Commie Camp

Is McCarthyism still alive and well on the airwaves? Commie Camp opens with Rush Limbaugh blasting Obama’s nominee for the Bureau of Labor Statistics for sending her kids to a “politically left-wing Jewish summer camp with Communist roots.” The camp is Camp Kinderland, and filmmaker and comedian Katie Halper is concerned about its future. She is a third generation Kinderlander and was a camper and counselor there for 13 years. She returns to Kinderland, this time to make a film. Commie Camp focuses on four delightfully articulate nine-year-olds from the first to the last day of camp during a recent summer. We learn that there is no archery, horseback riding or swimming pools here as campers wait for the bus to take them from the Big Apple to the Berkshires. The bunks don’t have numbers, letters, or fake Native American tribal names. Instead the kids stay in bunks with names like Shalom Aleichem, Harriet Tubman, Anne Frank and Roberto Clemente. This humorous personal documentary explores the history of the camp as a community created by Yiddish-speaking socialists who had been labor union activists in Europe. The film shows us the Kinderland of today, an inclusive, multiethnic, antiracist community dedicated to making the world a better place. Education or indoctrination? You decide.
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