Political Film Newsletter #24

The Political Film Society, which has been based in Honolulu from 1985, has moved to Hollywood, effective today.

Each year members of the Political Film Society select the films which best raise political consciousness in one of several categories. Today, after balloting for the past three months, the following have been voted as the top films of 1997:

Jon Avnet’s Red Corner won top honors for showing how extralegal considerations endemic in crony rule within China prevent the criminal justice system from producing a just outcome. The Rainmaker was the only other film nominated in this category for 1997.

John Singleton’s Rosewood won as the year’s best expose by portraying the massacre of Blacks in a Florida town just after World War I, an even nearly unknown until release of the film. Also nominated were Amistad and The Peacemaker, and Seven Years in Tibet.

Rosewood also was voted the film that best raised consciousness of problems of human rights. Rosewood received more votes than L.A. Confidential, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and Seven Years in Tibet in this category.

Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Seven Years in Tibet was voted the best film for raising consciousness of the need to resolve conflicts peacefully. The film contrasted the peaceloving culture of the Tibetans with the militaristic Chinese, who reportedly are responsible for the deaths of one million Tibetans and displacement of many more. No other film was nominated in this category for 1997.

Poverty Outlaw, which described how the poor organized in North Philadelphia to claim their rights, was voted the best political film in the annual Hawai`i International Film Festival.