Unknown Secrets: Art and the Rosenberg Era

A provocative and moving portrait of the Cold War's first victims - Julius and Ethel Rosenberg - through the images and words of artists Pablo Picasso, Sue Coe, Arthur Miller and Adrienne Rich. No story from that dark era provokes more debate than the arrest, trial, and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Convicted of conspiring to pass the secret of the atom bomb to the Soviets, the Rosenbergs were electrocuted on June 19, 1953. Dozens of books have been written about the case. But, until now, it was virtually unknown that scores of artists and writers, including Picasso and Leger, Arthur Miller and Adrienne Rich, had also expressed themselves about the Rosenbergs. UNKNOWN SECRETS is rich with art and literature from the 1950's to the present. The dramatic literary readings by Ed Asner, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Tony Randall, and others powerfully bring to life the paintings, sculpture, photographs, and archival footage of the characters in the Rosenberg story and the climate of the times. Based on a compelling book and nationally touring art exhibit, UNKNOWN SECRETS looks back at what happened, deciphering the language of the Cold War, and the place of art in politics, from the days of Joe McCarthy to those of Jesse Helms.
Charles Light and Daniel Keller, co-founders of Green Mountain Post Films, have collaborated on a large number of documentaries that explore social issues. Their 1975 release, LOVEJOY'S NUCLEAR WAR, was one of the first films to question the nuclear energy policy of the United States. It was awarded the John Grierson Prize, given to the most promising new director of social issue documentaries by the Educational Film Librarians Association at the 1976 American Film Festival. The film went on to win numerous international awards, including a Silver Hugo at the Chicago Film Festival, Best Political Film at the San Francisco Film Festival, a feature screening at the Berlin Film Festival and has been shown extensively both in the U.S. and abroad. THE LAST RESORT chronicles the fight over the controversial nuclear power plant at Seabrook, New Hampshire. This 1978 release was voted the Best Political Film at the San Francisco Festival and was screened at Ann Arbor, Nyon, Rotterdam and other film festivals. SAVE THE PLANET, an eighteen minute montage history of the atomic age, was produced in 1979 for the Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) Concerts. The 35mm film was shown on a sixty foot screen over five nights at Madison Square Garden. THE SECRET AGENT, a 1983 co-production with Jacki Ochs, premiered at the New York Film Festival, received the Grierson Prize and many other festival accolades, as well as international television exposure. The film, called "one of the year's most terrifying horror films" by the Boston Globe, remains the most comprehensive cinematic investigation of dioxin, Agent Orange and the Vietnam veterans. UNKNOWN SECRETS: Art & the Rosenberg Era (1990) examines the reaction of artists and writers to the arrest, trial, and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Narrated by John Randolph, and featuring the voices of Ed Asner, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Tovah Feldshuh, Jack Gilford, and Tony Randall, the 30 minute production was called "a stunning mood piece that underscores the wave of anti-Communist hysteria...an original and refreshing approach to an important historical era" by Video Rating Guide for Libraries in their 4 star review. GMP Films latest release, PEACE TRIP, (2000) examines a global peace conference that took place in the Hague, Netherlands in May, 1999. Also in the works is the BLOOM PROJECT which consists of both a feature, titled FAMOUS LONG AGO, and a documentary, titled NO SUCCESS LIKE FAILURE. Both films will tell the story of Marshall Bloom and the rise and fall of the underground press of the sixties. Other award winning films from GMP Films include peace trip, EARLY WARNINGS, RADIATION AND HEALTH, TRAINING FOR NONVIOLENCE, ECOCIDE: A Strategy of War, VIETNAM EXPERIENCE, ABE AJAY: Dimension x 3, CANNABIS RISING, and THE GULF BOWL CABARET. In addition to their independent work, Keller and Light also produce and work on a freelance basis on industrials, sponsored films, music videos, advertisements, and the productions of other filmmakers. Rob Okun is co-director of Cultural Forecast, an agency organizing speakers, programs, and exhibitions on art and society. Okun was formerly the publisher of Workplace Democracy, a quarterly magazine and editor and publisher of the alternative energy/social issue magazine New Roots. He has also worked as a daily newspaper reporter, commentator on public radio, and as a media and fundraising consultant for non-profit social change organizations.,
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