Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiewire logo

Los Angeles Red Squad: The Communist Situation in California

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik June 28, 2013 at 9:39AM

Travis Wilkerson, one of the more radical and exciting nonfiction cinema essayists working today ("An Injury to One"), has a new feature-length documentary, "Los Angeles Red Squad: The Communist Situation in California," which is having its world premiere at the International Film Festival of Marseilles. I've been a big fan of Wilkerson's ever since "An Injury to One" blew my mind in 2003, having written about the film here and here. The new film, with a running time of 70 minutes, looks to follow in the aesthetic footsteps of "Injury to One," with a idiosyncratic mix of narration, history, and digitally manipulated archival images.
0

Travis Wilkerson, one of the more radical and exciting nonfiction cinema essayists working today ("An Injury to One"), has a new feature-length documentary, "Los Angeles Red Squad: The Communist Situation in California," which is having its world premiere at the International Film Festival of Marseilles. I've been a big fan of Wilkerson's ever since "An Injury to One" blew my mind in 2003, having written about the film here and here. Dennis Lim. in an L.A. Times story. called it "one of American independent cinema's great achievements of the past decade." The new film, with a running time of 70 minutes, looks to follow in the aesthetic footsteps of "Injury to One," with a idiosyncratic mix of narration, history, and digitally manipulated archival images.

The trailer is available for viewing

Red Squad

here. Here is the film's synopsis, from the Marseilles festival's website.

"The opening, Los Angeles today, at dusk. In this first instalment of a series about the police in the United States, Travis Wilkerson seeks to trace the early activities of the Red Squad section of the municipal police, under the zealous tutelage of its figurehead in the 1920s and 30s, William “Red” Hynes. Of him, we only see a face and a gesture, revolver pointed at the person photographing him. His mission? To track down, flush out and threaten communist activists. Infiltration and intimidation were the lot of this political militia purposely created to break any hint of social or political subversion. Combining sketches of today’s struggle and those of yesteryear with a detailed summary of repression which then runs throughout the film, a veil covering the images of the present, Wilkerson creates a superimposition that is as metaphorical as it is real. While the methods have changed, the determined rumbling of today’s demonstrators, heard off camera, nevertheless meets the throbbing roar of flying helicopters. With contemporary Los Angeles featuring as a backdrop marked by the effects of this policy in its current configuration, a gridded city, segmented by fences, walls and ubiquitous barbed wire, history seems to be repeating itself."

Follow us

E-Mail Updates



Recent Comments

By Bob Connors: The thing to remember is the video has some actual data but it's conclusions are far fetched and inaccurate. This is a Progressive propaghand…

Who is "Politizane" and What's Next for the Income Inequality Viral Video

Mar 21th, 2015 8:47am

By Ostlee: This makes very sad reading - i feel for the people of Maldives. Everyone should boycott the island as a holiday destination until Nasheed…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 13th, 2015 5:35pm

By Ahmed Shahid: Release the first democratically elected president. The only president of Maldives who has reached the people of Maldives, heard them and…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 12th, 2015 9:37am

By Hanne Neve: Please take care of your country and the climate by freeing your real selektet president.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 11th, 2015 9:09am

By Iqbal: Please release President Nasheed

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 10:27pm

By Martha Robertson: I strongly urge the immediate release of Nasheed!

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 9:37pm

By Ned Rollins: Bad business, going to bite you.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 3:47pm

By John Painter: The guy isnt a terrorist.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 12:00pm

By Sofia Vera: I support Presdient Nasheed and add my name to this letter of support for his release.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 11:14am

By Margarett R Mulkey: A civilized society is required of the current government of the Maldives. The world is watching injustice and crimes, and many realized thes…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 10:53am