May 31, 2007
The New Rulers of the World was a 2001-2002 documentary film produced, written and presented by John Pilger on the consequences of globalisation, taking Indonesia as the primary example of the serious problems with the new globalization. The film was directed by Alan Lowery and produced by Carlton International Media Ltd [Wikipedia].
In The New Rulers, John Pilger explores the impact of globalisation, taking Indonesia as his prime example, a country that the World Bank described as a ‘model pupil’ until its ‘globalised’ economy collapsed in 1998. Under scrutiny are the increasingly powerful multinationals and the institutions that back them, notably the IMF and The World Bank.
[From Wikipedia] Pilger’s central thesis is that the “New Rulers” alluded to in the title are, in fact, the old rulers in new clothes. To Pilger, the colonialism of the 19th and early 20th Centuries has experienced a return to grace following World War II (when it was realised that Nazism was a form of imperialism) in the form of globalisation.
In this respect, his arguments are similar to those of left-wing critics of Western foreign policy. He also shares the view that the moral underpinnings for Western action are false, but are largely believed by the media. He states in the introduction, “‘The War on Terrorism’ is terrorism [italics his]”. His focus, however, is on the human side, and his impassioned descriptions of the victims of violence and injustice sit side by side with critiques of national policies, along with the media response.
May 31, 2007
[From Wikipedia] Globalisation is Good is a 2003 documentary film written and presented by Johan Norberg and produced by Freeform Productions for British Channel 4. The film is based on Norberg’s much celebrated book In Defense of Global Capitalism (published in 2001) that shows the impact of globalisation, and the consequences of its absence. In the film, Norberg travels to countries like Taiwan, Vietnam and Kenya to promote global capitalism and to prove why he feels protestors entering the anti-globalisation movement are ignorant and dangerously wrong. The film was released on DVD in November 2006 by the Swedish think tank Timbro.
[From Johan norberg.net] The world is an unequal and unjust place, in which some are born into wealth and some into hunger and misery.
To explore why, in this controversial Channel Four documentary the young Swedish writer Johan Norberg takes the viewers on a journey to Taiwan, Vietnam, Kenya and Brussels to see the impact of globalisation, and the consequences of its absence. It makes the case that the problem in the world is not too much capitalism, globalisation and multinationals, but too little.[read more here]
May 30, 2007
A study of the politics of hate. The film graphically documents the changing face of right-wing politics in India through a study of the 2002 killing of Muslims in Gujarat. The screening of this award winning documentary was banned by Indian authorities in 2004 . Final Solution was banned in India by the Censor Board for several months. The ban was lifted in Oct.’04 after a sustained campaign (an online petition, hundreds of protest screenings countrywide, multi-city signature campaigns and dozens of letters to the Government sent by audiences directly).
[From BBC] Final Solution was shot over two and a half years by the Indian filmmaker Rakesh Sharma. It tells the story of a massacre of Muslims committed in the western state of Gujarat. It investigates the relationship between the BJP and those who instigated, and actually carried out the killings. For outsiders, it has three merits. Firstly it is an extraordinary and convincing film. Secondly, it offers a very rare insight into the details of democracy in India, and one that shouldn’t encourage people to be snooty about its practices. [read here ]
[From BBC] The India’s Central Board of Film Certification imposed a comprehensive ban on the film’s public screening, stating: “State security is jeopardised and public order is endangered if this film is shown.”
… Final Solution follows the riots which broke out after 59 Hindus were killed in an arson attack on a train in February 2002, blamed on a Muslim mob. It won the documentary and critics awards at the Hong Kong International Film Festival, and the Wolfgang Staudte and Special Jury awards at the Berlin International Film Festival. But the film was not permitted a screening at the Singapore film festival in May, after its censor board deemed it “potentially inflammatory”.[read full text here]
Information on the film and links to the Asian press
Article about former BJP prime minister ignoring advice about Gujurat
Times of India
Article on legal case against political parties brought by victims of riots
May 30, 2007
UC Berkeley hosts this four-part series examining the relationship between democracy and global Islam. In Part One, several noted academics look at the Muslims in Europe to explain how globalism has affected Islamic practices in democratic nations.
The conference was sponsored by CIG and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. The Center for Southeast Asia Studies, French Department, Graduate Theological Union, Institute of European Studies, Townsend Center, and International and Area Studies are also supporting the conference. For a detailed description of the conference, click here
Watch it now using RealPlayer.
May 29, 2007
Documentary about the role of psychoanalysis, marketing, and public relations in the United States [Four episodes].
[From BBC4] Adam Curtis’ acclaimed BBC documentary series examines the rise of the all-consuming self against the backdrop of the Freud dynasty. 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 Century of the Self Part 1: Happiness Machines
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The Century of the Self Part 2: The Engineering of Consent
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The Century of the Self Part 3:There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads: He Must Be Destroyed
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The Century of the Self Part 4: Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering
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[From BBC4] The Freud dynasty is at the heart of this compelling social history. Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis; Edward Bernays, who invented public relations; Anna Freud, Sigmund’s devoted daughter; and present-day PR guru and Sigmund’s great grandson, Matthew Freud.
Sigmund Freud’s work into the bubbling and murky world of the subconscious changed the world. By introducing a technique to probe the unconscious mind, Freud provided useful tools for understanding the secret desires of the masses. Unwittingly, his work served as the precursor to a world full of political spin doctors, marketing moguls, and society’s belief that the pursuit of satisfaction and happiness is man’s ultimate goal.
[From Village Voice] ….The true subject of Curtis’s lucid, pessimistic film, it turns out, is the frightening adaptability of consumer capitalism.”
Freud Museum, London
Biographical info, photos and written archives
Sigmund Freud and the Freud Archives
Links and archive photos and manuscripts
Public Relations Museum: Edward Bernays
Superb overview of the PR founder and his various marketing ploys (more…)
May 28, 2007
The Power of Nightmares – subtitled The Rise of the Politics of Fear – is a BBC series of documentary films, written by Adam Curtis, and produced by Curtis, Richard Adams-Taylor, and David Fulton. This film was originally aired as a BBC documentary comprised of three one-hour episodes “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” “The Phantom Victory” and “Shadows in the Cave.” The documentaries question whether the threat of terrorism to the West is a politically driven fantasy and if al-Qaeda really is an organised network. (BBC)
The Power of Nightmares Part 1: Baby it’s Cold Outside
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The Power of Nightmares Part 2: The Phantom Victory
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The Power of Nightmares – Part 3: The Shadows in the Cave
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[From Wikipedia] This documentary argues that during the 20th Century politicians lost the power to inspire the masses, and that the optimistic visions and ideologies they had offered were perceived to have failed. The film asserts that politicians consequently sought a new role that would restore their power and authority. Curtis, who also narrates the series, declares in the film’s introduction that “Instead of delivering dreams, politicians now promise to protect us: from nightmares”. To illustrate this Curtis compares the rise of the American neoconservatives and radical Islamists, believing that both are closely connected; that some popular beliefs about these groups are inaccurate; and that both movements have benefited from exaggerating the scale of the terrorist threat. [read here]
[From Village Voice ] The Power of Nightmares is essentially polemical. As partisan film making it is often brilliant and sometimes hilarious-a superior version of “Syriana” (which also prudently subtracts Israel and the Palestinians from the Middle East equation). [Read Full Review]
- This documentary was originally aired on the BBC in 2004.
- Source www.archive.org
May 28, 2007
In 1993 Harvard Professor Samuel P. Huntington wrote an essay titled “The Clash of Civilizations?” and later he expanded into a book with the same title, but without the question mark. In this video Edward Said, late Columbia professor, rips Huntington’s thesis to shreds.
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The Myth of ‘The Clash of Civilizations’_Edward Said in Lecture (1998)
In this important lecture delivered at the University of Massachusetts, Said takes aim at one of the central tenets of recent foreign policy thinking– that conflicts between different and “clashing civilizations” (Western, Islamic, Confucian) characterize the contemporary world.
“The real question is whether in the end we want to work for civilizations that are separate, or whether we should be taking the more integrative, but perhaps more difficult path, which is to see them as making one vast whole, whose exact contours are impossible for any person to grasp, but whose certain existence we can intuit and feel and study.” -Edward Said
Link: The Myth of ‘The Clash of Civilizations’_Edward Said in Lecture (1998)
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