Milestone Films

Strange Victory

$27.96 $34.95
Available now!
 

 “The ideas of the loser is still active in the land of the winner.”

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

“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

Bonus Features:

  • 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 Victorycelebrating 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:
National Hunger March 1931
Bonus March 1932
Hunger March 1932
America Today
World in Review
Pie in the Sky(starring Elia Kazan)

Read the press kit!

 

 An Explanation of Home, Classroom, and Public Performance Rights

Individuals and non-profit institutions purchasing at the DVD, DVD-R, or Blu-ray rate — or streaming at published rental and sales prices — are authorized to use the film only for private home screening and legitimate classroom showing (a regularly scheduled class with an instructor present), per the United States Copyright Law. You can learn more about the distinction between classroom and public performance screenings here.

 

US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to show a film publicly outside of a scheduled class need to purchase DVDs, DVD-Rs, and Blu-rays at the institutional rate — which grants 3-year in-house streaming rights and an on-site public performance license. This in-house streaming license is for a term of three years from the date of purchase and grants the purchasing institution the right to stream over a single secure server with a password-protected connection. Streaming access must be strictly limited to currently enrolled students, faculty, and staff. Streaming rights extensions can be negotiated with Milestone after the initial three-year term has lapsed. Milestone retains the right to terminate this agreement at any time. No broadcast, Internet or other rights are granted or implied.These rights are for on-site use only per the license agreement. For more information on 

Similarly, US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to show a film publicly outside of a scheduled class via Milestone’s streaming site must contact Milestone to arrange a separate public performance license. For more information, please email amy@milestonefilms.com. 

US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to screen a DVD, DVD-R, or Blu-ray they already own in an open showing must purchase a public performance license. For more information, please email amy@milestonefilms.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 with Milestone by emailing amy@milestonefilms.com

Information for Exhibitors Screening DCPs and Film Prints

All bookings must be made by phone or email correspondence with Amy Heller (201.767.3117 or amy@milestonefilms.com) to negotiate terms and insure a screening copy is available. An order is only finalized when Milestone sends a 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
United States 

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:

Iron Mountain
Attn: Milestone Account
235 Main Street
Little Falls, NJ 07424
201.944.3700

For public screenings, advertising materials can be requested by contacting amy@milestonefilms.com

Milestone is the exclusive licensor for all the titles in this catalog, all of which are available here in their complete versions.

 

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