re-selected #2: Finally Got the News

FINALLY GOT THE NEWS, courtesy of Icarus Films

The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen presents re-selected #2: FINALLY GOT THE NEWS – Two prints compared
FINALLY GOT THE NEWS, Stewart Bird, Peter Gessner, René Lichtman and John Louis Jr. together with The League of Black Revolutionary Workers, USA 1970, engl. OV
55 min original version, digital copy from 16mm print courtesy of Icarus Films
32 min shortened by Swedish TV in 1971, 16mm print from private collection

With: John Sundholm (Stockholm University), Tobias Hering (Curator re-selected)
Sep 8,2021 18:00 Arsenal Cinema, free admission

FINALLY GOT THE NEWS was made in a conflict-ridden collaboration between a Newsreel team and the League of Black Revolutionary Workers in Detroit. While both the League and the film are acknowledged as classics of activist Black culture and leftist cinema in the United States, the film’s European history is less well-known. In Italy, the film played a role in the vibrant culture of militant cinema and labor activism. The film’s Swedish reception was closely connected to the Black activist Glanton Dowdell, who fled Detroit in 1969 to appeal for political asylum in Sweden. When US authorities demanded Dowdell be extradited, FINALLY GOT THE NEWS became a weapon in the hands of Swedish organizations rallying on his behalf. In 1971, Swedish television was persuaded to broadcast a program with Dowdell that included a presentation of the film. Although the program was made in support of his case and cause, the film was truncated before broadcast in a manner that downplays Black agency. A comparative screening of two prints, introduced by John Sundholm and Tobias Hering.