Saturday Night Special Screening at Focus E15 Social Centre in Stratford


After the victory in Bow County Court this Thursday, defeating Newham Council’s case for an Immediate Possession Order and thus allowing use of the former housing for further protest and organising, Full Unemployment Cinema are planning a screening with Focus E15 for this Saturday night 4 October on squatting, council housing and the disaster that is contemporary UK politics and housing provision.

Below is a provisional programme for the screening, we are still confirming some of these films and others so please bear with us while we confirm and add updates here.

Saturday 4 October 7pm

Focus E15 Mothers occupation
Open House
80-86 Doran Walk
Carpenter’s Estate
Stratford E15 2JJ
Inquiry: The Great British Housing Disaster (Adam Curtis, 1984 BBC, 50 min)
Investigative documentary into UK housing policy since the 1960s, with a critical expose of financing and mangerial paradigms that were compromising council housing even before Thatcher sold most of it off.

Kilner House (Mark Saunders/Spectacle Films, 1981, 35 min)
Kilner House in Kennington was occupied as part of the Squat against Sales campaign against the first Greater London Council house sales.

Olympic Stories: Clays Lane (Noemi Rodrguez/Spectacle Films, 2006, 11 min)
Clays Lane housing co-operative, situated in the future Olympic Village in Newham, faced an inevitable eviction. This is the story of Clays Lane residents and their claim for fair treatment.

Photo from the screening courtesy of @aymiebackler

Photo from the screening courtesy of @aymiebackler

El Impenetrable screening at Peckham and Nunhead Free Film Festival

El Impenetrable
(Dir Daniele Incalcaterra & Fausta Quattrini, 2012, Argentina/France, Cert U, 95 mins)

Thursday 4 September | 8pm
Back Room Cinema of The Montpelier pub,
43 Choumert Road, London SE15 4AR


Read more about this film here

El Impenetrable is a western where all characters are real.


The documentary follows director Incalcaterra, who inherits 5,000 acres of land in one of the most remote areas of the world: the Paraguayan Chaco, a harsh, sparsely populated environment where landowners and their thugs run the show.

An unwanted gift from his long deceased father, Daniele decides to give back this land to the indigenous people who have always lived in this territory. But his neighbours – oil companies, transgenic soybean and livestock farmers who clear the forest and do not like intruders, do not seem very supportive of this idea.


Trailer at this link.
El Impenetrable will be screened in its original language (Italian/Spanish), with subtitles in English.

This is a free event. No booking needed.

Harun Farocki – RIP – An Inextinguishable Fire

Harun Farocki, whose films we have shown often at our screenings over the years, passed away on Wednesday 30 July aged 70. It’s with great sadness that we note the deaths of two great documentary filmmakers within the last two years. With Chris Marker and Harun Farocki gone we will lack more than ever formally experimental critiques of work and capitalism.

As a small tribute (which we will develop at some point in the near future as a screening) here’s two short films, one of Farocki’s earliest, Inextinguishable Fire (1969) and a re-make by Jill Godmilow, What Farocki Taught (1998). Followed by a short statement by Kodwo Eshun from Farocki’s film production website:




For HF

We regret to announce the passing of Harun Farocki on 30 July 2014. He was 70 years of age.

From 1967 onwards, Harun Farocki directed more than 120 films and installations that analysed the powers of the image with an originality, a prescience and a gravitas that renewed itself, year after year, project after project. In his teaching and his essays, in journals and books and exhibitions conceived and produced with Antje Ehmann, Farocki was a powerful critic, editor, theorist and curator in his own right.

Generations of artists, theorists and critics have taken Farockis films such as Inextinguishable Fire (1969) and Images of the World and the Inscription of War (1988) and installations such as Deep Play (2007) as reference points. His impact and influence on culture, within and beyond Germany, is undisputed. He was, and remains, a commanding figure of contemporary culture.

Despite his numerous commitments, Farocki was always generous with his time, his ideas and his attention. Unlike many artists from the 1960s, Farocki was neither nostalgic nor bitter. He was forward-looking, youthful, humorous, restless, unpretentious, enquiring, skeptical, stylish and handsome. He loved football, a drink of beer and smoking his favourite cigarettes, with his friends from his travels with his life partner Antje Ehmann.

Harun Farocki was and is, irreplaceable. We are proud to have counted ourselves among his many, many friends.

We admired him and we loved him and we learnt from him, always.

To say that we will miss him is an understatement that he would have appreciated.

Kodwo Eshun 31. 7. 2014


Great bibliography at blog maintained by film scholar Catherine Grant:

Insightful text on Farocki’s films by Thomas Elsessaer:

Cinema Workers Rally, 17 July / Benefit Party THIS Saturday the 12th



Thursday 17th July 1 – 4pm





This allegedly progressive art-house cinema chain is refusing to pay their staff a living wage!

“It is hypocritical to sell fair trade coffee and then not pay a fair wage. Come on Picturehouse, don’t ask the people who work for you to subsidise your business!” Ken Loach

BECTU union members at The Ritzy cinema in London (owned by Picturehouse) have been campaigning for a Living Wage since the beginning of the year. They have:

  • been taking strike action since April backed by the local community
  • had celebrities like Eric Cantona, James Nesbitt, Ken Loach, Clio Barnard, Mark Rylance,  Irvine Welsh,  Elizabeth Berrington and Will Self offering support
  • had messages of solidarity from workers in other cinema chains, theatres and opera houses
  • had union members in the US, Canada, Nigeria, Japan and across Europe send messages of support……

It is not unreasonable for anyone to ask to be paid the London Living Wage (£8.80) or the National Living Wage (£7.65). Yet Picturehouse have refused and are imposing £7.53 ph – below the poverty threshold when they clearly have the money to pay staff. The CEO Lyn Goleby reportedly received a £15K pay increase last year, they have not paid corporation tax for the last 3 years and they are owned by Cineworld who are estimated to be on track to almost double pre-tax profits to £81m by 2015.

Thursday 17th July 2014

Meet 1pm outside BFI Southbank to march through the West End to the GLA to meet Ken Loach and other guest speakers

Please boycott Picturehouse Cinemas

Please sign the online petition:

Donate to the Fighting Fund:

Follow the campaign: and Twitter: @RitzyLivingWage

Next Screening: Black Wave Special – Sunday 29 June

Black Wave Special | 29 June | 7pm | Free | Common House


Short: Excerpt from Cinema Komunisto (2010)
Directed by Mila Turajlic

Feature:  Uloga moje porodice u svjetskoj revoluciji / Role of My family in World Revolution (1971)
Directed by Bahrudin ‘Bato’ Cengic, 1h 19mins

Towards a pro-communist heretical cinema… Taking place in the wake of the Second World War, Čengić’s comedy charts an outwardly rather bourgeois family who have been harbouring a secret obsession with all things Communist during the Nazi occupation. When the Reds take over, the family are jubilant and eagerly support the cause. The daughter Leposava (translated as Juliet for the film’s subtitles) falls in love with an earnest young Communist, while her brother joins his band and, dressed in a bold red ankle-length coat, goes about the country bringing socialism to all.

Their joy at the new political reality is mirrored in musical form, with cheesy easy-listening numbers with lyrics such as “Twinkle, twinkle little star, we’ll be ruled by the USSR,” and visually in the stylised poses that they adopt glorifying revolution as sexy in, for example, a sequence in which Leposava, dressed in a silky red nightdress and exuding confidence and beauty, holds a submachine gun while the camera lingers over her.

There seems to be no end to what Communism can do. Swiss-made chocolate appears in magic tricks, the dead are brought back to life, the blind are made to see and a dumb man has speech given to him—the first words he utters being “America and England will rise up and become proletarian paradises” (which is a cue for a song of that title).

But the gaiety doesn’t last. We are shown a comrade being tortured before being executed in a quarry and Leposava is sexually assaulted by Russian soldiers and ultimately hangs herself. “This isn’t the freedom I had imagined,” says one of the comrades, expressing his disenchantment, while earlier in the film there are references to Hitler that indirectly draw parallels between the oppression of Communism and National Socialism.

The film, it is not surprising to say, was censored, and Čengić found it difficult to work in film over the following decade. Today, the film is almost completely unknown in the English-speaking world. Yet it stands as just as funny as other far more famous comic allegory of the workings of Communism, most famously Miloš Forman’s Hoří, má panenko (The Fireman’s Ball, 1966), and is just as incisive in the points it makes about the abuse of power as more serious directors, such as Miklós Jancsó. Particularly notable is the fact that the film doesn’t dwell too heavily on accusing some third party of atrocities against an implicit first person (ie what they did to us). The real bite of the film is that it asks why did we believe in this and what have we created from the heady dreams of freedom we had?

A reader on Black Wave film can be downloaded from Monoskop:
Surfing the Black: Yugoslav Black Wave Cinema and Its Transgressive Moments (2012)
Edited by Gal Kirn, Dubravka Sekulić and Žiga Testen
Publisher Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, The Netherlands
ISBN 9072076516, 9789072076472
216 pages
More info on the book here:

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

Bato Čengić - Uloga moje porodice u svjetskoj revoluciji

Bato Čengić
Bato Čengić
Bato Čengić - Uloga moje porodice u svjetskoj revoluciji

Bato Čengić – Uloga moje porodice u svjetskoj revoluciji / The Role of My Family in World Revolution (1971)

There Goes the Neighbourhood





Concrete Heart Land/ Bleacher on the Rye – Gentrification Double Bill

Friday 30 May | 7PM | Cinema6 | £3 or donation

I feel sorry for the residents of the estates that are being knocked down who will have to leave the Elephant and Castle. With so many new people coming to live here it will force a lot of people out…
– Joyce, ex-Heygate Estate Resident

Full Unemployment Cinema and Southwark Notes present an evening of films and presentations around the politics and economics of gentrification and ‘regeneration’ in south London. While in the midst of a widely acknowledged housing crisis London also seems to be in the grip of a malign spiral of development that threatens to displace many working class people from ‘their’ city. This process is exemplified by the recent ‘regeneration’ of the Heygate Estate in Elephant and Castle that has led to the eviction and dispersal of long term tenants, a protracted struggle by leaseholders to secure equitable compensation and the eventual building of a private housing development with almost no social housing.

The film Concrete Heart Land ( documents the attempts by local Heygate residents to resist this ongoing process of dispossession and gentrification. Concrete Heart Land traces this struggle through a combination of archive footage, panoramic views of the huge Heygate estate and by parodying the language of regeneration in chanted ensemble performances in the deliberately run down estate. It analyses the social cleansing of the Heygate Estate in Elephant and Castle, South London and marks the moment that the estate was finally lost as social housing to make way for a regeneration scheme. The film is not just a chronicle of defeat in the face of profit-led gentrification but also documents attempts by the local community to resist. The second film in the screening is Bleacher on the Rye (working title), a documentary about the regeneration of Peckham Rye Station and the surrounding area by the independent, activist production company Spectacle ( The film pays close attention to the way the wider dynamics of gentrification are hostile to existing communities, businesses and the diverse cultures of a particular neighbourhood.

Ultimately at the heart of both films lies the wider question of what kind of city we desire to live in. One characterised by gentrification, profit led development, the atomisation of existent communities and the zoning of the city according to the dictates of class status and income? Or is it still possible to assert political control and neighbourhood autonomy over the pressures of property development and the managerial, market led imperatives of local and central government? Or rather than this 21st century urban either/ or might the paraphernalia of gentrification-from craft coffee to chain-stores, sterile public spaces and market rate lettings- somehow co-exist with existent working class neighbourhoods? After the screenings a presentation by Southwark Notes-a local group of activists investigating gentrification-will explore these questions as well as the role of local art scenes in both opposing and abetting gentrification. This will be followed by a discussion, possibly to be continued in an establishment selling either beer or cup cakes, depending upon preference.

Download the pamphlet that accompanies the screening here: There Goes the Neighbourhood 

Peckam Questions
Retail Capital and Neighborhood Change: Boutiques and Gentrification in New York City. Sharon Zukin, 2009
Cultural Workers, Throw Down Your Tools – The Metropolis Is On Strike. Stevphen Shukaitis & Anja Kanngieser
From ‘Pyramid Dead: The Artangel of History’. Chris Jones
Ruin Regen
No Room to Move. Anthony Iles, Josie Berry Slater

Hosted by/Screening location:
Arcadia Missa,Unit 6, Bellenden Road Business Centre, SE15 4RF

For further Screening Details and for more about the Cinema6 project and other programming in the next weeks, check:


Full Unemployment Cinema Present: Leviathan (2012)

Leviathan: Moby-Dick illustration
*Sunday 27 April | 7pm | The Common House | Free*

We present Leviathan, Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel (2012)
+ shorts

‘With the fish-eye cameras strapped to their heads, the film-makers and crew recorded the raging midnight seas from
which are hauled the fish and scallops that will end up on china plates and linen tablecloths in smart restaurants. Remorselessly,
they expose every aspect of this visceral business – often conducted in the dark, out of sight of land, on trips lasting up to 18 days.
It is a weird otherworld, filled with bug-eyed fish slathering over the decks, clanking rusty chains and hooded figures like medieval
torturers, all perpetually doused by the rising Atlantic.

Shrieking gulls plunge up from the dawn-slashed sky in vertiginous, inverted scenes as the cameras tumble upside-down.
Starfish float beneath the surface like coral-coloured confetti. On deck, scarred, tattooed men eviscerate fish dragged up
from the depths. In one shocking sequence, a skate dangles from a chain as its wings, the only edible parts, are excised –
a scene not far from the notorious trade in definned sharks. Meanwhile, an indeterminate heavy-metal track grinds out
from a radio, sounding more like the knell of an aquatic apocalypse.

These saturated, sublime images bear little comparison to any other film; rather, they evoke the work of artists such as
Winslow Homer and JMW Turner. In fact, by attaching 21st-century cameras to themselves and the crew of the Athena,
the directors were re-enacting Turner’s legendary feat, when he had his body lashed to the mast of a Harwich boat for
four hours to experience a storm at sea face-to-face and thus render it in oil. […]

Our pamphlet for this screening can be downloaded here: Full Unemployment Cinema_ Leviathan – Full Unemployment Cinema et al

Like Moby-Dick, Leviathan reflects an industrial reality more than a maritime romance. Just as Ahab’s ship was crewed
from around the world, so New Bedford’s whaling ships brought Azoreans and Portuguese, black Cape Verdeans and others
to its port; amazingly, 64% of the population of the eastern seaboard of Massachusetts have Azorean or Portuguese blood.
But as whaling declined, fishing took over – an equally deadly occupation, suffering the highest fatalities of any industry in the US.’

At The Common House
Unit 5E
5 Pundersons Gardens
Bethnal Green
E2 9QG

Ritzy Cinema Workers on Strike

Ritzy Cinema Non-Programme

BECTU members at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton, part of the Picturehouse chain, are to take strike action today on Friday 11 April.

Members at the venue are determined to persuade management to recognise the London Living Wage (LLW) as the minimum benchmark for earnings.

The Ritzy cinema in located in a vibrant and increasingly wealthy part of South London and staff there face all the increasing costs of living in London.

Strike action on Friday 11 April 

The strike action will commence at 06.00 on Friday 11 April and will run through until 03.00 on Saturday 12 April.

BECTU served management with formal notice of the date of action on Thursday 3 April).

What can you do to support the strike?

• Donate food and drink for the strikers. Anything easy to eat on a picket line would be greatly appreciated!
• If you’re in a band, play an instrument, are a part of a theatre group, a poet, spoken word artist, hoolahooper, magician, games master, etc. and you would like to come down to the square and play or perform and entertain us and our supporters on Friday then please feel free.
• for either of the above we can be contacted by email at
• Support us by boycotting the Ritzy on our strike days, and by encouraging others to do so too.
• email and copying declaring solidarity with Ritzy workers.
• Withhold your membership renewals until Picturehouse management have offered us a better pay deal.

Full Unemployment Cinema sends full solidarity with all striking workers at the Ritzy and everywhere

Help Support the Common House

We now use the Common House regularly for our screenings on the last Sunday of every Month. They need your help, please donate and join the friends scheme>>>

Friends of Common House Scheme Launched

The Common House is almost one year old! During the last year together we have knocked down walls, painted, cleaned, run conferences, held meetings, printed thousands of leaflets, watched feminist films, looked after our kids collectively, had more meetings, hosted sex worker breakfast drop in’s, danced, got a bit drunk, had acupuncture and hair cuts, done yoga – in short it has been a great year of building a radical commons in a difficult place like London.

But in order to keep running, the Common House needs your help. 

We have managed to get started, pay the rent and bills and keeping going for a year through various fund raising activities and grants, but we now want to devote more attention to political activity than financial maintenance. We also need to share the work around keeping Common House financially viable.

We have started a Friends of the Common House scheme, in which we are asking friends – people who regularly use common house and also those who don’t but want to support the project to donate a small amount each month in order to keep the Common House open. The money raised from Friends of Common House will go directly towards covering the rent and bills of Common House.

If everyone who has used the Common House to date contributed £3 a month, we could keep the Common House running indefinitely.

Anything that you will be able to contribute will be helpful. If you are not in a position to contribute regularly, you can of course give a one off donation. As a guide, we are suggesting monthly donations below.

Simply click on one of the payment amounts ( if you want to pay more get in contact ), if you want to pay less ( also get in contact ).

Monthly donation of £1 (unwaged)

Monthly donation of £3 (low wage)

Monthly donation of £5 (mid wage)

Monthly donation of £10 (high wage)

Monthly donation of £20 (high wage with liberal guilt)

It would be great to be able to keep Common House running as a really important radical resource in London for getting together, plotting and collaborating.


The Common House