The government or the people? The citizens or the corporations?
According to contemporary liberal discourse social media is facilitating the spread of ‘fake news’ in an unprecedented way. But manipulation of the ‘news,’ (otherwise known as lying), has been a central part of ‘democratic’ politics forever. The films selected this year explore the relationship between government, big business and the press and how the flow of information and ideas available to the rest of us is influenced, controlled and manipulated.
2017 Printed Programme
Your NHS has been quietly transformed into a business ready for corporate takeover and conversion to the American private insurance model. ‘Sell-Off’ exposes the two decade covert privatisation which has occurred without public mandate and against the public interest.
The War Game is a 1965 television drama, filmed in a documentary style, that depicts a nuclear war. Written, directed, and produced by Peter Watkins for the BBC‘s The Wednesday Play anthology series, it caused dismay within the BBC and also within government, and was withdrawn before the provisional screening date of Thursday 7 October 1965. The corporation said that “the effect of the film has been judged by the BBC to be too horrifying for the medium of broadcasting. It will, however, be shown to invited audiences…”
Despite this decision, it was publicly screened and shown abroad, winning the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1966.
The film was eventually broadcast on 31 July 1985 on the BBC, during the week before the fortieth anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, the day before a repeat screening of Threads.
A committed socialist and trade unionist who has fought for the rights of the working class for over half a century – Dennis Skinner MP. A feature length documentary, Nature of The Beast will not only trace his rise to a political icon, but will reveal the man behind the Beast of Bolsover.
A lover of nature, sports, music and performing, there’s more to Dennis Skinner than the wit and passion seen in the House of Commons. A film about one of Britain’s most prominent politicians is long over due.
Shot over the course of 2015/16, Nature of The Beast was released this year, 2017.
The Plan is directed by Steve Sprung, long time Karlin collaborator and former member of Cinema Action and Poster Film Collective. The Lucas Plan was a pioneering effort by workers at the arms company Lucas Aerospace to retain jobs by proposing alternative, socially-useful applications of the company’s technology and their own skills. It remains one of the most radical and forward thinking attempts ever made by workers to take the steering wheel and directly drive the direction of change.
Are Made Of This (2016) weaves footage of the TUC anti-cuts protest in London, March 26th 2011, a feminist Slutwalks rally in Trafalgar Square, the reminiscences of an elderly woman on working in the Lancashire cotton mills, scenes from the Somerset Agricultural Show, and a young touring jazz band. At the centre of this is an elderly couple watching the TV broadcast of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations along the Thames, in their Leeds living room. The elderly man has Alzheimer’s disease, which, within this montaged film of associative meanings, can be read as the forgetting of history
Yesterday’s Witness was a BBC series that used the verbatim testimony of participants to tell recent story. This programme is from a series bubble, Yesterday’s Witness In America, and in the words of strikers and their families tells the story of the 1937 Sit Down Strike at the Chevrolet works in Flint Michigan. In the context of the contemporary BBC what is so striking is that the film is overwhelmingly sympathetic to the strikers and portrays their aims and objectives as reasonable, humane and necessary. The film illustrates just how debased the BBC has become as an ‘impartial’ purveyor of news, information and ideas. Another BBC is possible? Many of us have experienced it in our own lifetimes.
Filmed over seven years, Estate, a Reverie reveals and celebrates the resilience of residents who are profoundly overlooked by media representations and wider social responses. Interweaving intimate portraits with the residents’ own historical re-enactments, landscape and architectural studies and dramatised scenes, Estate, a Reverie asks how we might resist being framed exclusively through class, gender, ability or disability, and even through geography…
For some people, a housing crisis means not getting planning permission for a loft conversion. For others it means, quite simply, losing their home. Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle is a feature documentary directed by Paul Sng (Sleaford Mods – Invisible Britain) and narrated by Maxine Peake, exploring the catastrophic failures that have led to a chronic shortage of social housing in the UK.
These failures include government policy that prevents local councils and housing associations from building homes for the 1.4 million people on council housing waiting lists and the quarter of a million homeless people in Britain. Or the deliberate neglect of council estates by local authorities that’s used to justify ‘regeneration’ projects with private developers, which often force those who cannot afford homes in the new properties to relocate to other parts of the country, far from their families and support networks.
With unprecedented access to residents, politicians and experts in the housing industry and media, Dispossession is the story of people fighting for their communities, of people who know the difference between a house and a home, and who believe that housing is a human right, not an expensive luxury.
Belonging: The Truth Behind the Headlines is an investigative feature documentary film about where power lies in this country. With some explosive reveals about government and business collusion – the film re-looks at events around 3 industrial disputes, 3 governments and over 3 decades. The impact of such government and corporate power on individuals, communities, democracy and human rights in the UK is heart rendering. We reveal – a secret government plan to destroy community and collectivism and acts outside the law. The documents we have found prove what has long been suspected by many but not proven – until now. Through heart rendering personal stories from those at the heart of these industrial disputes we show the impact of the actions of those in power on individuals and communities – but also question what lies ahead. Power: “who has it, and what do they do with it” is as relevant today as it ever was.