Seeing Red: Stories of American Communists

Tribute Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert

With exceptional access to the people behind the American Communist movement of the 1930s to 1950s, Seeing Red chronicles the movement’s participants, as individuals reflect on their impetus for joining, how Stalinism influenced their thinking in the mid-1950s, and their thoughts from the vantage of the early 1980s. A potent and searing score (including original music from singer and activist Bernice Johnson Reagon) enlivens archival images of newspaper headlines and protest footage, placing the viewer succinctly into the charged historical era. Filmmakers Julia Reichert and Jim Klein have an ease that coaxes sheer honesty from their interviewees, and with each individual’s story, we gain an informed perspective on their attraction to the Communist Party. For some, this political affiliation still stands, and directors Reichert and Klein gracefully challenge these more complicated viewpoints with the dexterity of talented storytellers. What remains is an illuminating portrayal of the everyday humans who defined a tumultuous movement in American history.  KR

Filmmaker Q&A following screening

Friday, April 5 — 1:00 pm DAC

Directors

Jim Klein, Julia Reichert

Producers

Aaron Ezekeil, Julia Reichert

Editors

Jim Klein, Julia Reichert

Release Year

1983

Festival Year

2019

Country

United States

Run Time

88 minutes