make america nothing again

Political graffiti in Philadelphia (photo 1: I-76 near PMA, photo 2: I-76 near Hospital of University of Pennsylvania)






Into unfathomable lifeĀ 

Last night I started watching Angelina Jolie’s new film First They Killed My Father which is set during the brutal Khmer Rouge reign of the later 1970s. Jolie’s examination of (bourgeois middle class) childhood swept up in the defamiliarization of revolutionary politics might be a good companion with Blame It on Fidel, whose subject also involves bourgeois middle class childhood suddenly confronting revolutionary leftist politics but within the framework of Western (European) radical politics. Then I remembered a number of other films dramatizing the time period of the 60s-70s which I watched while working on my Sartre masters thesis and afterwards: 

Blame It On Fidel (Dir. Julie Gavras, 2006)


The Magdalene Sisters (Dir. Peter Mullan, 2002)


Carlos (Dir. Olivier Assayas, 2010)


Allende (Dir. Miguel Littin, 2014)


Tillsammans (Dir. Lukas Moodysson, 2000) 


The Baader Meinhof Complex (Dir. Uli Edel, 2008)


’71 (Dir. Yann Demange, 2014)


8 Miles High (Dir. Achim Bornhak, 2007)


The Last King of Scotland (Dir. Kevin MacDonald, 2006)


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Dir. Tomas Alfredson, 2011)


The Last Circus (Dir. Alex de la Iglesia, 2010)

The Same Sky (television series, 2016) 


Szymborska’s “Utopia”


Island where all becomes clear.

Solid ground beneath your feet.

The only roads are those that offer access.

Bushes bend beneath the weight of proofs.

The Tree of Valid Supposition grows here
with branches disentangled since time immemorial.

The Tree of Understanding, dazzlingly straight and simple,
sprouts by the spring called Now I Get It.

The thicker the woods, the vaster the vista:
the Valley of Obviously.

If any doubts arise, the wind dispels them instantly.

Echoes stir unsummoned
and eagerly explain all the secrets of the worlds.

On the right a cave where Meaning lies.

On the left the Lake of Deep Conviction.
Truth breaks from the bottom and bobs to the surface.

Unshakable Confidence towers over the valley.
Its peak offers an excellent view of the Essence of Things.

For all its charms, the island is uninhabited,
and the faint footprints scattered on its beaches
turn without exception to the sea.

As if all you can do here is leave
and plunge, never to return, into the depths.

Into unfathomable life.