This quote by Howard Zinn, captured while filming a documentary on Noam Chomsky, inspired film collective Les Mutins de Pangee to produce a documentary on Howard Zinn’s life and impact entitled, Howard Zinn, A Popular American History. In November of 2013, the crew traveled to the United States to conduct interviews with Zinn’s friends and colleagues and to visit classrooms.
The film crew, Les Muntins de Pangee, included host and producer Daniel Mermet and reporter and translator Giv Anquetil of the radio program “La-bas si j y suis,” (similar to Democracy Now! and broadcast on Radio France with 600,000 daily listeners) and film director Olivier Azam.
In a brief two weeks, the film crew traveled from Chicago to Purdue University, up to Boston and down to New York and Washington, D.C. interviewing friends, colleagues, and activists about Zinn’s work. People interviewed included Noam Chomsky, Bob Moses, Chris Hedges, Anthony Arnove, Staughton Lynd, Dorie Ladner, and Dick Gregory. The trip also included two classroom visits.
The first stop was into Lindsay DiTomasso’s classroom just outside Chicago where students led a discussion on slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.
The crew’s trip to Washington, D.C. and coincided with a tribute event to Clyde Kennard. Les Muntins filmed and interviewed noted Civil Rights Movement veterans at the event including Dorie Ladner and Dick Gregory.
The next morning Les Mutins went to Capital City Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. to film Julian Hipkins class engaged in the Zinn Education Project lesson called the “Constitution Role Play: Whose “More Perfect Union”? and The Constitutional Convention: Who Really Won?“
The film is currently in post-production. Les Mutins de Pangee plan to visit the U.S. again to screen the film to audiences across the country. In the meantime, you can watch the trailer below and read more about the film project at www.lesmutins.org.