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.
Filmed in the 1990s, this series takes journalist Robert Fisk through Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt and Bosnia. He warns that the crimes of the West and Israel are breeding a culture of resistance, resentment and religious radicalism in the Middle East – a warning that the last decade has surely vindicated.
A global economy, energized by technological change and unprecedented flows of people and money, collapses in the wake of a terrorist attack …. The year is 1914.
Worldwide war results, exhausting the resources of the great powers and convincing many that the economic system itself is to blame. From the ashes of the catastrophe, an intellectual and political struggle ignites between the powers of government and the forces of the marketplace, each determined to reinvent the world’s economic order.
Decades before the rise of Hitler, the German elites’ quest for Lebensraum led them to a more aggressive colonisation of their newly-acquired African territories, in what we now call Namibia. This culminated in the systematic annihilation of two native peoples, through slave labour and concentration camps. (h/t Popper’s List)
The African survivors’ descendants are still lobbying the German government for recognition and reparations for the genocide today, while many of the racial theories and demobbed soldiers went on to play important roles within the Freikorps and the Nazi movement. The genocide of the Armenians is now slowly gaining recognition, but the precursors to fascism in European imperialism remain a taboo subject.
To many in both politics and business, the triumph of the self is the ultimate expression of democracy, where power has finally moved to the people. Certainly the people may feel they are in charge, but are they really? The Century of the Self tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society in Britain and the United States. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests?
The Freud dynasty is at the heart of this compelling social history.
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.
How to win a battle against terrorism and lose the war of ideas. Children shoot soldiers at point-blank range. Women plant bombs in cafes. Soon the entire Arab population builds to a mad fervor. Sound familiar? The French have a plan. It succeeds tactically, but fails strategically. To understand why, come to a rare showing of this film.
… which, strangely enough, brings me to Iraq.
Hidden Facts: a message from the Iraqi Resistance
Purporting to be the work of the Resistance group 1920 Revolution Brigades, this is an insightful and compelling video (16 mins) with surprisingly high production values. I can’t guarantee it’s real, but I can guarantee it’s worth watching.
The abolition of the slave trade should have put an end to the slave economies of Britain’s colonies. Instead, as this BBC documentary (58 mins) shows, indentured Indian coolies were transported by slave-ship across the far-flung corners of the Empire. (h/t SmashingTelly.com)
The introduction of the predatory Nile Perch to Lake Victoria has intensified the battle for survival, wiping out many native fish and threatening the very ecosystem of the Lake. Meanwhile, as Hubert Sauper’s vivid ethnography (109 mins) shows, something not too different is happening to the region’s people.
Subtitles are in Spanish, most dialogue in English but a few scenes in local languages. Any help finding an English subtitled version would be appreciated. Part two follows.