Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

4 Socialist Movies to Watch During Quarantine

Many throughout the U.S. and the world have been forced into varying levels of social distancing and isolation. Here are some socialist films to ease the boredom and loneliness and inspire you with depictions of comrades fighting for revolution!

Kimberly Ann

March 29, 2020
Facebook Twitter Share

In times of quarantine, many across America and the world, have been forced into varying levels of self-isolation and social distancing. Spending most or all of the day inside is leading to a massive unifying problem: boredom. To ease that a little, here is a viewing list of some favorite socialist movies.  All the movies on the list are lessons in socialist history and tell stories of comrades fighting for revolution around the world. Let this time spent indoors only radicalize us further, educate us farther, and entertain us greatly. 

Reds (United States/Russia) 

This 1981 film is a look into the world of American socialist politics in the early 20th century. Reds is based on the life of John Reed — a committed leftist who wrote the pivotal text, Ten Days That Shook the World and his partner and fellow socialist activist Louise Bryant. The mere fact that this movie was not only made in a Post-Blacklist Hollywood, but was critically lauded and financially successful, is a small miracle in the Reagan era. Warren Beatty, Hollywood’s liberal bad boy, was able to create a true epic that paints socialism in a romanticized yet critical tone. Set in 1915-1920, the film shows the rise of socialism in America from the rise of the IWW to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. At just over three hours long, a nationwide quarantine is truly the best time to dig into this classic.

Land and Freedom (Spain)

Land and Freedom offers a deep look into the history of Spanish Civil War and the ideological battles that were being fought within the Republican Army. The movie begins with a message of international solidarity, as an English man from the Communist Party joins the revolutionary forces in Spain to help them not only fight back Franco’s forces, but also fight for socialism. While the POUM (Partido Obrero de Unificacion Marxista) was composed of different revolutionary tendencies, they were anti-Stalin in composition and opposed his Popular Front strategy. This film is an important watch because it is able to show the historical fight against Stalinist tendencies and the militaristic oppression Stalin’s forces were able to use against revolutionary forces. It also features some truly stunning scenery and displays the passion militants in the POUM felt towards their cause. Watch out, it’s a tearjerker. 

I am Cuba (Cuba)

I am Cuba is a series of four vignettes narrated by Cuba herself. Two vignettes represent Cuba in the throes of capitalist imperialism, one in the city and one in the country, as Cubans are forced into exploitative labor to satisfy American tourists and aristocratic landowners. The last two represent Cuba in the tumult of revolution! Havana is full of young revolutionaries propagandizing the streets. The countryside is full of militants picking up arms and fighting their oppressors in guerilla warfare. This movie is not subtle.The making of the movie marks the beginning of a long alliance with the Soviet Union. After the Cuban Revolution ended and the expropriation of capitalists occured, the Soviet Union got their best filmmaker and propagandist, Mikhail Kalatozov, to come in and shoot this movie. The opening and closing credits in cyrillic add to the dreamlike aesthetic of the film. Despite its propagandistic purpose, this film is a work of art that manages to portray the beauty of Cuba’s landscape and perseverance of its people.      

Rosa Luxemburg (Germany)

The German film Rosa Luxemburg holds up to the difficult task of representing one of the most important female leftist thinkers of history. She was able to succeed in 20th century German as a female, jewish, Polish immigrant, with a limp from a childhood illness. This film highlights her life that was full of ideological clarity, passionate speeches, lustful love affairs, and, most importantly, contentious infighting with her more conervative party members in the Socialist Democratic Party (SPD). Luxemburg’s polemics against reformism are as important today as they were back in her day. The progressive roots of the Weimar Republic of Germany are often glazed over in most historical takes because of the SPD’s deterioration due to reformism. However, the legacy of Rosa and her comrade, Karl Liebknecht should be remembered with admiration and solidarity. 

Facebook Twitter Share

Kimberly Ann

Kimberly is an educator and writer for Left Voice

Arts

Exploitation in Storytelling: The Conditions of Manga Artists in Japan

Anime and Manga are popular forms of storytelling from Japan that are becoming more and more popular in the West. Here we observe the labor conditions of Manga authors themselves as well as the general labor conditions in Japan.

Carmin Maffea

August 14, 2023

Turning the Greatest Anti-war Novel Ever into Bourgeois Propaganda

All Quiet on the Western Front won four Oscars, and it’s not hard to see why. The production — depicting the horrors of World War I — is spectacular. Yet the producers did not at all understand Erich Maria Remarque’s novel. Spoilers follow.

Nathaniel Flakin

March 16, 2023

Five Years after Ursula K. Le Guin’s Death, We Need Her More Than Ever

Ursula K. Le Guin tended the embers of revolt in a new age of imperialism and counterrevolution. She tasked us with stoking them into a blaze.

Jason Koslowski

January 22, 2023
The cast of "Glass Onion" lounge next to a pool.

Glass Onion: Liberalism’s Dream

Netflix’s new movie, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, is the ruling class’s dream about itself.

Jason Koslowski

January 4, 2023

MOST RECENT

The United States Is Trapped in the Middle East

As a result of Israel’s offensive on Gaza, the United States is again becoming deeply entrenched in the Middle East. This is a humiliating blow to President Biden, who promised to reassert U.S. imperialism by moving away from direct involvement in the region.

Samuel Karlin

February 22, 2024

With Rafah in the Crosshairs, the Working Class Can Stop the Genocide in Gaza

As Israel prepares an invasion of Rafah, workers’ organizations around the world must take action before it's too late.

James Dennis Hoff

February 21, 2024

“Antideutsche”: The Aberration of Germany’s Pro-Zionist Left

As Germany persists in its unwavering support of Israel and the total denial of its genocide, the German Left is conflicted over the issue. While leftists all over the world are showing solidarity with Palestine, a segment of the German Left is historically pro-Zionist. How did this movement, the so-called Antideutsche (Anti-Germans) come to be?

Seb Zürcher

February 21, 2024

Why German Media are Lying About the Palestine Solidarity Movement at the Free University of Berlin

A rally in front of the Free University of Berlin had as many journalists as demonstrators. This is yet another example of the international campaign to defame all protests against Israel's genocidal military campaign.

Nathaniel Flakin

February 16, 2024