2015 AGITPROP Selection

THE ACT OF KILLING (2012)

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Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer | Documentary | Denmark | 2 hours 38 mins

Awards:

Nominated for the 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature
BAFTA for Best Documentary Film
Guardian Film Awards 2014 – Best Film
Cinema Eye Honors Award for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking
Cinema Eye Honors Award for Outstanding Achievement in Production
Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Documentary Feature Film
BritDoc 2013 Puma Impact Award
Gotham Award 2013 for Best Documentary
European Film Award 2013 for Best Documentary
Danish Film Academy Award 2013 for Best Documentary (Robert Prize)

Anwar Congo and his friends have been dancing their way through musical numbers, twisting arms in film noir gangster scenes, and galloping across prairies as yodelling cowboys. Their foray into filmmaking is being celebrated in the media and debated on television, even though Anwar Congo and his friends are mass murderers.

Medan, Indonesia. When the government of Indonesia was overthrown by the military in 1965, Anwar and his friends were promoted from small-time gangsters who sold movie theatre tickets on the black market to death squad leaders. They helped the army kill more than one million alleged communists, ethnic Chinese, and intellectuals in less than a year. As the executioner for the most notorious death squad in his city, Anwar himself killed hundreds of people with his own hands.

Today, Anwar is revered as a founding father of a right-wing paramilitary organization that grew out of the death squads. The organization is so powerful that its leaders include government ministers, and they are happy to boast about everything from corruption and election rigging to acts of genocide.

The Act of Killing is about killers who have won, and the sort of society they have built. Unlike ageing Nazis or Rwandan génocidaires, Anwar and his friends have not been forced by history to admit they participated in crimes against humanity. Instead, they have written their own triumphant history, becoming role models for millions of young paramilitaries. The Act of Killing is a journey into the memories and imaginations of the perpetrators, offering insight into the minds of mass killers. And TheAct of Killing is a nightmarish vision of a frighteningly banal culture of impunity in which killers can joke about crimes against humanity on television chat shows, and celebrate moral disaster with the ease and grace of a soft shoe dance number.

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K2 AND THE INVISIBLE FOOTMEN (2015)

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Directed by Iara Lee | Documentary | Pakistan | 54 mins

Located on the border between Pakistan and China, K2 is the second-highest mountain on Earth. For many climbers, it is an even greater prize than Everest, with limited routes, a steeper ascent, and a harder push to its summit. Nicknamed the ‘Savage Mountain,’ K2’s peak juts unprotected into the atmosphere, regularly exposing climbers and porters to life-threatening weather conditions.

Despite being paid at rates far below those received by international expedition leaders, such porters – whether they provide critical supplies to expedition base camps or take on higher-altitude tasks in support of ascending climbers – do some of the most difficult and dangerous work and these efforts make them worthy of recognition as the true heroes of mountaineering.

In K2 AND THE INVISIBLE FOOTMEN, filmmaker Iara Lee and team chronicle the lives of both Pakistani porters and Nepalese sherpas. The film also follows the first official all-Pakistani climbing team, made up of former porters, who successfully summited in 2014, in celebration of K2 60th anniversary. Amid breathtaking scenery, the film depicts the everyday sacrifices of porters and the courage of those indigenous climbers who choose to return to scale K2 in spite of past tragedies. In their striving to perfect their craft, these mountaineers provide a fresh look into the cultures and national traditions of Pakistan, a country typically portrayed in the foreign media as merely a land of conflict and sectarian strife.

Awards:

Audience Award, Pakistan International Mountain Film Festival, 2015 PAKISTAN

Honorable Mention, International Festival of Mountain Films Poprad, 2015 SLOVAKIA

Best Film, Rio Mountain Festival, 2015 BRAZIL / RIO DE JANIERO

Best Documentary, Salento International Film Festival, 2015 ITALY / SALENTO

Official Selection, Buffalo International Film Festival, 2015, USA

Official Selection, Phnom Penh International Film Festival, 2015, Cambodia

Official Selection, International Bansko Film Festival, 2015, Bulgaria

Official Selection, Bilbao Mendi Film Festival, 2015, Spain

Official Selection, Kendal Mountain Film Festival, 2015, UK

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THE LOOK OF SILENCE (2014)

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Director: Joshua Oppenheimer / Co-Director: Anonymous

Documentary | Denmark/Indonesia | 60 mins

Awards:

Grand Jury Prize, Venice Film Festival 2014

Critics Prize (FIPRESCI), Best Film of Venice Film Festival 2014

European Critics Prize, Venice Film Festival 2014

Human Rights Night Awards, Venice Film Festival 2014

Danish Academy Award for Best documentary 2014

Danish Film Critics Association Prize for Best Documentary 2015

Peace Film Prize, Berlin Film Festival 2015

World Best Documentary, Busan International Film Festival 2014

Dragon Award Best Documentary, Gothenburg International Film Festival 2015

The Look of Silence Oppenheimer’s powerful companion piece to the OSCAR®-nominated The Act of Killing.

Through Oppenheimer’s footage of perpetrators of the 1965 Indonesian genocide, a family of survivors discovers how their son was murdered, as well as the identities of the killers. The documentary focuses on the youngest son, an optometrist named Adi, who decides to break the suffocating spell of submission and terror by doing something unimaginable in a society where the murderers remain in power: he confronts the men who killed his brother and, while testing their eyesight, asks them to accept responsibility for their actions. This unprecedented film initiates and bears witness to the collapse of fifty years of silence.

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THE LAND BETWEEN (2014)

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Directed by David Fedele | Documentary | Australia | 1 hour 8 mins

Awards:

Winner, “Best Feature-Length Documentary” – FIFE Int. Environmental Film Festival 2014 – France

Winner, “Best Film” – Festival of Migrant Film 2014 – Slovenia

Winner, “Best Film” – Lampedusa In Festival 2014 – Italy

Winner, “Best Film” – Naples Human Rights Film Festival 2014 – Italy

Winner, “Crossroads Award” – Festival delle Terre 2014 – Italy

Honourable Mention, Antenna Documentary Film Festival 2014 – Australia

Special Mention, International Festival of Cinema and Memory 2015 – Morocco

With unique and unprecedented access, THE LAND BETWEEN provides an insight into the lives of sub-Saharan African migrants living in the mountains of northern Morocco, dreaming of jumping the highly-militarized fence into the Spanish enclave of Melilla, for a “better life” in Europe.

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MICHAEL’S (2015)

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Directed by Kunnawut Boonreak | Documentary | Thailand | 48 minutes

Among different economic background and religion networks in Umpiem refugee camp and Mae Sot, a city along Thailand-Burma border, ‘Michael Right’ and Yameen  ‘Michael  Muhammad’, two Rohingyas have been struggling for livelihood. Yameen’s a long-term resident while Michael Right fled from Motherland long ago and still waiting for new beginning.

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HAMPAS NG ALON (Waves of the Sea) (2015)

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Director: PinoyMedia Center

Documentary | Philippines | 5 mins

A five-minute documentary on Chinese incursions into the Scarborough Shoal.

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NAGLALAHONG PAMANA (2015)

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Directors: Lucy Lavirotte/Berna Sastrillo/David Levi/Jerrica Manongdo

Documentary | Philippines | 18 mins 23 sec

Panglima Kenisio Malasan is a traditional leader of a Palaw’an tribe. Through him, the tribe’s tradition is passed on to the next generation—a tradition rooted in the land. But the Panglima wonders how their way of life can endure in the face of relentless encroachment of palm oil plantations. In a poignant dialogue between father and son, the Panglima and his child share fears for the future of their tribe.

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PANGANDOY: The Manobo Fight for Land, Education and Their Future (2015)

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Director: Hiyasmin Saturay

Documentary | Philippines | 20 mins

The Talaingod Manobo tribe lives in one of the last remaining untouched forests and sources of water in Mindanao. For years, they have resisted mining and logging companies who are attempting to take their land. Pangandoy (”Aspiration”) documents the Talaingod Manobo’s community-based schools and their fight to protect their ancestral land.

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PAKOT (WILD BOAR) (2015)

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Directed by Hugh Montero

Fiction | Philippines | 30 mins

Set against the backdrop of Compostela Valley mountains, a volunteer teacher found her way to provide literacy in the hinterlands amidst the threat and terror of militarization.

Awards:

Breakthrough Award, Pandayang Lino Brocka (2015)

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RED SQUARE ON A BLACKBOARD (Carré rouge sur fond noir) (2013)

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Directors: Santiago Bertolino/Hugo Samson | Produced by Multi-Monde Productions

Documentary | Canada |1 hour 10 mins

This inspirational film takes us to the heart of the 2012 Quebec student strike to oppose tuition hikes, one of the most important popular mobilizations in Canada’s history.

RED SQUARE ON A BLACKBOARD traces the day-by-day anatomy of the student resistance and its main actors to reveal a militant movement of committed and inspired youth.

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GAPAS (2013)

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Director: Iar Arondaing

Documentary | Philippines | 5 mins 46 sec

Gapas opens with a naked old man emerging from rice grains. The man runs across the drought-suffering field. Then he is shown rope-tied to a giant rice god idol, until finally he finds a rusty sickle. The short experimental film shows the peasant situation–of repression, authority, struggle and defiance.

Awards:

2nd Prize (Experimental Film), Gawad CCP para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video

Best Experimental Film, Naoussa International Film Festival (Greece)

Best Film, Ateneo Video Open

Best Film, Indie UN-Film

Best Film, Haute Auteur

Best Cinematography, Haute Auteur

Best Director, Haute Auteur

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BARBER’S TALES (2013)

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Fiction | Philippines | 1 hour 20 mins

A woman closes her husband’s barber shop in a poor rustic village after his death, but becomes caught up in the movement against the incumbent Marcos regime… A moving drama with an irresistibly charming, indomitable, and kindhearted heroine.

Awards:

Best Director (Foreign Language Feature Film), 3rd Madrid International Film Festival 2014

Best Actress (Eugene Domingo), 2013 Tokyo International Film Festival

3rd Place – Audience Award, 2014 Udine Far East Film Festival

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ANPO: ART X WAR (2010)

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Director: Linda Hoaglund

Documentary | Japan |1 hour 29 mins

A film about Japanese resistance to U.S. bases seen through the eyes and works of celebrated Japanese artists.

It “tells the story of Japan’s historic resistance to U.S. military bases in Japan through an electrifying array of artwork created by Japan’s foremost artists. The film articulates the insidious, lasting impact that the U.S. military presence has had on Japanese lives, and the creative processes that artists have devised to transmit the spirit of resistance.” (IMDB)

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ASEDILLO (1971)

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Director: Celso Ad. Castillo

Fiction | Philippines | 1 hour 20 mins

Asedillo is “perhaps the quintessential Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ) film; it was the picture that established FPJ’s image as expert gunslinger and defender of the poor. The film tells the story of Teodoro Asedillo, a nationalistic public school teacher turned rebel hunted by the Police Constabulary in the Sierra Madre mountains in the 1920s, at the time of the American Occupation.” (IMDB)

Awards:

Best Actor (Fernando Poe Jr.), 1972 FAMAS Awards

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BUHAY KOMUNISTA 1 (Communist Lives) (2013)

Produced by Sine Proletaryo

Documentary | Philippines | 26 mins

Buhay Komunista highlights the various aspects of the life of selfless service of communists in the Philippines. The video feature is being released in celebration of the 45th anniversary of the CPP.

Communist Party members, from CPP founding chair Prof. Jose Ma. Sison, to commanders, fighters and doctors of the New People’s Army (NPA), to officers of the people’s revolutionary committees and secretaries of local branches of the CPP in the rural base areas share their varied experiences in waging revolutionary struggle and building the people’s democratic power.

Buhay Komunista underscores the crucial importance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as the key element in building the Communist Party of the Philippines, guiding it in its responsibility to lead the entire Filipino people towards national and social liberation, as well as in guiding the daily work of CPP members, Red fighters and all revolutionary forces to serve the interests of the people.

The video further shows the victories achieved by the people’s revolutionary movement under the guidance of the CPP in building a new system that serves the aspirations for social liberation of the exploited and oppressed. It shows how the people, empowered by their new democratic government, builds schools and clinics to address their most critical needs.