‘I fell in love with all the rebel girls, although only two of them remain alive today’ says Victor Grossman, commenting especially on the women depicted in ‘The People Speak’. The American writer and communist, who defected during the cold war and has been living and writing from Berlin since the fifties was asked to comment on the film afterwards in an audience discussion. With those words he captured the atmosphere of the audience both during the movie screening and the lively discussion afterwards. Although some of the main characters of the movie might have been dead for a long time, their message resonated strongly among the audience.
Howard Zinn’s and Anthony Arnove’s film connected with many because of the wide span of artists, themes and original pictures. Young and old, American, German, English, Spanish or Dutch, all audience members found the movie hit home. Victor mentioned that he vividly remembers one scene from the movie with victorious strikers laughing after they won the General Motors strike. ‘That was the first newsreel, and thus film fragment I saw in my life’. Other audience members reflected on more recent scenes that they have lived through. One participant mentioned ‘The battle of Seattle’ that saw the birth of the world-wide anti-globalisation movement, others mentioned more recent episodes that happened after the movie was produced such as the Occupy Wall Street protests and the ‘Black lives matter’ demonstrations. Reflecting on the recent protests and the election of Obama as president, participants mentioned that the hope of his presidency has left many angry, but not silent. The next generation is coming out to protest and is building new movements to continue the fight for a better world.
After the movie both it and the books of Victor Grossman, including the one called ‘Rebel Girls’, were in high demand by the audience. We will try to order a group batch of the movie together, if you would like to order a copy email us: firstname.lastname@example.org. The movie screening and debate are part of this group’s efforts to draw together left wing international people living in or visiting Berlin. Next month’s movie screening will be ‘Z’, on Sunday the 3th of May, at 16:00, and will be followed by a discussion on the extreme right in Europe.