Racism. War. Censorship. Rage. Rebellion. The Sixties are back. Rejoin the Underground.
SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO, USA, January 23, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — A timely new feature documentary, BARNEY'S WALL: Portrait of a Game Changer, premieres at the Santa Fe Film Festival on February 14, 2019, at 6:00pm. The film probes the lasting political and cultural impact of BARNEY ROSSET, radical Grove Press publisher, free-speech warrior and political activist, one of the most influential cultural impresarios of the last half of the 20th century. Rosset’s fierce mid-century battles against literary censorship, government surveillance, racial bigotry and the Vietnam war blasted open America’s conservative culture and birthed the 60s counter-culture rebellion, paving the way to today’s unfettered artistic expression.
In an era that is facing social and political upheavals similar to the 50s and 60s, the film is meant to underline the fragility of our First Amendment rights and civil liberties.
The film makes the case that Rosset’s unflagging battles against inequality and an intolerant culture make him a contemporary model for today’s political and cultural activists who seek to keep the country open and the First Amendment intact. Perhaps the closest equivalent today of Rosset’s feisty, abrasive, principled and visionary politics is Bernie Sanders.
Through vast archival footage and incisive commentary from major cultural figures, the film traces Rosset’s lifetime battle to allow all Americans to read, hear and see what the Constitution demands.
An impetuous and fiercely independent outsider, Rosset’s almost mystical belief in the sacredness of the First Amendment fueled his six years of ferocious court battles against mid-century Congressional ‘obscenity’ laws, now largely forgotten, before winning a landmark Supreme Court decision outlawing government censorship. Freed to publish without restraint, Rosset brought the reading public the ‘outliers’ of the era— previously banned authors including D.H. Lawrence, Henry Miller and William S. Burroughs and the now canonical Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Jean Genet, Jack Kerouac, among myriad others.
Rosset’s commitment to civil rights drove him to publish Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Ho Chi Minh and Frantz Fanon, and to produce the film “Strange Victory”, which equated America’s Jim Crow south with European fascism.
Rosset left behind a wall of his memories, encapsulated in intricate vignettes embedded into a 15’ x 22’ wall of his East Village loft. The film uses the vignettes as portals into the formative influences that drove a rebel, war photographer, filmmaker and publisher to an enduring defense of freedom of expression. The loft and the wall have been destroyed by real estate developers undertaking the gentrification of the Lower East Side of NYC. The film is the only record of both.
The documentary has been privately screened at major cultural venues in New York City, San Francisco and Paris. Two successful Kickstarters helped fund production of the film.
Produced by FoxHog Productions, NYC, an independent media company that produces and invests in films and video about artists and thinkers whose provocative work alters the cultural and intellectual status quo.
Directed by Sandy Gotham Meehan and Williams Cole, cinematography by David Leitner, edited by Kasia Plazinska.
Sandy Gotham Meehan
Producer, Barney’s Wall
SCREEN MEDIA RESOURCES:
“…something to admire, examine, and remember… fine material for a film, as a wall is for a memoir.”—Guernica Magazine
Source: EIN Presswire