Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mon the Biff!

What a gig in Dublin last night (pictures from my phone). Definitely straight into the top 5. See Zico's blog for review and 'Glitter and Trauma'. The other highlight for me was 'Justboy'. See below for the hairless original.

Brutal, compelling, beautiful.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Waltz with Bashir

On a similar theme I saw one of the most amazing, intense, harrowing movies I've ever seen in QFT at the weekend.

It's the story of the massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon when Lebanese 'christian' militia were allowed (and indirectly assisted) by the Israeli army to rape, pillage and slaughter around 3000 defenceless civilians over 3 days in September 1982.

Read about the massacre here- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabra_and_Shatila_massacre
and the movie here- http://waltzwithbashir.com/

The maker of the film was a soldier in the Israeli army at the time of the massacre and the film shows his attempts to recover his memories of the incident. His own attempts seem to ask the question of whether Israel itself has made made a mass, semi-conscious decision to forget.

The movie is shot as an animated documentary except for some real footage at the end. When it finished nobody moved. Everyone just sat rooted to the spot staring at a black screen for what seemed like an age, reminding me of when I first watched 'Schindler's List'.

So many questions fly round your mind after. Issues of war, mankind's potential for evil, the brutal oppression of the palestinians, the repression of unwanted memories, our world view, the world's view of christians etc etc.

Highly recommended.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Might makes Right

Everyday I check for news from Palestine and everyday it saddens me more.

Here's part of an email I just got from Mazin
Qumsiyeh who is a Christian peace-maker and a professor in Bethlehem. He describes the situation better than I could...

It is only in an Orwellian "might makes right" world that 1.5 million people are kept in a concentration camp literally being starved to death while much of the world governments stand idly watching or occasionally issuing a useless statement or collaborating with the collective punishment (as in the case of Governments of Egypt and the US). 1.5 million are not numbers, they are people like you and me and 60% are children!! Terrorism is defined as punishing civilians to force a change in politics. As such this is the biggest act of terrorism since the end of WWII. It is also a war crime and a crime against humanity (as defined by International Law).

With Gazans already impoverished and struggling to survive, on November 5, Israel completely sealed Gaza's border crossings. This followed an unprovoked Israeli attack on Gaza that killed six Palestinians, despite a ceasefire, and Palestinian rocket fire in response. As a result of Israel's closure, the United Nations has been forced to stop food distribution to 750,000 needy people, and 70% of Gaza is now without powerdue to a lack of fuel. According to reports, even candles are now in short supply. "Let's see this for what it is." said UN spokesman Chris Gunness. "Fifty-six percent of the Gaza Strip are children. Let us not cause suffering of innocent children." Blocking witnesses, on November 13, Israel denied the entry to Gaza of 20 senior EU diplomats. Israel also has refused to allow foreign journalists to enter Gaza. Foreign Press Association chairman Steven Gutnik called the ban "a serious violation of freedom of the press" and said "it is essential that journalists be allowed to enter the Gaza Strip since it is the foreign media that serves as the world's window into Gaza.