Peter Vernezze from Chengdu Living wrote a very elaborated interpretation of the low budget but record-breaking Chinese movie, Lost in Thailand, by looking into its reflection of middle class Chinese’ dream of personal success.
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On November 19, 2013 Internet movie Database IMDb was banned in Pakistan until the 22nd of November, when the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) ordered ISPs to unblock the website. It is being alleged that ‘The Line Of Freedom‘, a short-film on the ongoing human rights crisis in Balochistan, is the reason why IMDb got banned in the first place. Pak Votes reports that most of the movies Google results, its theatrical trailers on major video hosting websites even its reviews are banned from viewership within the country.
— CineBAIn (@BAInCine) November 25, 2013
From November 27 to December 4, 2013, Argentina's capital will host the Second Film Festival ‘Buenos Aires Indígena’ (Indigenous Buenos Aires). The festival, which seeks to disseminate and promote the work of indigenous filmmakers, will include panel debates where the public will be able to interact with the festival's participants.
TVE (Television for the Environment) presents the videos of 14 finalists in its global environmental film competition.
Participants from around the world have produced 1-minute long movies on topics related to climate change, sustainable development and biodiversity.
Everyone can vote their favorite film until December 19, 2013.
Renowned Italian director Gabriele Salvatores is inviting Italians (and people living in Italy) to produce short videos about their daily life that will be edited together into a feature length film called “Italy in a Day” [it] to be released at the end of 2014. Videos can be submitted until November 17.
Salvatores is following the example of a similar, successful project from 2010 called “Life in a Day” produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Kevin Macdonald.
Here is the official trailer for Italy in a Day:
Photographer Eric Gourlan spent over a month in prisons in Kyrgyzstan, documenting the life of both inmates and guards. Photographs he took there provide a rare “view from the inside” the country's prison system. Kloop.kg publishes some of the remarkable photos that are now displayed at a museum in Bishkek.
The documentary film below also features Gourlan's photographs, offering a unique glimpse into the life of children, women, and men behind bars in the Central Asian nation. The film is mostly in Russian, but has English subtitles.
Producers Johann Pérez Viera and Pedro Camacho put together this footage and Skype calls with the five participants to create a “collective portrait that explores distance, identity and everyday life as a Venezuelan immigrant”.
The documentary is available (with English subtitles) online until November 15, 2013.
A new film on Angola's frenetic music genre and dance, Kuduro (literally ‘hard ass’), follows the steps of some of the key figures that have helped this popular style turn into an urban cultural movement:
Created in the discos and raves in downtown Luanda through a fusion between House and Techno beats and traditional Angolan rhythms, Kuduro spilled over from the centre of the city to the suburbs. It rapidly spread throughout Angola, Africa and now all over the world.
Kuduro mixes dance, music and lifestyle, its lyrics take inspiration from the simple day-to-day things in life, and its culture is present a little here, there and everywhere – be that on a street corner, in a school, in a taxi or even a football stadium.
The film, by Mário Patrocínio, is going to be screened in Lisbon on October 27, 2013. The premier took place at the International Film Festival of Rio de Janeiro on September 30, 2013. For updates, subscribe I Love Kuduru's Facebook page, Instagram and Flickr accounts.
East Timorese and Australian artists have come together to reflect and create around Myths and Murals, ”promoting a common sense of national identity through art and story and collaborative strategies for engagement”.
The cross-cultural public art and literacy project, between artists from Melbourne and the East Timorese free art school Arte Moris, takes on the well-known legend of the creation of East Timor, The Boy and the Crocodile, to create a series of murals throughout the territory, as the synopsis of the project explains:
13 murals will be painted in public locations in each of the 13 districts of East Timor. The murals will leave unique cultural heritage for cultural tourism and serve as a symbolic reminder of East Timor's shared identity and the spirit of collaboration. Using The Boy and the Crocodile in a workshop environment, artists from East Timor's free art school, Arte Moris, lead students through the visualisation of their region’s myths. Students and teachers then collaborate on painting these stories.
30 years ago (October 15, 1983), a march for equality against racism [fr] began in Marseille with 32 people, mostly of Arab origin, to ask for the right to vote and a 10-year resident card. The Beurs’ March (Beur is a colloquial french term for people with roots in Northern Africa) arrived in Paris on December 3 with more than 60,000 people having joined in the initial set of marchers. Numerous events are celebrating the anniversary all over France, though in a complicated context given the rapid rise of the far-right in France. The following video is one of the many media productions commemorating the anniversary [fr]:
Sunanda Deshapriya at Freedom Of Expression Sri Lanka reports that the international screening of No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka has been stopped in Nepal due to the pressure of Sri Lankan government. Earlier, the investigative documentary about the final weeks of the Sri Lankan Civil War was also banned in Malaysia.
Mediastan is being released on October 11, 2013 to challenge the UK opening of The Fifth Estate, a multi-million dollar Hollywood film about WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, produced by Dreamworks in collaboration with Disney.
In a press release the documentary's producer Julian Assange said:
This is journalism in extremis. This is how it is done. This weekend, instead of wasting your time and money on Hollywood propaganda, why not get all your friends around and spend your time watching MEDIASTAN instead?
Last month, Wikileaks leaked the script of The Fifth Estate, which was followed by a letter from Assange to the film's lead actor calling the film ‘toxic’ and based on a ‘distorted version of the truth.‘
WikiLeaks is an international, online, non-profit organisation which publishes secret information, news leaks, and classified media from anonymous sources and whistleblowers. Since last year, Julian Assange, has been holed up at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, under diplomatic asylum, after the UK dismissed his appeal against a European Arrest Warrant issued so the Swedish police could question Assange in a sexual assault investigation.
In Culture Unplugged you can watch a short documentary called “Costa Rica, a Land for Sale“:
Between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, the smallest country in Central America is now the planet’s champion in biodiversity. However, for several years, the success of ecotourism has been driving Costa Rica into runaway urbanization. Today the country is for sale, regardless of biodiversity. That is why the state has created the Environmental Tribunal. A battle has been engaged, and the green judges have declared war on illegal property developers.
On Twitter, Nancy asks if the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party had really used the same poster for the movie, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, in calling for protests on October 6:
— Nancy | نانسي (@nfm) October 4, 2013
I was transfixed; in turns horrified, unbelieving, angry, and sad. Worse still, frustrated. Because the verdict of the film as to who was really responsible was inconclusive.
Norman Girvan reviews Bruce's Paddington's film “Forward Ever”, about the executions of former Grenadian Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and members of his cabinet.
The Egyptian citizen collective Mosireen has been tirelessly documenting the #Jan25 revolution and the events that followed in images and documentaries. One of their very last creations is “Prayer of Fear”, a filmpoem by Mahmoud Ezzat narrated by Mosireen member Salma Said. Between roving and painful memories, the filmpoem stuns with its disarming sincerity and humanity.
…Are we winning?
Or in line for slaughter?
Is the question shameful?
Or is the silence worse?
Should we scavenge the spoils?
Or count the corpses?
Did we open the way?
Or is the path destroyed?…
Here is the video for the entire poem:
The Díli premiere of East Timor’s first locally produced feature film, A Guerra da Beatriz (Beatriz’s War), takes place today, September 17, 2013. The love story spans the years of Indonesian occupation and beyond (1975 – 2009):
[confronting] the issues at the heart of modern East Timor: forgiveness, reconciliation, and justice.
The producers, FairTrade Film and Dili Film Works, relied on fundraising to make this film possible. A crowdfunding campaign was launched on indiegogo in early 2011 and a series of weekly film screenings (announced on the Facebook page of A Guerra da Beatriz) also helped to raise funds.
Like other sensitive events, the Beijing Independent Film Festival was announced cancelled but quietly had its full program of screenings and panels held on schedule, except the opening ceremony. Liz Tung from Beijing Cream interviewed the festival's artistic director Dong Bingfeng on the story behind “cancellation”.
Liberdade na Rede blog shares [pt] a short documentary by Brazilian journalist Alicia Peres on equal marriage, called Meninas (Girls). The documentary portrays moments in the lives of Priscila and Juliana:
São menos de cinco minutos, com a música de Hermeto Pascoal e imagens que registram esta forma de amar e ser feliz, ainda considerada “diferente“.
Watch it below, with English subtitles:
[All links lead to Portuguese-language pages unless otherwise noted.]
In a video released Monday, August 12, the soccer team Grêmio of Porto Alegre brought together some of the key players on its roster, white and black, to talk about racism. The initiative was carried out in support of a new FIFA initiative, implemented in May of this year and unanimously approved, that made punishments against racism in soccer more strict.
While campaigns for raising awareness and discussions against racism on the field have intensified in the past few years in Europe, the subject is rarely addressed inside soccer stadiums in Brazil.
In the video, Zé Roberto, the tricolor team's midfielder, former player on Brazil's national team, tells how he was never a victim of racism on the field, but before becoming a successful player, he was discriminated against during an interview because of his skin color. Defensive midfielder Matheus Biteco recalls an incident from his childhood, when a supermarket security guard tackled him, his father, and his brother Guilherme, also a player on the team.
The team's campaign made the rounds on social networks with the hashtag #azulpretoebranco (meaning blue, black and white, in reference to the team's colors).
A film about four generations of fisherwomen striving to make a living in the coastal village of Adara, in the small island of Ataúro, Timor-Leste is soon to be released - but you can already have a glimpse on what is coming at the Facebook page Wawata topu (Women Divers):
Their daily lives, their economic practices and their vital concerns, as well as the contradicting discourses and social barriers they face, are shown in this ethnographic portrait that makes visible their critical contribution to the household economies and the fishing community at large. Their underwater dancing takes place in a context of rapid social change, where the generalization of the formal education, the progressive consolidation of western moral values and the potential openness of more attractive livelihoods not linked to the sea, seem to be forging a social negotiation of the household economic strategies initiated by the oldest generation during the 50´s.
Have a look at the trailer of Wawata Topu, by David Palazón and Enrique Alonso:
The Facebook page gathers several photos and videos of the making of, including the screening of the work in progress at the Adara village on June 1, 2013.
Prasant Naidu at Lighthouse Insights reports that film critic, journalist and blogger Soumyadipta Banerjee was apparently forced to delete a recent blogpost. He wrote a post at his BollywoodJournalist blog describing the life and death of Constable Ravindra Patil, the only eye witness in Bollywood actor Salman Khan’s famous 2002 Hit-and-Run-case. Soumyadipta also issued a public apology to Salman Khan.
‘In the Congo’ is a song and video that shed light 20 year conflict over minerals used in mobile phones and electronics:
The video is produced and directed by Zavara Mponjika, the respected hip hop pioneer and filmmaker from Tanzania and features New York based female hip hop group Rhyme Like A Girl and Los Angeles based Kenyan Afro-Soul artist Nasambu.
Mr Brown Goes Around has written a comprehensive study about the history of television in Thailand. He also probed the impact of TV on various Thai political and cultural institutions:
So while tied to modernity, moving image technologies was also seen as a potentially morally erosive force
The Team Tanzania is a TV drama series about:
[...] Ms. Wito, a dynamic civics teacher, who turns the world of 3 teenagers upside down when she challenges them with controversial questions like “Who are you”? The three 16-year olds, who have known each other all their lives. On the edge of adulthood, they are searching for their own identities while facing family and cultural pressures.