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60s & 70s Progressive and Radical Media

Our historical NEWSREEL COLLECTIVE and EARLY TWN catalog provides contemporary audiences with a vast archive of political films chronicling the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s.

The Newsreel Collective, produced more than 60 films in the short period of 1967-1972 and in the process documented the Anti-War, Student, Women’s Liberation, Black and Brown Power, Housing and Third World Movements. As an alternative to the mainstream media of the time, the Newsreel films presented the point of view of activists working for the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords, Operation Move-In, and many more grassroots groups.

The Newsreel Collective became Third World Newsreel (TWN) in the early 70s and strengthened its commitment to developing filmmakers and audiences of color. From 1972 until 1979, the organization completed 10 new productions, including films about prisoners’ rights, the Asian American Movement, and its first docudrama.

Thanks to the generous contributions of National Film Preservation Foundation, The Women’s Film Preservation Fund of New York Women in Film & Television, original members of the Newsreel collective, and other private donors, part of the collection has been preserved. Also, many rare titles that had been unavailable for decades are now on HD format.

Please note that early films produced by Newsreel often employed an unpolished, disruptive film style—including sound recording that was muffled, filled with incidental sounds, or contained dialogue out of synch with image tracks—as a means to challenge mainstream conventions of filmmaking and passive viewing, and to foster a film movement emphasizing immediacy and accessibility over high-production values.

Here is a list of popular Newsreel and Third World Newsreel titles that are available streaming, purchase and rental.

Break and Enter a.k.a. Squatters (Newsreel #62)
This film captures the militant antecedents to today's housing reclamation movement in New York City. In 1970, several hundred Puerto Rican and Dominican families reclaimed housing left vacant by the city. They pulled the boards off the doors, cleaned and repaired the buildings and moved in. Thanks to the generous contributions of the National Film Preservation Foundation, BREAK AND ENTER has been preserved and is available for educational streaming.
Producer: Newsreel, 1971, 42 min., BW, US

Janie's Janie (Newsreel)
JANIE'S JANIE is an extraordinary document of the early 1970's women's movement. In this personal documentary, Jane Giese, a working class woman in Newark, comes to realize that she has to take control of her own life after years of physical and mental abuse. The personal aspect of the film was unusual for early Newsreel, and its very existence resulted from gender issue struggles within the collective itself. It is a document of a time and its issues, and of the efforts of feminists to give creative visual form to their concerns. Using both interviews and verité material, it is one of the more complex Newsreel films. Principal collaborators were: Geri Ashur, Peter Barton, Marilyn Mulford and Stephanie Palewski, with music by Bev Grant. Thanks to the generous contributions of the The Women's Film Preservation Fund of the New York Women in Film & Television, JANIE'S JANIE has been preserved and is available for purchases and rentals.
Producer: Newsreel, 1971, 25 min., BW, US

People's War
This newly restored film records the mobilization and participation of the Vietnamese people in their country's fight against colonialism and foreign military aggression. Moving beyond the perception of the Vietnamese as victims, the film investigates a society fully committed to national liberation. It details their long history of resisting the U.S. military as well as their struggles to overcome the French colonial legacy of economic underdevelopment. Thanks to the generous contributions of the National Film Preservation Foundation, PEOPLE'S WAR has been preserved and is available for educational streaming.
Producer: Newsreel, 1969, 40 min., BW, US

Teach Our Children
This film focuses on the historic 1971 Attica prison rebellion in upstate New York. It targets the conditions that caused prisoners to take drastic steps toward securing their basic rights. The film questions the reactions of prison warden Oswald, New York governor Nelson Rockefeller and President Nixon, as well as the death of 31 inmates and prison guards from bullets fired by the National Guard. Through on-site footage taken during and following the rebellion, and follow-up interviews with inmates, this film relates a powerful message concerning prisoner's rights and provides an important historical document.
Christine Choy & Susan Robeson, Producer: Third World Newsreel, 1972, 35 min., BW, US

Inside Women Inside
How does a woman cope with such common occurrences as illness, pregnancy and family conflicts when she is sent away to prison? This film exposes the daily humiliation regularly faced by women in U.S. prisons using firsthand accounts of inmates at the North Carolina Correctional Center for Women and the Correctional Institute for Women at Riker's Island, New York. Provocative interviews with these women reveal the anger and frustrations of daily life behind bars. INSIDE WOMEN INSIDE follows women demanding better meals and realistic job training: institutionalized injustices against them are clarified disrupting our conventional view of women behind bars. In spite of the realities of their oppression, their optimism and strength are insurmountable.
Christine Choy & Cynthia Maurizio, Producer: Third World Newsreel, 1978, 28 min., US

From Spikes to Spindles
This raw, gutsy portrait of New York's Chinatown captures the early days of an emerging consciousness in the community. We see a Chinatown rarely depicted, a vibrant community whose young and old joined forces to protest police brutality and hostile real estate developers. With bold strokes, it paints an overview of the community and its history, from the early laborers driving spikes into the transcontinental railroad to the garment workers of today.
Christine Choy, Producer: Third World Newsreel, 1976, 50 min., US

Black Panther (Newsreel #19)
A compelling document of the Black Panther Party leadership in 1967. This film contains a prison interview with Minister of Defense Huey P. Newton as well as an interview with Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver, footage of the aftermath of the police assault on the Los Angeles Chapter headquarters, demonstrations to free Huey at Hutton Memorial Park and the Alameda County Courthouse and a recitation of the party's Ten-Point Platform by co-founder Bobby Seale. One of Newsreel's most widely distributed films, it was originally released as "Off the Pig." This short film features drawings from activist artist Emory Douglas.
Producer: Newsreel, 1968, 15 min., BW, US

Columbia Revolt (Newsreel #14)
In April 1968, black and white students rebelled against the university administration, occupying five buildings, including the president's office in one of the first campus revolts of the Civil Rights/Vietnam War era. The revolt began as a protest against university expansion into neighboring communities and its role as a slumlord. After five days of student control, the administrators and trustees ordered the police to clear the buildings. What resulted was an unprecedented display of brutality and repression. Narrated by one of the student rebels, the detailed eyewitness account of this event galvanized other campus revolts around the country.
Producer: Newsreel, 1968, 50 min., BW, US

A Dream Is What You Wake Up From
The everyday lives of three Black families with different approaches to their struggle for survival in the United States are represented through a mix of fiction and documentary scenes, a docudrama style inspired by the work of Cuban filmmaker Sara Gómez. Filmmakers Larry Bullard and Carolyn Y. Johnson recorded families engaged in their day to day activities at home, at work and in school. This material was juxtaposed with a sound track on which family members discuss their individual thoughts, values, and aspirations. With this hybrid film style, the filmmakers were able to reveal and examine the gaps between everyday reality and the way in which it is perceived by each individual. One of the first Third World Newsreel productions, A DREAM IS WHAT YOU WAKE UP FROM was recently part of the Film Society of Lincoln Center award-winning series Tell It Like It Is: Black Independents in New York, 1968 - 1986.
Larry Bullard & Carolyn Y. Johnson, Producer: Third World Newsreel, 1978, 50 min., US

Make-Out (Newsreel #49)
As a young couple make-out in a car, we hear the woman's stream of consciousness thoughts. She worries about her reputation and whether he'll try to "go all the way." This film is best used with discussions and/or materials about date rape. A short created by Geri Ashur, Andrea Eagan, Marcia Salo Rizzi and Deborah Shaffer, and co-directed by Ashur and Peter Schlaifer, the film is a vibrant document of the early second wave women's movement, and the concerns and thinking of young women at that time. This film is unique in the Newsreel collection, as it was filmed with actors, with a voice-over script created from a women's group discussion.Thanks to the generous contributions of the The Women's Film Preservation Fund of the New York Women in Film & Television, MAKE-OUT has been preserved and is available for streaming, purchases and rentals.
Producer: Newsreel, 1970, 5 min., BW, US

My Country Occupied (Newsreel #151)
In this moving film, the personal testimonies of Guatemalan Indigenous people, peasants, and guerrillas are dramatized to provide the narration for a powerful overview of the history of U.S.destabilization of democracy in Central America.
Tami Gold & Heather Archibald, Producer: Newsreel, 1971, 30 min., BW, US/Guatemala 2005

People's Firehouse #1
"We're making our point to the whole United States: you can fight the system, and win!" The Polish Americans of Northside, Brooklyn realized their community was under attack by the city bureaucracy: schools, hospitals, and other services have been closed or cut back and the neighborhood had begun to decay. The closing of the local firehouse was the last straw. They occupied the firehouse and began a campaign to win back fire protection and revitalize their neighborhood.
Paul Schneider, Producer: Third World Newsreel, 1979, 25 min., BW, US

El Pueblo se Levanta (Newsreel #63)
In the late '60s, conditions for Puerto Ricans in the U.S. reached the boiling point. Faced with racial discrimination, deficient community services, and poor education and job opportunities, Puerto Rican communities began to address these injustices by using direct action. This film focuses on the community of East Harlem, capturing the compassion and militancy of the Young Lords as they implemented their own health, educational, and public assistance programs and fought back against social injustice. An excellent portrayal of inner city organizing in the late 60s.
Producer: Newsreel, 1971, 50 min., BW, US

We Are the Palestinian People (Newsreel #65)
Filmed in Palestine by Newsreel, this documentary shows the refugee camps of the Middle East, the rise of the Palestinian Liberation Movement and Israel's relationship to the Western imperialism. There is footage of the guerrillas in training, and interviews with Palestinian leaders and militants who work in many programs of the liberation struggle of the time.
Producer: Newsreel, 1971, 50 min., BW, US, 45 min., BW, US

To Love, Honor & Obey
This film explores the social, psychological and cultural factors that contribute to violence against women regardless of ethnicity or economic background. Survivors, safe house administrators, counselors, police officers, and male abusers in counseling explore the many factors that contribute to the pervasiveness of this tragic aspect of American family life. Shot in battered women's shelters, urban and suburban neighborhoods, counseling centers, and even in a county jail where a woman has been incarcerated for the murder of her abusive husband.
Christine Choy & Marlene Dann, Producer: Third World Newsreel, 1980, 55 min., US

The Woman's Film (Newsreel #55)
Produced collectively by women, this documentary is a valuable historical document of the origins of the modern women's movement in the United States. The film delves into the lives of ordinary women from different races, educational levels, and class. Filmed mostly in small consciousness-raising groups, from which the women's movement grew, the women talk about the daily realities of their lives as wives, homemakers, and workers. They speak, sometimes with hesitancy, often with passion, about the oppression of women as they see it.
Newsreel, Producer: Women's Caucus--San Francisco Newsreel, 1971, 40 min., BW, US

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