Please join us for a FREE screening of an important American documentary film. This feature-length assemblage of three short films (Prairie Fire, Survivor and Rebel Earth) show how everyday Americans rose up against money and power to regain their voting rights in 1916 North Dakota. Cannes award- winning flmmaker Rob Nilsson (‘Northern Lights’) will be present to speak on the films’ continued relevance in our current political climate. Q /A, Refreshments available. Running time is 105 minutes.
John Hanson and Rob Nilsson, co-directors of Cannes Camera d’Or winner Northern Lights and fellow members of San Francisco’s Cine Manifest film collective, collaborated on this remarkable series of documentaries underwritten by the North Dakota Humanities Council and the North Dakota AFL-CIO. In Prairie Fire, 97-year-old ex-organizer and poet Henry Martinson recounts the 1916 birth of the Socialist Nonpartisan League—also the subject of Northern Lights—his narrative accompanied by images shot by Nilsson’s own grandfather, Frithjof Holmboe. Rebel Earth finds Martinson, accompanied by a younger farmer, revisiting the scenes of his life, seeking out the spot of his Divide County homestead. Survivor, finished the year before Martinson’s death, focuses on the biography of its subject, found in a funny and expansive mood. A gorgeously-shot work of documentary-as-historical corrective, which finds hope for the future through excavating a radical past.
“As delightful as they are educational. Anyone interested in the history of American socialism will want to see these films.”
-John Seal, Berkeleyside
“All-American stories of Socialism. Moving depictions of human reality.”
-Glenn Kenny, The New York Times
“A hoot, a joy, a thrill, rich with local color and indelible plains photography.”
-Alan Scherstuhl, The Village Voice
“A leisurely tour through the farms and villages of the farm belt.”
-Louis Proyecto, Counterpunch