Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind|
Director: John Gianvito
An extraordinary meditation on the nature of democratic progress in the United States, John Gianvito's one-of-a-kind documentary journeys from the gravesites to the public markers that document the people and incidents tha... more »
Gone but not forgotten
David Eberhardt | baltimore, md | 12/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Along with the book: "Peoples History of the U S" by Howard Zinn, this dvd brings many, certainly not all, U.S. progressive heroes back into consciousness. This is the kind of dvd that will find a greater and greater audience, unless, of course, we destroy the world through nuclear warfare or environmental catastophe in which case there will be no more audience for any thing.
This dvd will achieve more and more listeners as the word spreads that here is a portrayal of, a memorial to the greatest citizens of this land. Not the ones that most history books praise-not the Presidents or the generals or the captains of industry....rather the ones- who were right in their struggles (although usually they were ON the left - politically)...the ones who fought for correct causes, the causes of the people, the causes of the underdogs, the causes of Native Americans and of slaves- often fighting for causes that have been neglected.
The graves and monuments to progressive heroes are shown in this movie, interspersed with shots of wind through leaves or grass, shots of surroundings to graves and monuments as well as the monuments, etc. It is also a tribute to victims- and in the sense that the US loves a winner- this dvd will not a best seller. Once "winner" is redefined- that is when this dvd will become a best seller. The grave sites of workers killed by management, or of Henry Thoreau, or of John Brown or of Frederick Douglas that are showed in this dvd are not the monuments of losers. The wind through the leaves and trees does indeed say, along with Mother Jones: 'DO NOT MOURN, ORGANISE", or it says that Joe Hill is still among us- as a spirit that spurs us on to fight back.
There are moments in the film when the director chooses to show pencil or pen drawings- and I don't see how that adds a great deal- but, otherwise, this dvd is a unique hit to some one of a certain persuasion.
The fact that the momuments are, in some cases, out of the way or overgrown- adds to the poignancy of the dvd. Although, I predict- that if we can make progress-(it's a big IF) there will be bigger and more monumental offerings to these heroes- just as the statue to Martin Luther King is coming on the mall in DC, or similar to the great rock carved to Crazy Horse in S. Dakota.
This dvd is the sort of media needed to counter the prevailing media- which makes monuments to athletes or movie stars and not to high school teachers or revolutionaries. But it is the revolutionaries who change things.
And this is the kind of quiet dvd that changes things.
The avarice of the white man will prevail
Keris Nine | 02/13/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Experimental certainly, but simple and unpretentious, John Gianvito's film consists almost entirely of shots of woodlands, fields and, set amongst them from all across the USA, monuments, markers, gravestones, plaques and even death masks, each of them commemorating troubled and bloody events in America's history, showing chronologically the struggle through different causes. Single paragraphs or sometimes simply a line on a gravestone are often all there is to testify to the lives that were lost in battles between the Native Indians and the original settlers, between the colonists and the crown leading to the War of Independence, in the massacres of striking workers, trade unionists and slave insurrections, as well as other individuals who gave their lives for liberty, freedom, justice, equality and tolerance. On one 1830 monument to Sagoyewatha (Red Jacket) there's a line that sums up the whole terrible history, past, present and future - "When I am gone and my warnings are no longer heeded, the craft and avarice of the white man will prevail".
The purpose of the hour-long film would seem to be threefold - to remind people of the sacrifice for freedom that these monuments represent, to show the beauty of the monuments themselves in the natural surroundings, now in a peaceful repose that is in striking contrast to the deaths they commemorate, and through the simple murmur and whistling of the wind through trees to give room for reflection on the relationship between them. Other than a few brief animated inserts and one or two captions, there is no further commentary, but through the imagery alone Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind seeks to inform the viewer about the forgotten history of America and seek meaning in it, understanding and perhaps even promote activism.
Shot on 16mm, the film nevertheless looks remarkably clear and unmarked in its transfer here, with excellent detail and colouration. The soundtrack, indeed made up almost entirely of the sound of the whispering wind, the rustle of undergrowth and the chirp of birds and crickets, is Dolby Digital 2.0 with strong stereo separation. There are 92 chapters to allow you to access each section of the film directly. There are no other extra features other than a brief statement of intention by John Gianvito reproduced on the front cover, and an informative 16-page booklet containing the director's shooting diary."