Join us for a screening of Dear Comrade, an experimental essay film inspired by a significant moment in California’s ‘utopian’ history — the creation of Llano del Rio, one of California’s most successful secular cooperative colonies.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Mady Schutzman, author and queer theorist Jack Halberstam, artist Robby Herbst, and actors B.J. Dodge and Hugo Armstrong.
Dear Comrade documents this collective enterprise through a tour of the California ruins, photos and recollections of local historians and residents, voices of former colonists, and scholars of California history. However, the primary focus of the film resides not so much in the past as in the musings, questions, courage, frustrations, fantasies, and labors of many before and after Llano who have assumed comparable struggles –- to forego economic and political security to craft an alternative society. Through the intersection of several stories, a seemingly traditional documentary film morphs into a montage of parallel universes, historical re-enactments, clownery, political commentary, and a palpable desire — failings and disappointments notwithstanding — to give idealism and cooperation another try.
TRT: 55 minutes
Watch the trailer here: