Useful Prophecies

Rick Prelinger

USA 2019


While the distance between cinema and truth is often impossible to bridge, some films reveal more than we might think any films could. Such is the case with the long-neglected body of useful cinema —films produced because they had jobs to do, like sponsored, educational, and industrial films— and home movies, sometimes revelatory works that seem to spring from the unconscious. Built from the collections of Prelinger Archives, one of the world’s largest collections of nonfiction films and home movies, this program builds a prophetic portrait of futures to come as proposed by filmmakers who let these visions speak through them.