Frame to Frame

The Return of Cinema Politica

Since its inception in 2004, Concordia’s Cinema Politica chapter has provided students with a weekly dose of informative, thought-provoking political films and documentaries to make your hair stand up—and your fists clench. This year is no different.

“Students are very hungry for alternative perspectives to mainstream corporate media, and our films offer those alternative perspectives,” said Ezra Winton, programmer behind the line-up of docs set to enlighten Concordia students this year.

For those who are new to Concordia, Cinema Politica is a non-profit network of over 100 chapters across the continent and overseas—which got its start at Concordia—that screen independent political documentaries from local and international artists.

“I always tell people that there is no shortage of incredibly provocative, inspiring, and powerful political films, and there’s no shortage of people who want to see them,” explained Winton. “There’s just a shortage of linking agents to connect those two things, and that’s where we come in.”

Starting next week, Cinema Politica will take over the Hall building auditorium every Monday night at 7:00 p.m. for a screening. Unless specified, screenings are all by donation, and are usually followed up by discussions, or a Q&A period.

“There’s going to be a lot of discussion and a lot of debate,” said Winton. “To enact progressive change and to support social justice, is it better to protest
in the street, or is it better to blow up a dam? Should it be a combination of both, or neither of the above? All of that will be explored in the 13 screenings we have coming up [this semester.]”

Each semester Cinema Politica’s programming is centered on a specific theme. This semester’s theme seems fitting, given the political climate surrounding the university, and students in general.

“This semester’s theme is resistance tactics,” explains Winton. “The majority of the films we’re showing will look at tactics that various groups and individuals are engaged with, on a variety of issues from deforestation, to violence against women, from street violence in Chicago, to fighting the oil and gas industry.”

Cinema Politica functions as a great creative and interactive space for students—and the public—to view films, share ideas, and interact freely on common ground.

“Our focus is to show films, and to facilitate a space where students can discuss politics on campus, free of the administration and corporate influence,” said Winton. “There’s fewer and fewer spaces to do this on Canadian campuses, as they become increasingly corporatized, and a lot more like factories and less like spaces of discovery.”

Cultures of Resistance (2011) / Sept. 19 / 7:00 p.m. / Hall Building Auditorium (1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W., H-110)
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This article originally appeared in Volume 32, Issue 03, published September 13, 2011.