"This film breaks new ground in political filmmaking."
Mexico as an example of what much of the Third World has experienced,
the filmmakers show how foreign investment in export factories distort
both the culture and environment. Its exquisite photography, elegant
editing, and original music probe the essence of the new economic
film is directed by Institute for Policy Studies fellow Saul Landau –
winner of Emmy, George Polk, Letelier-Moffitt and First Amendment
awards, in addition to many film festival prizes, and co-produced by
Saul Landau and George McAlmon. Camera – Sonia Angulo; Editing –Tomas Hernandez.
live with the tension of maintaining their centuries-old traditions
and the invasion of “globalization”—as culture
and economics. Located between Iraq and a hard place, the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict, Syrians identify with their historical mosaic symbolized
by ancient Roman ruins in Bosra, the Krak des Chevaliers crusader
fortress and churches and mosques—bereft of tourists after
the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. A Syrian filmmaker returns to
Quneitra, his Golan Heights hometown that the Israeli army destroyed
after the 1973 war. The camera shows the barbed wire separating
the two hostile nations and films UN vehicles that patrol the tense
border. A Syrian Cabinet Minister, academics, professionals and
people on the Damascus streets offer advice to President George
W. Bush and pleas for peace as US-Syrian relations steadily decline
following the Iraq War.
"SYRIA: BETWEEN IRAQ & A HARD PLACE shows images you
don't see in other films that come from that region. This film evokes
the humanity of the Syrian people. Its power lies in its haunting
and beautiful images children playing, women buying, men praying.
Would we dare to bomb such people? The fabulous soundtrack of Syrian
music and street sounds and the photos of a Roman amphitheater and
water wheels and women dancing in western dress combine to make
this a film you shouldn't miss."-Haskell Wexler, 2 time Academy-Award Winning Cinematographer
and winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of
"You must see it. It's a story we've never been told." -Francis
Farenthold, Attorney and former President of Wells College
"This film marvelously rescues Syria from caricature and
Cockburn, Journalist and Co-editor of Counterpunch
insight into Syria, its culture and politics." -James
Abourezk, former US Senator (D-SD)
captivating program includes a glimpse of that history with an emphasis
on Syria's position on the current war on terrorism taking place
in Iraq. The producers utilize a series of interviews with ...Syrians
ranging from ordinary citizens--including some of the half-million
Palestinian refugees who live in the country--to government officials
and university professors ...Overall, this timely program presents
the rich and diverse society of Syria as one which could be emblematic
of much of the Middle East, and is certainly worthy of purchase
consideration (despite the pun-like title) for media collections
needing well-timed and contemporary information in an effective
presentation." -Dwain Thomas, William Rainey Harper College
Iraq: Voices From the Street (September 2002) By Saul Landau and Sonia Angulo
Saul Landau's films are available through Round World Productions
The film documents a congressional delegation visit to Iraq in2002 by former U.S. Senator James Abourezk (D) South Dakota
and Congressman Nick Rahall (D) West Virginia. The film features
interviews with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz and people
on the street who candidly describe their feelings towards the impending
The corporate globalization
process on the US-Mexican border, the so-called 'new' Mexico,
with the traditional Mayan civilization in Chiapas. Since the uprising
of the Zapatistas, Chiapas is plagued by motorized
army convoys that trespass on Indian villages. The film
shows the newly arrived workers, in the maquilas (foreign
factories), and portrays the indigenous Maya struggling to maintain
their land and their identity. Furthermore, there are interviews
with maquila owners, developers and a foreign plant manager. The
ideas of progress and destruction of a culture are analyzed
context of hundreds of abducted, raped and mutilated women in Juarez.
"Just before dawn on New Year's Day 1994, armed Mayan
Indians declared war on the government. They immediately seized
eight towns in Chiapas and set in motion events that ripped away
a facade of prosperity and stability to reveal 'the other Mexico'.
They demanded land, public services and Indian autonomy - the right
to communally own and farm land.
They called themselves the Zapatista
Army of National Liberation (EZLN). This documentary features in-depth
interviews with people from the EZLN, among them Subcommandante
THE SIXTH SUN portrays an epic confrontation
pitting impoverished peasants against large landowners and government
forces in Mexico poorest state, Chiapas. The film raises important
questions as to what is to be judged expendable in the rush to global
economic integration - whether the destruction of whole peoples
and cultures that have survived over centuries is simply to be accepted
as the price of 'progress'.
Best Director Award, First American
Indian Intercontinental Film Festival, Santa Fe, 1996
There's something oddly fascinating about THE UNCOMPROMISING REVOLUTION,
that looks at current-day, 30 years after Fidel Castro's nationalist
revolution. It shows the people, landscapes, large and small themes,
to show the texture of Cuba after three decades of revolution. Weaving
together archive footage, occasional flashbacks from earlier Landau
pictures, recent personal interviews with Castro and scores of on-the-street
and on-location interviews with women, professionals and workers.
Landau tries to capture filmically what political scientists have
tried to do empirically, that is, to understand Cuba 30 years after
the revolution. Unlike his earlier films about Cuba, this one shatters
any romantic notions about revolution.
Cuba is more like a normal
country. Although most people seem thoroughly convinced that the
Cuban style of socialism if preferable to any other form of government,
it is not any more with the enthusiasm of the years shortly after
A 102 years-old woman recalls the days of the Spaniards
and the arrival of the Americans in 1898. The black and white images
of history, marines charging San Juan hill, occupying the island,
gambling and having fun in the casino's - make clear why Cubans
remember their history and why the Americans and the rest of the
world seem to have forgotten it.
Counterpoint:This film describes the fight of the Sandinistas against Somoza
on the end of the 70s. It includes an interview with the
Sandinista ambassador to Washington who gives his perspective on
the US intervention and the Nicaraguan experience.
Nicaragua. Inside a Covert War (1983)
Cimenmatography by Haskel Wexler
Acadmey Award winning cinematography Haskel Wexler documents their trip to Nicaragua in the midst of the dirty Contra-War. The reality of the
destruction of Nicaraguan society emerges vividly in the faces of the victims and the explanations of the
mercenaries. The film traces the line of responsibility, from the
arms dealers who profited from their deals with the contras, to
the Pentagon, CIA and the White
for Power (1983) Sketches of the American New Right. Writer,
producer, director For Dutch, Swedish and Finnish television with
Report from Beirut (1982) Shows dramatic scenes of the effects of Israeli bomging on Lebonese and Palistinian residents of Beirut during the 1982 invaion.
In PAUL JACOBS AND THE NUCLEAR GANG, Willis and Landau used the investigative work of one reporter to uncover some unpleasant facts about the effects of low level radiation on human health. The filmmakers took a dying Jacobs back to the “down wind” locations he had previously investigated. Jacobs consulted with scientists and doctors and attributed his lung cancer to his having inhaled a plutonium molecule during his reporting from the “hot areas.”
In southern Utah and northern Arizona, Jacobs revisits people he had earlier interviewed and discovers a virtual cancer epidemic among the exposed population. The film inter-cuts the history of the nuclear project with the voices of its victims, alongside government officials’ explaining why national security required nuclear testing and a campaign of lies and secrecy about how nuclear fall out might affect public health. In the film, Jacobs serves as a narrator and teacher..
Won the 1980 EMMY Award for best
George F. Polk Award for investigative journalism
Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award for journalism
Mannheim Film Festival First Critics' Prize
(1980)At the end of the 70s there was a vigorous fight for
socialism in Jamaica. In this film Landau made a portrait of Michael
Manley on his tour in Jamaica, during his election.
CIA Case Officer (1978)An in-depth portrairt of a former CIA official, John Stockwell,
who served the CIA for 12 years, mostly in Africa and Vietnam. Soon
after his last assignment as chief of the Angolan Task Force during
1975 and early 1976. Stockwell talks with
candor and introspection about his career and the disillusionment,
which let to his decision to leave the CIA. He reveals information about CIA practices and policies.
Moyer's CBS report on CIA and Cuba (1977) Field producer.
of My Birth (1976) Campaign film for Michael Manley in Jamaica
Cinematographer: Haskell Wexler.
in a House of Madness (1975) A four minute poem. Michael Beasley,
a jail house poet, reads his poetry, illustrated by the footage
taken inside the San Francisco jail, in 1972.
for Dead Warriors (1974) Examines the Wounded
Knee occupation in the spring of 1973 by Oglala Sioux Indians and
members of the American Indian Movement (AIM). The film captures
the conflict between AIM, the Sioux militants, the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
An unusual portrait of the Watergate
Congress at work. The film emphasizes the media's role, and
efforts of two Washington Post journalists.
and Fidel (1974) Writer, producer, director A 24 minute tour
Cuba and the US (1974) Director With Dan Rather for CBS
Shot Alexander Hamilton (1974)
Wall: Ex-FBI Agent (1972)
Saul Landau and Paul Jacobs. This television
program follow an FBI agent provocateur, Robert Wal. Robert Wall chronicles how he spied on people and institutions. He describes how he surveilled
Stokeley Carmichae and tried to insight violence at a peace march.
A trip through the society of prisoners
and jailers, transvestites, murderers, drunks and sadists. Filmed
in the San Francisco County Jail over a 3-month period.
First prize at Berlin Film Festival
First prize at the Ann Arbor Film Festival
Zombies in a House of Madnes (1972) shot in the San Francisco jail.
A docudrama feature film about a CIA spy, a Peace Corp volunteer and a militant left wing plot that brilliantly
weaves documentary coverage of the Allende election with a fast-moving story of political intrigue.
This Brechtian treatment of the Allende election and features the songs
and acting of Country Joe McDonald as well as President Allende
himself. It was filmed on location during the historic elections
of 1970. QUE HACER is still a deliciously playful
film, with a lot of cinematographic tricks and ingenous cutting,
reminiscent of Godard's A BOUT DE SOUFFLE.
This interview was conducted shortly after the late President Dr. Salvador Allende won
the Chilean elections of 1970. Dr. Salvador Allende was the first democratically elected socialist president in Latin America. Three years later, Allende was killed during a coupe lead by General
that overthrew the Allende government.
great quality of this remarkable film is that it is educational
in the best possible sense. It gives you a feeling for what revolution
- any revolution - is actually about, what it means in all its implications
and how it affects the lives of the people. The task in making this
film seems in retrospect to have been enormous and it is a tribute
to the makers that they produced such an exciting and illuminating
work. I found it completely absorbing from the start to finish."- Ralph Gleason, Rolling Stone
This film captures the rapid changes
in the students' movement that brought forth the pacifist antiwar
movement, the free speech movement and the black power struggle.
The film is full of street action, dialogues with draft dodgers
in Canada, and antiwar activists in various milieus and activities.
Horrific scenes of demonstrators lined up facing counter lines of
police, youths overturning police cars and police charging, clubs
flailing at demonstrators' heads. It's still fascinating to see --Report for PBS.
just the same (1966) Landau's very first documentary is set
in a black ghetto, Oakland, California. It is the story of a
single black mother and her 10 children. The main character of the
film is 17-year-old Robert, just dropped out of school. When t riots break out, Robert joins the rioters. This trancelike
interval in the story conveys his hopes and aspirations, but also
the enormous walls that keep him captured. When the riots had end in the Fall of 1966, the sober reality of ghetto
life forces itself on Robert and his family. What will be his destiny?
The film documents a congressional delegation visit to Iraq in mid September 2002 by former U.S. Senator James Abourezk (D) South Dakota and Congressman Nick Rahall (D) West Virginia. The film features interviews with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz and people on the street who candidly describe their feelings towards the impending war.
"Just before dawn on New Year's Day 1994, armed Mayan Indians declared war on the government. They immediately seized eight towns in Chiapas and set in motion events that ripped away a facade of prosperity and stability to reveal 'the other Mexico'. They demanded land, public services and Indian autonomy - the right to communally own and farm land.
They called themselves the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). This documentary features in-depth interviews with people from the EZLN, among them Subcommandante Marcos.
Best Director Award, First American Indian Intercontinental Film Festival, Santa Fe, 1996; Golden Apple Award, 1997: Best Picture, North Carolina Smoky Mountain Film Festival, 1997."
"Landau tries to capture filmically what political scientists have tried to do empirically, that is, to understand Cuba 30 years after the revolution. Unlike his earlier films about Cuba, this one shatters any romantic notions about revolution."
Paul Jacobs A poignant and potent political documentary that exposes the government's suppression of the health hazards of low-level radiation. Paul Jacobs is himself a victim of lung cancer, that would kill him before this picture was finished and which his doctors believe he contracted while he was investigating nuclear policies in 1957. He interviews civilians and soldiers, survivors of nuclear experiments in the 50s and 60s, testing the effects of radiation.
This film won: -1980 EMMY Award for best TV program
George F. Polk Award for investigative journalism on TV
Hefner First Amendment Award for journalism, and the
Mannheim Film Festival first critics' prize.
Steppin'(1980) At the end of the 70s there was a vigorous fight for socialism in Jamaica. In this film Landau made a portrait of Michael Manley on his tour in Jamaica, during election time.
The CIA Case Officer(1978) An in-depth character portrair of a former CIA official, John Stockwell, who served the CIA for 12 years, mostly in Africa and Vietnam.