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Archive for the ‘middle east’ Category

The Battle For Haditha

Posted by Dave (The Void) on March 31, 2008

A meticulous and moving reconstruction of an incident in late 2004, in which US marines are accused of slaughtering several Iraqi families in revenge for an IED attack on their convoy.  Directed by Nick Broomfield (Ghosts), with performances from real Iraqi refugees and real ex-marines.  See my review.

(Click here to see the whole film)

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Posted in army, film, iraq, middle east, occupation, resistance, terrorism, war, war crimes, war on terror | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Robert Newman – From Caliban To The Taliban

Posted by charliemarks on March 26, 2008

In 2003 Robert Newman toured his one-man political/musical comedy show From Caliban To The Taliban – 500 Years Of Humanitarian Intervention, the precursor to his acclaimed A History of Oil which was filmed for More4, and his BBC TV series The History of the World Backwards.


(Go to Youtube)

In a breathtaking ninety minute performance filmed in front of a live audience at the Brighton Corn Exchange Theatre during the 2003 Paramount Comedy Festival, From Caliban To The Taliban details an unlikely but true history of modern imperialism, from the Virginia Company to the occupation of Iraq, and demonstrates the towering intelligence and sparkling wit of comedy superstar and former teen heart-throb, Robert Newman.

Posted in humour, imf, imperialism, latin america, middle east, militarism, neocons, nicaragua, occupation, oil, oil politics, politics, poverty, privatisation, profiteering, propaganda, resistance, satire, slavery, terrorism, tony blair, us politics, USA, video, war, war on terror | Leave a Comment »

Robert Fisk – Beirut To Bosnia

Posted by Dave (The Void) on February 14, 2008

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.

(3 episodes, 52 mins each. h/t Israel’s 60th Birthday)

1. The Martyr’s Smile

2. The Road To Palestine

3. To The Ends Of The Earth

Posted in 1980s, 1990s, arab, bosnia, colonialism, documentary, egypt, empire, ethnic cleansing, islam, islamism, israel, lebanon, middle east, palestine, resistance, terrorism, USA, video, war, war on terror | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

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

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 »

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 »

Dahr Jamail – Unembedded Journalist

Posted by Dave (The Void) on September 12, 2007

Sick and tired of listening to the mainstream media pore over General Petraeus’ scripted briefing?  I know how you feel, and have the antidote: Dahr Jamail’s address (43 mins) at the Chicago Socialism 2007 conference.

Disgusted with the coverage of the war in American journalism, Dahr Jamail saved up and took his camera and his laptop to occupied Iraq.  His unembedded dispatches are now recognised as crucial sources of information from the warzone – and are almost unique in their independence from occupying forces.

Dahr’s book Beyond The Green Zone is released next month.

See also John Pilger’s address at the same conference, and the documentary The Bases Are Loaded.

Posted in audio, dahr jamail, empire, imperialism, iraq, journalism, lecture, media, middle east, occupation, propaganda, USA, war, WMD | 1 Comment »

Jesus in Islam, Jews in Iran

Posted by Dave (The Void) on September 5, 2007

I don’t intend to promote the Semitic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) or anything, but in these days of Clash of Civilisations rhetoric it’s worth reminding ourselves of their compatibility and their long histories of peaceful coexistence. Here’s two documentaries, both from Reclaiming Space, that do just that.

The Muslim Jesus (45 mins)

For all my suspicion of the Great Alpha Male In The Sky, I have no real problem with Jesus – or Issa – who, with his compassion, humility, and intolerance for money-lenders in the temple, was very much a man after my own heart. A version of him, along with his mother St. Mary, are among the Quran’s central characters.

The Jews of Iran (17 mins)

We’ve had to put up with a relentless propaganda campaign this year, suggesting that the Islamic Republic of Iran is in fact the Fourth Reich, on a mission to kill all the Jews. This is nothing but baseless scaremongering; just ask Tehran’s thriving Jewish community.

In spite of many family ties to Israel and the West, and Israel’s desperate attempts to bribe them into defection, most Iranian Jews identify with their country as proudly as with their faith.

Part Two follows

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in christianity, documentary, iran, islam, israel, judaism, middle east, religion, video | Leave a Comment »

Survivors of the Summer War

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

This short (~20mins) documentary looks at Southern Lebanon and Beirut a year after being flattened by Israeli bombs.

Part two follows:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in documentary, israel, lebanon, middle east, terrorism, video, war | Leave a Comment »

Occupation 101

Posted by Dave (The Void) on August 8, 2007

A superb history of the Israeli conquest and occupation of Palestine.

(click here to watch the whole film)

Posted in apartheid, documentary, ethnic cleansing, genocide, history, israel, media, middle east, occupation, palestine, racism, USA, video | 5 Comments »