Revisiting Citizen Ruth

By Lesley Brill. Alexander Payne’s 1996 feature film debut, Citizen Ruth, is generally remembered as an incongruously comic look at the struggle between opponents of legal abortion and its defenders in the United States. That’s a topic of perennial importance in American politics, and it’s especially relevant now with the […]

The White Ribbon

By Kierran Horner. The White Ribbon (2009) is about guilt. It is another film by Michael Haneke about guilt. But it would be reductive to suggest that The White Ribbon was something as simple as a macrocosmic, German Hidden (Caché, 2005); an analysis of the guilt felt by a nation […]

Alain Resnais: Wild Grass (2009)

By Kierran Horner. The opening sequence of Resnais’ latest film is an abstract one; a non-narrative medium-shot of a tower in a field, disused one assumes, into which the camera passes, through a blackened doorway. From this blackout, an edit posits us in close-up above a crack in a road […]

A Minor Buñuel: Susana

By Kierran Horner. Susana (1951) is a minor Buñuel film, even within the scope of his comparatively weak Mexican period, as director for hire. A melodrama, ostensibly in the moralistic mould of Hogarth’s ‘A Harlot’s Progress’ say, it plots the brief rise and re-descent of its eponymous, sexually-suffused anti-heroine. Depicted […]

Colourful Claims: towards a theory of animated documentary

By Jonathan Rozenkrantz. Every film is a documentary. (Bill Nichols 2001) There is no such thing as documentary […]. (Trinh T. Minh-ha 1993) Why bother? When a concept is conceived of in ways so opposed that one scholar will define it in absolute terms and another will deny its existence, […]

The BANANAS!* story

By Daniel Lindvall. With the controversial documentary Bananas!*finally getting its official US premiere, in New York, 8 May, 2011, we republish here our editorial from Film International 41, vol. 7, no. 5, 2009, which sums up the story, up until that time, of the multinational Dole corporations lawsuit against the […]

The Visual Politics of Class: Silent Film and the Public Sphere

By Steven J. Ross. Why should anyone seriously interested in class care about movies? To answer this, I ask readers to participate in the following exercise: Blurt out the first word that comes to mind when you see the following names: Saddam Hussein; George Bush; Osama bin Laden; Bill Clinton. […]

CinemAfrica 2: Outside the Law

By Daniel Lindvall. With Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi, 2010; an Algerian, French, Belgian and Tunisian co-production) director and co-writer Rachid Bouchareb follows up his Days of Glory (Indigènes, 2006). The latter film dealt with the discrimination against North African colonial soldiers fighting for France in World War Two. After a […]