Seeing Red

Stories of American Communists
Year Released
Film Length(s)
100 mins


A film about passionate commitment, numbing disillusionment and renewal, Seeing Red is an informed look at the hopes and aspirations of more than a million people who joined the American Communist Party between the Great Depression and the Cold War, and were transformed by their experience. Fighting for the causes of unionization, unemployment and Social Security benefits, and the eight-hour day, they committed themselves to what they believed was the right way for America. Not just a rosy remembrance, Seeing Red looks critically at the party’s connection with the Soviet Union and its lack of internal democracy. An invaluable resource for courses in political science, political sociology, and social movements.

One of the most widely seen theatrical documentaries of the decade, Seeing Red premiered at the Telluride and New York Film Festivals and played in nearly 100 cities, including 10 weeks in New York City, 10 weeks in the San Francisco Bay area, 7 weeks in Boston and Seattle, and 5 weeks in LA. It has been broadcast in over a dozen other countries around the world. In 1989 it was chosen as one of five feature documentaries representing American work in the 1980’s for the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the National Film Board of Canada.

Featured review

Tremendous! Exceptionally well researched, fair and unbiased, it is a balanced and thorough look at the American Communist Party.
Educational Film Library Association
Educational Film Library Association


Fine, tough…moving! Seeing Red is less about dogma than about American idealism. It's social history of a high order.
Vincent Canby
New York Times
A triumph! These aging radicals are the best advertisement for the spirit of survival.
Richard Corliss

Awards and Screenings

Academy Award Nomination, Best Feature Documentary
Sundance Film Festival, Best Feature Documentary
Chicago International Film Festival, Hugo winner
American Film Festival, Blue Ribbon
New York Film Festival
PBS national broadcast

Promotional Material

Promotional Stills

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