When the lights were turned on one could see audience members
wiping away silent tears.
“At the last showing of this film I was told that I needed to
give people a moment to process what they just saw before starting
a discussion,” said activist filmmaker Jacqui Soohen, founding
member of Big Noise Films.
What audience members had just seen was the latest collaborative
Big Noise Films production The Fourth World War a documentary film
linking movements of resistance world wide in a 76-minute montage
of video journalism.
The film that has been shown world-wide from Amsterdam to the
World Social Forum in Mumbai, India, kicked off its United States
tour in San Francisco Calif., Feb. 20 to March 7. One of the
screenings was at Mills College on March 3.
The title of the film comes from Subcomandate Insurgente Marcos
of the Zapatistas, an indigenous peoples movement in Chiapas,
Mexico. He fostered the concept of the fourth world war where
globalization is an imperial force that operates only for the sake
of creating markets worldwide at the expense of humanity. Marcos
believed that this war is being fought in a global way rather than
nationally, as we saw in previous world wars. In turn what is
created is a global resistance to a global capitalist empire.
The film visually analyzes the global resistance that Marcos
spoke of from the front lines covering a variety of struggles from
a perspective that is not shown in mainstream coverage.
Soohen explained that the volunteer based film collective Big
Noise Films uses their images as a political tool and weapon.
“There is always a hunger for alternative information. So much
of this country is about isolating us and building ourselves with
independent identities,” she said.
Footage ranged from the conflict in Palestine showing the dead
bodies of children and women due to the occupation of their
country, to the post-apartheid movement in South Africa where
people protested outside of police stations with song and dance
only to be beaten with night clubs by police officers to the
Zapatistas in the Mexico flooding the streets in demonstration.
“I believe there are many truths and many different stories and
different tactics but we can share creativity”, said Soohen.
“Looking at other struggles opened my imagination.”
Senior Masumi Patzel said one thing she saw in the film was the
cultural differences are in resistance such as, Koreans sitting
calmly in protest, Argentineans loud and dynamic tactics and
Canadians reserved protests on the streets.
Patzel also question why some countries and movements were
covered while others weren’t. Soohen said,
“This film is a list but an incomplete list and an invitation to
be added to.”
Soohen realizes that the whole story of Globalization cannot be
captured in 76 minutes of film, instead she said their film is,
“about drawing attention and imagination out but over all we try to
let people draw their own interpretations.”
Soohen also hopes that this film can offer people in the United
States some perspective or at least serve as a forum to begin
discussion on our place in the fourth world war. “We need to think
about our identity beyond being consumers. We are part of a system
that is violent and dirty,” she said.
Students seemed to grasp Soohen’s points. Sophomore Sheila
“It was more than just a conversation it will mobilize people.
The film does a good job of connecting and depicting a common
“This film was really intense. The problem is a lot bigger than
anyone of us. We have to work together,” said sophomore Allegra
Overall Big Noise Films achieved their main point at Mills by
bringing a taste our world to our attention.
“Its always a lie when someone stands in front of a film and
says its theirs. These images and this film belong to a global
community and they belong to you,” said Soohen.