Getting Ready for the Online Launch and Premiere Screenings of the new film of
Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion
A Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian
March 2, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
It was like there was magic in the air. It was one of the most hopeful things that I’ve seen in a very long time. I think it was historic in many different dimensions: in terms of the topic that was approached; the people who were involved in it, the two speakers; the moment in time. I felt like I was able to see a great demonstration of morality and conscience applied to dealing with the problems of humanity—that both speakers stood out this way.
—From “Excerpts from an interview with Ardea Skybreak: On Attending the Dialogue Between Bob Avakian and Cornel West”
The new film of Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian brings the awesome experience of the November 15, 2014 Dialogue to life. You will get the feeling that was in the room of being “on the edge of your seat because this really could open up a different future for humanity.” You sense the energy of the uniquely diverse audience. You are right up inside Cornel West’s and Bob Avakian’s opening presentations: the passion, the audacity, the science, the morality, the revolutionary substance. You see their reactions to each other’s opening presentations—the delight, the thoughtful appreciation, their pondering of points of disagreement. BA and Cornel exude a contagious “in the bones” hatred of all that oppresses people today and the need to act to stop it now, along with a profound love of the people. The 3 hours and 53 minutes of this film is a school of revolution that you want to go to. If you want to know what Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism looks like in action, if you want to get a sense of the revolution that BA is fighting for, if you want to see and learn from two voices of conscience modeling a morality that refuses to accept injustice, that pours heart and soul into standing together for a world worthy of humanity, you couldn’t do better than to start with watching this film again and again.
The impact of the Cornel West and Bob Avakian Dialogue has only just begun with the 1,900 people who were at Riverside Church in NYC last fall and the tens of thousands of people who have since watched the simulcast broadcast on the Internet. With the appearance of Revolution and Religion... ONLINE, beginning at 10 pm EST on MARCH 28, 2015 and then continuing over the next months at www.revcom.us, this film can reach huge numbers—10, 20, a hundred times—more people with even greater impact, if we make it widely known. One key part of making the ONLINE LAUNCH a big deal will be the national Premiere Screenings on March 28.
By March 28 scores and hundreds of people should be spreading the word online, reaching tens of thousands more, through the social media, on campuses, high schools, in the neighborhoods and at key cultural and political gatherings with palm cards, posters and showing the trailer. The BA Everywhere Campaign, a mass campaign to raise major funds to project Bob Avakian’s (BA’s) vision and works into every corner of society, will be involving many people in raising funds to spread the word of this film in different ways. In addition to the spreading through Twitter, Internet ads, and by showing it on the street, as the March 28 launch date draws near and in an ongoing way afterward, there is a vision of creating and popularizing short YouTubes of key questions/sharp points made in the course of the Dialogue that will make important impact in their own right and which should also drive people to watch the whole film.
This film will make its appearance at a time when people across the country are mounting the political stage in defiant struggle to stop the police murder of our youth and the whole program of mass incarceration. It will interact with the struggle, deepening people’s understanding of why this system does what it does over and over again; infusing people with the morality and moral conviction to stand up, raising sights to the vision and strategy for a revolution that really could put an end to the unnecessary madness that is today.
The March 28 Premiere screenings at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, NYC; the Los Angeles Theatre Center; The Goldman Theater at the David Brower Center in Berkeley; the Encore Theater in Houston; and at Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago are first of all important opportunities to raise the profile of the film. Articles on line and in print, radio spots, social media—a splash of publicity that will inspire and drive people not only to the Premiere screenings but also to spread the word of the online video and/or to get a copy of the two DVD set of the full film.
And, second, being at a celebratory premiere, viewing the film with hundreds of other people will be an incredible rich experience. Watching together on a big screen, with big sound, and talking afterward will be a cohering collective experience. Many new people, activists in different social movements, and old friends should feel inspired after this to spread the film and be a part of the BA Everywhere campaign to continue to raise the tens of thousands of dollars necessary to make this film, and Bob Avakian and the work he has done known to millions.
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