Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 19th


Thu Feb 27, 2020 – 7:30 pm | Hendricks Arts Center
Sat Feb 29, 2020 – 12:00 pm | La Casa Grande

The Big Scary S Word

Directed by Yael Bridge
Documentary Feature
USA | 82 min | 2020

During the 2016 campaign, Bernie Sanders’s presidential primary run unleashed a national wave of interest in socialism. Since then, 70,000 people have joined the Democratic Socialists of America and millions more Americans have voted for socialist politicians. But socialism remains plagued by conflicting definitions. Is socialism dictatorship or democracy? Norway or Venezuela? Reform or revolution?

Weaving together hidden episodes of history, verité footage, expert interviews, and lively animated sequences, our film shows where American socialism has been, explores why and how it was suppressed, and imagines what a renewed American socialism might look like, directly from today’s leading left thinkers and socialists: Cornel West, Naomi Klein, Vivek Chibber, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Eric Foner and many others.

The moderated Q&A session with filmmakers from:

The Big Scary S Word - Poster

In recent years, millions of Americans have voted for socialist politicians, and polls consistently show a majority of millennials prefer socialism over capitalism. But socialism is plagued by conflicting definitions and interpretations, most problematically the idea that it runs counterpoint to American national identity. The label has been deployed strategically at different points in history, embraced by the USSR to justify a dictatorship and vilified by the US to champion free-market capitalism. THE BIG SCARY “S” WORD grapples with these contradictions and provides a counterbalancing voice to the mainstream media’s antipathy toward the “un-American” ideology by engaging with Americans who are defining the term anew.

The Big Scary S Word - Yael BridgeYael Bridge

Yael Bridge is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker based in Oakland. She produced Left on Purpose, winner of the Audience Award at DOC NYC, and most recently produced Saving Capitalism with Robert Reich, nominated for an Emmy Award in Business and Economics. As Director of Productions at Inequality Media, Yael has made numerous viral videos tackling complex political issues that have garnered over 200 million views on social media. She holds an MFA in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University and an MA in Media Studies from the New School.

Film Information

Director: Yael Bridge
Country: USA
Year: 2020
Language: English
Runtime: 82 min.
Rated: PG-13


Producer: Morgan Spector

Connect With This Film

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival