MARX @ 200: THE MARXIST MOVIE SERIES
CELEBRATES PAUL ROBESON’S 120TH BIRTHDAY WITH LIVE PERFORMANCE & SCREENING OF HIS FINAL FILM
K.B. SOLOMON, the renowned Paul Robeson re-enactor, performs at the next Marxist Movie Series screening: Native Land.
This classic 1942 pro-union, anti-racist, anti-fascist docu-drama was the final film by the leftist collective Frontier Films and of Paul Robeson, born April 9, 1898. Fed up with Hollywood’s celluloid stereotypes of Blacks, Robeson quit the movies. But before doing so, the iconic African American athlete/singer/actor/activist narrated and sang “American Day” and “Dusty Sun” in the independently produced, anti-KKK Native Land.
Native Land was directed by two of the New Deal era’s top progressive filmmakers, Frontier Films’ Leo Hurwitz and Paul Strand. Both were cameramen for 1936’s The Plow That Broke the Plains and worked on 1936’s Redes (aka The Wave, about poor Mexican fishermen), and the 1937 Spanish Civil War documentary Heart of Spain. Hurwitz directed the 1948 doc about racism, Strange Victory.
Native Land was written by Ben Maddow, who also wrote 1937’s China Strikes Back and Heart of Spain. Native Land’s music was composed by Marc Blitzstein, famed for 1936’s The Cradle Will Rock, the pro-worker musical banned on Broadway. Native Land includes news footage and re-enactments, featuring Howard Da Silva, who was later Blacklisted. Come celebrate Paul Robeson’s 120th birthday!
WHAT: Screening of Native Land; 80 minutes. K.B. Solomon sings Paul Robeson ballads. Biographer Eric Gordon discusses Blitzstein. Film historian/critic Ed Rampell intros the film, followed by Q&A.
WHEN: Doors open 7:00 p.m., program starts by 7:30 p.m., on Thursday, June 28.
Where: The L.A. Workers Center, 1251 S. St. Andrews Place, L.A., CA 90019. Refreshments served. Donations requested.