Political Film Society - Newsletter #22 - February 1, 1998

February 1, 1998

  OFFICIAL BALLOT Cast your votes for the films that best raised political consciousness in 1997:


Red Corner
(shows how extralegal considerations endemic in crony rule within China prevent the criminal justice system from producing a just outcome)

The Rainmaker (portrays the elusiveness of justice in the cases of a battered wife who fears revenge or poverty if she divorces, a wealthy widow dazzled by a televangelist who needs money for his private jet, and an accident victim who cannot get an insurance company to pay for urgent medical treatment because it prefers to defraud insurees in various ways, including "tort reform legislation")

none of the above

Amistad (brings to light a hitherto obscure trial about the fate of mutinous African slaves before federal courts, resulting in their release after an eloquent Supreme Court plea by John Quincy Adams)

The Peacemaker (presents a plausible scenario in which renegade Russians could smuggle nuclear weapons to Iran, Iraq, or other countries; the film prompted Congress to study the issue)

Rosewood (portrays the massacre of Blacks in a Florida town just after World War I, an event nearly unknown until release of the film)

Seven Years in Tibet (shows the way in which China has stamped out religious and other freedoms in Tibet)

none of the above

Seven Years in Tibet (contrasts the peaceloving culture of the Tibetans with the militaristic Chinese, who reportedly are responsible for the deaths of one million Tibetans and displacement of many more)

none of the above

L.A. Confidential (reminds us of the era, before many important Supreme Court rulings, in which police trampled on the rights of criminals and ordinary citizens alike and in effect ran City Hall)

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (contains a plea for acceptance of gays as upstanding "members of the community" who should be treated fairly)

Rosewood (depicts how Blacks were stripped of their rights during the Jim Crow era)

Seven Years in Tibet (argues implicitly that China will never respect the human rights of Tibetans)

none of the above

Beyond Barbed Wire (reveals how Generals Clark and Dahlquist used Japanese American soldiers in World War II, and how offspring of the war heroes perceive themselves and their parents) Homeless (shows how Chinese who moved to Korea in the last century are kept on the margins of society)

Poverty Outlaw (describes how the poor organized in North Philadelphia to claim their rights)

Deep in Paradise (shows the problems of a Philippine project known as "Doctors in the Barrios," wherein new M.D.s go to the provinces and try to press for government spending to provide better sanitation and paved roads so that farmers can take their crops to market)

Welcome to Sarajevo (shows how journalists, in the midst of the inhumanities of war, took the lead in bringing children of Bosnia to safety in Italy)

none of the above