Skip to main content

A Good Example: Brecht Before the House Un-American Activities Committee

USA, 1979 (MIFF 1981)

Director: Bertrand Sauzier

House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947 Nineteen Hollywood personalities were subpoenaed. These included Brecht, a foreigner about to return to Germany. The first ten witnesses refused to testify, became known as the "Hollywood Ten", and were later imprisoned In agreement with the Ten and their lawyers. Brecht answered the Committee's questions and was allowed to leave the country The film puts Brecht's stay in the U.S. in historical perspective, and provides us with a picture of the playwright responding with wit and clarity in the face of political hysteria.

Brecht's "slyness, his irony, and the spectacle of a literary man outfoxing the crude political witch-hunters make this documentary of a botched persecution surprisingly entertaining.

See also...

GRAND OPERA

Although his work is not widely known. James Benning occupies an important position in the American avant-garde Grand Opera is a very personal film for him. charting as it does a bridge from his own ... More »

DIRECT ACTION

"Direct Action" examines the use and consequences of civil disobedience in the anti-nuclear movement. Beginning production in 1977, the film follows a citizen's action group in San Luis Obispo ... More »

LIAR'S DICE

Liar's Dice rests on an intriguingly elliptical plot by lead actress, Terry Eubanks-Makdissy From this, director Issam Makdissy has woven a loosely-knit fabric of shifting focus and thickening ... More »

THE MAN YOU LOVED TO HATE

Erich Von Stroheim is one of the eccentric masters of American film and his career as director and actor is examined in this film. Von Stroheim was a flamboyant showman and in his life and work, he ... More »

Jazz Dance

Synthesised video images transform the supple movements of a dancer, to the sassy rhythms of Jelly Roll Morton's music. ... More »

QUINTET

First, a peek at the initial events of the film. The seal he hunts now being extinct, Essex is persuaded by his girl. Vivia. to return to the city he left ten years ago with the Earth paralyzed by a ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director