A battle for the times - Albuquerque Journal

A battle for the times

Sandy Gotham Meehan’s journey in filmmaking has taught her patience.

With her latest project, “Barney’s Wall: Portrait of a Game Changer,” she learned a lot about herself.

“This film began in early 2014,” she says. “I had no idea that it would take as long as it has. I could give a TEDx talk on 10 reasons why you are insane to produce an independent production.”

All kidding aside, Gotham Meehan is proud of the documentary, which will premiere at the Santa Fe Film Festival at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14.

The film probes the lasting political and cultural impact of Barney Rosset, radical Grove Press publisher, free-speech warrior and political activist, one of the most influential cultural impresarios of the last half of the 20th century.

Rosset’s fierce midcentury battles against literary censorship, government surveillance, racial bigotry and the Vietnam war blasted open America’s conservative culture and birthed the ’60s counter-culture rebellion, paving the way for today’s unfettered artistic expression.

Gothan Meehan says the film makes the case that Rosset’s unflagging battles against inequality and an intolerant culture make him a contemporary model for today’s political and cultural activists who seek to keep the country open and the First Amendment intact.

“Perhaps the closest equivalent today of Rosset’s feisty, abrasive, principled and visionary politics is Bernie Sanders,” she says.

Gotham Meehan had access to Rosset’s estate.

“Barney never threw anything out,” she says. “We had a lot of trouble finding the story arc. He was known for his publishing brilliance and his legal battles that he waged in the mid-1950s against government censorship.”

Gotham Meehan served as director alongside Williams Cole. It was produced by FoxHog Productions based out of New York City.

She worked with 415 pieces of archival material.

“Getting everything pared down was one of the most difficult things for this project,” she says. “We’ve been able to privately screen the film and the conversation it started is great. I wanted to premiere the film in Santa Fe because the city has a great reputation of being open and accepting. I think the counter-culture angle will resonate with the audiences there. It’s going to be amazing to be part of the community for the time that I’m there.”

Home » Entertainment » Local Movie News » A battle for the times


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
A look at Fourth of July festivities from around ...
Entertainment
From baseball games to music and ... From baseball games to music and community events, here are some of the things happening during the four-day weekend
2
Documentary series looks at the secret lives of plants
Entertainment
'The Green Planet' uses pioneering new ... 'The Green Planet' uses pioneering new filmmaking technology.
3
Michael Martin Murphey to play series of shows in ...
Entertainment
The Michael Martin Murphey Summer Series ... The Michael Martin Murphey Summer Series stars Friday, July 1.
4
What’s happening in ABQ July 1-7: Pirates, Tanabata, Chris ...
Coming This Week
As we make our way into ... As we make our way into July, let's see how much more rain will come to town. I think this is Mother Nature's way ...
5
Filmmaker knew action thriller 'Hot Seat' had to be ...
Blogs
The premise of 'Hot Seat' follows ... The premise of 'Hot Seat' follows the story of an ex-hacker is forced to break into high-level banking institutions, as another man must try ...
6
'Edmund and the Astronaut' a story of an unlikely ...
Entertainment
'Edmund and the Astronaut' at Fusion ... 'Edmund and the Astronaut' at Fusion in Albuquerque will run through July 10.
7
Madrid staple offers up live music, pub food and ...
Dining Reviews
From pizza to sandwiches to a ... From pizza to sandwiches to a kid's menu where everything is $9.50 to the Mine Shaft's famous and award-winning Mad Chile Burger, bar flies ...
8
Jemez Mountain Brewhouse opens its doors
Blogs
The recently opened brewery, located at ... The recently opened brewery, located at 17691 N.M. 4 in Jemez Springs, offers plenty of local craft beers including a few of its own.
9
Santa Fe Wine Festival to feature 15 state wineries
Entertainment
The 28th annual event takes place ... The 28th annual event takes place at El Rancho de las Golondrinas from noon-6 p.m. Saturday, July 2, and Sunday, July 3.
10
Metalwork artist work inspired by the sense of home ...
Arts
Santa Fe native Hernan Gomez Chavez ... Santa Fe native Hernan Gomez Chavez works in copper, bronze or stainless steel.