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the truth is always subversive

Archive for October, 2007

Control Room

Posted by Dave (The Void) on October 31, 2007

This documentary (86 mins) takes us behind the scenes at the U.S. media centre in the Middle East in the run-up to and aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

One particularly chilling moment comes when, after a day in which journalists are killed in three seperate attacks, the Americans reiterate their warning: you’re only safe when you’re embedded.

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Posted in documentary, film, iraq, media, middle east, militarism, propaganda, USA, video, war | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Jonathan Meades – On The Brandwagon

Posted by Dave (The Void) on October 28, 2007

I live in the most regenerated city on Earth. From Liverpool to Bilbao, strange new “developments” are supposed to be breathing new life into post-industrial Europe. Are they job creation schemes, PFI gentrification, or corporate image made concrete? In this insightful and witty (if occasionally a bit snobbish) documentary (about an hour,h/t SmashingTelly.com), Jonathan Meades explores what he considers to be the lasting legacy of Tony Blair.

(click here to play all six parts)

Posted in architecture, culture, development, documentary, england, liverpool, manchester, regeneration, uk, urbanism, video | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Attack Of The Arabs!

Posted by Dave (The Void) on October 26, 2007

All racism is unacceptable, of course, but some forms are more acceptable than others. The portrayal of Arabs in Hollywood cinema is one such form of accepted racism. Rooted in the European phenomenon of Orientalism, but evolving with American foreign policy, offensive anti-Arab and anti-Muslim stereotypes pop up in the least expected places.

Planet Of The Arabs

This award-winning – but fun – montage (9 mins) collects half a century of racist film clips. See how many you can identify.

Reel Bad Arabs

An interview on Democracy Now! (starts about two mins into the clip) with Jack Shaheen, author of Reel Bad Arabs, and an excerpt from the film of the same name (about 26 mins in total)

(click here to view all three parts)

Demonising Iran Though they’re not actually Arabs, Iranians have been subject to a similar campaign of demonisation – from the fantastical monstrous Persians of the film 300 to political cartoons reminiscent of depictions of Jews in 1930s Germany.

Posted in anti-semitism, film, hollywood, islamophobia, middle east, movies, orientalism, propaganda, racism | Leave a Comment »

Crude Impact

Posted by Dave (The Void) on October 23, 2007

Last week we looked at how our societies were changed by the oil boom, and how they will have to change to cope with the oil crunch. This film (98 mins) is a much broader look at the fossil fuel industry and its effects worldwide.

Posted in climate change, documentary, ecology, economics, environment, film, fossil fuels, oil, peak oil, video | Leave a Comment »

Breaking The Silence

Posted by Dave (The Void) on October 19, 2007

This special report (52 mins) from 2004 sees John Pilger explode the War On Terror myth with revealing interviews and shocking coverage of warzones.  The segments on Afghanistan are particularly illuminating – especially if we bear in mind that, eclipsed by the disaster that is Iraq, the violence has only been escalated there since this film was made – and it’s also the source for that “pre-fascist” quote.

Posted in afghanistan, documentary, empire, human rights, imperialism, john pilger, terrorism, torture, USA, video, war, war on terror | Leave a Comment »

Beyond Surburbia – Surviving Peak Oil

Posted by Dave (The Void) on October 15, 2007

The oil boom of the 20th century allowed millions of Westerners to flee the cities and spread out over miles of countryside.  That boom is now over and, with oil becoming ever more scarce, that sprawl is looking less and less sustainable.

The End Of Suburbia

This documentary (79 mins) focuses almost entirely on North America, where the oil boom and the attendant rise in car culture and consumerist suburbia took of more than anywhere else.  However, we face similar problems in Britain, Europe and elsewhere, and could do much worse for an watchable and informative introduction to the socioeconomic implications of what’s become known as “Peak Oil”.

(This is just a trailer; click here to watch the full film on Yahoo! video)

The Power Of Community

The island republic of Cuba has already weathered a severe energy famine, when trade with the USSR was cut off by the latter’s collapse in 1991.  In this sequel (53 mins) to The End Of Suburbia looks at the community networks and structures which allow the Cubans to survive on a fraction of their previous fossil fuel consumption.

Posted in america, canada, capitalism, car culture, caribbean, community, consumerism, cuba, documentary, economics, energy, history, oil, peak oil, suburbia, sustainability, urbanism, USA, video | 5 Comments »

The Trials of Henry Kissinger

Posted by Dave (The Void) on October 13, 2007

Re-examining the lives of one of recent history’s Nobel-Prize-winning arch-bastards, this film (80 mins) looks at America’s involvement in great tragedies, in Vietnam, Cambodia, East Timor and Chile.

Posted in cambodia, chile, documentary, east timor, film, genocide, history, imperialism, indochina, USA, video, vietnam | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The Stanford Prison Experiment

Posted by Dave (The Void) on October 9, 2007

This documentary (50 mins) revisits the infamous 1970 experiment in which the Psychology Department of Stanford University recreated a prison environment, staffed and inhabited solely by healthy students with no history of mental imbalance.

[click here to watch the video on guba.com]

The resulting brutality shows that, quite apart from bizzare individual pathologies, acts of great evil can come simply from people trying to conform to a role – as borne out by the recent experiences of occupying forces in Iraq and Gaza.

Posted in crime, documentary, human rights, law, prison, psychology, torture, video | Leave a Comment »

The Miami Model

Posted by michaelgreenwell on October 6, 2007

A film about the errrmmm… ‘enthusiastic’ policing at the FTAA protests in Miami 2003

Posted in activism, america, anti-war, capitalism, democracy, documentary, economics, empire, film, free speech, ftaa, human rights, military-industrial complex, politics, protest, us, us politics, USA | Leave a Comment »

Voices of Resistance, in Algeria and Iraq

Posted by Dave (The Void) on October 1, 2007

La Bataille d’Algiers

In this vivid 1966 film (121 mins, in French and Arabic with English subtitles), Gillo Portecorvo puts a human face on the resistance movement that drove the French out of Algeria.

The film enjoyed a special showing at the Pentagon in Summer 2003, advertised as follows:

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.

(click here to watch both parts)

Transcript in English and Arabic available here.

Posted in algeria, cinema, colonialism, film, history, iraq, media, middle east, occupation, resistance, terrorism, video, war, war on terror | 2 Comments »