RADICAL TV: Videofreex
Sunday 17th January 2021
WOMEN'S LIB DEMONSTRATION NYC, dir. Videofreex (Image copyright of the artist. Courtesy of Video Data Bank, School of the Art Institute of Chicago)
Documenting uncannily topical subject matter - from tear gas and protester tensions at the 1972 Republican Convention, to the Black Panther’s Fred Hampton advocating Free Breakfasts For Children - the Videofreex both revolutionised and radicalised citizen journalism in the late ‘60s.
Alongside other US guerilla TV collectives such as TVTV and the Raindance Foundation, the ‘Freex were galvanised by the creation of the cheap and portable Sony Portapak camera, viewing it as a revolutionary tool to take on the ‘Big Three’ networks.
Cultivating a firmly left and sympathetic platform for subjects sidelined by mainstream reportage, they interviewed the decade’s defining civil rights and anti-war activists, displaying satirical wit, a radical empathy and righteous hunger for change.
Senior programmer Tom Grimshaw will be joined in conversation by Videofreex members Skip Blumberg, Nancy Cain, Davidson Gigliotti and Mary Curtis Ratcliff for a post-screening Q&A. Programmed by Tom Grimshaw. 105’
The live-streamed Q&A will be BSL interpreted.
Please note, this screening can only be accessed by UK audiences. This programme contains description of abortion.
Presented in association with Video Data Bank.
WOMEN'S LIB DEMONSTRATION NYC
On 26 Aug 1970, 10,000 women marched down New York's Fifth Avenue to mark the 50th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote. Shot before and during the march, Videofreex interview women sitting in cars alongside the route, protestors, counter protestors, and passersby.
In conversation with Carol Vontobel (behind the camera) and Nancy Cain, Mary Curtis Ratcliff describes getting her first legal abortion soon after the state of New York legalised the procedure in 1970. Curtis supplies details of the cost of abortions at the Women’s Medical Center in NYC, versus clinics such as Planned Parenthood, as well as a play-by-play account of her experience.
TRASHING AND GASSING IN MIAMI: THE 1972 REPUBLICAN CONVENTION
Videotaped at the 1972 Republican Convention, Videofreex's cameraperson tapes from inside the press area with protestors from the People’s Band outside at the fence. A group of protestors are shown calling for non-violent blockades of the delegates' entrance. Tear gas is feared, and there are interviews with victims and medics.
FRED HAMPTON: BLACK PANTHERS IN CHICAGO
Fred Hampton talks eloquently and passionately about the Free Breakfast for Children Program and Free Health Clinic set up by the Black Panthers to feed and tend to the poor and hungry. In response to a specific question about events in Chicago and the conspiracy trial, he talks about how those running the city are "crazy with power," about racism, fascism and imperialism, and the need to educate, organise and lead by example.