Cineaste has covered all these films in its fifty-plus years of existence. Their diversity represents our ever-evolving understanding of what constitutes political cinema. Since our origins in the politically engaged 1960s through the Reagan era and up to this current moment, our pages reflect the changing ways that filmmakers have understood and expressed the art and politics of the cinema. From pointed documentaries to poetic auteur cinema, the films represent a wide range of nations, time periods, and aesthetic visions. Look for us at www.cineaste.com.
Le Joli Mai
Directed by Chris Marker, Pierre Lhomme • Documentary • 1963 • 145 minutes
Filmed just after the March 1962 ceasefire between France and Algeria, LE JOLI MAI documents Paris during a turning point in French history: the first time since 1939 that France was not involved in any war.
Part I, "A P...
No Home Movie
Directed by Chantal Akerman • Documentary • 2015 • 115 minutes
The final film from groundbreaking auteur Chantal Akerman, NO HOME MOVIE is a portrait of her relationship with her mother, Natalia, a Holocaust survivor and familiar presence in many of her daughter's films.
"At the center of Chan...
Moi, Un Noir
Directed by Jean Rouch • Documentary • 1958 • 70 minutes
Winner of the prestigious Prix Louis Delluc in 1958, MOI, UN NOIR marked Jean Rouch's break with traditional ethnography, and his embrace of the collaborative and improvisatory strategies he called "shared ethnography" and "ethnofiction."
A Quiet Passion
Directed by Terence Davies • Drama • With Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Ehle • 2017 • 126 minutes
Cynthia Nixon delivers a triumphant performance as Emily Dickinson as she personifies the wit, intellectual independence and pathos of the poet whose genius only came to be recognized after her death. Acc...
The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu
Directed by Andrei Ujica • Documentary • 2011 • 180 minutes
A monumental achievement, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF NICOLAE CEAUSESCU tracks the rise and fall of the infamous Romanian dictator through his own propaganda footage. Writer and director Andrei Ujica, along with editor Dana Bunescu, crafted ov...
The Battle of Chile (Part 1)
Directed by Patricio Guzman • Documentary • 1975 • 96 minutes
On September 11, 1973, President Salvador Allende's democratically elected Chilean government was overthrown in a bloody coup by General Augusto Pinochet's army.
Patricio Guzmán and five colleagues had been filming the political dev...
The Cordillera of Dreams
Directed by Patricio Guzmán • Documentary • 2019 • 85 minutes
Winner of the Best Documentary award at the Cannes Film Festival, master filmmaker Patricio Guzmán's The Cordillera of Dreams completes his trilogy (with Nostalgia for the Light and The Pearl Button) investigating the relationship bet...
Nostalgia for the Light
Directed by Patricio Guzmán • Documentary • 2010 • 90 minutes
Master director Patricio Guzmán travels 10,000 feet above sea level to the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert, where atop the mountains astronomers from all over the world gather to observe the stars. The sky is so translucent ...
Directed by Patricio Guzmán • Documentary • 2004 • 100 minutes
A leftist revolutionary or a reformist democrat? A committed Marxist or a constitutionalist politician? An ethical and moral man or, as Richard Nixon called him, a 'son of a bitch'? In SALVADOR ALLENDE, acclaimed Chilean filmmaker Pa...
The Last Bolshevik
Directed by Chris Marker • Documentary • 1998 • 116 minutes
Based on the life and work of the Russian film director Alexander Medvedkin (1900-1989), THE LAST BOLSHEVIK is a tribute from one filmmaker to another. An archeological expedition into film history that reveals new cinematic treasures, ...
Dead Souls - Part I
Directed by Wang Bing • Documentary • 2018 • 166 minutes
In Gansu Province, northwest China, lie the remains of countless prisoners abandoned in the Gobi Desert sixty years ago. Designated as “ultra-rightists” in the Communist Party’s Anti-Rightist campaign of 1957, they starved to death in the ...
Finally Got the News
Directed by Stewart Bird, Rene Lichtman and Peter Gessner • Documentary • 1970 • 55 minutes
FINALLY GOT THE NEWS is a forceful, unique documentary that reveals the activities of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers inside and outside the auto factories of Detroit. Through interviews with th...
From The East
Directed by Chantal Akerman • Documentary • 2003 • 110 minutes
FROM THE EAST retraces a journey from the end of summer to deepest winter, from East Germany, across Poland and the Baltics, to Moscow. It is a voyage Chantal Akerman wanted to make shortly after the collapse of the Soviet bloc "befo...
Hotel Terminus - Part I
Directed by Marcel Ophuls • Documentary • 1988 • 114 minutes
"Making this film was like an intense fight for the survival of memory itself."—Marcel Ophuls
A brilliant and epic Academy Award-winning examination of the Nazi SS officer Klaus Barbie, the infamous "Butcher of Lyon", HOTEL TERMINUS: ...
Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski • Drama • With Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska • 2014 • 80 minutes
From acclaimed director Pawel Pawlikowski (Last Resort, My Summer of Love) comes Ida, a moving and intimate drama about a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland who, on the verge of taking her vows, ...
The Lion Hunters
Directed by Jean Rouch • Documentary • 1965 • 77 minutes
Shot on the border between Niger and Mali over a period of seven years, THE LION HUNTERS is Jean Rouch's documentation of the lion hunt performed by the gow hunters of the Songhay people.
Rouch has said that he made the film 'to try to gi...
The Mad Masters
Directed by Jean Rouch • Documentary • 1955 • 28 minutes
The film opens on the bustling streets of Accra, the capital of the Gold Coast (modern-day Ghana), a major colonial port city that serves as a stage for the collision of the traditional and the modern. Among the diverse groups who populate...
Mysteries of Lisbon
Directed by Raul Ruiz • Drama • With Adriano Luz • 2011 • 257 minutes
A masterful adaptation of the nineteenth-century Portuguese novel evokes the complex intertwined narratives of Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens. The core story centers on Joao, the bastard child of an ill-fated romance between ...
Directed by Raúl Ruiz • Drama • With Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Béart, Vincent Perez • 2018 • 163 minutes
Raúl Ruiz’s most ambitious literary adaptation and considered his greatest cinematic achievement. An Official Selection at both the Cannes and New York Film Festivals and starring an out...
Directed by Pablo Larrain • Drama • With Alfredo Castro • 2008 • 98 minutes
Raul Peralta, a middle-aged criminal in 1970's Chile, is obsessed the idea of impersonating Tony Manero, John Travolta's character in Saturday Night Fever. Every Saturday night, he unleashes his passion for the film's mu...
Directed by Marlon Riggs • Documentary • 1989 • 55 minutes
The seminal documentary on Black gay life, Emmy Award-winning director Marlon T. Riggs’ 1989 Tongues Untied uses poetry, personal testimony, rap and performance (featuring poet Essex Hemphill and others), to describe the homophobia and r...
Wendy and Lucy
Directed by Kelly Reichardt • Drama • With Michelle Williams, Walter Dalton, Will Oldham, John Robinson, Larry Fessenden, Will Patton • 2008 • 80 minutes
Proving why she is one of the most highly-regarded auteurs of current cinema, Kelly Reichardt's (OLD JOY) subtle storytelling technique uses a...