Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Gillo Pontecorvo (1919-2006)


The legendary Italian film director Gillo Pontecorvo, responsible for the anti-colonial classic The Battle of Algiers (1965) sadly died this week aged 86. The Guardian noted Edward Said once declared that The Battle of Algiers , which Pontecorvo spoke about here, and Queimada [Burn!] (1969), Pontecorvo's next film which starred Marlon Brando as a leader of a Caribbean slave revolt, were the two greatest political films ever made.

Fausto Bertinotti, of Rifondazione Comunista, sent the Pontecorvo family the following message:

'I mourn the demise of Gillo Pontecorvo, one of the greatest authors and film directors of the cinema world, an appreciated protagonist of Italy's modern culture. Pontecorvo's legacy is a passionate civil commitment and original art, innovation and language styles, and a strong sense of critique to face the contradictions of the 20th century. From the folly of concentration camps to the dramatic epilogue of colonialism, from revolutionary utopias to the tension generated by social unrest, Pontecorvo's views have always accompanied us in modern history. By this stage, we owe him a special thanks, and everyone will look to his work with respect and admiration. On behalf of the Lower House, allow me to offer my condolences'.

Edited to add: SW Obituary

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