Northern California Premiere
Directed by M.A. Littler
Cinematography by Philip Koepsell.
Germany, USA, 2011. In English. 94mins.
M.A. Littler’s film is one part travelogue and one part paean to eight radical thinkers who have tried to make the world a better place. If you are uncomfortable with questioning capitalism, then stay home and check your investments online. If you are interested in questioning authority as a form of tikkun olam, then this beautifully shot and well-crafted exploration of religion, academia, alternative media, utopianism, anarchism and globalized capitalism is for you. Littler, dressed like Johnny Cash, jumps in his car and turns his headlights and his intellect towards radical alternative perspectives on the 21st century and the state of democracy in America. A strength of the film is the diversity of thought and geographical location of his subjects, who include linguist and MIT professor Noam Chomsky; Virginia-based Joe Bageant, a child and scholar of the white working class; Idaho-based Mike Oehler, a pioneering architect of “underground housing”; Nebraskan Bob Meisenbach, a leader of the 1960 student protests in San Francisco against the House Un-American Activities Committee; and Berkeley-based British journalist Sasha Lilley, host of KPFA’s Against the Grain. Thoughtfully chosen and carefully researched archival footage of union marches and the war in Vietnam provide political insights into the rich history of political struggles in the United States.