Activate Yourself: The Free Speech Movement at Fifty

9/11/14 to 10/30/14

Activate Yourself brings together punchy, probing documentaries and feature films that testify to the expansive influence of the Free Speech Movement, born on the UC Berkeley campus fifty years ago this October. Expect a bevy of special guests at each screening, including veteran activists, experts on free speech, filmmakers, and others who witnessed Berkeley in the sixties. But don't just watch, activate.

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Past Films

  • The Activist

    • Thursday, October 30 7:00 PM

    Art Napoleon (US, 1969). Michael Smith in person. Activist-turned-actor Michael Smith, a member of the Oakland Seven, plays a radical opposed to the war in Vietnam in this youth-market entry, shot on the streets of Berkeley. (87 mins)

  • KPFA on the Air

    • Sunday, October 26 7:00 PM

    Veronica Selver, Sharon Wood (US, 2000). Veronica Selver, Sharon Wood in person. Special guests KPFA alums Alan Snitow and Larry Bensky, Pacifica historian Matthew Lasar. A history of KPFA and radical radio in the US. Preceded by Norman Yonemoto and Nicholas Ursin's Second Campaign, shot during the People's Park protests. (76 mins)

  • Operation Abolition & The Riotmakers

    • Tuesday, October 14 7:00 PM

    Fulton Lewis III (US, 1960), Eugene Methvin (US, 1971). Special guest UC Berkeley School of Law Professor Christopher C. Kutz. Two right-wing propaganda documentaries that paint the antiwar movement a deep shade of red: Operation Abolition finds “professional communists” amid a 1960 San Francisco City Hall protest, while The Riotmakers claims “Leninoids” are behind all student activism. (70 mins)

  • Sons and Daughters

    • Thursday, October 9 7:00 PM

    Jerry Stoll (US, 1967). Special guests cinematographer Stephen Lighthill, antiwar activist Michael Smith, environmental journalist Gar Smith. Stoll's formidable film tracks a two-day protest in which thousands of antiwar activists marched from the UC Berkeley campus to the Oakland Army Terminal. (98 mins)

  • Pigs, Parks, and Protesters: Films by San Francisco Newsreel

    • Tuesday, September 23 7:00 pm

    San Francisco Newsreel (US, 1968–69). Special guest Bill Nichols. Hit the streets and fight the power with three incendiary documentaries from one of the nation's most radical filmmaking collectives. Off the Pig with Oakland's Black Panthers, follow San Francisco State on Strike, and see a different side of People's Park. (72 mins)

  • Berkeley in the Sixties

    • Thursday, September 11 7:00 pm

    Mark Kitchell (US, 1990). Mark Kitchell in person. Special guests FSM activists Linda Artel, Susan Druding, and Lynne Hollander Savio. More than a primer for a tumultuous decade, Kitchell's documentary is an astute distillation of an audacious effort to reinvent the terms of citizenship, and a window into the history of Berkeley and the antiwar movement. (117 mins)