THE CONSCIENCE OF CINEMA - A first review:

A CHILLINGLY CRUEL FILM

By Hans Schoots*


In The Conscience of Cinema Thomas Waugh manages to discuss all kinds of interesting and uninteresting matters of secondary importance, but hardly ever touches on the major issues, especially not on matters of conscience.

In his recent book on Dutch filmmaker Joris Ivens, The Conscience of Cinema, The Works of Joris Ivens 1926-1989, I am referred to 88 times, in most cases in connection to my book Living Dangerously. A Biography of Joris Ivens (Amsterdam University Press, 2000). I am referred to mostly in a negative way, which is fine with me: if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Some of Waugh's remarks are of a principled nature, others are of a childish nature, and there is a mixture of both in between. I will just give one example of the childish, yet revealing variety. On page 44 of his book, Waugh writes on Joris Ivens's memoirs La mémoire d'un regard (1982), which Ivens wrote with Robert Destanque: 'Schoots enjoys pointing out minor inconsistencies in the Destanque volume.' The book does have some major inconsistencies, but what Waugh keeps silent about, is the fact that I approach Ivens's book in a positive way - and have even defended it on Dutch television - while Waugh himself negates or rejects the self-critical views that Ivens gives in this book of his own communist past.

Photo: Joris Ivens in Charkov (USSR/Ukraine) around 1930 >

All in all, Waugh's book tries to suggest that my views on Ivens are unreasonable, while in The Conscience of Cinema reason itself reigns. I invite every reader to check out my book, which can be read freely on the internet in English and Dutch. For now a first review of Thomas Waugh's book.

Note: English-language corrections will be made soon


1 Some preliminary remarks on the title

The title of Waugh's book is extremely well chosen: The Conscience of Cinema.

In the years 1928-1933 Joris Ivens played an important role in early avant-garde cinema. It resulted in a lasting contribution to film art. But speaking of the conscience of cinema, one thinks of other things. Since the early thirties, especially after joining the communist party in 1931, the main goal of most of Ivens's work became political. He worked in Stalin's Soviet Union for years and in the thirties also made films about the Spanish Civil War and the war against the Japanese occupation in China, all in accordance with the political line of the Communist International. But he was not prepared to join the fight against fascism after his home country, the Netherlands, was occupied by nazi-Germany in May 1940. Only after Hitler attacked the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941 did he change his mind. The reason was of course that as ever he toed the line of the communist movement and supported the Stalin-Hitler Pact. In this case not even the Dutch communist party was that rigid. Ivens's loyalty to Moscow was unconditional and remained so for more than 35 years.

After a sympathetic film, shot in Australia in support of Indonesian independence (Indonesia calling), he traveled to eastern Europe in 1947, where he worked in the service of communist states for ten years. Of course creative filmmakers in these countries made the best of the situation and tried to protect as much of their creative freedom as they could. Not Joris Ivens. Although a foreigner - who worked in the Eastern Bloc out of conviction and of his own free will - he belonged to the hardliners in the eastern European film industry throughout the Stalin years.

At the end of the sixties he lost faith in Soviet-communism and went over to communism Mao-style. He took a very long time to distance himself from Moscow. After the Soviet-repression of the Prague Spring, in august 1968, he refused to answer questions from the press on the event for the rest of the year, yet he did go to Moscow to receive the Lenin Prize (not a film prize, but a political prize) only a few months after Soviet tanks had crushed the hopes of the peoples of Czechoslovakia.

In Vietnam he made some of his most famous political films. It is interesting and important to note that these films did not argue for peace in Vietnam like the western Vietnam-movement did, but were made in complete accordance with the political line of the Vietnamese communist party and government. 17th Parallel - People's War (1968) is almost entirely filled, not with 'people' but with party-people. An important lesson in it is that the party has to have the lead in everything. A deviation from Vietnamese politics is The People and their Guns (1970) shot in Laos, which was made in collaboration with the Vietnamese as well, but was in its extreme dogmatism considered too maoist by Hanoi.

During the Great Leap Forward - according to its historian Frank Dikötter one of the biggest man-made disasters in human history - Joris Ivens was in China for almost a year, but he wished to see nothing. During the Cultural Revolution Ivens made the twelve hour film series How Yukong Removed the Mountains. During the shooting of this film he was permanently accompanied by representatives of the party who showed him where to go. He could not speak to ordinary people without an official translator, and not just because he did not speak a word of Chinese. In 2008, one of his protagonists in Yukong explained on Dutch television that it had been dangerous to say anything to the director without the party's consent. People from China who were involved in the production at the time have declared that scenes that seemed to have been shot spontaneously were staged - that is: with political purposes - with and without Ivens's knowledge. At the time his goal was the same as that of the Chinese government anyway: promotion of the Cultural Revolution in the West.

For many film scholars it is difficult to accept that Joris Ivens was a partyman first and foremost rather than a fellow-traveller or an artist sympathetic to communist causes. For almost half a century he made most of his films in support of communist party and state politics.

It has been said that Joris Ivens always was at the frontline of world revolution. It would be more to the point to say that he was present at its biggest historical disasters without ever having shown signs of second thoughts: the tens of thousands of forced laborers in Magnitogorsk as part of Stalin's 'destruction of the Kulaks as a class'; the start of the Great Terror in the Soviet Union; the murder of 'Trotskyites' and other leftists by communists in Republican Spain; Eastern Europe under Stalin; the Great Leap Forward; the Cultural Revolution... A black shadow hangs over most of Ivens's political films and it is impossible to seriously analyze them without acknowledging this.

Admittedly, from around 1980 Joris Ivens started to pose serious questions and became critical of his communist past. Unfortunately this does not alter the moral level of many of his previous films, as long as one considers it an obligation for documentary filmmakers, especially for those who want to look into social and political realities, to do independent research on their subject instead of following established top-down viewpoints. Here, misrepresentation often goes far beyond the 'creative treatment of actuality'.

There must have been times in the eighties when Joris Ivens had to admit to himself that Serge Daney, chief editor of the famous French magazine Cahiers du Cinéma, was right when he wrote, in the daily Libération, that Joris Ivens was 'a great cineaste of a very special sort, one who sees nothing.'


2 On the foreword and the introduction

The foreword to Waughs book is written by André Stufkens. He is the director of the European Joris Ivens Foundation, which spent the largest part of over 2,5 million euro's of Dutch taxpayer's money to propagate its interpretations of Joris Ivens abroad, while omitting unwelcome views. Thomas Waugh lists international screenings of Ivens's films to illustrate his importance. It would have been fair to mention that many of these screenings took place thanks to Dutch government funding and were not necessarily a result of public demand. After years of criticism concerning the way the Foundation operated, the national government discontinued its funding in 2009. Provincial government funding ended four years later.

In his foreword André Stufkens writes that for a long time...

'it was hard to keep an ideological distance to the subject to make a proper scholarly analysis. The subjective 'Right' or 'Wrong' analysis continued until the 1990s, and reached its pinnacle after the Fall of the Berlin Wall in Hans Schoots's biography of Ivens.'

I am honored to be chosen as the baddest guy of them all. But frankly, in the Netherlands few people will be impressed: the public and the press from left to right never took the opinions of the Foundation very seriously.

The essence of the phrase 'proper scholarly analysis' is this: Hans Schoots's book is a remnant of the Cold War. Because the Cold War is over, we can now start being 'objective'.

I have a few remarks on this.

Firstly. Everybody who is prepared to read my book without prejudice will see that it is a very well balanced survey of Ivens's career as a filmmaker.

Secondly. In the Netherlands the 'right or wrong' discussions around Joris Ivens mainly ended in the late sixties, although sometimes they were dug up by Ivens himself, or his supporters, to put pressure on the government. In 1985 the first substantial, critical article on Joris Ivens's political views in many years was published. At that time it was almost sensational. After that, more criticism was heard, but the government held to its reconciliatory position.

Some persistent untruths about Joris Ivens's relationship with the Netherlands have been catered for foreign consumpion. Fact is that since the late sixties Ivens was more than welcome in the Netherlands; several film projects were offered to him, including those by the Dutch government; his films were shown regularly; even among politicians from the right there was a feeling that he had been mistreated. This relates, for instance, to Ivens's assertion that after making Indonesia calling the Dutch government had denied him a passport for ten years. This was not true. In the past there had been serious harassments, but apart from a period of six months Ivens's possibilities to travel were not restricted (see: Living Dangerously, 222-224, 228-230 and notes. A more extensive analysis based on archival research can be found in the Dutch version, Gevaarlijk leven).

Thirdly. The way in which André Stufkens writes about 'subjective 'Right' and 'Wrong' analysis' is, in my view, too simple. I agree with Thomas Waugh that 'the conscience of cinema' is relevant: the social and political context in which films are made, used and received are sometimes neglected in film studies that solely concentrate on the 'text'. That is one-sided and its results are hardly 'objective'. In the case of Joris Ivens, who presented himself primarily as a political filmmaker, it is logical to ask what his films meant for society. When discussing documentary, the contradiction between seeing and not seeing seems essential to me, also from the perspective of the integrity of documentary film in general. An important theme in my book was: how could a documentary filmmaker who claimed to seek the truth or 'his truth' so often turn a blind eye to the terrible facts that stared him in the face? This is a question of primary importance if one ever wants to understand the political films of Joris Ivens. And it seems especially relevant for a book titled The Conscience of Cinema.

Over a period of about half a century filmmaker Joris Ivens blindly followed some of the most destructive rulers in history and played a prominent role in the propaganda of their regimes. First of all Stalin, even several years after the dictator died. Then, after accomodating both Moscow and Beijing for some time, Mao Zedong. Contrary to the inhabitants of the countries where he worked, Ivens was a free man of Dutch nationality, but he never once criticized Stalin or Mao during their lifetime - nor in his films nor otherwise. The history of twentieth-century communism is a bit more than Joseph McCarthy versus the Hollywood Ten: it is about murderous regimes that resulted in at least 50 million deadly victims in the Soviet Union and China alone. These facts are not subjective and they are not going to disappear because the Cold War has ended.

Sideline:
Thomas Waugh thinks those numbers of victims don't tell much (introduction, page 46-47), because other political systems, even western democracies, caused millions of victims as well. It may be true that more than two hurrays for democracy is too much, but Waugh's relativism is nothing but irresponsible. And even if all political systems were equally destructive (which they are not), it would not be a strong argument here, because communism pretended to be better than the rest.

The character of communism as practiced in the Soviet Union and China in Ivens's times is not only clear from the numbers of victims as such. It is especially clear from how they were caused: ideological self-righteousness which leads to the conviction that everything is allowed, one-party dictatorship, the abolishment of independent thinking and of independent organizations of workers, farmers, minorities, et cetera, ideological arbitrariness and permanent struggle against 'enemies', invented or not, violent repression and often downright mass terror against the population, and all this by regimes that were supposed to lead the way to a better future.

Fourthly. With the claim of 'proper scholarly analysis', as opposed to the subjectivity of others, one would expect a more 'objective' or 'scientific' approach in the book of Thomas Waugh. But Waugh shows extreme political subjectivity himself. His interpretations of Joris Ivens's films are sometimes of an astonishingly political crudeness. For now just one example. The author analyzes Zuiderzee, a film depicting land reclamation in the Netherlands in the early thirties.

After favorable comments on the way Ivens portrays the workers, Thomas Waugh makes a comparison with Robert Flaherty's documentary Industrial Britain. Waugh writes:

'At the end of this [Zuiderzee hs]-sequence, both worker and spectator admiringly survey the completed stone-paved embankment. This link between the individual task and the global situation is a major absence in Industrial Britain (1932, UK), the almost exactly contemporary, similarly motivated project directed by Flaherty for Grierson. Consequently, a whole range of Luddite, anti-union, and pro-Empire sentiments may be inferred from the British film's exaltation of the self-sufficient craftsmanship of the solitary worker.' [Italics by me hs]

Joris good, Robert bad, Luddites baaad!!

Luddites, for those who don't know, were poor, self-employed textile workers in England at the beginning of the 19th century. Two hundred years later, as an apparently good old-fashioned dogmatic marxist, Thomas Waugh still does not like those Luddites rioting and destroying machines because they wanted to stick to their own old-fashioned ones and resented the prospect of unhealthy factories where they and their children would have to work for 12 or 14 hours a day for a few pennies. They were bad, because they refused to understand their objective role in history (i.e. via exploitation and industrial progress to a socialist future). This is where critics usually say: the author is interested in humanity, but not in people.

To Thomas Waugh, every detail in a film seems to be political and should be judged as such from a very specific viewpoint. But did Robert Flaherty really have to tell a British working class audience that they were working in stinking factories 'as a class'? Or that one of the best organized workers movements in the world should organise themselves? Couldn't it be that they were very well aware of all that themselves, but were happy to hear for once that their professional skills had to be respected?

One of the purposes of Thomas Waugh's book is the re-invention of Joris Ivens for present political use. In his view Ivens is still an example for students today. In his introduction he writes:

'[S]tudents in the digital age find his films of the classical period more and more contemporary. His films seem to have an increasing relevance to the radical political currents of our day, those mass movements that branched out from the New Left - movements enfranchising and mobilising women, racialised and other ethnic and aboriginal minorities, prisoners, environmentalists, LGTBQ's, consumers, welfare recipients, migrants and refugees, the handicapped, the elderly, the unemployed and the homeless, and workers both oustide of and within traditional labour organisations - in the global South as well as the North.'

If the films really have a new relevance in these movements, there is all the more reason to inform people on Joris Ivens's life story, the broader context of his films and the possibly deceiving workings of propaganda. And especially on how to avoid what happened to him when he fell for dictatorial ideology and gave up his critical abilities.

Thomas Waugh's mentioning of two minorities is rather cynical here. First of all the prisoners. Joris Ivens personally saw thousands of political prisoners in the Soviet Union and witnessed the arrest of others, sometimes his friends. Several of them were killed soon after. He never raised a finger to help them and never spoke out for them - not even when he lived safely in the United States a little later. Should contemporary activists follow this example?

Joris Ivens was also prepared to discredit gay people politically. In one case his active role in this is documented. On the request of the propaganda centre of the Communist International in Paris he travelled to the Netherlands to collect information aimed at discrediting Rinus van der Lubbe, the Dutchman who set fire to the German Reichstag in 1933. His being allegedly gay was used to 'prove' that he was connected to the nazi's via the gay SA-leader Ernst Röhm - a completely groundless accusation (see Living Dangerously, 88-89). This is not to say that Joris Ivens as a person was anti-gay, but it illustrates how far he would go in the so-called interest of the Party.

Another case is the purge of Ivens's old friend Jef Last, after the latter had become a dissident in the Dutch communist party, in 1937. Ivens was personally involved in this purge. In an extensive public brochure Last was accused of being a Trotskyite and discredited as being gay and therefore politically unreliable. If Ivens agreed to this last slander is unknown, but once again he did not speak out against it either.

But now for something different: in his introduction Thomas Waugh touches on many subjects. He mentions Leni Riefenstahls film Triumph of the Will and writes:

'My analysis of this film strengthened my already strong conviction that the likening of leftist documentary to fascist documentary, the cinematic indexes of one so-called 'totalitarianism' to another – even of left 'propaganda' to right 'propaganda' (a comparison that Schoots makes), requires at the least an analytic laziness that I will not tolerate.'

First of all, what I write in my own books and articles I will of course decide for myself, whatever Thomas Waugh wants to tolerate. But more importantly: it is completely unclear what the author refers to. So I will briefly explain my position on this. Every political movement uses propaganda. This is not a negative judgement per se, it is nothing more than a description of methods that are being used for promotion. So yes, leftist propaganda does exist - which is not the same as communist propaganda, which was Joris Ivens's speciality - and no, I don't think that right and left propaganda are the same, even if they use partly identical methods, like leaving out important information and showing things that don't exist.

On the other hand, I find Thomas Waugh analyticaly lazy when he tries to prove the difference by comparing Triumph of the Will and Spanish Earth, two completely different films for all kinds of reasons. I hardly mention Riefenstahl in my book Living Dangerously but I do note on page 238 that one film does have similarities with Triumph of the Will, the Soviet-German Democratic Republic-production Friendship Triumphs (1952), directed by Joris Ivens and Ivan Pyryev, in which young people from many countries gather in East Berlin, parade along party-leader Walter Ulbricht and yell en masse 'Stalin, Stalin, Stalin!' I wrote: 'Both films are set in stadiums and both show the individual being submerged in a crowd that submits to its leader.' The film invoked 'sacred, thorny hatred' against the West, 'and that is good', wrote the youth-organisation of the GDR.


3 How Yukong removed the mountains

Thomas Waugh ends his introduction on page 48. There is one other subject in it that I would like to adress. The author writes that Joris Ivens's and Marceline Loridan's...

'decision to yank Yukong from circulation in 1985, because of the post-Mao U-turn in Chinese politics, was improvident and shortsighted to say the least.'

We are talking about How Yukong Removed the Mountains (1976), their 12-hour epic on the Cultural Revolution in China. A revealing point of criticism considering that Waugh seldomly utters any criticism of Joris Ivens or Marceline Loridan.

I don't think Ivens and Loridan stopped Yukong's circulation 'because of the post-Mao U-turn in Chinese politics', as Waugh claims, but because they were ashamed of the way they were fooled and had fooled themselves in China during the Cultural Revolution - and consequently fooled their audience. They have said so on several occasions and with good reason. Marceline Loridan went on record saying: 'When I saw the film again, I wished I were dead.' It is very understandable that they no longer wanted this film to reach the general public, because it was one big lie. For researchers the film stayed available at the Dutch Filmmuseum and since some years Yukong is available on DVD.

Joris Ivens's memoir La mémoire d'un regard (1982) - written with Robert Destanque - contains critical reflections on his own political life of half a century. If Thomas Waugh would have read these memoirs better, maybe he would have had more sensibility to the insights that Ivens developed as an old man.

When it comes to evaluating Yukong, at the time Ivens and Loridan were far ahead of where Thomas Waugh stands more than thirty years later. A big part of his last chapter deals with Yukong. After a more or less adequate description of what the Cultural Revolution was, he continues with a production history and a description of the several parts of the film.

Waugh repeats the old objections against another film on China, made by Michelangelo Antonioni in the same period. In Chung Kuo - Cina (1973) Antonioni 'repeatedly violated the ethical right of the subject' and he 'seems perversely to have insisted on filming whatever his hosts requested him not to,' writes Waugh, who expresses quite an unusual view of how documentary filmmakers should behave, especially towards the wishes of the state. Waugh continues:

'As he [Antonioni - hs] and Ivens/Loridan demonstrated, it is easy to shoot film in China. But it is far more difficult and a far greater achievement to receive and honour people’s trust' (page 583). Michelangelo bad, Joris good!

It is hard to believe that Waugh would write such nonsense so many years later.

Maybe Antonioni was intrusive, but that was nothing compared to the way Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan, even if unintentionally, approached people under the obvious protection of the state. As I mentioned before: they couldn't do anything without official translators and party control, and people were too scared to speak to them without the approval of the party. So much for the 'achievement to receive and honour people's trust.'

Thomas Waugh is really terribly misinformed on the subject when he writes that Yukong was made more or less in freedom by Ivens and Loridan: 'Zhou eventually helped his French guests make the terms of the project clear and practical – independence, autonomy, and protection, and a focus on everyday life.' For foreigners such terms existed nowhere in China at that time. It seems that prime minister Zhou Enlai really promised all these beautiful things, but even if he meant them, they meant little. Several good biographies of Zhou have now been published inside and outside of China and it is clear from them that he, although more moderate than Mao, could and would do little against the wishes of the Chairman.

But what is more important is that the production of Yukong itself proved there was no freedom. One example. Thomas Waugh writes the following on the most well-known part of Yukong, titled The Pharmacy: 'The inspiration to film such an establishment came quite spontaneously' (page 584). The pharmacy that they ran into in Shanghai, is now well known as having been a showcase shop. Foreign delegations were send there on a regular basis by the ministery of Foreign Affairs. Waugh gives a touching description of the nice and human atmosphere that we see in The Pharmacy. Unfortunately he does not mention or does not know that its personnel did not even dare to speak to the filmmakers spontaneously and was permanently instructed on how to behave by a representative of the Shanghai film-bureau.

In my book of 2000 I wrote that the picture that Ivens gave 'of the superficial public face of everyday life in China was undoubtlessly authentic,' and that it gave a false picture for other reasons, like 'strong social control, with revolutionary committees in every street, mass meetings where anyone could be dragged through the mire, ideological control from above, and police interventions when required. In a sense Chinese citizens were always acting attempting to live up to the ideal image, even those who did not ascribe to that ideal.' I think that the second part of this argument is still valid, but new information that came in over the past sixteen years, makes it clear that often not even 'the superficial face of everyday life' was authentic. Which Thomas Waugh should also have known by now.

There is a lot of ideological wishful thinking when Waugh makes much of how intensely Joris Ivens was connected to the people throughout his career. He links Borinage (1934) to Yukong:

'In such cinematic discourse [as in Borinage - hs] one can clearly see the ancestor of Ivens’s and Marceline Loridan’s measurement of the Chinese Cultural Revolution in the same material terms 40 years later. They would tirelessly ask their subjects their wages, rent payments, food prices, and fuel and water sources, transforming this prosaic detail into a cinematic tour de force of Yukong.'

Cinematic discourse or not, as we have seen the answers to these tireless questions were not given by the people, the people told Ivens and Loridan what the party and the state wanted them to say. Or the filmmakers would ask these questions in model-establishments that were not representative for the situation in China. For some real (shocking) figures on the material circumstances in which people had to live in the period 1972-1975 I refer to Chapter 20 of Frank Dikötter's book The Cultural Revolution.

Thomas Waugh obviously still has a romantic idea of the Cultural Revolution. The influence of state repression and the fears of the people that were filmed are completely bypassed in his assessment of Yukong.


4 Tentative conclusions

...after reading the whole book. In some quarters The Conscience of Cinema is presented as a new standard for Ivens-studies. In my view the opposite is true. In many respects this book represents a return to the views of young Ivens-fans of the nineteen-seventies, although this time written down with more sophistication. The naive political enthousiasm and admiration that at that time may have been touching, turn into out-dated political dogmatism, prejudice and ill-informed ideas when reproduced in 2016.

Of course nowadays it is no longer possible to leave out all kinds of unpleasant facts. For instance, Thomas Waugh dutifully mentions that there were many forced laborers in Magnitogorsk when Joris Ivens made his film Song of Heroes (1933) there. But for Waugh this information is in no way related to Ivens's film or the world view of the filmmaker. It is almost a cliché to say that the things not shown in a film are as important as the things that we see in it. But in analyzing Song of Heroes the author doesn't even ask himself what it means for the character of this film that it shows the model-workers, but does as if the prisoners who built much of Magnitogorsk didn't exist. In this respect Ivens's film is chillingly cruel. Thomas Waugh manages to discuss all kinds of interesting and uninteresting matters of secondary importance, but hardly ever touches on the major issues.

The Conscience of cinema is not the 'proper scholarly analysis' based on 'ideological distance to the subject' that it is suggested to be in its foreword. It is a highly political publication in which the author aims at re-politicizing Joris Ivens.

This is all the more problematic because politically Thomas Waugh has learned very little of Joris Ivens's experiences. Especially painful is that Waugh negates or rejects most of the critical reflections on communism that Ivens himself has published in his memoirs La mémoire d'un regard, and expressed in his and Marceline Loridan's evaluation of How Yukong Removed the Mountains and in several interviews in the eighties.

Waugh quotes Ivens from La mémoire: 'I committed myself and I had struggled very close to the Communist Party at a time when I considered that it was right to do so. If now I doubted this party and rejected it, in doing so I was affirming my commitment and confirming my will to struggle for my ideas. This struggle took another direction, but I had nothing to regret of my past.' I think Ivens had a lot to regret of his past, and at least in part realised this in the years that followed after his book was published in 1982.

A more general concern in 'Ivens-studies' should be that La mémoire d'un regard, the most important book by Ivens, has only been published in French and Dutch. This book is indispensable for understanding the filmmaker, so authors who don't read these languages have a serious problem.

All in all The Conscience of Cinema is a book of nostalgia for a time in which activists liked to believe that Mao Zedong was the helmsman of a fairyland where complete democracy reigned, where all worked selflessly together for the common good, and the wheatfields were as yellow, the skies as blue and the Little Red Books as red as the free Chinese magazine China Reconstructs would show them.

 

P.S. Thomas Waugh's book takes up 780 pages. The author has not been very critical on what is important and what is not. Do we really have to read three lamentations in several parts of the book on how his dissertation of 1981 was not published by a university press, because - in his view - of the atmosphere of the Reagan-years? Even if this were true? I ordered a copy of the dissertation at Waugh's university in 1989, and when I received it, frankly I was disappointed. Maybe I wasn't the only one. Many good books that were written or inspired by marxists and other thinkers of the left were published by American university presses in that same Reagan-period. Just look through the New York Review of Books (including the advertisements of the publishers) of those years!


* Hans Schoots is the biographer of Joris Ivens. His Living Dangerously. A Biography of Joris Ivens appeared in Dutch, English and Turkish. He also published several other books on cinema. Dutch filmmaker Bert Haanstra is the subject of his dissertation and Van Fanfare tot Spetters on Dutch fiction film 1958-1980 is used at the Dutch Film Academy and several universities and colleges. He published a book on the Dutch Filmliga 1927-1933 with Tom Gunning and Céline Linssen.

 

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