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Revisiting the San Francisco of radicalism, idealism, and combative activism, CINE MANIFEST narrates the story of an early-‘70s Marxist film collective whose members sought a place to live, learn, and change the world.
Director Judy Irola—the collective’s only female member—catches up with her six compatriots more than three decades after the group’s eventual dissolution, weaving together their shared history through a collage of intimate interviews. The amiable and somewhat mellowed members reassess their often impossible aesthetic and political ideals and their intense internal dynamic with distanced bemusement, affectionate nostalgia, and, most importantly, a genuine desire to rethink their own complex inter-relationships. Amidst extensive footage from the collective’s many short films, wacky “birthday movies,” and two feature-length films (including Northern Lights, which took the 1979 Camera D’Or at Cannes), this award-winning documentary also chronicles coming of age in a climate of both delusive self-righteousness and corrosive self-criticism.
Set to David Schickele’s dreamy, retro soundscape, CINE MANIFEST captures a resilient group of artists reminiscing about a time when people weren’t afraid to fight for their ideals, while also creating a stirring tribute to American independent filmmaking.
4 Short Films from the Birthday Movies: “Hamming”, “This is Your Life?”, “Vanishing Joint”, and “Streaking”; Filmmaker BiographyMore Info
©2006 Judy Irola. Art and Design ©2008 New Video Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Marketed and distributed in the U.S. by New Video.