crusaders, revealing the corruption of the plantations owners, and how the inhuman treatment of African people was finally acknowledged. This is the untold story of the greatest slaving nation in history. Up till now, Britain’s place in the history of slavery has been as the country that abolished the international slave trade. Britain’s Slave Trade reveals the shameful truth behind this liberal facade, showing how the economic, social and cultural life of Britain would have been unrecognizable without slavery. Britain’s Slave Trade explains how a middling European power transformed itself into the ruler of the waves, tracing the impact this had on the British way of life and taking in the Industrial Revolution, the beginnings of Empire and the birth of modern racism along the way. It also unearths startling evidence showing how many families that think of themselves as ‘pure’ English stock are in fact descended from slave ancestors.