All too often, the phrase "corporate free press" is something of an oxymoron. Whether to maximise sales, to attract advertisers, or simply to promote the interests of their wealthy owners, the mass media open strange, self-serving and grossly distorted windows onto the world.
This website is another window. Here you'll find documentaries, lectures and interviews following a different editorial line.
An important short documentary (24 mins), made shortly before the emergency, on the disappearances in Pakistan. Pakistan, like most military dictatorships, has a pretty terrible human rights record, but the state kidnappings of The War Against Terror are a disturbing new development.
Jesus Camp was one of the first films I ever posted on a blog (it vanished from YouTube shortly afterwards, but it’s back now); at the time, all I wrote by way of introduction was “Probably the scariest film you’ll ever see”; it’s certainly a disturbing exposé of exploitation and intolerance, of tears and stolen youth in the name of closing the suicide bomber gap.
Released just as Tony Blair was leaving office, this film documents his ten-year war against civil liberties, begun as a way of protecting businesses from ‘harrassment’ but dramatically escalated as part of The War Against Terror.
I had a few things lined up to go with this film, but decided they detracted from the seriousness of the issue. However, the soundtrack is ace, and that last song deserves reposting in its entirety without being talked over. So here, for your listening pleasure, is Jarvis with Running The World.
We mark Palestine Solidarity Week with this excellent documentary (57 mins), looking at the network of settlements used by Israel to control – and to annex – vast sections of the West Bank, and the apartheid wall that consolidates them.
Today, Congressman and Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich is attempting to kick off impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick “DarthVader” Cheney, through the use of what’s called a priveleged resolution. The charges one could bring against Cheney are legion, and polls show that 54% of Americans want to see him impeached (the idea of impeaching President Bush, is slightly less popular, at 45%, but that’s still more than ever wanted to impeach Nixon).
This PBS documentary (56 mins) charts some of Cheney’s struggles for greater power, pitting the White House against Congress and the Department of Justice in particular.
The great Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has described the JNF as Israel’s main agency of ethnic cleansing. In UK, US, Canada and Australia on the other hand, this organization receives tax-deductible charity status. In the guise of a nature conservation agency, this quasi-governmental organization has long assisted the Israeli state in the expropriation of Palestinian land. Some of the villages ethnically cleansed by the Israeli military now have JNF parks built on top to cover the evidence. These parks usually carry the name of the country whose donors helped build them. Here is Canadian TV’s look from 1991 at the Canada Park which conceals the ruins of the ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages of Imwas, Yalu and Beit Nuba.
A fascinating documentary (~30mins) that looks behind the scenes of British quasi-democracy. After discovering that MPs have no legal obligation not to lie, director Richard Symons embarks on a quest to introduce one, through a ‘Misrepresentation of the People Act’.
You can view the bill – now called the ‘Elected Representatives (Prohibition of Deception) Bill’ – here. So far a total of 35 MPs have expressed support for idea; you can email your representative about it here and keep up to date with the latest news regarding its progress here.