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Opens February 18 in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco

The writer and film maker Paul Laverty was asked recently why he and director Icíar Bollaín dedicated his new film Even the Rain (Tambien La Lluvia), set in Bolivia and starring Gael Garcia Bernal, to the historian Howard Zinn:

“Over 25 years ago in Managua, Nicaragua, a close friend Myrna Santiago, who is now a brilliant history teacher in the Oakland area, gave me Howard's book A Peoples History of the United States. It took my breath away. Little did I know that 15 years later we would become great friends. Howard had seen a film Ken Loach and I made in Los Angeles about immigrant cleaners called Bread and Roses. Howard helped me enormously with historical research around Columbus and Bartolome de las Casas, one of the first priests of conscience to defend the indigenous population, and sent me many of his own books, underlined and annotated I am sure for preparation for the first chapter of A People's History. He was both a source of great inspiration, and just plain great fun. It is seldom to find such brilliance wrapped round a modest core. He was a gem. The notion of resistance runs through the very DNA of his work; he didn't romanticize working class solidarity, but he recognized its critical importance for any possibility of change for the better. He was an activist to the core; as a younger man he had been beaten up in marches, and lost jobs because of his beliefs. His ideas about equality informed his life and how he lived. He died on the 27th of January last year and I am gutted he never got a chance to see our film, though I am sure he would have been a tough but generous critic. I hope the dedication at the beginning of our film will lead a new generation to read his wonderful books and brilliant essays. My favorite quote from his book is by Frederick Douglass, born into slavery, who then went on to become a writer and campaigner. ‘Power concedes nothing without demand, it never did, and never will.’ Never a truer word has been spoken, and today never has so much power and wealth been concentrated in fewer hands. We have been given a great lesson by the people of Cochabamba, and I hope we take it, adapt it to our own circumstances, and participate in this great creative and complicated process of resistance. If not, we are done for.”

The trailer (with a concluding quote from Howard Zinn) can be viewed at:

And read more about the film here:

Wednesday, February 23, 7PM
The Glicker-Milstein Black Box Theatre in the Diana Center
Barnard College
$10 advance / $12 at the door

For more information visit:

And for tickets go to:

“This week’s Sprouts is a special tribute to the people’s historian Howard Zinn who passed away one year ago, January 27, 2010, at age 87. The tribute, narrated by host Brian Jones, includes selections from Zinn’s acclaimed documentary The People Speak, and live readings of his book Voices of a People's History of the United States. Readers include Wallace Shawn reading a riveting speech by Howard Zinn on civil disobedience from 1970, Danny Glover reading Frederick Douglass’s remarkable speech on the meaning of Fourth of July to a former slave, Christina Kirk reading Susan B. Anthony’s defiant words at her 1872 trial for knowingly voting without having a lawful right to vote, with Josh Brolin as the judge, and Howard Zinn himself discussing his vision of social change.”

. . .

“Sprouts is a weekly program that features local radio production and stories from many radio stations and local media groups round the world. It is produced in collaboration with community radio stations and independent producers across the country. The program is coordinated and distributed by Pacifica Radio and offered free of charge to all radio stations.”

When Democracy Weakens
February 11, 2011

“The Egyptians want to establish a viable democracy, and that’s a long, hard road. Americans are in the mind-bogglingly self-destructive process of letting a real democracy slip away.

“I had lunch with the historian Howard Zinn just a few weeks before he died in January 2010. He was chagrined about the state of affairs in the U.S. but not at all daunted. ‘If there is going to be change,’ he said, ‘real change, it will have to work its way from the bottom up, from the people themselves.’

“I thought of that as I watched the coverage of the ecstatic celebrations in the streets of Cairo.“

“Topics: civil disobedience, war, class, patriotism, Joe Lieberman, Afghanistan, artists’ roles in activism, anarchism, why studying history is so important, racism, President Obama, and what makes him happy.”