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A free film screening

category north america / mexico | workplace struggles | press release author Monday April 13, 2015 20:59author by MACG / Melbourne Antifascist Initiative - Anarkismoauthor email ngnm55 at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Palikari: Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre

The documentary Palikari: Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre (2014, Nickos Ventouras) narrates one of the “bleakest and blackest” chapters in American labor history, the Ludlow Massacre.
A 101 years earlier, on April 20, 1914, in Ludlow, Colorado, USA, a strike for basic labor rights by exploited miners and their families, mostly immigrants, was violently ended by state militia. In the fight, the strikers’ tent colony was machine-gunned and burned to the ground, leaving over twenty people dead, including women and children.
palikari_nibs_poster_1.jpg

Palikari: Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre

A free film screening in Melbourne

Friday 1st of May, 7pm

New International Bookshop

Trades Hall, Crn Victoria and Lygon Sts Carlton

The documentary Palikari: Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre (2014, Nickos Ventouras) narrates one of the “bleakest and blackest” chapters in American labor history, the Ludlow Massacre.

A 101 years earlier, on April 20, 1914, in Ludlow, Colorado, USA, a strike for basic labor rights by exploited miners and their families, mostly immigrants, was violently ended by state militia. In the fight, the strikers’ tent colony was machine-gunned and burned to the ground, leaving over twenty people dead, including women and children.

Louis Tikas (1886-1914), a Cretan immigrant and union organizer born Ilias Anastasios Spantidakis, was shot in the back in cold blood, as were two other strikers, trying to negotiate. Still considered a politically volatile event, in fact a dangerous past for the nation laying open the synergy of state and capital to brutally put down labor, Ludlow does not commonly find a place in celebratory official memory.

Palikari adds a transnational as well as a global dimension to Ludlow’s centennial commemoration. It is the work of a Greek team, a journalist writer/producer (Lamprini C. Thoma) and a novice film director (Nickos Ventouras). Filmed in several locations in the U.S. and Athens, Greece, and also screened widely in these two countries and across the world, Palikari enters Ludlow through a network of scholars, authors, and artists whose perspectives structure the narration.

The bilingual story is organized thematically around twelve topics – Immigration, Exploitation, Racism, Union, Strike, Women, Intimidation, Easter, Uprising, Rockefeller, Legacy, and Memory – each visually animated with corresponding historical images and footage. The documentary privileges the point of view of the interviewees who recount the history and locate its significance. The film also functions as a historical document of Ludlow scholarship, in addition to its work as a historical documentary.

The filmmakers of course do not remain neutral instruments of recording. In addition to the angle of interviewing and narrative editing, they advance their own interpretative version, evident both in the title and the presentation of their work in the media.

The film aspires to global and diaspora resonance, and it strongly locates its relevance in relation to Greece as a nation-in-crisis.

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