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The Spark Film Festival


- on the first 4 Thursdays in August -
All viewings from 6.30 – 8.30 pm @ Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road, Grey Lynn
$1 unwaged, $3 waged, includes refreshments Or $10 for all four sessions

Thursday/August 3: Short films, NZ

March on Imperialism (2003)

Wellington, October 2002, a small group of Marxists organised a march to oppose western aggression in the Middle East. Without much experience, they initiated the first of several militant demonstrations which took place over the following two years. This is a short documentary about the first demonstration. It’s also about the organisers’ aims in the wider anti-war movement.

Peace Action Wellington (2003)

In the lead-up to the invasion, and during the invasionary period of the war on Iraq, Wellington anti-war / anti-imperialist activists were at the cutting edge of the NZ anti-war movement. Under a Labour-led government, state forces systematically repressed protests against the unjust war. This film highlights the attitude of the movement, and its successes. PAW mobilised thousands of people, and its members successfully defended a number of trumped-up police charges.

SuperSizeMyPay.Com (2006)

Throughout 2005 and 2006, Unite Union has been established as a radical union that organises amongst low-paid and casual service workers. Unite demands an abolition of youth rates, secure hours of employment, and a $12 minimum wage in the restaurant industry. Unite is organising workers who were said to be un-recruitable by the mainstream union hierarchy. Along with Radical Youth, Unite has challenged the notion of ‘youth apathy’.

Campaign Against The Taser.com (2006)

Unless the anti-taser campaign deepens, the New Zealand Police will be introducing tasers for frontline operations. Tasers deliver 50,000-volt electric shocks via metal barbs that lodge into skin and clothing. This film, produced by Campaign Against the Taser (CATT), includes footage of taser-use by American police during routine checks. International human rights groups have reported that tasers are being used as interrogation tools against political prisoners. For more information visit: http://www.campaignagainstthetaser.com/

Thursday/August 10: Labour Betrayals

Fighting Back: produced by the workers of Auckland for workers everywhere (1994)

In 1949 the first Labour government started vicious attacks on militant workers by de-registering the Carpenter’s and Joiner’s Union. This film includes strike footage and outlines the role of the Labour government at the time. Jock Barnes features on this film, making obvious the link between the events of 1949 and 1951. The attack on builders in 1949 prepared the ground for further attacks on militant unions, including the 1951 Waterfront lockout. The events explored in this film helped to condition the modern construction industry with a poor safety record and low wages for labourers.

For the Public Good (1990)

The mainstream media gushed with sadness when David Lange died. The Spark, on the other hand, reported that Lange ‘deserves a trip to hell, at breakneck speed’. When the capitalist class needed to restore profits at the expense of workers, the fourth Labour government gutted the public sector and handed assets to local and international finance capitalists. Produced by Frontline current affairs show, this documentary captures the dodgy deals in chardonnay-filled mansions. It traces the biggest transfer of wealth in NZ history. That’s why Lange fought to keep this documentary off the TV screens.

Thursday/August 17: The Philippines, Argentina

Hacienda Luisita (2005)

On November 16, 2004, Philippines army and police personnel killed 12 picketers and 2 children at the Hacienda Luisita sugar mill. Six thousand sugar plantation workers, living in poverty, had been defending their strike-picket, and raising demands for union rights and land rights. A courageous group of Filipino filmmakers captured the events and interviewed striking workers. Despite the massacre, workers resumed their struggle. They have now won some land rights in the Tarlac region. This is one of many struggles being carried out by workers and peasants in the Philippines.

The Take (2005)

In suburban Buenos Aires, thirty unemployed auto-parts workers walk into their idle factory, roll out sleeping mats, and refuse to leave (http://www.thetake.org/). Directed and written by Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein, this film examines the struggle of auto-parts and tile-manufacture workers in Argentina. The film has practical relevance in relation to New Zealand’s declining manufacturing sector. It shows that workers’ control, coupled with workers’ ownership, is the best strategy to use against factory closures.

Thursday/August 24: New Democratic Revolution in India

It Will Not Be Long (c.1998)

Propagandised as the world’s largest democracy, India is home of the world’s most brutal forms of oppression, including gender, feudal, and caste oppressions. Landlords wield private armies against malnourished workers. This film presents interviews with underground revolutionary leaders. It also contains footage of peasants taking action against tyrannical landlords. After laying out the facts, the film ends with a peasant woman singing ‘It will not be long’.

A Blazing Trail (2005)

This film documents the emergence of India’s ongoing revolution. Beginning with village uprisings in the 1960s, the film takes its audience through to the modern politically developed armed struggle for land reform and real democracy in India. A Blazing Trail also includes spliced footage from other struggles against imperialism, including footage of the Vietnamese people’s defeat of US imperialism.

Organisers of THE SPARK FILM FESTIVAL also contribute to, report for, and financially support The Spark, a sharp and informative news magazine.The Spark exposes the nature of capitalism and exploitation, and stands unreservedly for the class interests of workers and oppressed minorities. Each issue is an eye-opener, containing sharp analysis of current local and international issues. A subscription to The Spark costs $NZ15 for 10 issues or $NZ30 for 20 issues, posted within New Zealand. To arrange a subscription, send money and/or requests to PO Box 10-282, Dominion Road, Auckland, or e-mail The Spark editors at wpnz@clear.net.nz


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