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American Socialist: The Life and Times of Eugene Victor Debs
A film by Yale Strom

97 minutes, color, 2018

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Bernie Sanders inspired a generation - but who inspired him?

Yale Strom's new documentary traces the history of American populism by exploring the life and times of Eugene Victor Debs, the man whose progressive ideas fueled generations to come - from FDR's New Deal to Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. Here is an objective but passionate history of the movement as founded and championed by Debs, a movement that continues to have an impact on our lives today.

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"Bernie Sanders' spoke of change in 2016 and change was what Debs, Sanders' hero, was about in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Filmmaker Yale Strom introduces us to Debs, whose character and convictions on equality cemented his legacy as an icon of the socialist movement. Along the way, viewers pick up a lot of knowledge - from the rise of socialism in America to Debs being the first presidential candidate imprisoned for his campaign platform." - Chicago Tribune

"Using the technique pioneered by Ken Burns but with much more political acumen...'American Socialist' is vastly entertaining and politically insightful." - Counterpunch (UK)

"Poignantly captures the courage and conviction of one man driven by an all-consuming moral mission to elevate the masses, speak truth to power and change the world. And almost 100 years after his death, the ideas he was imprisoned and ridiculed for (by the establishment class), are fueling the progressive movement of the 21st century proving that a vision laced with truth and hope never dies." - Nina Turner, President, Our Revolution

"'American Socialist' gives us hope and tragedy in equal measure. This is a film to be seen by everyone with socialistic inklings." - Paul Buhle, Truth Out


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Educational Inquiries


Read an interview with Yale Strom, director of American Socialist: Eugene Debs, in the Chicago Tribune.

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