tue 21/05/2019

Iraq

DVD: The Killing$ of Tony Blair

Much like Margaret Thatcher’s tearful tumble from Downing Street, the haggard, hoarse Tony Blair who materialised after Chilcot must have given even his enemies pause. The glib, youthful Nineties spin-master now recalled Scrooge’s reproachful future...

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Saddam Goes to Hollywood, Channel 4 / Keith Richards: The Origin of the Species, BBC Two

Incredible but true, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein really did hire a largely-British film crew to come to his country and make a movie called Clash of Loyalties, about how Iraq freed itself from British influence in the 1920s and blossomed into an...

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Dispatches: Escape from Isis, Channel 4

“Say your last words before you leave this life.” Somewhere in the so-called Islamic State, a woman was accused of adultery. Her father joined her accusers, then, as her shrouded body was lowered into a pit, picked up a rock and hurled it at her. We...

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Dan Cruickshank's Civilisation Under Attack, BBC Four

This was one of the most disturbing, terrifying and informative programmes imaginable, made more so by Dan Cruickshank’s calm demeanour as he interrogated everyone from scholars to fanatics about the actions and rationale of the Islamic State (IS)...

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This World: World’s Richest Terror Army, BBC Two

You haven’t had to actually watch the brutal executions staged by Islamic State (IS, or ISIS or ISIL, as it’s also known) to register them: just a single image registered has been more than enough to horrify. Managing to penetrate the world’s...

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American Sniper

First there’s an “Allahu Akbar”, then an American tank’s rumble and clank. It’s an ominous and wearying start, the sound of Islam and invasion intermingled in the Iraq War, a violent conflict that today simply expands. When director Clint Eastwood...

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DVD: The Unknown Known

Early in The Fog of War, Errol Morris’s first, Oscar-winning documentary about a former US Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara admits that, if the USA had lost World War Two, he would have been convicted as a war criminal for his part in the fire-...

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We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks

The story you think you know slides beneath your feet in this rigorous investigation of Julian Assange and Bradley Manning. “I’m a combative person," WikiLeaks’ founder says, setting out his motives. "I like crushing bastards.” Director Alex Gibney’...

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The Iraq War, BBC Two

Did they get the president? That’s the benchmark question viewers will ask of any new film from documentary house par excellence Brook Lapping and producer Norma Percy ever since they secured an interview with Slobodan Milosevic for their landmark...

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Bully Boy, St James Theatre

The St James Theatre has risen, phoenix-like, almost literally from the ashes of the Westminster Theatre, which was first a chapel, then a cinema and latterly a drama theatre that played host to productions of Oscar Wilde and Harley Granville Barker...

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The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning, National Theatre Wales

Looking at CCTV footage of a school hall in Cardiff through Adobe Flash Player in the corner of a webpage and listening to the attendant interference, bells, buzzes and bleeps might not sound like the cutting edge of theatre. But by the time...

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Homeland, Channel 4

While Homeland is hardly unique in being a TV series born in the shadow of 9/11, it may prove to be one of the most resonant and troubling responses to that ghastly event and its aftermath. Sergeant Nick Brody, who went missing with a fellow Marine...

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