"For writers, banishment confirms the fact that literature is not benign. Most of the Chilean, Argentine, and Uruguayan writers forced into exile in recent years are paying the consequences of using words freely. As everyone knows, the dictatorships of the South erected a machinery of silence. They hope to hide reality, to erase memory, to empty consciences. From the vantage point of this plan for collective castration, the dictatorships are right to send books and newspapers that smell of gunpowder to the bonfires, and to condemn their authors to exile, prison, or the grave. Some literature is incompatible with the military's pedagogy of amnesia and lies."
--Eduardo Galeano, section 2, "Exile, Somewhere Between Nostalgia and Creativity" (trans. Mark Fried)
"For us who are determined to break the back of colonialism, our historic mission is to authorize every revolt, every desperate act, and every attack aborted or drowned in blood."
--Frantz Fanon, "On National Culture" (p. 146 of The Wretched of the Earth, trans. Richard Philcox)
These are older words, above, but their urgency is no less deeply felt because of it. A viewing list, ten films whose role is to help in a struggle great or small, on some of which I promise to write in the next few months:
Arsenal (Aleksandr Dovzhenko, 1926)
The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966)
Land and Freedom (Ken Loach, 1995)
Strike! (Sergei Eisenstein, 1924)
Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (Melvin Van Peebles, 1971)
Winstanley (Kevin Brownlow & Andrew Mollo, 1975)
Zero for Conduct (Jean Vigo, 1933)
La Commune (Paris 1871) (Peter Watkins, 2000) *
Salt of the Earth (Herbert J. Biberman, 1954) *
Flame (Ingrid Sinclair, 1996) *
* These last three I haven't seen (I know, I know), but are high on my to-see list ...