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'Free Screen' hosted by Liverpool Social Forum

Liverpool IMC | 02.05.2006 19:12 | Culture | Free Spaces | Liverpool

In what could be the first instance of a recurring pattern, Liverpool Social Forum ( held a 'Free Screen' night - showing radical films for absolutely zero pence - at the Casa, Hope Street on Sunday, 30th April. An audience of about thirty also enjoyed the radical discussion appropriate for such an occasion.

The first film was put together by Liverpool Defy ID ( It combined vox pops and comparisons to Nazi Germany with song and dance routines. There was even a piano playing puppy! Afterwards, nobody claimed that ID cards were a good idea.

We then saw ten minutes of Ken Loach's 'Land and Freedom' - which is about a young unenemployed communist who travelled to Spain to help fight Franco's fascists. In this scene, the local fash had been disposed of and people are discussing what to do next. It was a fascinating look at the makings of an actual revolution and a life without leaders.

Next up was Jean-Luc Godard's Tout Va Bien. It is Paris, it is 1968, and the workers have taken over a factory. They humiliate the boss by forcing him to follow the rules he once laid down for them.

Then it was on to Columbia University in New York, for another ten minute slice of that same dramatic year, although this was actual documentary footage. Having exposed racism and the university's links to the US Department of 'Defense', the students barricaded themselves inside the campus, refusing to come out until their demands were met.

Finally, we were transported to post-Katrina New Orleans, where the government agencies are pretty much letting the poor and black fend for themselves, probably acting out of a hunger for profits rather than incompetance. This is like the Welsh Streets multiplied by a couple of thousand. Fortunately - like the previous three films - this short by the Common Ground Collective ( showed that people quickly become radicalised when the chips are down. The Collective share their skills and resources, providing free clinics, distribution centres and making a start on the rebuilding process. Though a few of the organisers are former Black Panthers, the volunteers had all political affiliations and none before the combined force of climate chaos and government contempt forced them to stand up for themselves.

It was certainly an intriguing and thought-provoking night, although many said that they would like to see whole films for free in the future.

Liverpool IMC


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  1. Credit where credit's due .. — Liverpool Defy ID