Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

November 8, 2019

The Archive: How McCarthyism forced an American lawyer into exile

Filed under: Film,McCarthyism,repression — louisproyect @ 4:34 pm

The six-year old David Drucker

Bronchitis prevented me from attending press screenings for this year’s DOC NYC Film Festival that runs from November 6th to the 15th but I did manage to see a documentary short titled “The Archive” that will be shown alongside other films at the Cinépolis Chelsea this Saturday, November 9th, at 9:30pm.

The Archive” tells the story of David Drucker who was a victim of McCarthyism in the 1950s like thousands of other Americans. His background will be familiar to anybody who has reviewed this history. His parents were Russian Jews who fled Czarist oppression at the turn of the century and came to live in New York City.

David Drucker got a law degree and went to work for a trading company set up to facilitate commercial ties between the USA and the USSR. During the 1930s and 40s, this would have been an entirely aboveboard professional association but as soon as the Red Scare began, anybody with Soviet ties began to be considered a traitor. The film deploys footage of J. Edgar Hoover’s testimonies before Congress and other sordid reminders of the past most effectively.

Director Peter Spence and Drucker’s daughter Emily Drucker Collins will be there for the Q&A.

Other shorts to be shown at the 9:30 screening include one on the legacy of cotton in the American South, a subject much on my mind now while reading Sven Beckert’s “Empire of Cotton”. Another is on NY’s cab drivers, who are facing a deep crisis over medallion debts and competition from Uber. Put succinctly, these are my kinds of films and likely yours if you’ve been reading this blog over the years.

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