‘Raymundo’: Militant Cinema, the Mass Struggle and ‘the Screening’

RAYMUNDO Dir. Ernesto Ardito, Virna Molina (Argentina, 2003)

I am an Argentinean filmmaker; I have made films since 1963, all of them about the political and social situation in Latin America. I try to demonstrate that there is only one way to bring profound structural changes to our continent: the socialist revolution. 

31st May 2015 | 7.30pm | @ Common House | Free

The Common House
Unit 5E (press the buzzer)
5 Pundersons Gardens
Bethnal Green E2 9QG —
“Written, directed and produced by Ernesto Ardito and Virna Molina. This is a documentary film about the life and work of Raymundo Gleyzer, Argentine filmmaker, kidnapped and murdered by that country’s military dictatorship in 1976. Through Raymundo’s life, we follow the story of Latin American revolutionary cinema and the liberation struggles of the 60’s and 70’s. Raymundo was one of the major architects of the militant cinema, yet after his “ disappearance ”, he fell into oblivion. It is essential that the new generation rediscovers his life and works which are a source of inspiration today more than ever. This documentary will bring back what the CIA and the Latin American dictatorships couldn’t destroy: the memory, the ideals and the courage to tell the truth”. .

Film, presentation & discussion:

UnCine invite you to enjoy and unpick with us militant workers cinema from 1970’s Argentinian dictatorship. After the film, there will be an autodidactic presentation (with clips from Argentinian struggle and the later representation of that struggle) on some of the themes we find interesting in relation to the film ‘Raymundo’:
What does it mean to invest in cinema as a medium of consciousness raising? What does it mean to be part of the guerrilla struggle and make films? What’s the deal with the People’s Revolutionary Army and the 1969 uprising Cordabazo? What does it mean to die for cinema, for the revolution? Why has the participatory and militant intention of Third Cinema been mostly overlooked? How to review Full Unemployment Cinema and other political film projects through the lens of Raymundo, his/their films, the notions of militant cinema and workers’ film screenings? Why didn’t we just show his epic workers struggle feature film ‘The Traitors’ instead?
erp figures

INTERVIEW WITH RAYMUNDO GLEYZER, 1973 ‘Many of them made films that we can call, in general Latin-American Cinema. From this experience, individually or in a group, nothing positive came out, and I include myself.  This is because the fundamental problem, when we make a film, is the final spectator of the product.  Everybody has thought about this problem; how to reach the base, the ordinary people, not only in theory, but also in the practice; to make films for the people, and the specific method to do it. We could talk about theory forever, but the problem is how to reach a real person, the working class, the person getting sick in the factories, they deserve at least our support.  From our own limits as middle class intellectuals, we have to contribute to their knowledge and send a clear message.  We realized that we had to make contact with the base, with the people struggling every day in the streets.  We did not have that contact. In 1969, we saw the working class, on its own, subverting everyone; the military, the bureaucracy, the unions, and maybe we, if we did not changed our paternalistic attitude. Either we do not understand the working class, or we speak for its name without anybody asking us.  It is a strategic mistake to separate ourselves from the people’s struggle.  It is worst yet for the intellectual that wants to contribute to the revolution. I believe this is why the incorporation of a political organization is crucial, an organization with a concrete plan to achieve power.  That is the revolutionary filmmaker’s mission; if not, it is just talking.  If not, we are just running our mouth. I don’t know if I am clear.  At Cine de la Base, we spent several months trying to solve technical problems, we did not take care of anything else: just where to develop, where to edit, who was going to do this or that.  Once these technical problems solved, we realized that our work as Cine de la Base would not be completed until we joined a specific political group, with a real plan to achieve power in Argentina.  If not, we are not political filmmakers; we are dilettantes, separated from the people’s national project. What do we do at Cine de la Base, besides making and distributing the film The Traitors? We formed three divisions. The first two produce films and the third one is dedicated to the graphic materials.  When one group produces, the other distributes, and vice versa.  We think that to have our own theatres is very important, so, we are building small theaters, because the film is only finished with the spectator.  If the film is clear and revolutionary in its ideology, we have to reach the people; we have to risk bringing them our work, just as we risked our lives filming it underground. The cinema is an instrument of the bourgeoisie; it was created to serve this purpose. To watch a movie, we need a theater, a projector, etc.   This condition makes it impossible to show a film in a factory, for the working class.  We have not developed the means to use film as a working class tool.  This is why we construct theaters, with any material available in the neighborhoods: wood, metal, etc.  We already have a cinema for 200 people, and the name is “Cine de la Base”.  We plan to build 50 more, and this is crucial to have our own distribution channel.’

glayzer flyer
Raymundo2bis Raymundo4bis Juanita Sapire, Raymundo’s companera, remembers their life and work at the unveiling of a pavement plaque on the street outside the Film Industry Union building in Buenos Aires where Raymundo was kidnapped and disappeared on 27th May 1976.
This screening happens almost 39 years later to that day.

Women and Miners Strikes Shorts- Sunday April 26 2015


26 April 2015 | 7.30pm | Common House | Free

women and miners’ strikes shorts

Down all tools – labour struggle socializes the quasi-natural capitalist extraction of ore from the earth and care from women.

But for that rupture to occur, there has to be a strike inside the strike, for a solidarity beyond support.

read more at: http://lux.org.uk/blog/i-burn-way-money-burns-part-1



Women Against Pit Closures: memories from the miners’ strike, 30 years on


The Common House
Unit 5E (press the buzzer)
5 Pundersons Gardens
Bethnal Green E2 9QG

La Noire de… / The Black Girl Screening Sunday 29 March 2015

29 March 2015 | 7.30pm | Common House | Free


La Noire de … / Black Girl, 1966 (60 mins)
Directed by Ousmane Sembene
+ (short) Peppa Pig: Miss Rabbit’s Day Off

The first image of Ousmane Sembène’s Black Girl (1966, France/Senegal) is a highly relevant one: a large white cruise ship slices across a small French harbor, its horn bellowing to announce its arrival. The large Western ship is a loaded image in diasporic studies; it is a symbol of power and majesty, the mass movement of peoples, and control of geographic space by Western civilizations. It is also symbolic of the slavery and oppression that was shuttled around the world on such ships over the past millennium. This particular ship bears the black girl of the title, Diouana, who has arrived from her hometown of Dakar, Senegal. As she exits the ship, she wonders, “Will someone be there for me?” The spare title sequence – no music and white block lettering – announces the film title: La noire de.., or, The black girl of… In speaking about the black diaspora, the original title poetically signals the confusion, separation, and dislocation that is a part of the movement of people from one place to another. Diouana, the “black girl,” is both ambiguously “of” someone and “of” someplace, but the exact people or places to which she belongs are left vague. Ousemane Sembène was possibly the most famous African filmmaker, and La noire de… is often credited as being the first Sub-Saharan African feature film, or at the very least the first to gain any kind of international recognition.

Introduction at Senses of Cinema


La_Noire-1966 blackg3.png~original


The Common House
Unit 5E (press the buzzer)
5 Pundersons Gardens
Bethnal Green E2 9QG

Programme Feb-May 2015

The thought, for example, that the cinema, along with the home and nourishment, is necessary for the reproduction of labour power, is true only in a world which conditions people for the reproduction of their labour power and compels their needs to harmonise with the employer’s interests, namely profit and domination.

— Theodor W. Adorno, ‘Theses on Need’ (1942)

Even if we might, in the crisis, have no choice but to self-organise these reproductive activities — and even though, most likely, abject reproduction will in the end mainly be foisted upon women — we must fight against this process which reinforces gender. We must treat it as it is: a self-organisation of the abject, of what no one else is willing to do.

— Endnotes, ‘The Logic of Gender’ (2013)

‘We have invented ourselves, so to speak, the social contradictions that made our freedom necessary.’ Where invented doesn’t mean made up but found and translated the facts that reveal their dormant political dimension.

— Claire Fontaine, ‘Human Strike Within the Field of Libidinal Economy’ (2009)

it’s a thought about the future. What if there were no more families anymore? Do we actually need them?

— Giorgos Lanthimos interviewed by Larry Rohter

Gendered Labour and Reproduction Strand







29 March 2015
La Noire de … / Black Girl, 1966 (60 mins)
Directed by Ousmane Sembene
+ (short) Peppa Pig: Miss Rabbit’s Day Off

26 April 2015
A Wives’ Tale, 1980 (72 mins)
Directed by Sophie Bissonette
+ shorts from the UK miners’ strike

***Previously in this series***

2 November 2014
Eat Sleep Die 2012 (104 mins)
Directed by Gabriela Pichler, Sweden

30 November 2014
A Mask if Always Active, 2014 (28 mins)
By Ines Doujak and John Barker

21 December 2014
Death Laid an Egg, 1968
Directed by Gulio Questi
+ Santa Claus Army, 1974
by Solvognen

25 January 2015
Roma ore 11.00 1952
Directed by Giuseppe de Santis
shorts by Coronet Instructional Films

22 February 2015
Dogtooth, 2009
+ (short) Necktie, 2013
Directed by Giorgos Lanthimos

*** Grupo Cine de la Base / Cinema of the Base Argentina May Special ***

31 May 2015
Raymundo (Gleyzer)

Actividad Raymundo

Crisis-Stasis in Greece | 7.30pm | 22 February 2015

Full Unemployment Cinema Presents:

Dogtooth Free | Common House | 7.30pm

Dogtooth, (1h 33mins) 2009
+ (short) Necktie, 2013
Directed by Giorgos Lanthimos


it’s a thought about the future. What if there were no more families anymore? Do we actually need them?

— Giorgos Lanthimos interviewed by Larry Rohter

As part of our season on Gendered Labour and Reproduction we are showing the cruel Euro-Debt-crisis allegory Dogtooth alongside the murderous metaphysical short, Necktie. Dogtooth is a provocative and disturbing film about the effect on a middle-class suburban family when the father takes total control of the lives of the three adult children, restricting their access to the outside world. Presumably in their early to middle twenties, the three unnamed children, a boy and his two sisters (Christos Passalis, Aggeliki Papoulia, and Mary Tsoni) walk, talk, and act like zombies.

The family and parental authority here can be seen as representations of the nation, and especially of authority, of the Greek State and ruling class. The parents exercise control over the behaviour and minds of their children through the deliberate manipulation of knowledge and information in the first instance. Throughout the film, the parents teach the ‘children’ words with incorrect definitions. They also tell them that the outside world is full of dangers and unspeakable horrors and that they are only ready to face these dangers alone when their dogtooth falls out, thus setting them a target that they can never achieve. In Dogtooth, both parents maintain control over their children’s behaviour with indirect control over information and only resort to violent means when the eldest daughter begins to engage in behaviour beyond the limits set by her parents.

This model of dictatorial power reflects Greece of the post-war period up until the collapse of the military Junta in 1973, which marked the culmination and apparent end to this direct mode of social control. That period was defined by formally democratic governments with serious restrictions on certain forms of activity, a prominent place for traditional institutions such as the Orthodox Church and the Army, as well as the existence of the parakratos – or the parastate – shadowy groups that used violence to curb forms of politics that existed beyond the pale of the strongly anti-communist, pro-Western Greek State. The murder of Grigoris Lambrakis in 1963 is an example of the way this arrangement worked, and his story became the inspiration for the Costas Gavras film Z.

From: http://pictureskew.net/2012/08/22/a-political-reading-of-dogtooth-and-the-greek-new-wave-in-cinema/

For an excellent pre-history of the roots of the crisis in Greece: the story of the UK-US involvement in defeating a viable post-war communist movement in Greece and propping up regressive political forms for the last half of the 20th century ‘Athens 1944 Britain’s Dirty Secret’ by Ed Vulliamy and Helena Smith: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/30/athens-1944-britains-dirty-secret

More recent essays on Grexit and the rise of Syriza:

Some Notes on Syriza by Ady Amatia


On Syriza by TPTG


Alexis Pottis Explains the Euro Crisis


The Glass Floor By Theorie Communiste (AKA Theo Cosme)



The Common House
Unit 5E Pundersons Gardens
Bethnal Green,
London E2 9QGT


Rome 11.00 Ore – Sunday 25 January

25 January 2015 | Free | 7.30pm | The Common House

Roma Ore 11.00 + shorts by Coronet Instructional Films

Roma Ore 11 / Rome 11:00 (1952)
Directed by Giuseppe De Santis

Based on a real incident, this is the story of five girls who are among the 200 women who answer an ad for a modest secretarial position one rainy morning in Rome in 1951. They crowd and push their way into the old building and fight their way up the stairs to await an interview, only to be told there is not enough time to interview all candidates. A scuffle breaks out and the stairway collapses sending many of them hurtling down in a mass of bodies amid brick and mortar. Among them are the well-born wife of a poor artist; a streetwalker making an attempt to change her life; an unhappy servant girl; and the desperate wife of an unemployed factory worker. How the event changes or fails to change their lives is told.

I Want to Be a Secretary (1941)
Coronet Instructional Films

Follows a young woman through her clerical training and job search. Shows pre-World War II offices and office workers, primarily women. One of Coronet’s earliest educational films.

The Secretary’s Day (1947)
Coronet Instructional Films

The daily activities of a secretary are compared with those of a stenographer to show the added responsibilities and duties of the secretary.


Rome Ore 11 (Italian Poster)

Rome Ore 11 (Italian Poster)



The Common House
Unit 5E Pundersons Gardens
Bethnal Green,
London E2 9QGT


Xmas Dread Screening this SUNDAY 21 DEC Common House: Death Laid an Egg + Santa Claus Army

TRIBUTE TO GIULIO QUESTI (18 March 1924 – 3 December 2014)

7 for 7.30 pm
Common House
Unit 5E
Pundersons Gardens
Bethnal Green

DEATH LAID AN EGG [La morte ha fatto l’uovo]
Giulio Questi – Italy, 1968
This is a deliriously strange thriller about a scientist (Jean-Louis Trintignant) who is breeding headless, boneless chickens at a high-tech farm. He’s having an affair with Ewa Aulin, who is plotting with him to kill his wife (Gina Lollobrigida)…and she’s plotting with Aulin to kill him…and he and Lollobrigida are plotting…oh, it’s too confusing, but extremely memorable. 
The bizarre, only semi-linear editing and trippy cinematographic techniques are artifacts of the psychedelic era and combine with the twisted story to make any Euro-cultist’s dreams come true. A film that defies easy categorization, it veers uneasily between giallo, drug film, and science-fiction, with heavy doses of romance and Antonioni-like weirdness. 
“It was the time of the economic boom. The process of industrialization was a growing tide that swept everything away. It was a hymn to the future, a frenetic packaging of products without distinction between animate and inanimate. Products that were still alive were screaming in terror and anguish. Large factory farms were a symbol of this. Every man was a chicken, every hen a woman, every chick a child. Wealth was accumulated on their skin. And, above all, “the egg” triumphed; white, smooth, perfect, with a life locked inside it. Sexual perversion became the only possible way out.”
G. Questi
There’s an informative post on the film here:  

The factory is the real villain of the film – the modern technology implemented by the matriarchal owner Anna has eliminated the need for human workers. The process has become entirely automated and the unemployed workers seethe with undisguised hate and resentment. The factory is coveted by Gabrielle and Mondaini and their thirst for the wealth it is about to generate motivates murder and duplicity. It is also the site for a series of monstrous and grotesque experiments, the culmination of which is the birth of a mutated headless chicken. Its destruction the only sensible thing that the confused and emasculated Marco does. His capitalist overlords however are less than happy with this, their eyes shine with greed at the prospect of a poultry product which will have no waste attached to it. If this isn’t enough the factory even claims the life of a harmless pet dog! The critique of capitalism and aggressive mechanised production techniques emerges as the most salient theme of the film. It feeds into a general sensibility of inhumanity which is reflected in the cynical and selfish behaviour of the main characters.

————————————————————————>    PLUS

In the lead-up to Christmas 1974, an army of about seventy Santa Clauses, male and female, paraded through the city of Copenhagen, singing carols, handing out sweets and hot chocolate, and asking everyone what they wanted for Christmas.
After spending a few days cementing the good image of good old Santa Claus, their generosity became increasingly radical. Among other things, the Santas climbed a barbed wire fence surrounding the recently shuttered General Motors assembly plant with the purpose of giving jobs back to “their rightful owners.”
The week-long performance reached its crescendo inside one of Copenhagen’s biggest department stores when the Santas started handing out presents to customers directly off the shelves. Before too long, security guards and shop assistants interrupted the magic, desperately tearing the presents out of people’s hands. The police soon showed up and escorted the Santa Clauses out onto the street, where they were roughed up and thrown into paddy wagons in spite of the fact that it wasn’t clear that a criminal act had been committed, except perhaps on the part of customers who took home the presents without paying.
The performance exposed the radical implications of the myth of Santa Claus’ boundless generosity, demonstrating that true generosity is impossible within the narrow terms of capitalist society. With widely distributed photos of Santa Claus getting beaten for being too generous, the action was a hit.
The people behind Santa’s beards were the Danish theater collective Solvognen (“The Sun Chariot,” an allusion to Norse mythology). During the 1970s, the collective performed many large-scale actions intended to make bourgeois Danish society “act itself out as theater.”

more here:


And this beautiful zine:

Masked Rage – 30 November 2014

30 November 2014 | Free | 5.30pm | The Common House


Full Unemployment Cinema Presents:

A Mask if Always Active, (2014)

By Ines Doujak and John Barker


Sweet Sugar Rage (1985)

By The Sistren Theatre Collective

Film stiill from A Mask If Always Active, 2014

Film stiill from A Mask If Always Active, 2014

A Mask if Always Active, (2014)

By Ines Doujak and John Barker

28 mins
A musical on the themes of carnival/utopia and rebellion. The filmmakers will introduce the film.
Sweet Sugar Rage (1985)

By The Sistren Theatre Collective
45 minutes

A popular Jamaican women’s troupe uses improvisation and theater as consciousness-raising tools for both rural and urban audiences. Their performances speak directly to the daily experiences of women–the least empowered workers, who labor long hours for low wages with no benefits or rights to organize for better conditions. Using role-play and interviews with female cane workers, the collective develops dramatizations which analyze social issues and pinpoint their concerns.

This film has kindly been made available by Cinenova distribution. We will be collecting donations on the day to cover the screening fee for this film.


The Common House

Unit 5E Pundersons Gardens

Bethnal Green,

London E2 9QGT

2 November: Eat, Sleep, Die


Sunday 2 November | Free | 7pm



Eat Sleep Die (2012)

Directed by Gabriela Pichler, Sweden, 104 mins

Nermina Lukac’s electrifying performance as Raša is the heart of director Gabriela Pichler’s feature debut. A Montenegrin-born young woman living in rural Sweden, Raša is laid off from her job at a food-packing plant. Her ensuing job search pulls us through the maze of limited prospects and frustrating bureaucracy facing the country’s working immigrant population. Affable, resilient, street smart and soft-hearted, Raša’s natural magnetism draws us in completely. We feel every ounce of her disappointment, fear and elation as she soldiers on, looking for work. An Audience Award winner at the Venice Film Festival, EAT SLEEP DIE’s assured naturalism and political conviction single out Pichler as a bold, exciting new cinematic voice. Her film is a positive rallying cry for low-wage workers who dream of a life that won’t merely add up to the three verbs that form the film’s title.
– Mike Dougherty, American Film Institute



The Common House

5E Pundersons Gardens
Bethnal Green, London E2 9QG