Artists' Television Access

Rosa Luxemburg

Radical Film Series # 9

Thursday, May 27, 2004, 8:00 pm, $5

Feature Film: Rosa Luxemburg, 1986 Germany/West Germany, Running time: 122 minutes

In this informative and measured docudrama, director Margarethe von Trotta relates the life and times of Rosa Luxemburg. Von Trotta based her film on  historical research and some of the more than 2,000 letters Rosa Luxemburg wrote during her active life. Luxemburg was a leader of both the German and Polish Socialist parties who advocated an anti-colonialist and pacifist stance on the issues of her day.

“Rosa Luxemburg is one of the most fascinating  figures in modern European political history. She clung to Marx’s teachings when Lenin was rewriting the master to fit his own needs. She believed in the dictatorship of the proletariat but said that no cause could justify the taking of one innocent life. Her death was probably as much of a relief to Lenin and the Bolsheviks in Moscow, whom she relentlessly criticized for their autocratic programs, as it was to her former comrades in the Social Democratic Party, who authorized the purge of the ultraleft Spartacists and orchestrated the cover-up of  her murder” (Canby, New York Times)

Short Silent Film:  Berlin, Symphony of a Great City, 1927 Germany, Running Time: 20 minutes

Berlin offers us a literal ‘day in the life of’, following the life of the city as it wakes, goes to work through the morning and into the afternoon, moves from work to play,  to sport and dancing and drinking deep into the night. It leaps swiftly  from rich to poor, from man to machine and back  again, from the grandeur of the city-scape to  the sewers beneath, and always movement, movement in every way  that can be found.

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