Her Socialist Smile (2020)

  • Currents
  • 1h 33m
  • USA
Last Chance to Rent Sep 26, 8:00 PM ET

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For nearly two decades, John Gianvito has been carving out a unique space in American cinema with passion projects of expansive shape and political ambition, including The Mad Songs of Fernanda Hussein, a documentary-fiction inquiry into the human toll of the Gulf War, and Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind, a becalmed yet radical Howard Zinn–inspired reflection on American progressivism. In his new film, Gianvito meditates on a particular moment in early 20th-century history: when Helen Keller began speaking out passionately on behalf of progressive causes. Beginning in 1913, when, at age 32, Keller gave her first public talk before a general audience, Her Socialist Smile is constructed of onscreen text taken from Keller’s speeches, impressionistic images of nature, and newly recorded voiceover by poet Carolyn Forché. The film is a rousing reminder that Keller’s undaunted activism for labor rights, pacifism, and women’s suffrage was philosophically inseparable from her battles for the rights of the disabled.

Closed captioning is available. To enable, click on the [CC] button in the bottom right of the player while watching the film.

All NYFF58 documentaries are presented by:

HBO

Director

John Gianvito

Language

English

Subtitles

English

Bonus Content

1m
58th New York Film Festival Trailer

Preview 25 days of the best in world cinema.

5m
Her Socialist Smile Intro

An introduction by Eugene Hernandez, Florence Almozini, and director John Gianvito.

27m
Her Socialist Smile Q&A

A conversation between Florence Almozini and director John Gianvito.

1m
HBO Documentary Films

Special thanks to HBO, the presenting partner of NYFF58 documentaries.

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