Haskell Wexler / US, 1969 / 111 min.
Cinematographer Haskell Wexler harnessed his considerable talents to paint an oppressive portrait of the US in 1968, when the National Guard brutally clashed with anti-war protesters at the Democratic National Convention and the country’s political divisions seemed unbridgeable. In his story of a news cameraman who gets involved in social protest, Wexler mixes a fictional love story and a documentary setting. Wexler’s film takes an activist slant on media theorist Marshall McLuhan’s claim that the media are instrumental in shaping our experience.
Fifty years ago, students, factory workers and filmmakers challenged the Establishment, from Paris to Mexico City, carrying not only bricks but also agile and light 16mm cameras.