Skip to main content
A Magazine for Sheffield

Community Kino These six radical films are screening in Sheffield over the next few months

Highlights of Community Kino's new season include a Ken Loach classic and a showing of iconic war drama The Battle of Algiers.

A radical community cinema based in Sheffield have announced a new season of films running up until March next year, including stories of worker resistance and documentaries about leftist theory.

"Community Kino believes cinema can be an edifying and transformative tool for seeing ourselves, others and the wider society," organiser Jordan Blake told Now Then.

"Our screenings aren't just about the film – they inform and ignite progressive discussions aimed at identifying the alternatives we are desperately seeking."

Community Kino's films are screened once a month at the Theatre Deli near Bramall Lane, and tickets are usually around a fiver.

According to Blake, the new programme "focuses on themes of national liberation, international solidarity, de-colonisation, anti-imperialism, black liberation, feminism and intersectionality."

Here are the six films that make up Community Kino's new season.


The Wind That Shakes The Barley

Long before Oppenheimer, veteran socialist filmmaker Ken Loach cast Cillian Murphy in the lead role for this 2006 depiction of the struggle for Irish independence. According to Loach, the film explores the contradiction between the idea of a socialist and a nationalist revolution:

"Every time a colony wants independence, the questions on the agenda are: a) how do you get the imperialists out, and b) what kind of society do you build? There are usually the bourgeois nationalists who say, 'Let's just change the flag and keep everything as it was.' Then there are the revolutionaries who say, 'Let's change the property laws.' It's always a critical moment."

Screening on Wednesday 13 September. Tickets are available now.


Nae Pasaran

This 2018 documentary tells the story of a group of Rolls-Royce employees in Scotland who refused to manufacture aircraft parts for brutal Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

In 1973, the democratically elected socialist president of Chile was removed from power in a brutal military coup carried out by the country's far-right and supported by the US government. The new dictatorship, headed up by Pinochet, went on to commit human rights abuses on a vast scale against the people of Chile.

Felipe Bustos Sierra's film, which was partly crowdfunded, is a powerful depiction of international solidarity, with the factory workers in East Kilbride mounting one of the longest struggles in the history of the workers' movement.

Screening on Wednesday 18 October. Tickets are available soon. This screening is co-hosted by Chile 50 Years to mark the 50th anniversary of Pinochet's coup and the resulting solidarity campaigns in the UK.


The Stuart Hall Project

British academic Stuart Hall is regarded by many as one of the most influential Marxist theorists of the 20th century. Born in Jamaica, he pioneered the field of cultural studies at Birmingham University in the 1960s, bringing in new ideas around race, identity and the mass media.

In 1983, a militantly left-wing Sheffield City Council set up the Karl Marx Memorial Lecture to mark the hundredth anniversary of the philosopher's death. Hall gave the inaugural address, speaking about the German thinker's influence and contemporary relevance to a packed City Hall.

Completed a year before Hall's death, this 2013 documentary by John Akomfrah explores his life and work through audio recordings, archive footage and the music of Miles Davis.

Screening on Wednesday 15 November. Tickets are available soon.


Made in Dagenham

This surprise smash-hit from 2010 dramatises a groundbreaking strike organised by female sewing machine operators at Ford's Dagenham plant. This 1968 industrial action was one of the first to call for equal pay for women, and is credited with leading to the first Equal Pay Act in 1970.

Starring Sally Hawkins, Miranda Richardson and the late Bob Hoskins, this unashamedly feel-good film turns an industrial dispute into an entertaining romp, and picked up four BAFTA nominations in the process.

Screening on Wednesday 6 December. Tickets are available soon.


The Battle of Algiers

Probably the most famous film in the programme, Gillo Pontecorvo's war epic from 1966 is a dramatic account of the formative events that took place in Algeria the previous decade.

From 1954 to 1962, Algerian citizens engaged in a long but ultimately successful war of independence against their European coloniser France. Pontecorvo's film uses innovative techniques, such as casting non-professional actors who were actually involved in the war itself, to add to its sense of immediacy and authenticity.

With a soundtrack by Ennio Morricone, the scenes of fierce street fighting and urban guerrilla warfare portrayed in The Battle of Algiers have seen it described as one of the greatest films of all-time, as well as an important account of a pivotal moment in the fight against colonialism.

Screening on Wednesday 7 February 2024. Tickets are available soon.


Salt of the Earth

"AT LAST: An Honest Movie about American Working People" cries the release poster for this 1954 US drama, with a palpable sense of relief. Created by three filmmakers pushed out of Hollywood as part of the McCarthyite witch-hunt against suspected communists, the film is one of the first cinematic depictions of industrial action.

It centres on the true story of workers at the Empire Zinc Company in New Mexico, and uses some of the real participants in the strike as part of a compelling reconstruction. At the time, the film critic of the New York Times wrote:

"In the light of this agitated history, it is somewhat surprising to find that Salt of the Earth is, in substance, simply a strong pro-labor film with a particularly sympathetic interest in the Mexican-Americans with whom it deals... But the real dramatic crux of the picture is the stern and bitter conflict within the membership of the union. It is the issue of whether the women shall have equality of expression and of strike participation with the men."

Screening on Wednesday 13 March 2024. Tickets are available soon.

Filed under: 

More Film

The Right to Continue Dreaming

Those fighting for a better world continue to do so, whether that's in Palestine or Peru. A double-bill film screening in Sheffield on 19 February celebrates the links between culture and politics, in Latin America and beyond.

More Film