The year was 2017. Charlottesville was just the beginning. Racist attacks against Hispanics, Muslims, Jews and African Americans have increased exponentially since the election of Donald Trump. Americans celebrate the idea of building walls while ICE tears families apart.
The year was 1945. The free world rejoices over the defeat of fascism. But the peace soon chilled, and in the Cold War that followed the United States entered a period of national paranoia and political repression. In response, film producer Barney Rosset and director Leo Hurwitz joined forces to create Strange Victory.
This rarely seen, stylistically bold documentary equals the visual, poetic brilliance of Battleship Potemkin and I am Cuba while delivering an extraordinary cry from the heart to make a better place for our children. Skillfully combining documentary footage of World War II battles, postwar refugees, and the Nuremberg trials with powerful dramatic re-enactments, Hurwitz wove an extraordinary cinematic portrait of postwar American Fascism. How could it be, the film asked, that servicemen returned home from defeating a racist and genocidal enemy found the United States plagued by racism, Jim Crow, anti-Semitism, anti-Catholicism, and xenophobia?
Strange Victory — a cry for equality and justice — was promptly branded “procommunist” and a financial flop. Hurwitz was blacklisted from film and television for more than a decade and Virgil Richardson (a former Tuskegee Airman), who portrayed a black vet in the film, chose to emigrate to Mexico to escape to US racism.
"The essential documentary of our moment. Strange Victory can rekindle our energies, without a moment to lose." -- David Bordwell http://goo.gl/FHVbLb
“One of the best documentaries of all time.... The setup of this extraordinary documentary essay (featuring journalistic research, archival footage, and fictional reconstructions) is that of a film noir, but Hurwitz, with his audacious editing and blunt commentary, infuses it with a substance far more radical and harrowing than anything Hollywood could produce. The horrors of a world in which concentration camps functioned untouched are shown to have a pathological parallel in American prejudice—anti-Semitism, anti-Catholicism, and especially racism in all its forms, from job and housing discrimination to lynching, the victims of which Hurwitz calls ‘the casualties of a war.’ Tracking Hitler’s rise to power, Hurwitz is shocked to find ‘the ideas of the loser still active in the land of the winner.’ The film acts as a kind of collective psychoanalysis; its findings are yet to be worked through.” -- Richard Brody, The New Yorker
- 2K restoration of Strange Victory by Metropolis Post and Milestone from the original 35mm nitrate fine grain master.
- Leo Hurwitz’s stunning 1964 epilogue to Strange Victory celebrating Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement.
- Leo Hurwitz speaking about Strange Victory, courtesy of Ingela Romare, from her 1992 film, On Time, Art, Love, and Trees: A Meeting with Leo T. Hurwitz.
- Barney Rosset speaking about Strange Victory, courtesy of CUNY TV City Cinemathequeand interviewer Jerry Carlson.
- Six amazing films from Hurwitz’s years as a member of the Worker’s Film and Photo League and Nykino, Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, NYC:
Bonus March 1932
Hunger March 1932
World in Review
Pie in the Sky(starring Elia Kazan)
Read the press kit!
An Explanation of Home, Classroom, and Public Performance Rights
Through our distribution partner, Kino Lorber, Milestone provides a variety of licensing to suit all needs. Our standard institutional licensing packages are designed to provide colleges, universities and qualified non-profits with the best value for multiple uses, and our one-time community screening licenses allow any organization to exhibit high-quality films for a reasonable fee. Please note that all licensing carries restrictions on audience numbers and/or geographic range.
STANDARD INSTITUTIONAL LICENSING
- CLASSROOM RIGHTS allow unlimited use in face-to-face classroom situations for the life of the media, restricted to a single campus or location. Please note that this license doesn't include public screenings or digital transmission of any kind.
- PUBLIC PERFORMANCE RIGHTS (PPR) allow educational and nonprofit groups to exhibit our films to groups of 100 or fewer individuals where admission is not charged. The term of the public performance license is for the life of the DVD. However, if you intend to charge admission, expect an audience over 100, or publicly advertise the screening, then we ask that you contact us regarding an exhibition fee. Films purchased without Public Performance Rights are restricted for individual viewing or face-to-face teaching in the classroom only.
- DIGITAL SITE LICENSES (DSL) allow colleges, universities and nonprofits to locally host and stream to their community on a closed, password-protected system for the life of the digital file.
- K-12 PPR comes with limited performance rights so films can be shown in classrooms, at PTA meetings, during after school programs, and transmitted on a closed-circuit system within a K-12 school building or on a single campus.
For all educational licenses and screenings, please Estelle Grosso, Director of Educational and Non-Theatrical Sales & Distribution at Kino Lorber (Milestone’s distribution partner) at: email@example.com.
The purchase of DVDs, DVD-Rs, and Blu-rays at the institutional rate by anyone outside of a North American non-profit educational institution does not grant rights for public performance or streaming.
Any continuous or loop screenings as part of a museum exhibition must also be licensed separately. Inquiries must be negotiated directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information for Exhibitors Screening DCPs and Film Prints
All bookings must be made by email correspondence with George Schmalz, Director of Theatrical Sales at Kino Lorber (Milestone’s distribution partner) at: email@example.com to negotiate terms and insure a screening copy is available. An order is only finalized when Kino Lorber sends written confirmation.
DCPs are shipped insured for their cost via Federal Express or UPS and must be returned the same way or by an equivalent method. Shipping and handling charges for outgoing DCPs appear on your invoice. The immediate return or transshipment (as directed) of all DCPs is your responsibility.
DCPs should be returned to:
Milestone Film & Video
38 George Street
Harrington Park, New Jersey 07640-0128
35mm and 16mm prints are shipped insured for their cost via Federal Express or UPS and must be returned the same way or by an equivalent method. Please do not ship prints back via US Mail. Exhibitor pays to ship both ways. Shipping and handling charges for outgoing prints appear on your invoice. The immediate return of all prints is your responsibility.
Prints should be returned insured for $1,000 to:
Attn: Milestone Account
235 Main Street
Little Falls, NJ 07424
For public screenings, advertising materials can be requested by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Milestone is the exclusive licensor for all the titles in this catalog, all of which are available from Milestone’s distribution partner Kino Lorber. in their complete versions.