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// Screening Truth to Power: A Reader on Documentary Activism

Screening Truth to Power: A Reader on Documentary Activism

An eclectic volume to mark ten years of political documentary at Cinema Politica  



Screening Truth to Power: A Reader on Documentary Activism is is a reflection on ten years of activities of the documentary screening non-profit Cinema Politica. Marking a transformative and inspiring decade of connecting audiences, artists and activists through provocative political film and video, Cinema Politica brings together diverse voices in this collection of essays, interviews, impressions and specially curated ‘favourite docs’ lists.

With analyses from filmmakers and academics like Shannon Walsh and Darrell Varga, and film and media scholars like Thomas Waugh and John Downing, lists of political documentary favourites from Kim Longinotto, John Greyson, Karen Cho and N'gend Mukii, among others, as well as reflections from a host of other docuphiles, doc critics and doc-theorists, Screening Truth to Poweris an eclectic and original contribution to literature on the genre.

This collection also reflects the mandate of Cinema Politica to seize upon documentary's transformational potential in order to advance progressive socio-political and ecological change. As such, the firebrand texts between these covers promises to engage, inspire, and activate.

Download the book's information one-sheet here.

Buy your copy today



Here are some of the places you can find Screening Truth to Power being flogged by the editors, or, better yet, by some of our committed independent booksellers across the lands:


Montreal -- April 9, Concordia University, more here.
Toronto -- April 27, Mark and Siobhan's
Montreal -- May 24 & 25, Montreal Anarchist Bookfair, link here.
Fredericton -- June 5, Conserver House, more here.
Halifax -- June 12, NSCAD University, more here.
Ottawa -- Friday August 22nd, People's Social Forum, more here.


Montreal -- Concordia Community Coop Solidarity Bookstore, La Boite Noire, Librairie L'Insoumise, Drawn and Quarterly, Argo Bookshop.
Toronto -- TIFF Shop, York University Bookstore, Bloor Cinema
Ottawa -- Octopus Books.
HalifaxBookmark Bookstore.

Do you want to sell our book or invite us for a book launch? We'd love that! To make arrangements send us an email us at: bookorders [at] cinemapolitica [dot] org (bookorders AT cinemapolitica DOT org).


"This book should be required reading for anyone interested in cinema and social change. The contributions are as diverse and colourful as the film culture they come from, with the authors nonetheless united in their commitment to using film in the struggle for a more democratic, just, and sustainable society. Refreshingly absent of the pro-market, liberal-humanist rhetoric surrounding ‘socially engaged’ documentary elsewhere, the essays, texts, interviews and unruly lists of film top-tens that comprise this book constitute clear-sighted anti-capitalism in all its multifarious forms. Written and edited by some of the most prominent filmmakers, scholars, programmers and activists today, this practical, theoretically informed, straight-talking handbook is a valuable contribution to committed film culture. Here’s to another ten years of Cinema Politica. Viva!"

-Steve Presence, PHD, University of the West of England


+ Screening Truth to Power: A Reader on Documentary Activism, Art Threat, 7 March 2015. 
+ Cinema Politica Tours First Book with Film Screening, June 2014.
+ Hot off the Presses: Getting to know Cinema Politica, Montreal Rampage, 3 May 2014.
+ "Screening Truth to Power - A Reader on Documentary Activism," Audio interview with co-editor Ezra Winton by Wojtek Gwiazda, Radio Canada International.
+ "Q&A: Cinema Politica's Ezra Winton on launching a self-published book," Julie Baldassi, Quill & Quire.
+ "It's Cinema Politica, the book," Kayla Marie Hillier, Cult Montreal.

Book Credits

Left to right: Co-editor Svetla Turnin, contributor John Greyson, contributor and CP Board Member Thomas Waugh, and co-editor Ezra WintonPictured above, left to right at the Montreal book launch: Co-editor Svetla Turnin, contributor John Greyson, contributor and CP Board Member Thomas Waugh, and co-editor Ezra Winton. Image credit: Mimi Zhou.
Edited by Svetla Turnin and Ezra Winton 
Designed by Kevin Yuen Kit Lo and Kimberly Tsui
Printed by KataSoho in Montreal, Quebec, unceded Mohawk territory



009 Acknowledgements
013 Illuminating the Crimes of the Powerful, a Foreword by John Downing
017 Introduction: Encounters with Documentary Activism by Svetla Turnin and Ezra Winton
029 Dox Vox Mixtape: How to Make an Anarchist’s List of “Best” “Political” Docs by 
Sean Farnel
035 The Process of Place: Grassroots Documentary Screenings by Liz Miller and Thomas Waugh
045 Speak for Yourself: The Cultural Politics of Participatory Video by Shannon Walsh
057 We Aren’t Sorry for This Interruption... by Steve James
061 Dox Vox Mixtape: Our Favourite Queer Docs by Shohini Ghosh, John Greyson and Thomas Waugh

067 Quels peuvent être les impacts sociaux du documentaire ? Parole à 10 réalisatrices et réalisateurs by Inês Lopes

085 Dox Vox Mixtape: Essentiels films québécois 
by Richard Brouillette

089 Identity and Resistance: An Interview with Abenaki Filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin by Ezra Winton

097 Dox Vox Mixtape: Aboriginal Politics and Culture on Screen by Tracey Deer and Tasha Hubbard
105 A Conceptual Intervention in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside: An Interview with Antoine Bourges
 by Ezra Winton

113 Dox Vox Mixtape: ArtDox 
by The Hive

121 Unforgettable Films, Remarkable People, Outrage and Hope at Cinema Politica Fredericton
 by Tracy Glynn

125 Dox Vox Mixtape: Latin American Films 
by Elizabeth Miller and Luciana Kaplan
129 Anarchist Cinema 
by Franklin López

133 Dox Vox Mixtape: Anarchist Films by 
Franklin López

139 A Democratic Screening Space 
by Stefan Christoff

145 Capturing a Militant (on Screen): An Interview with Lina Makboul by Stefan Christoff

157 Dox Vox Mixtape: Outstanding Feminist Docs 
by Karen Cho, Pepita Ferrari and Kim Longinotto

163 A Doc-World in the Making by Jocelyne Clarke

169 Documentary Disasters and Screening Serendipity: Ten Memorable Cinema Politica Moments Between 2003 and 2013 by 
Matthew Hays
175 Dox Vox Mixtape: Eco-Docs 
by The Hive
179 Grassroots Across Borders by Kristen Fitzpatrick

183 Dox Vox Mixtape: African Docs by 
Ng’endo Mukii

189 Documentary and Actually Existing Utopias 
by Darrell Varga

202 Bios: Contributors, Collaborators & Accomplices

209 Illustrations

213 About Cinema Politica


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