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History > Documentary films > UK / USA > Before 2006

 

 

 

Odessa . . . Odessa!

Directed by Michale Boganim        2005

© Shellac
http://www.shellac-altern.org/odessa.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Litlle Odessa / Brighton Beach        Brooklyn map

added September 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Odessa… Odessa ! >

Interview de Michale Boganim

 

Le texte ci-dessous n'a pas été relu par la réalisatrice.

 

 

 

Pourquoi ce quartier ?

Comme Little Italy, Little Odessa est un quartier très connu à New York, Little Odessa, le quartier russe. Il y a eu pas mal de livres qui ont été écrits sur Little Odessa, et il y a même un film, Little Odessa de James Gray. Il y a aussi un livre qui s’appelle Odessa Beach, un polar américain dont James Gray s’est inspiré pour faire son film. J’avais lu ce livre et c’est un peu comme ça aussi que j’ai découvert le lieu, et puis j’ai été sur place, c’était vraiment un choc absolu de voir un quartier comme ça.

Pourquoi ils ont émigré là ? C’est une question un peu difficile mais je pense qu’au début ça a toujours été un quartier juif. Avant c’était un quartier juif polonais, et il y avait beaucoup de juifs polonais qui s’étaient installés avant-guerre à cet endroit-là, et petit à petit quand les Russes sont venus ils ont été aidés par les juifs polonais.

Je pense qu’il y avait quelque chose aussi à voir avec le fait que c’est au bord de la mer, que quelque part ça leur rappelle un peu la Mer Noire, Odessa, et c’est un peu comme ça qu’ils l’expliquent, c’est la Mer Noire, on est près de l’océan et c’est un port comme Odessa.

 

 

 

Little Odessa, ça se trouve où ?

Ca se trouve sur la ligne Q, exatement au bout c’est vraiment tout au bout de Brooklyn, c’est la dernière station.

 

 

 

C’est un quartier plutôt pauvre ?

C’est un quartier plutôt défavorisé puisque les Russes qui se sont enrichis quittent Brighton Beach, donc c’est plutôt les gens pas très aisés qui habitent là. Ils sont arrivés il y a 30, 20 ans.

 

 

 

Vous aviez vécu là-bas ?

Quand j’ai filmé j’ai habité sur place, j’y ai passé beaucoup de temps. Ce qui est assez extraordinaire c’est que ça fait 20 ou 30 ans qu’ils habitent là-bas, mais en même temps ils ne connaissent absolument pas le reste de New York, le reste des Etats-Unis on n’en parle même pas. Ne serait-ce que pour aller à Manhattan, ils prennent un bus, font une visite guidée en russe pour aller visiter Manhattan alors que c’est un truc qu’on fait en métro, mais ils visitent Manhattan comme un lieu étranger. Il y a cette conversation où la femme demande à une vieille « Vous êtes déjà venue ici ? », elle dit « Non, c’est la première fois » alors que ça fait 25 ans qu’elle habite à New York et c’est la première fois qu’elle visitait Manhattan, c’est quand même assez incroyable.

 

 

 

Qu’est-ce qui vous donne envie de faire le film ? Odessa, ou Little Odessa ?

La première démarche c’est d’aller à Odessa, ensuite j’ai été à Little Odessa. J’ai une fascination pour la culture russe, pour la littérature russe et notamment Isaac Babel, un écrivain juif russe qui a écrit les Contes d’Odessa, et qui a beaucoup écrit sur cette ville et donc ça été un peu le point de départ du film, de faire ce voyage et d’aller à la recherche de ces gens.

 

 

 

Comment se passe le tournage à New York ?

Au début c’était un petit peu dur parce que Brighton Beach c’est très hostile, c’est pas du tout sympathique pour ceux qui sont pas russes, en tout cas pour ceux qui n’habitent pas le quartier, donc il a fallu un certain temps pour que je m’intègre, que je sois acceptée par la population, j’ai passé beaucoup de temps avec les gens à traîner dans les cafés, etc.

 

 

 

C’est plutôt un « quartier de vieux » ?

Oui, vous savez, j’ai découvert il n’y a pas longtemps une chanson de Mort Shumann « Brooklyn by the Sea ». Ca décrit exactement cette atmosphère, il dit les vieillards assis près de Brighton Beach qui regardent la mer et qui sont dans leur exode, dans leur nostalgie, et c’est exactement ça : les gens qui sont arrivés y a 30 ans et la nouvelle génération est partie de Brighton Beach. C’est un quartier vieillissant, et souvent les russes de 20 ou 30 ans habitent à Manhattan et leurs parents habitent à Brighton Beach, ils viennent visiter leurs parents le week-end.

 

 

 

C’est un grand quartier ?

Non, c’est assez resserré.

 

 

 

Les gens que vous filmez ont soixante, soixante-dix ans…

Oui, sauf la femme qui est chanteuse a 45 ans. Elle devait avoir vingt ans quand elle est arrivée.

 

 

 

Ils n’ont presque pas de contact avec les autres…
Lorsque il y a rencontre, on voit des gens qui regardent les Russes en râlant…


Les gens qui râlent sur un banc sont des Américains, et il y a des juifs polonais de l’ancienne immigration qui regardent les Russes avec mépris parce que les Russes ont débarqué, tout piqué. . .

 

 

 

C’est un quartier pauvre ? On a plutôt l’impression que c’est dur pour eux.

 

C’est un quartier pauvre et en même temps… il y a une grande blague à Brighton Beach, « Les Russes achètent leur caviar avec des food stamps ». C'est-à-dire qu’ils reçoivent des food stamps du gouvernement et ils vont acheter du caviar avec. Donc il y a une espèce de paradoxe, ils ont un peu la folie des grandeurs. Il y a des restaurants absolument incroyables où c’est très chic, très clinquant, ça fait très riche, très nouveau riche.

 

 

 

Un peu kitch…

Hyper kitch nouveau riche, et puis il y a quand même un grand truc à Brighton Beach, j’ai pas vraiment pu filmer ça, une grande mafia russe qui est implantée à Brighton.

 

 

 

Vous auriez aimé pouvoir filmer ça d’une manière ou d’une autre ?

C’est impossible dans un documentaire, il faudrait faire une fiction.

 

 

 

La plupart de ces Russes n’ont jamais quitté le quartier, mais leur arrive-t-il de voyager aux Etats-Unis, d’aller par exemple en Floride, en Californie ?

Non, ils sont vraiments dans leur monde, très fermés sur eux-mêmes, ils ne sortent pas.

 

 

 

Ils parlent en…


La plupart parlent en russe. La chanteuse parle un peu en anglais, mais la plupart du temps elle parle russe.

    Odessa… Odessa ! > Interview de Michale Boganim, Anglonautes, Septembre 2005.
    Version provisoire, non relue par la réalisatrice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Odessa . . . Odessa!

FILM REVIEW

From Ukraine to Brooklyn, And Still Looking for Home

 

By STEPHEN HOLDEN
The New York Times
March 30, 2005

 

In a nation like the United States -- where cities are built, torn down and rebuilt, novelty rules, and self-invention is a cardinal virtue -- nostalgia for a golden past doesn't carry the weight it has in older European capitals, where centuries of history are visible in the streets and architecture. Most of the people who gather to reminisce and sing the old songs in Michale Boganim's mournful cinematic poem ''Odessa ... Odessa!'' are Jewish exiles from the decrepit Ukrainian city, which they remember as paradise.

The movie, which opens today in New York, begins in Odessa by observing some very old and sad people who have remained in this port city on the Black Sea. They live like pack rats in shabby homes surrounded by the accumulated detritus of a lifetime. The past and the present are blurred. Old radio broadcasts (or re-enactments; it's not clear which) evoke a collective memory in which the announcement of the German invasion of the Soviet Union still feels as if it took place only a year or two earlier.

From there, the film branches out in two directions, following the paths taken by emigrants from Odessa to the Brighton Beach area of Brooklyn and to Ashdod, Israel. As it observes these people, most of them well over 60, it conjures a melancholy definition of exile as a haunted state of mind. Watching the film may change any assumptions you have that the basic instinct of immigrants from another part of the world is to blend into the melting pot of the culture in which they find themselves. As one resident of Ashdod observes with bitterness, ''in Odessa we were Jews; in Israel we are Russians.''

That instinct to blend in may be valid, if an immigrant is young enough to learn a new language and assimilate into alien culture. But most people in ''Odessa ... Odessa'' are too old to change their ways. They live in memories they hold tightly to their bosoms, finding kindred spirits with whom to share their idealized memories of a life left behind.

In Brighton Beach, known colloquially as Little Odessa, they weigh the pros and cons of living in America, playing dominoes and dreaming sadly beneath the gaudy lights of Coney Island. If most agree that the United States is materially generous compared to Ukraine, their sense of well-being is outweighed by the loss of their homeland.

The Ashdod section includes some striking hallucinatory juxtapositions of past and present. A parade of old soldiers, their uniforms crusted with decorations, shuffles down a street. Against a backdrop of anonymous modern high-rises, a rag and bone dealer peddles his wares from a horse-drawn carriage. Near the end of the film, a street sweeper sheds his uniform to dress as Santa Claus and appear at a New Year's gathering where the film's jolly recurrent theme song is sung for the last time. To these people, Odessa will forever remain the embodiment of a paradise lost.

'Odessa Odessa!'
Opens today in Manhattan.

Written (in English, Russian, Yiddish and Hebrew, with English subtitles) and directed by Michale Boganim; director of photography, Jakob Ihre; edited by Valerio Bonelli and Koby Nathanael; produced by Frederic Niedermayer and Marek Rozembaum, Itaï Tamir; released by Moby Dick Films and Transfax with Sarah Films. At the Two Boots Pioneer Theater, 155 East Third Street, at Avenue A, East Village. Running time: 96 minutes. This film is not rated.

WITH: David Varer, Esther Hossid and Victoria Lesina.

    From Ukraine to Brooklyn, And Still Looking for Home, NYT, 30.3.2005,
    http://movies2.nytimes.com/mem/movies/review.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tracking Shots

Odessa . . . Odessa!

 

by J. Hoberman
The Village Voice
March 29th, 2005
3:35 PM

 

Written and directed by Michale Boganim
Pioneer Theater, March 30 through April 5


Screening nightly during the first week of the Pioneer's "Homeland Insecurity" series, Michale Boganim's Odessa . . . Odessa! is a modernist travelogue, at once impressionistic and precise. Gliding from locale to locale, émigré Jews dramatize a condition that might be termed "exilestentialism."

Odessa, the object of their nostalgia, is represented as an abandoned Black Sea backwater whose remaining inhabitants oscillate between Russian and Yiddish in recalling the past. They are the last generation to live through World War II, and although the Soviet Union has withered away, they will always be its citizens. ("Was the Red Army the messiah?" someone wonders.) Boganim then visits Brooklyn, New York, and Ashdod, Israel, where the beachfront neighborhoods attracted substantial numbers of displaced Odessans. Just like back home, the inhabitants are highly performative. The boardwalk is filled with singing, dancing, and soliloquizing: "Brighton, dear, you are my Odessa." (Local anthems including "I Will Survive" and "God Bless America" also get a workout.)

A found-Fellini quality, often prized by Russian filmmakers, is universal here—but Boganim does not view her subjects as grotesque. (Born in Israel, raised in Paris, and trained in London, she may well identify with their displacement.) But by juxtaposing the last century's three Jewish utopias, Boganim makes a provocative point. Played out in Israel's blazing white light, her film's last movement is the most haunting. Even after making aliyah, Jews are still not at home: "In Odessa we were Jews; in Israel we are Russians." The diaspora continues even in Zion.

    Odessa . . . Odessa!, The Village Voice, 29.3.2005,
    http://www.villagevoice.com/film/0513,tracking10,62523,20.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Odessa Odessa!

 

This portrait of the diaspora experience focuses on a host of elderly Ukrainian Jews who hold on tightly to their memories of a long-gone homeland. Rather than telling their stories in straight talking-head testimonies, Boganim takes a stream-of-consciousness approach, filtering the narrative through a dreamlike aesthetic. There are several missteps (e.g., the Israel segment almost seems like an afterthought), but the director's ability to capture poetic images, such as a Fellini-esque parade marching down a deserted street, gives Odessa...Odessa! the perfect folkloric tinge. DF

 

Source : Time Out New York Website

    Odessa Odessa!, Time Out NY, non signé, non daté,
    http://www.timeout.com/film/82566.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cinéma

 

«Odessa... Odessa!», mélancolie de l'exil

Michale Boganim signe un documentaire poignant

sur des juifs russes déracinés.

 

Par Antoine de BAECQUE
Libération
mercredi 17 août 2005

 

Odessa... Odessa !, documentaire
de Michale Boganim, 1 h 42.

 

Le premier long métrage documentaire de la Franco-israélienne Michale Boganim, remarqué dans les festivals de Sundance, Berlin, au Cinéma du réel de Beaubourg, est composé tel un triptyque portuaire où le clapotis des vagues, mélancoliquement, fait apparaître en surface la mémoire d'un perpétuel exil, celui des juifs d'Odessa.

La grande cité triste des bords de la mer Noire, bleue et grise telle que Pouchkine la décrivait, est désormais en partie vidée de ses habitants, notamment le quartier juif de Moldavenka, celui d'Isaac Babel. Les vieilles photos de la guerre y répondent aux murs délabrés, aux pavés disjoints, aux rues désertées depuis les années 60.

Rouille. L'exil des Odessites se joue une première fois vers New York, à Brighton Beach, entre deux stations du métro qui hurle dans sa rouille, à Little Odessa, entre une autre mer et des maisons de briques rouges. Vogue la nostalgie du pays, suivant les chansons, les récits et les banquets : ces «Russes» embrassent le drapeau américain mais visitent Manhattan en touristes alors qu'ils vivent là depuis trente ans. Odessites, ils le resteront toujours.

Quadrillage. Ils le sont encore à Ashdod, ville nouvelle poussée en Israël, entre mer et désert, pour accueillir les juifs émigrés de Russie. Tout semble vouloir éradiquer la mémoire d'Odessa, le quadrillage inhumain d'une cité sans âme, l'apprentissage à vitesse forcée d'une autre langue, même la lumière crue et blanche... Mais des voix presque inaudibles, de vieilles images, d'anciennes chansons, ou les difficultés d'une intégration ratée au sein d'une société se méfiant des étrangers, tout fait refluer la mémoire de l'exil vers son port d'origine.

En plans larges et soignés, attentive aux habitudes, aux gestes et aux sons de cette communauté éclatée entre trois villes, la caméra de Michale Boganim tisse une carte ultrasensible, parvient à dessiner une géographie où se répondent voyages urbains et intérieurs.

    «Odessa... Odessa!», mélancolie de l'exil, Libération, 17.8.2005,
    http://www.liberation.fr/page.php?Article=317712

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geoffrey Jones        1931-2005


The Guardian        p. 24        17.8.2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geoffrey Jones

Maker of tiny documentary gems in the 1960s and 70s

 


Wednesday August 17, 2005
The Guardian
John Russell Taylor

 

Made across nearly half a century, the complete cinematic oeuvre of the documentary film-maker Geoffrey Jones, who has died of cancer aged 73, runs to little more than 90 minutes. Few have achieved so much with so little.

He made the eight-minute, Oscar-nominated Snow (1963) and the 13-minute Rail (1967), which are, arguably, his two finest works, for British Transport Films (BTF). A perfectionist, he could be a maddeningly slow worker, yet Snow, a poetic evocation of snow on the line and its effect on the lives of railway workers, was made very fast - as it needed to be - to capture a Britain in the grip of a deep freeze.

Rail, on the other hand, took four years to shoot. It is a film of deep humanity, effortlessly absorbing the occasional passages of virtuoso editing into a subtle and complex whole. Jones had to modify his original plan when British Railways changed their regular livery while he was away shooting a 19-minute film - his longest - on Trinidad And Tobago (1964) for British Petroleum. Instead of concentrating on the new design, he refocused on the railwaymen.

Whereas contemporaries, such as John Schlesinger and Lindsay Anderson, began in documentaries and transferred their attentions to the feature film, Jones stuck to documentary throughout his career. The term "documentary", let alone "industrial documentary", tends to strike a chill in the hearts of the movie buff. Yes, of course there have been wonderfully poetic documentaries, like Basil Wright's Song Of Ceylon, and brilliantly imaginative pieces, like Harry Watt's Night Mail. But, in general, one thinks of sloggingly factual inquiries into this, or grimly political exposes of that. Jones may have come out of such a tradition, but it had little to do with the way he made films.

Born in London, of Welsh parents, he began his studies as a graphic artist and photographer at the Central School of Art. Central's film society had been subsisting on a diet of conventional classics, but Jones gave it the shake-up of its life. Some of his fellow students were disturbed to see narrative rejected in favour of abstract animation experiments by Norman McLaren, from Canada and Len Lye, from New Zealand. For Jones, they were sheer inspiration.

Almost immediately, he began to make drawings for a possible animated film, which got him, rather unexpectedly, a job with the advertising agency Crawford International - including a Martini commercial - in the mid-1950s. Eager to make films, but possessing no cine camera, he emulated Lye and McLaren by painting directly on to exposed film, creating patterns to be synchronised with music.

Hoping for a grant to edit this material, Jones applied to the experimental film fund of the British Film Institute (BFI), and not only got his grant but also job offers from all three committee members. The most tempting - to become supervisory director of animation at the Shell Film Unit - came from the veteran documentarist Arthur Elton, then the unit's animation director.

Even at this early stage, Jones's distinctive approach was already formed. He wanted to make films based on dynamic editing and without commentary, relying entirely on close synchronisation with music, either pre-existing or specially composed. Throughout, rhythm would be dominant.

His first documentary for Shell was Shell Panorama (1959), which was supposed to illustrate a three-hour lecture on the company's activities. Characteristically, Jones took matters into his own hands: he boiled the speech down to seven minutes and matched it with appropriate visuals. The result was favourably received - even, apparently, by the speaker - and Jones was given a free hand. He never again made a film with a commentary.

When the Shell unit was wound up in 1961, Jones formed his own company, which was promptly commissioned to make a group of commercials for the company's transport and training departments. One of them, Shell Spirit (1962), cut to South African kwela music, won a major design award, and brought him to the attention of Edgar Anstey, film officer for BTF, for whom Snow and Rail were made.

In 1975, Jones made Locomotion for BTF. This celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway in a torrent of original and archive images - some 400 of them in 15 minutes - but, after that, his work went into eclipse, along with the notion of sponsored industrial film. He was revered by those in the know, but hardly noticed outside the tight circle of documentary and railway enthusiasts.

Jones's last films, the three-minute A Chair-A-Plane Kwela and six-minute A Chair-A-Plane Flamenco (both 2004), made with a grant from the Arts Council of Wales, edited images he had taken nearly 50 years earlier into what he described, with typical modesty, as "notes in the use of digital editing". His collected works, nine films on The Rhythm Of Film, brought out on DVD by the BFI, coincidentally with his death, made a fitting memorial to a life dedicated to film in its highest and purest sense.

Jones and his Swedish-born wife, Gunnel, moved to a cottage near Llandovery, mid-Wales, in the early 1980s. She survives him.

· Geoffrey Jones, film-maker, born November 27 1931; died June 21 2005

 

________________________

 

The following correction was printed in the Guardian's Corrections and clarifications column, Saturday August 20 2005

Our obituary of Geoffrey Jones, below, stated that he is survived by his second wife, Gunnel, but it omitted to mention that he is also survived by his first wife Ann, and their three children.

    Geoffrey Jones : Maker of tiny documentary gems in the 1960s and 70s, G, 17.8.2005,
    http://film.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,12589,1550290,00.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The making of the terror myth

Since September 11 Britain has been warned of the 'inevitability'
of catastrophic terrorist attack.
But has the danger been exaggerated?
A major new TV documentary claims that the perceived threat
is a politically driven fantasy
- and al-Qaida a dark illusion. Andy Beckett reports

 

Friday October 15, 2004
Guardian
Andy Beckett


Since the attacks on the United States in September 2001, there have been more than a thousand references in British national newspapers, working out at almost one every single day, to the phrase "dirty bomb". There have been articles about how such a device can use ordinary explosives to spread lethal radiation; about how London would be evacuated in the event of such a detonation; about the Home Secretary David Blunkett's statement on terrorism in November 2002 that specifically raised the possibility of a dirty bomb being planted in Britain; and about the arrests of several groups of people, the latest only last month, for allegedly plotting exactly that.

Starting next Wednesday, BBC2 is to broadcast a three-part documentary series that will add further to what could be called the dirty bomb genre. But, as its title suggests, The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear takes a different view of the weapon's potential.

"I don't think it would kill anybody," says Dr Theodore Rockwell, an authority on radiation, in an interview for the series. "You'll have trouble finding a serious report that would claim otherwise." The American department of energy, Rockwell continues, has simulated a dirty bomb explosion, "and they calculated that the most exposed individual would get a fairly high dose [of radiation], not life-threatening." And even this minor threat is open to question. The test assumed that no one fled the explosion for one year.

During the three years in which the "war on terror" has been waged, high-profile challenges to its assumptions have been rare. The sheer number of incidents and warnings connected or attributed to the war has left little room, it seems, for heretical thoughts. In this context, the central theme of The Power of Nightmares is riskily counter-intuitive and provocative. Much of the currently perceived threat from international terrorism, the series argues, "is a fantasy that has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It is a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services, and the international media." The series' explanation for this is even bolder: "In an age when all the grand ideas have lost credibility, fear of a phantom enemy is all the politicians have left to maintain their power."

Adam Curtis, who wrote and produced the series, acknowledges the difficulty of saying such things now. "If a bomb goes off, the fear I have is that everyone will say, 'You're completely wrong,' even if the incident doesn't touch my argument. This shows the way we have all become trapped, the way even I have become trapped by a fear that is completely irrational."

So controversial is the tone of his series, that trailers for it were not broadcast last weekend because of the killing of Kenneth Bigley. At the BBC, Curtis freely admits, there are "anxieties". But there is also enthusiasm for the programmes, in part thanks to his reputation. Over the past dozen years, via similarly ambitious documentary series such as Pandora's Box, The Mayfair Set and The Century of the Self, Curtis has established himself as perhaps the most acclaimed maker of serious television programmes in Britain. His trademarks are long research, the revelatory use of archive footage, telling interviews, and smooth, insistent voiceovers concerned with the unnoticed deeper currents of recent history, narrated by Curtis himself in tones that combine traditional BBC authority with something more modern and sceptical: "I want to try to make people look at things they think they know about in a new way."

The Power of Nightmares seeks to overturn much of what is widely believed about Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida. The latter, it argues, is not an organised international network. It does not have members or a leader. It does not have "sleeper cells". It does not have an overall strategy. In fact, it barely exists at all, except as an idea about cleansing a corrupt world through religious violence.

Curtis' evidence for these assertions is not easily dismissed. He tells the story of Islamism, or the desire to establish Islam as an unbreakable political framework, as half a century of mostly failed, short-lived revolutions and spectacular but politically ineffective terrorism. Curtis points out that al-Qaida did not even have a name until early 2001, when the American government decided to prosecute Bin Laden in his absence and had to use anti-Mafia laws that required the existence of a named criminal organisation.

Curtis also cites the Home Office's own statistics for arrests and convictions of suspected terrorists since September 11 2001. Of the 664 people detained up to the end of last month, only 17 have been found guilty. Of these, the majority were Irish Republicans, Sikh militants or members of other groups with no connection to Islamist terrorism. Nobody has been convicted who is a proven member of al-Qaida.

In fact, Curtis is not alone in wondering about all this. Quietly but increasingly, other observers of the war on terror have been having similar doubts. "The grand concept of the war has not succeeded," says Jonathan Eyal, director of the British military thinktank the Royal United Services Institute. "In purely military terms, it has been an inconclusive war ... a rather haphazard operation. Al-Qaida managed the most spectacular attack, but clearly it is also being sustained by the way that we rather cavalierly stick the name al-Qaida on Iraq, Indonesia, the Philippines. There is a long tradition that if you divert all your resources to a threat, then you exaggerate it."

Bill Durodie, director of the international centre for security analysis at King's College London, says: "The reality [of the al-Qaida threat to the west] has been essentially a one-off. There has been one incident in the developed world since 9/11 [the Madrid bombings]. There's no real evidence that all these groups are connected." Crispin Black, a senior government intelligence analyst until 2002, is more cautious but admits the terrorist threat presented by politicians and the media is "out of date and too one-dimensional. We think there is a bit of a gulf between the terrorists' ambition and their ability to pull it off."

Terrorism, by definition, depends on an element of bluff. Yet ever since terrorists in the modern sense of the term (the word terrorism was actually coined to describe the strategy of a government, the authoritarian French revolutionary regime of the 1790s) began to assassinate politicians and then members of the public during the 19th century, states have habitually overreacted. Adam Roberts, professor of international relations at Oxford, says that governments often believe struggles with terrorists "to be of absolute cosmic significance", and that therefore "anything goes" when it comes to winning. The historian Linda Colley adds: "States and their rulers expect to monopolise violence, and that is why they react so virulently to terrorism."

Britain may also be particularly sensitive to foreign infiltrators, fifth columnists and related menaces. In spite, or perhaps because of, the absence of an actual invasion for many centuries, British history is marked by frequent panics about the arrival of Spanish raiding parties, French revolutionary agitators, anarchists, bolsheviks and Irish terrorists. "These kind of panics rarely happen without some sort of cause," says Colley. "But politicians make the most of them."

They are not the only ones who find opportunities. "Almost no one questions this myth about al-Qaida because so many people have got an interest in keeping it alive," says Curtis. He cites the suspiciously circular relationship between the security services and much of the media since September 2001: the way in which official briefings about terrorism, often unverified or unverifiable by journalists, have become dramatic press stories which - in a jittery media-driven democracy - have prompted further briefings and further stories. Few of these ominous announcements are retracted if they turn out to be baseless: "There is no fact-checking about al-Qaida."

In one sense, of course, Curtis himself is part of the al-Qaida industry. The Power of Nightmares began as an investigation of something else, the rise of modern American conservatism. Curtis was interested in Leo Strauss, a political philosopher at the university of Chicago in the 50s who rejected the liberalism of postwar America as amoral and who thought that the country could be rescued by a revived belief in America's unique role to battle evil in the world. Strauss's certainty and his emphasis on the use of grand myths as a higher form of political propaganda created a group of influential disciples such as Paul Wolfowitz, now the US deputy defence secretary. They came to prominence by talking up the Russian threat during the cold war and have applied a similar strategy in the war on terror.

As Curtis traced the rise of the "Straussians", he came to a conclusion that would form the basis for The Power of Nightmares. Straussian conservatism had a previously unsuspected amount in common with Islamism: from origins in the 50s, to a formative belief that liberalism was the enemy, to an actual period of Islamist-Straussian collaboration against the Soviet Union during the war in Afghanistan in the 80s (both movements have proved adept at finding new foes to keep them going). Although the Islamists and the Straussians have fallen out since then, as the attacks on America in 2001 graphically demonstrated, they are in another way, Curtis concludes, collaborating still: in sustaining the "fantasy" of the war on terror.

Some may find all this difficult to swallow. But Curtis insists,"There is no way that I'm trying to be controversial just for the sake of it." Neither is he trying to be an anti-conservative polemicist like Michael Moore: "[Moore's] purpose is avowedly political. My hope is that you won't be able to tell what my politics are." For all the dizzying ideas and visual jolts and black jokes in his programmes, Curtis describes his intentions in sober, civic-minded terms. "If you go back into history and plod through it, the myth falls away. You see that these aren't terrifying new monsters. It's drawing the poison of the fear."

But whatever the reception of the series, this fear could be around for a while. It took the British government decades to dismantle the draconian laws it passed against French revolutionary infiltrators; the cold war was sustained for almost half a century without Russia invading the west, or even conclusive evidence that it ever intended to. "The archives have been opened," says the cold war historian David Caute, "but they don't bring evidence to bear on this." And the danger from Islamist terrorists, whatever its scale, is concrete. A sceptical observer of the war on terror in the British security services says: "All they need is a big bomb every 18 months to keep this going."

The war on terror already has a hold on western political culture. "After a 300-year debate between freedom of the individual and protection of society, the protection of society seems to be the only priority," says Eyal. Black agrees: "We are probably moving to a point in the UK where national security becomes the electoral question."

Some critics of this situation see our striking susceptibility during the 90s to other anxieties - the millennium bug, MMR, genetically modified food - as a sort of dress rehearsal for the war on terror. The press became accustomed to publishing scare stories and not retracting them; politicians became accustomed to responding to supposed threats rather than questioning them; the public became accustomed to the idea that some sort of apocalypse might be just around the corner. "Insecurity is the key driving concept of our times," says Durodie. "Politicians have packaged themselves as risk managers. There is also a demand from below for protection." The real reason for this insecurity, he argues, is the decay of the 20th century's political belief systems and social structures: people have been left "disconnected" and "fearful".

Yet the notion that "security politics" is the perfect instrument for every ambitious politician from Blunkett to Wolfowitz also has its weaknesses. The fears of the public, in Britain at least, are actually quite erratic: when the opinion pollsters Mori asked people what they felt was the most important political issue, the figure for "defence and foreign affairs" leapt from 2% to 60% after the attacks of September 2001, yet by January 2002 had fallen back almost to its earlier level. And then there are the twin risks that the terrors politicians warn of will either not materialise or will materialise all too brutally, and in both cases the politicians will be blamed. "This is a very rickety platform from which to build up a political career," says Eyal. He sees the war on terror as a hurried improvisation rather than some grand Straussian strategy: "In democracies, in order to galvanize the public for war, you have to make the enemy bigger, uglier and more menacing."

Afterwards, I look at a website for a well-connected American foreign policy lobbying group called the Committee on the Present Danger. The committee features in The Power of Nightmares as a vehicle for alarmist Straussian propaganda during the cold war. After the Soviet collapse, as the website puts it, "The mission of the committee was considered complete." But then the website goes on: "Today radical Islamists threaten the safety of the American people. Like the cold war, securing our freedom is a long-term struggle. The road to victory begins ... "

 

· The Power of Nightmares starts on BBC2 at 9pm on Wednesday October 20.

    The making of the terror myth, G, 15.20.2004,
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/terrorism/story/0,12780,1327904,00.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bringing it all back home

It's the most unlikely of Oscar contenders
- a remarkable film whose 87-year-old star
was one of the key architects of the Vietnam war.
Now his startling views on the conflict that tore America apart
are big box-office - and striking a chord with a new generation

 

The Fog of War

Production year: 2003

Country: USA

Runtime: 106 mins

Directors: Errol Morris Cast: Robert McNamara, Robert S McNamara

 

Lawrence Donegan
The Observer
Sunday 8 February 2004

 

When Robert McNamara, an 87-year-old former American Secretary of State for Defence, spoke last week at the University of California, Berkeley, it wasn't exactly a Hollywood occasion. But it wasn't that different either, not with people like singer Tom Waits in the front row, author David Eggers sitting a few seats behind and 2,000 others who'd bought tickets to listen to America's newest and unlikeliest film star.

Forty years ago, the odds are that this crowd would have booed McNamara off the stage. Back then, he was the Donald Rumsfeld of his generation. He was Mac the Knife, the slick, slicked-hair Secretary of Defence who was both the architect of America's disastrous involvement in Vietnam and the policy's most resolute advocate (publicly at least). He was a national hate figure, never more so than at Berkeley, his alma mater, then the crucible of the anti-war movement. Today, he is the subject of The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara , an Oscar-nominated documentary about his career and the surprise movie hit of the season. It is hard to pick up a serious American publication these days and not find a glowing review of the film in the arts section and an adulatory column about McNamara on the op-ed page.

Such are the redemptive powers of this attention that McNamara, in the company of the film's director, Errol Morris, returns to Berkeley like the quarterback who won the big college game in the last minute. He is cheered to the rafters. The paradox of this cannot be lost on Morris, not least because he is in part responsible for the rehabilitation of a man he once hated for his views.

The Fog of War is an astonishing piece of work. Morris has long been one of the under-recognised geniuses of modern cinema. From his first documentary, Gates of Heaven (1978), a wry look at the world of pet cemeteries, to the forensic exposure of a criminal injustice in The Thin Blue Line, which led to the release of a man on death row, to 1999's Mr Death, a chilling portrait of Fred Leuchter, an American engineer in search of the perfect execution chamber, the former private investigator turned television ad director (it pays for his movie-making habit) has shone his inquisitive eye on the outer rings of the human condition to marvellous effect.

The didactic reflections of a former Secretary of State for Defence as he stares directly into the camera are not the obvious stuff of successful movies but Morris has made a box-office and critical smash. Ostensibly, the film is about McNamara's life but most of the screen time is taken up with his period in the Pentagon where, as Defence Secretary under JFK and then Lyndon Johnson, he had a major role in the Cuban missile crisis and then Vietnam, until he was fired by Johnson for privately expressing his opposition to the war.

Morris was drawn to his subject by McNamara's bestselling book, In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam. The film, like the book, has been described as McNamara's mea culpa but that would be doing Morris a disservice. His film is much more sophisticated than a straightforward apologia. Interspersing archive newsreel, recently released White House tape recordings and excerpts from 23 hours of interviews with his subject shot in 2001, the director has woven a gripping narrative of an America at war and of an 87-year-old man battling to restore his reputation before he dies.

The Fog of War has captured the imagination of both the Academy - it is nominated for the best documentary Oscar later this month and is the winner presumptive - and the general public. The Berkeley event at which Morris appeared (but hardly got a word in edgeways) alongside McNamara was sold out. With a few exceptions, mostly for historical rather than artistic reasons, the reviews have been a marketing department's dream. Stunning! Amazing! A Total Joy! Best Film of the Year! A Phenomenon!

Morris's movie is all of those things but more than anything else, at a time when US and British troops are embroiled in Iraq, it is apposite. As Mark Danner, the Berkeley professor who moderated a discussion between the two men, told McNamara in his introduction: 'You are returning to public life... to a political conundrum very much like the one we faced in the mid-1960s; a war that is growing in controversy, a distant war being fought for reasons people are not sure about, a public vituperation that is growing ever more bitter every day.' Danner paused: 'Do you think that in 20 years we will be sitting here listening to Donald Rumsfeld looking at how we got into this war?'

The release of The Fog of War means the public doesn't have to wait another 20 years for an explanation of what is happening in Iraq. Robert McNamara is ready to talk right now. The question is: is he willing to say exactly what is on his mind?

'He is an endlessly interesting and puzzling man,' says Morris, whose hatred of McNamara in the Sixties has now shaded into guarded respect. 'His is an amazing life, one that in some real sense captures the twentieth century.'

It undoubtedly does. Born in San Francisco in 1916, McNamara has been described by some as an American Zelig. After graduating from Berkeley in 1937, he went to Harvard Business School, where he became the youngest professor in its history. He spent the Second World War in the US Air Force, where served under General Curtis LeMay, the notorious hawk who commanded the air campaign against Japan. Under LeMay, McNamara was a member of the team that agreed a strategy of firebombing 67 Japanese cities, with the loss of 1.9 million civilian lives - before the atom bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

In one of the film's most powerful moments, a tearful McNamara tells Morris that if his side had lost the war, he and LeMay might have been tried as war criminals. 'What makes something moral if you win and immoral if you lose?' he asks plaintively.

After the war, McNamara joined Ford, where he was one of the strongest advocates for the introduction of seat belts. He became a director in 1957, and three years later was company president. He was only in the job a few weeks when Robert Kennedy called to say his brother wanted him as Defence Secretary. Initially, he balked but took little persuading to move his family to Washington, where he quickly earned the nickname 'the IBM machine on legs'. He was acknowledged as one of, if not the brightest of Camelot's intellectual stars, though he was seen by some as arrogant and overly clinical.

He was pivotal in two of the most significant events of the Sixties - the Cuban missile crisis and Vietnam. His role (or as his critics have it, his culpability) in both has been the subject of academic debate for years. Morris's style is to let his subjects speak for themselves, though what little editorialising there is in The Fog of War tends to support McNamara's portrayal of himself as someone who fought against the hawks who wanted to bomb Cuba into oblivion. 'Kennedy was trying to keep us out of war. I was trying to help him keep us out of war,' he tells Morris.

Others beg to differ. In a recent article, Fred Kaplan of Slate magazine argued that McNamara quickly abandoned the doves in the debate over Cuba. '[The film] reveals a far more introspective McNamara than we have ever seen... but the film displays far more instances of McNamara's mendacity,' Kaplan wrote, adding further charges of self-delusion and denial in the cause of rewriting history.

Sitting in his hotel room before leaving for his assignment in Berkeley, McNamara claims, unconvincingly, not to have read his reviews. 'I am not a liar and anyone who says I am is not a historian,' he says, furiously. Even at 87, he retains much of his intellectual power and every last ounce of his certitude. He is an intimidating man. 'If you say I am a liar, point out the lies. I have never consciously mis-stated. Never. Does that mean I have never mis-stated? No. No. Of course, there have been mis-statements, errors. That's not lying. Lying doesn't have a damn thing to do with the movie.'

And nor, apparently, does any desire on McNamara's part to shore up his reputation. 'I am 87 years old and for 60 years I have been in policy-making and leadership positions - private life, public life, domestic, international, boards of directors all over the world. I am beyond the point of worrying what names people call me. However, I am not beyond the point of of wanting to draw lessons, and look forward. There are some lines from T.S. Eliot - "We shall not cease from exploration/ And the end of all our exploring/ Will be to arrive where we started/ And know the place for the first time." I am not quite at the end but I'm beginning to see where I came from. Every leader has a responsibility to look at his career and draw lessons from it.'

Initially, McNamara had no interest in Morris's idea of making a full-length film. He agreed to be interviewed on tape for two hours, enough material for a 20-minute documentary. In the end, he did eight hours; then a further fifteen. 'I'm not interested in movies. I've seen four movies in 40 years,' McNamara says. 'When the people from the film company told me that people paid eight dollars for a ticket to the movies I asked them, "Who the hell is going to pay $8 to listen to McNamara for an hour and three-quarters?"'

It doesn't require a diploma in reading body language to work out that this might qualify as an unconscious mis-statement. Such is McNamara's scepticism about this silly movie business that he has only done - he says - 73 interviews worldwide to promote The Fog of War, and is taking a keen interest in the content of the DVD version of the film, due later this year.

Errol Morris, for one, believes that McNamara's willingness to participate was intimately tied to his desire to revisit his past. 'Why did he do it? A need to explain himself. He is well aware of the bad reputation that he has. You could argue, though I disagree, that his book and the movie are attempts to rewrite history or sanitise the past. But what is interesting and mysterious is the fact that he keeps going back. Why does he keep going back? He is asking questions - did history have to be this way? What was my role in it? Could it have been different? It is not just a case of him rationalising his actions in the past, although that is part of it, it is also about this odd struggle that is going on inside him. I find it amazing when people say he doesn't seem tortured by his past. I think the whole film is about a man who is tortured by his past.'

More than anything, McNamara is tortured by Vietnam. As is the case with the Cuban crisis, the historical record is open to widely varying interpretation, much of it rendered archaic - at least to non-historians - by the passage of time. Nevertheless, Morris has uncovered some interesting new material that undercuts the long-held view that McNamara was a consistent advocate for ratcheting up US involvement. In one taped conversation from October 1963, retrieved from the Kennedy Library, he is heard telling JFK that they must find a way of pulling out completely within two years. Others, such as Fred Kaplan, point to documented evidence that McNamara later urged Johnson to use 'selected and carefully graduated force' to crush the Viet Cong.

McNamara declines the opportunity to reconcile these two versions. 'The movie isn't about Vietnam. Maybe it has been edited that way but I didn't edit it. I wrote a book about Vietnam, that's all I want to say about it,' he snaps, which simply adds to the confusion.

So, too, does his account in The Fog of War of one of the war's most infamous moments - the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 - when it was alleged that the North Vietnamese launched a torpedo attack on the US destroyer Maddox. Johnson ordered the first air strikes against the Vietnamese in retaliation. He also used the incident as a pretext for the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which gave the President power to take the country to war without the need to seek Congress's explicit permission.

Morris intercuts McNamara's account with a tape recording from the Maddox in which the ship's captain is heard telling central command that his vessel had definitely been attacked... pause... 'I think'. It would be hilarious if the consequences hadn't been so terrible. McNamara now admits that this attack never happened, but says the administration acted in good faith.

A government that takes a country into war on the basis of faulty intelligence, but argues that it acted in good faith. Does this sound familiar? If the parallels with WMD occur to McNamara, then he is not letting on. 'I don't want to talk about Iraq,' he says. 'The name Bush doesn't appear once in the movie. If you want to know what I think, then look at the lessons.'

Lesson number seven reads: Belief and seeing are both often wrong.

Three years after the Tonkin incident, McNamara was disillusioned with the campaign. In late 1967, he wrote Johnson a memo outlining the case for complete withdrawal. Within weeks, he had been fired, though with the consolation prize of the World Bank presidency. LBJ also gave him the presidential Medal of Freedom.

In return, McNamara gave him something far more valuable; his silence. Over the next five years, a further 35,000 American troops were killed along with, by McNamara's estimation, 1.4 million Vietnamese. Even so, he refuses even to address the suggestion that he could have helped avert this carnage.

In the film's epilogue, Morris asks him: 'Why didn't you speak out?'

'I am not going to say any more than I have. These are the kind of questions that get me into trouble. You don't know what I know about how inflammatory my words can appear,' McNamara replies.

'But do you feel personally responsible for the war? Do you feel guilty?'

'I don't want to go any further with this. It just opens up more controversy.'

'I'm just curious,' Morris says. 'Is it the feeling that you are damned if you do and damned if you don't?'

'Yeah, that's right' McNamara replies. 'And I'd rather be damned if I don't.'

Even now, Morris admits to frustration at McNamara's reluctance to criticise US foreign policy, both in the Sixties and now. 'He has said to me on a number of occasions that Defence Secretaries serve at the pleasure of the President. Johnson was elected by the popular vote, he was not. There is some logic to this, but I don't buy it. Say you are extremely rulebound and that you have a rule which says a Cabinet member does not speak out during or after his tenure. But I say, doesn't your responsibility to the people trump that rule? In my view, it clearly does.'

The Observer's efforts to elicit an explanation from McNamara for his refusal to speak out against Vietnam were met with this response:

'Anyone who believes I should have spoken out doesn't understand war, doesn't understand the responsibilities of individuals. Can you imagine in the middle of the Second World War, when the Germans were beginning to lose, the impact on the German military and the lives of the German people of a major individual coming out and saying, "We have got to give up"?'

The answer, of course, is the Nazi regime might have collapsed more rapidly, shortening the war and sparing the world the worst years of the Holocaust. But before any further debate is had, McNamara moves the conversation on to a more comfortable theme, one he has developed over a number of years and which gives the film its title. 'There's this wonderful phrase, the "fog of war",' he tells Morris. 'What it means is that war is so complex that it's beyond the ability of the human mind to comprehend all the variables - our judgment, our understanding are not adequate, and we kill people unnecessarily.'

McNamara says he dislikes the film's title. But does he think the phrase conveys a powerful and ultimately depressing insight into the behaviour of our political leaders in wartime? Are they forever doomed to failure because of the intrinsic uncertainties of conflict and if they are, will they always have that as an excuse when things go wrong, to absolve themselves of any responsibility for their actions? Many of his critics have accused him of doing exactly that.

'On the contrary, the fog of war means it is extremely difficult in military operations to be certain of what the effects of the actions you take will be,' he says. 'It means that national leaders should be much more cautious in the way they draw their conclusions.'

So did Bush and Blair get lost in the fog of war or did they even know that it existed? 'Oh no, I'm not going to answer that. I don't pretend to be an expert on Iraq. There are 190,000 Americans at risk right now and it would be irresponsible to comment,' he says.

Given that the White House steadfastly ignored the opinions of so many of its allies in the run-up to the current conflict, it's rather fanciful to think that it would pay too much attention to the contributions of a former Democratic Defence Secretary, however well qualified he might be or however successful his movie is.

Nevertheless, Errol Morris, for one, believes the old man still has a useful contribution to make. 'I really do wish he would speak out because I think what is happening right now is a disaster for our country,' he says. 'Here is a control freak, a man who prides himself on the ability to control things and yet story after story in the movie is about the inability to control things, about confusion, about mistakes, errors and faulty intelligence and false ideologies. The world is a messy place but does that absolve leaders and their advisers of responsibility for their actions? Absolutely not.'

· The Fog of War is released in the UK on 2 April

 

 

The Vietnam War in numbers

47,378 Americans were killed in action in Vietnam

23.11 years was the average age of US soldiers killed

25% of US troops in Vietnam were drafted

76% of US troops were from lower-middle or working- class backgrounds

7,484 women served in the US Armed Forces

223,748 South Vietnamese soldiers were killed in action

2 million or more North Vietnamese troops and civilians were killed

20 million gallons of herbicides were dropped on Vietnam, mostly Agent Orange

3 times as many bombs were dropped as in the whole of the Second World War

$140 billion was the official cost of US military operations

 

Robert Colvile

    Bringing it all back home, O, 8.2.2004,
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2004/feb/08/usa.awardsandprizes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This movie has been designated

a Critic's Pick by the film reviewers of The Times.

FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW

Revisiting McNamara and the War He Headed

 

October 11, 2003
The New York Times
By STEPHEN HOLDEN

 

If there's one movie that ought to be studied by military and civilian leaders around the world at this treacherous historical moment, it is ''The Fog of War,'' Errol Morris's sober, beautifully edited documentary portrait of the former United States defense secretary, Robert S. McNamara. Mr. McNamara, who was 85 when the interviews that make up the bulk of the film were conducted two years ago, served under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to early 1968. He has been widely vilified as a major architect of the Vietnam War, which cost more than 58,000 American lives and, according to Mr. McNamara, the lives of 3.4 million Vietnamese.

Subtitled ''Eleven Lessons of Robert S. McNamara,'' ''The Fog of War,'' which has the first of two New York Film Festival screenings this evening, organizes his reflections into a list of maxims about war and human error, with the cumulative message suggesting that in wartime nobody in power really knows anything.

The documentary, which has a solemn, anxious score by Philip Glass, incorporates White House tapes of conversations about Vietnam that Mr. McNamara had with both presidents, along with vintage clips from World War II and Vietnam.

Stocky and slick haired, with rimless glasses and a grand corporate manner, Mr. McNamara appears to be an exceptionally articulate, self-confident man who came to this project prepared to deflect embarrassing questions about his personal responsibility for the debacle. While he readily confesses to having made serious mistakes of judgment, he will not admit to any grave moral failures.

Near the end of the film, when pressed about whether he feels guilty about Vietnam, he dances nimbly away from the question.

He also has a streak of grandstanding sentimentality. The only moment in which he betrays emotion is during a moist-eyed reminiscence of Kennedy's assassination and burial. And he goes out of his way to mention his good deeds. Before going into government, he worked for the Ford Motor Company (he was briefly the company's president), where he was instrumental in the establishment of new safety features, including car seat belts. Years later, at an antiwar protest in Washington, he made sure that the rifles of the soldiers guarding the Pentagon weren't loaded.

Mr. McNamara, who left the Defense Department in 1968, remained silent about his feelings about the Vietnam War until his 1995 memoir ''In Retrospect'' whose reflections, including the 11 lessons, are tersely recycled in the movie.

The gist of his rationalization for escalating the war is twofold. He was serving a president (Johnson) who was strongly opposed to withdrawing American troops from Southeast Asia. Shortly before leaving office in February 1968, he sent a private memo to Johnson urging a scaling down of the war but received no response.

Beyond that, he suggests in a tone sadder and wiser but not apologetic, that the complexity of war, its ''fog'' if you will, makes it all but impossible for military planners to see the whole picture, except in hindsight.

''Any military commander who is honest will admit that he makes mistakes in the application of military power,'' he declares. And he worries that because there's ''no learning period'' for nuclear weapons, which can be deployed in 15 minutes at the whim of a single individual, one mistake could end up destroying nations.

''The Fog of War,'' goes far beyond Vietnam. During World War II Mr. McNamara served as a commander under the arch-hawk Gen. Curtis Le May, who appears in old photos and film clips as a caricature of a pragmatic, cigar-chomping war-monger. Under Le May, Mr. McNamara was part of the team that made the decision to firebomb 67 Japanese cities, killing large numbers of civilians. In Tokyo alone, more than 100,000 civilians died one night in March 1945.

That was before the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The lesson that came out of that, Mr. McNamara says, is that ''proportionality should be a guideline in war.'' After the war, he recalls, Le May surmised that had the United States lost World War II, he and Mr. McNamara would have been prosecuted as war criminals.

Mr. McNamara was also at Kennedy's side during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis when the president had to choose between answering two conflicting messages from the Soviets, one belligerent, the other more conciliatory. At the urging of the former ambassador to the Soviet Union, Tommy Thompson, who knew Nikita S. Khrushchev well and understood that the Soviet leader was looking for a way to avert war while saving face, Kennedy ignored the advice of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to destroy Cuba and responded to the softer message. It was dumb luck, he says, that averted a nuclear war. The lesson that came out of that experience is arguably the most useful of the 11: ''Empathize with your enemy.''

It was our lack of empathy, Mr. McNamara asserts, that also caused the United States to get so deeply embroiled in Vietnam. What the United States viewed as an extension of the cold war the Vietnamese regarded as a civil war. Parallels can be found between Vietnam and the current war in Iraq. Then, as now, the United States acted without the support of most of its allies. ''What makes us omniscient?'' Mr. McNamara wonders. ''We are the strongest nation in the world today, and I do not believe we should ever apply that economic, political or military power unilaterally. If we'd followed that rule in Vietnam, we wouldn't have been there. None of our allies supported us. If we can't persuade nations with comparable values of the merit of our cause, we'd better re-examine our reasoning.''

None of the documentary's lessons can be described as reassuring. ''Believing and seeing are both often wrong,'' one says. ''Rationality will not save us,'' goes another. The final and saddest lesson is delivered by Mr. McNamara with a rueful, you-know-what-I-mean smile:'' ''You can't change human nature.''

THE FOG OF WAR

Directed by Errol Morris; directors of photography, Peter Donahue and Robert Chappell; edited by Karen Schmeer, Doug Abel and Chyld King; music by Philip Glass; production designers, Ted Bafaloukos and Steve Hardy; produced by Mr. Morris, Michael Williams and Julie Ahlberg; released by Sony Pictures Classics. Running time: 95 minutes. This film is rated PG-13. Shown tonight at 6:30 and Sunday at 2 p.m. at Alice Tully Hall, at Lincoln Center, 165 West 65th Street, Manhattan, as the centerpiece film of the 41st New York Film Festival.

    Revisiting McNamara and the War He Headed, NYT, 11.110.2003,
    http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9805E6DD153FF932A25753C1A9659C8B63

 

 

 

 

 

Paradise Lost 1 and 2

Documentary, 180 mins, USA, 1996.

Dir: Bruce Sinofsky, Joe Berlinger

Summary: A documentary looking at the indictment
and trial of three boys accused of horrific child murders,
and the fight to clear their names.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Guardian        Friday Review        pp. 8-9        27.5.2005
http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/featurepages/0,4120,1493157,00.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until you are dead

Can a documentary save a man from execution?


Damien Wayne Echols,

convicted for a gruesome triple murder in 1993, hopes so.

Duncan Campbell reports on the long campaign behind Paradise Lost

 

Friday May 27, 2005
Guardian > Friday Review
Duncan Campbell

 

It is, almost, the classic courthouse drama scene. The judge addresses the young man standing before him and tells him that officials will shortly "cause to be administered a continuous intravenous injection of a lethal quantity of an ultra-short-acting barbiturate in combination with a chemical paralytic agent into your body until you are dead". It may not quite pack the emotional punch of "and you will be hanged by the neck until you are dead and may God have mercy on your soul" but the end result is the same.

In the documentary film Paradise Lost, both parts of which will be shown in British cinemas next week, Judge David Burnett delivers the words to Damien Wayne Echols, one of three young men convicted of the horrific killing and butchering of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1993. Recalling his judgment on Echols - the other two defendants, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Miskelly Jr, were sentenced to life imprisonment - Judge Burnett says that it was never easy delivering a death sentence, and perhaps we would be able to tell that from the catch in his voice as he pronounced sentence. Indeed we can - because the trial was filmed and that footage, along with the remarkable access the film-makers obtained from the defendants and their families and from the step-father of one of the victims, is at the heart of this disturbing and riveting documentary. The catch in the judge's voice is unmistakable. Did he have more than the obvious reasons to pause in his judgment?

Echols, then 18, and his two co-defendants, Baldwin, 16, and Miskelly, 17, were arrested a month after the murders, not least because, with their dark clothes and their love of heavy metal music and Stephen King books, they were seen as potentially part of a satanic cult. Echols had a not untypically teenage interest in the Wicca religion which, in this God-fearing part of the American south, was seen as even more damning. The mutilations of the boys' bodies led detectives to believe that some cult must be involved and the trio were the likely suspects.

After 12 hours of questioning, Miskelly, who had an IQ of 72 and is clearly not fully aware of what is happening around him, made a confession, implicating the other two. The confession is a rambling one and includes some details that turn out to be wrong, such as the time the crime happened. None the less, he is tried separately and convicted, but declines to give evidence against the others. At their trial in 1994, "experts" on the occult explain to the jury the tell-tale signs of such cults, which include the wearing of black T-shirts. No compelling physical evidence is presented. They are convicted.

The two film-makers, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, shoot not only the trial and the surrounding courtroom activity but keep their hand-held cameras running in the patch of Arkansas where the drama unfolded. If the style and mood seem similar to The Blair Witch Project, then it may be no surprise to hear that the pair were brought in to make Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, the follow-up to that low-budget hit. (It may be no more than a coincidence, but the website developed for Paradise Lost has been cited as a major influence on the Blair Witch's celebrated pseudo-real website.)

Very soon, two main characters emerged in Paradise Lost: Damien Echols, the typical, rebellious, moody smalltown boy who doesn't fit in; and John Mark Byers, the stepfather of the murdered Christopher Byers. Byers Sr is a good ol' boy who stands 6ft 8in tall and holds a beer in one hand and a Bible in the other and who looks forward, as he reminds us on many occasions, to being able to dance on the graves of these "devil-worshipping sons of bitches" who killed his little boy.

The original Paradise Lost film was bought by HBO and was aired on American cable television in 1996 with its full title of The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills. It had an immediate impact, and the impression was that a serious miscarriage of justice had unfolded, as the result of what one participant described as a "modern day witch trial".

Four years later, Berlinger and Sinofsky returned to the case, and made a second Paradise Lost (subtitled Revelations). The film-makers were still able to gain remarkable access to the main protagonists. By 2000, Echols, an academic-looking young man dressed significantly in white, is on death row and still anxious to protest his innocence. He has been frequently raped while inside, we are told. He comes across now as a smart, thoughtful figure. When asked if he has "found God" while in jail, he replies: "I didn't know God was lost." He has, however, lost any interest in Wicca: "I don't want to put a label on myself any more." He just wants to get out and go to college and not be famous for being that guy on death row. His two co-defendants, as in the trial, play much smaller parts.

John Mark Byers, meanwhile, is centre stage once more. Since the first film, his wife, a heroin addict, has died in indeterminate circumstances. Byers himself is now clearly medicated up to the eyeballs, ready to return to the scene of the crime and carry out a symbolic burial of Echols, Baldwin and Miskelly, even setting fire to their "graves" as he puffs on a cigar and bellows: "You want to eat my baby's testicles? Burn, you son of a bitch, burn! I stomp on your grave!"

Meanwhile, a West Memphis Three support group, inspired by the first film, has evolved. They have their own website (wm3.org) which has already had more than 2m hits. Every misunderstood teenager in a black T-shirt has clearly signed on. Many supporters obviously suspect that Byers might be the murderer, and he is well aware that even local people are starting to suggest just that. He agrees to take a polygraph test, which provides part of the drama for the film. The confrontations between the Memphis Three camp, mainly fairly savvy folk, and Byers, a trailer-trash caricature, punctuate the film as does the music of Metallica, about whom the same film-makers later made a documentary, Some Kind of Monster, in 2004.

The detective who investigated the murder, Gary Gitchell, now older and greyer, says that he is certain that he got the right people for the crime: "I can go to bed at night knowing I did my job and did it well," he says. The judge is equally convinced. The relatives of the three defendants travel to Los Angeles to present their case on a talk show, but their contribution is never aired. We do get to see a bit of Los Angeles, however, and learn that about half the population there wear black T-shirts.

Since Paradise Lost, Andrew Jarecki's 2003 documentary Capturing the Friedmans has enjoyed great critical and commercial success. The Friedmans told the story of a seemingly normal suburban family whose life was suddenly turned upside down by the arrest of the father and youngest son for paedophilia. There are many similarities between Capturing the Friedmans and Paradise Lost: the breathtaking frankness of some of the participants, the strong suggestion of a miscarriage of justice, the hand-held camera style. There is, as with the Friedmans, that slightly uncomfortable feeling that we may be voyeurs being entertained by people unaware of just how bizarre and unhinged they may seem.

Both films differ from the more familiar form of British documentaries on miscarriages of justice pioneered by Rough Justice on the BBC and Trial and Error on Channel 4. There the style was to present an unequivocal case for someone's innocence. With the Friedmans and, to a lesser extent, Paradise Lost, the audience is very much left to make up their own minds. What would we do if we were on the jury? Who do we believe? How much of our attitude is framed by our prejudices, whether towards young men with bad haircuts and attitude problems, or raging rednecks who like taking their dentures out for the camera?

Paradise Lost 2 was completed in 2000, and at the time there was a feeling that Damien Echols might finally be either taking the long walk towards that lethal combination of drugs that the judge prescribed or freedom. Five years on, he is still on death row. I am left wanting to see the third instalment.

 

· Paradise Lost 1 and 2 screen at the Curzon Soho, London W1, on June 3, then tour.

They will be released on DVD on June 20 (Warp, £14.99)

    Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005, G, Friday Review, 27.5.2005,
    http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/featurepages/0,4120,1493157,00.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till

Documentaire.

Producer/Director, Keith A. Beauchamp, USA, 2005 [ date à vérifier ].

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

It has been over 40 years since the death of Emmett Louis Till, a fourteen-year-old black Chicago youth
who was slain in Money, Mississippi in 1955.

Emmett Till who was visiting family in the Delta had the great misfortune of finding what Southern Hospitality means when two white men, Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam decided to teach him a lesson for allegedly whistling at a white woman, Bryant's wife. Abducted, severely beaten, and finally thrown into the Tallahatchie River with a weight fastened around his neck with barbed wire, Emmett Till was murdered for one of the oldest forbidden taboos in America's history, addressing a white woman in public. The murderers were later arrested, but were acquitted in a court of law by an all white, all male jury. Emmett did not die in vain. The death of Emmett Till sparked the black resistance of the South, soon to become the American Civil Rights Movement.

In this documentary directed by Keith Beauchamp, a family's agony will finally be told revealing the truth surrounding the Till case by the people who were there.

    Source : http://www.humanarts.org/projects/seven.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Murder of Emmett Till

 

Documentaire, USA, 2003.

Produced by WGBH Educational Foundation

Produced and directed by Stanley Nelson

Written by Marcia A. Smith

 

In August of 1955, one year and three months after Brown v. Board of Education, a fourteen-year-old black boy unschooled in the racial customs of the South traveled to Mississippi to visit relatives. With adolescent bravado, he whistled at Carolyn Bryant, a white woman. This inadvertent violation of a sacred code of the South cost him his life. Two white men dragged Till from his bed in the dead of night, beat him, and shot him through the head. Three days later his mangled body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River. It was Emmett Till's first visit to the South. Eight days after arriving in Money, Mississippi, where the town line was marked with a sign reading, "Money -- a good place to raise a boy," Emmett Till was dead.

If not for one extraordinary decision of Mamie Till, Emmett's mother, the story may have ended there. At the urging of civil rights leaders, Mamie Till decided to leave the casket open at her son's funeral. She told the mortician not to "fix" her son's face. The world would see what had been done to him. Tens of thousands of people viewed Emmett Till's body, which was on display in a Chicago church for four long days. Gruesome photos of his maimed and distorted face flooded the national and international press. America was shocked out of comfortable complacency, and the Till case became international news.

Two days after Till's death, Carolyn Bryant's husband and another white man were arrested and charged with his murder. During the trial the following month, the courthouse became a microcosm of race relations: black observers packed into the segregated balcony seats as the defendants' families joked openly with prosecutors and jurors on the floor below. The courtroom took on a carnival atmosphere as snacks and soft drinks were distributed to white observers. Outside, the international press jockeyed for photographs and interviews that captured the ways of the American South.

Till's uncle identified the assailants in court -- the first time a black person had testified against a white in Mississippi, and perhaps in the South. He was forced to leave town. After a five-day trial that made an open mockery of the possibility of justice, the defendants were acquitted. The Bryants celebrated, on camera, with a smile and an embrace.

The federal government's failure to intercede in the Till case led blacks and whites to realize that if change were to come, they would have to do it themselves. The murder of Emmett Till was a watershed in the development of the nascent movement for civil rights. Some historians describe it as the real spark that ignited broad-based support for the movement.

Three months and three days after Emmett Till's body was pulled from the Tallahatchie, the Montgomery Bus Boycott began.

    Source : http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/till/filmmore/fd.html , http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/till/index.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last letters home:

Voices of American Troops from the Battlefields of Iraq

 

Documentaire de Bill Couturié.

Etats-Unis, 2004, 60 mn.

Diffusion aux USA : HBO, 11.11.2004.

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/lastlettershome/crew/index.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

"When I was engaged in the Vietnam War, I would write home often. Family was the highest priority, of course, but you also write to your friends. In peacetime, you tell them everything. When the war's on, you might hold back. Even when I was writing to my dad, it was never about miltary matters; it was personal stuff. That's what those letters are for - to connect."

    -Sen. John McCain, from his introduction to LIFE's book Last Letters Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Letters Home > The Wise family
http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/lastlettershome/families/wise.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Produced and directed by Oscar - and Emmy Award-winner Bill Couturié (HBO's Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam), this one-hour documentary is an intimate, deeply moving tribute to American troops recently killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom. From the troops' hometowns, family members of eight men and two women read aloud their loved ones' poignant and extremely eloquent final letters, some of which were not received until after news of the troops' deaths had been received. These readings are accompanied by emotional remembrances and insights from grieving wives, mothers, fathers, children and friends, and punctuated by photos supplied by the families as well as The New York Times, which produced the documentary with HBO in association with LIFE Books.

Last Letters Home: Voices of American Troops from the Battlefields of Iraq premieres, appropriately, on Veterans Day 2004: Thursday, November 11 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In an effort to reach as many Americans as possible with this tribute, HBO and participating cable affiliates will open its signal during the telecast, making the program available to almost all cable households, not just pay-cable subscribers.

 

 

Further information and outreach for the families featured in Last Letters Home: Voices of American Troops from the Battlefields of Iraq can be found here:

LIFE's book Last Letters Home – 14 families share their stories with LIFE's readers and come before LIFE's cameras. A portion of sales will be donated to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

The New York Times – If you would like to read the original series of Last Letters Home, visit the New York Times on the web.

The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund – The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund provides unrestricted grants to the families of military personnel who have given their lives in the current operations in defense of our country.

 

 

If you are a veteran and would like to speak with a counselor

about your combat experiences,

please contact the Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-877-222-VETS (8387)

    Source : http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/lastlettershome/about/index.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Jesus Factor / George Bush sous l'emprise de Dieu

 

Documentaire de Raney Aronson.

Etats-Unis, 2004, 42 mn.

Production : PBS, chaîne publique américaine.

Diffusion en France :

le lundi 18 octobre 2004 à 22 h 35, Canal +.

le mercredi 20 octobre 2004 à 15 h 15, Arte.

 

 

On the day that George W. Bush was sworn into his second term as governor of Texas, friend and adviser Dr. Richard Land recalls Bush making an unexpected pronouncement.

"The day he was inaugurated there were several of us who met with him at the governor's mansion," says Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. "And among the things he said to us was, 'I believe that God wants me to be president.'"

How George W. Bush became a born-again Christian -- and the impact that decision has had on his political career -- is the focus of FRONTLINE's report, "The Jesus Factor." Through interviews with Bush family friends, advisers, political analysts, and observers -- as well as excerpts from the president's speeches, interviews, and debates -- this one-hour documentary chronicles George W. Bush's personal religious journey while also examining the growing political influence of the nation's more than 70 million evangelical Christians.

"President Bush has been called the most openly religious president in modern history," says producer Raney Aronson. "The documentary explores what that means for George Bush, both as a person and as president of the United States."

"The Jesus Factor" recounts how George Bush -- struggling with business failures and a drinking problem -- made a life-altering decision in the 1980s after spending a weekend with longtime family friend Billy Graham: "It was the beginning of a new walk where I would recommit my heart to Jesus Christ," Bush later wrote. The change that decision produced in his life, friends say, was both remarkable and genuine.

"It wasn't just a flash in the pan," says Mark Leaverton, co-founder of the Midland, Texas, Community Bible Study -- a group to which Bush became a devoted attendee. "It wasn't just a temporary experience for him. He'd changed and all of a sudden studying the Bible was important."

Bush's newfound faith would prove politically important during his father's 1988 presidential campaign, when the elder Bush -- an Episcopalian -- found himself struggling to connect with a group that had recently gained political clout: evangelical Christians. Evangelicals had helped elect Ronald Reagan, the Bush campaign knew, and observers credit George W. Bush with playing a key role in cementing this group's support for his father in 1988.

"If it wasn't for the son, George Bush the father wouldn't have received as much support as he did in the evangelical community," says Wayne Slater, Austin bureau chief of the Dallas Morning News and author of Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential. "George W. Bush reached out to some key evangelical ministers, reassuring them about the values of his father in a way his father, an Episcopalian, never could."

The younger Bush's evangelical credentials would later help him in his campaign for governor of Texas. After a failed run for Congress in the 1970 -- during which he was portrayed as a partying, rich-boy outsider -- Bush's newfound faith enabled him to connect with Texans in a whole new way, observers say.

"I saw George Bush in church settings -- and he was a master," Slater says. "He was marvelously successful in talking their language, reinforcing their values, and appealing successfully to the kinds of people who not only would vote for him, but would tell the neighbors to vote for him. Not only organize phone banks for him, but would call prayer lines and talk about George Bush as a campaigner."

"The Jesus Factor" chronicles Bush's efforts in Texas to allow faith-based groups to access state funding for social service programs -- a policy he would later advance following his election to the White House. And once again, the support of evangelical Christians proved critical to Bush's razor-thin victory.

"The single most reliable predictor of how a person voted in the 2000 election was whether they went to church or to synagogue or mosque at least once a week," says the Southern Baptist Convention's Richard Land. "If [they did], two-thirds of them voted for George Bush."

In "The Jesus Factor," viewers hear from numerous evangelical Christians who say President Bush understands the "heart and soul" of their beliefs and that his post-9/11 speeches comforted a grieving nation. FRONTLINE also speaks to those who feel the president has taken his rhetoric -- and his religion -- too far.

"If we turn religion into a tool for advancing political strategy, we treat it as anything other than a sacred part of life from which we draw values and strength," says Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of The Interfaith Alliance. "Any time that religion has identified itself with a particular political movement or a particular government, religion has been harmed by that."

"The Jesus Factor" concludes by assessing the importance of the evangelical vote to George W. Bush's reelection campaign strategy. "Evangelical Protestants are an absolutely critical part of the Republican base," says Dr. John Green, director of the University of Akron's Bliss Institute of Applied Politics and author of Religion and the Culture Wars. "The first stone in building the wall of re-election are evangelical Protestants."

    Source : PBS, 29.4.2004, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/jesus/etc/synopsis.html

 

 

 

 

 

Jamais un président américain de l'époque moderne n'a accordé autant de place à la religion. Dieu est entré dans la vie de George W. Bush vers le milieu des années 80 et ne l'a plus quitté. C'est lui qui l'a sauvé de l'alcoolisme, lui qui lui a ordonné de devenir président, lui qui lui a enjoint de lutter contre l'axe du mal après le 11 septembre 2001... Le plus précieux soutien de Bush, ce sont ces protestants dits "évangéliques" : toutes Églises confondues, ils forment une communauté de 70 millions d'électeurs... À travers des entretiens avec des proches de Bush et des analystes politiques, Raney Anderson tente de comprendre en quoi ces choix religieux influencent les actions du de président et quels liens précis George W. Bush entretient avec les chrétiens les plus sectaires. Diffusé par la chaîne PBS, ce documentaire a été l'un des plus grands succès d'audience de l'année outre-Atlantique.

    Source : http://www.arte-tv.com/fr/semaine/244,year=2004,week=43,day=5,broadcastingNum=451850,themaNumber=451844.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A la droite de Dieu

 

Auteur et réalisateur : Martin Meissonnier.

Production : Campagne Première.

Durée : 52 mn.

Diffusion en France : lundi 18 octobre 2004, Canal +.

 

 

Chrétiens évangéliques et fondamentalistes à la veille de l'élection américaine

 

Depuis le 11 septembre 2001, le monde a découvert que le Président George W.Bush appartenait au mouvement des Chrétiens Evangéliques. Ces Protestants Conservateurs se reconnaissent dans le programme, les discours et les actions du Président.

Ces Chrétiens dont le nombre est impossible à définir, sont tous égaux devant Dieu, ils sont missionnaires par tradition. Ils utilisent les moyens de diffusions modernes pour prêcher leur bonne parole. Or, depuis 30 ans, un courant réactionnaire gagne les Chrétiens Evangéliques. Beaucoup deviennent fondamentalistes.

Qu'ils soient, Baptistes, Méthodistes ou Pentecôtistes Conservateurs et fiers de l'être, exaltés ou solitaires, qui sont-ils ? Que veulent-ils ? A la veille des élections américaines, ce film part à la recherche de ces électeurs missionnaires du plus puissant pays du monde.

Pour LUNDI INVESTIGATION, Martin Meissonnier a conduit, principalement aux Etats-Unis, une enquête au cœur de ce mouvement très réactionnaire : du terrain jusqu'aux responsables de ces mouvements religieux protestants fondamentalistes, dont des interviews rares des pasteurs Pat Robertson et Paige Patterson.

Baisse d'impôts, prière à l'école, suppression de l'avortement et du mariage gay sont les base de leur programme construit sur les principes bibliques.

Cette enquête, qui se place délibérément du point de vue des fondamentalistes eux-mêmes, permet de prendre la mesure de l'ampleur du projet développé au niveau mondial. Une véritable stratégie de conquête racontée par les protagonistes eux-mêmes.

 

 

    Intervenants, par ordre alphabétique

 

    ROBERT BOSTON

    Auteur d'un livre sur Pat Robertson "The Most Dangerous Man in America?", Robert Boston a passé ses douze dernières années à traquer la droite religieuse américaine au sein de l¹association Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

 

    RD HAROLD CABALLEROS

    Ancien avocat, le guatémaltèque, Harold Caballeros crée l'église de El Shaddai à Guatemala City dont il est le Pasteur. El Shaddai représente aujourd¹hui 130 congrégations dans le monde. Rd Harold Caballeros participe activement à la "transformation" de son pays grâce, notamment, à sa radio Vision qui couvre tout le territoire. Son objectif : faire du Guatemala une république chrétienne en 2020.

 

    RD JERRY FALWELL

    Pasteur baptiste fondamentaliste américain et télévangéliste, Jerry Falwell a fondé en 1979 l'un des plus influents et des plus virulents lobby de la droite chrétienne, Moral Majority. Mouvement connu pour ses accointances avec le Parti Républicain américain et le Likoud d¹Ariel Sharon.

 

    RD PAIGE PATTERSON

    Le révérend Paige Patterson est à l'origine du grand retour à droite, de la plus importante dénomination protestante des Etats-Unis, la Convention des Baptistes du Sud (16 millions de membres). Rd Paige Patterson préside aujourd'hui le Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Le plus grand séminaire Evangélique des USA.

 

    RD PAT ROBERTSON

    Le révérend Pat Robertson est un des télévangélistes américains les plus connus. Ancien candidat conservateur à l¹investiture républicaine contre George Bush senior en 1988, il est le créateur de la Christian Coalition, une organisation très liée au Parti Républicain. Pat Robertson est le président fondateur de CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network), un réseau chrétien diffusé mondialement. Il a également fondé à Virginia Beach en Virginie, Regent university, une université de gouvernement chrétienne fondamentaliste.

 

    PROMISE KEEPERS

    En mars 1990, un ancien entraîneur de football américain, crée les Promise Keepers, un mouvement exclusivement masculin, qui réunit plus de 170.000 hommes par an, lors de conférences - spectacles mêlant prêches, rock et Bible. En cette année 2004, les hommes font la promesse de voter biblique.

    Source : http://www.canalplus.fr/emissions/lundiinvestigation/dieu.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

La dynastie Bush

 

Réalisé par Thomas Berbner et Christoph Lütgert.

Allemagne, 2004, 75 mn.

NDR.

Diffusion en France : mercredi 6 octobre 2004 à 15 h 15, Arte.

 

 

Témoignages et images d'archives inédites retracent le parcours des différents membres de la famille Bush, dont Prescott Bush, George Bush père et George W. Bush. Histoire d'un clan au sommet du pouvoir.

Les Bush passent pour être des Texans de souche. Ils sont en fait originaires du Nord-Est et appartiennent à la grande bourgeoisie de la Nouvelle-Angleterre. La villégiature d'été de Kennebunkport, sur la côte du Maine, est encore aujourd'hui le point de ralliement du clan. En 1921, Prescott Bush, fils d'un magnat de l'acier de l'Ohio, épouse Dorothy Walker, héritière d'un riche banquier de New York. Ce mariage, qui scelle (déjà !) l'union de la politique et de l'argent, est à l'origine de la réussite de la famille.

Trois carrières sont ici décortiquées : celles de Prescott Bush, celle de George Bush père et celle de George W. Bush. Du Sénat à Washington aux gisements pétroliers texans, de la mainmise sur la CIA à l'accession à la Maison-Blanche... tous les ressorts de la puissance des Bush sont exposés. Le documentaire n'oublie pas non plus les seconds rôles : Jeb, frère de l'actuel président et gouverneur de Floride, la génération montante avec les jumelles de "double you", Jenna et Barbara, et son sunny boy de neveu George P. Bush. Au sein du clan, l'entraide est de rigueur. Le fils aide le père qui soutient ses fils, tandis que les frères se donnent un coup de main pour leurs campagnes électorales respectives.

Thomas Berbner et Christoph Lütgert se sont plongés dans les archives personnelles du clan. Ils y ont trouvé des photos et des extraits de films totalement inédits. Des amis, des compagnons de route, des biographes, mais aussi des esprits plus critiques retracent la trajectoire de la famille et de chacun de ses membres.

    Source : http://www.arte-tv.com/fr/semaine/244,broadcastingNum=447234,day=5,week=41,year=2004.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Les élections américaines

 

Documentaire de Nicole Bacharan et Michel Arowns, 2 x 52 mn, 1996.

Réalisation : Michel Arowns.

Production : La Compagnie des phares et balises.

Diffusion en France : 23 et 24 octobre 2004 à 21 h 00, Histoire.

(1/2) De George Washington à CNN,

les dérives du système électoral américain : 23 octobre à 21 h 00.

 

 

Tous les quatre ans, à grand renfort de flonflons et de lâchers de ballons, les conventions nationales des grands partis américains désignent leurs candidats officiels. Comment devient-on Président des Etats-Unis? De la méfiance des Pères Fondateurs envers le suffrage universel, aux contrôles financiers qui ont suivi le Watergate, jusqu'à notre époque où la télévision a changé les règles du jeu, nous découvrons la constante évolution du système électoral américain, oscillant entre pouvoir du peuple et règne des partis, crainte de la démagogie et lutte contre la corruption, débordements imprévus et reprise en main législative.

    Rediffusions :

    le 24/10 à 10h40, le 25/10 à 19h, le 31/10 à 22h30, le 1/11 à 13h, le 9/11 à 17h05.

 

 

    (2/2) Mister Vice President :

    Diffusion en France : 24 octobre à 21 h 00, sur Histoire.

 

    Le second épisode se penche sur le destin de vice-présidents, que les secousses de l'histoire ont propulsés sur le devant de la scène. Comment sont-ils choisis, quelles responsabilités les Présidents leur confient-ils? Par leur histoire, nous découvrons les potentiels et les faiblesses d'une institution que les Américains, passionnément attachés à leur Constitution, ne semblent pas vouloir remettre en cause.

    Rediffusions : le 25/10 à 11h25, le 26/10 à 19h05, le 31/11 à 22h40,

    le 2/11 à 16h55, le 10/11 à 17h25.

    Source : http://www.histoire.fr/vert/html/ftheme.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saddam Hussein : le procès que vous ne verrez pas

 

Une enquête de Barry Lando et Michel Despratx.

Diffusion en France : 26 octobre 2004 à 21 h, Canal +.

 

 

Un événement mondial aura lieu cette année : le procès de Saddam Hussein. Crimes de guerre et crimes contre l’humanité, le dictateur et ses complices irakiens risquent la peine de mort.

En revanche, ce que les procureurs n’aborderont jamais, c’est le catalogue des complicités étrangères dans les crimes de Saddam Hussein. Aucun politicien américain, français, anglais, aucun homme d’affaires occidental ne sera jamais accusé d'avoir été complice d'un crime commis par Saddam Hussein. C’est cette histoire évacuée, le vrai procès de Saddam Hussein, celui du dictateur et de ses complices occidentaux que Barry Lando et Michel Despratx racontent à travers une enquête menée en Europe, en Irak, au Moyen-Orient et aux Etats-Unis.

Un ancien président, d'anciens ministres, des diplomates, d’anciens putschistes, des documents inédits et des archives filmées révèlent en quoi la France et les Etats-Unis ont été les complices, parfois les co-auteurs, de crimes commis en Irak par le régime de Saddam Hussein.

"Le procès de Saddam est un subterfuge : tout est fait pour que le tribunal soit contrôlé, afin que les Etats-Unis et les autres puissances ne soient pas mis en cause." Cherif Bassiouni - juriste international sollicité par les Américains pour préparer le procès de Saddam Hussein.

 

 

 

    Les éléments du dossier

 

    1980, La guerre contre l’Iran

   

    A son procès, Saddam Hussein est accusé d'avoir déclenché une guerre qui fit un million de morts. Mais les puissances occidentales ont été les complices de ce bilan meurtrier. L’ancien président iranien, Bani Sadr, affirme avoir été en possession d’un document secret prouvant que les Américains ont aidé Saddam Hussein à préparer la guerre contre l’Iran : "Les Américains ont aidé Saddam Hussein à préparer son plan de bataille pour attaquer l’Iran. Leur objectif était de briser la dynamique de la révolution iranienne."

Un rapport confidentiel du gouvernement américain confirme l’accusation : la Maison Blanche a bien encouragé Saddam Hussein à attaquer l’Iran. Une fois la guerre lancée, l’Occident a tout fait pour l ’entretenir : la France et les Etats-Unis ont offert à Saddam Hussein un soutien militaire en même temps qu’ils livraient secrètement des armes à l’ennemi iranien. Les marchands d'armes occidentaux se sont enrichis pendant huit ans. Le but de l’Occident était aussi de faire durer cette guerre pour affaiblir et neutraliser les ambitions des deux puissances capables de rivaliser avec les intérêts occidentaux dans la région.

 

 

 

    1983-1998, l'arme chimique

 

    En 1988, Saddam Hussein bombarde avec des gaz le village kurde d'Halabja, dans le nord de l’Irak. Cinq mille civils sont tués. Washington et Paris ont à l’époque empêché que leur allié, Saddam Hussein, soit condamné par l’ONU pour ce massacre à l’arme chimique. L’ancien ministre français des Affaires étrangères, Roland Dumas, témoigne : "L'Occident fermait un petit peu les yeux sur le massacre d'Halabja. Je ne dirai pas plus : "fermait les yeux" parce que l’Irak était un pays nécessaire à l’équilibre des lieux."

Gary Milhollin, expert américain en désarmement, révèle que les entreprises ayant aidé Saddam Hussein à s’équiper en armes chimiques sont des entreprises françaises et allemandes. Il explique que les Nations unies gardent secret ce dossier dérangeant.

 

 

 

    1990, Saddam Hussein envahit le Koweït

 

    Le président Bush père, qui a toujours protégé les relations commerciales avec Saddam Hussein, n’a rien fait pour le dissuader d'envahir le Koweït.

Huit jours avant l'invasion, l'’ambassadrice américaine à Bagdad assure Saddam Hussein que les Etats-Unis ne prendront pas position sur un différend de frontière. Au Congrès, Tom Lantos, un élu démocrate, accuse le gouvernement Bush d'avoir ménagé Saddam Hussein : "Ce comportement obséquieux envers Saddam au plus haut niveau de l’Etat l’a encouragé à entrer au Koweït. En aucun cas nous ne pouvons fuir cette responsabilité."

Six mois plus tard, les Etats-Unis et leurs alliés occidentaux chasseront finalement Saddam Hussein du Koweït. Mais en ne poursuivant pas la guerre jusqu'à Bagdad, ils laisseront le dictateur au pouvoir.

 

 

 

    1990, Le massacre des chiites

 

    Après la guerre du Golfe, Saddam Hussein massacre des dizaines de milliers de chiites qui se sont soulevés contre lui à l’appel de George Bush. Malgré cette révolte, les Américains décident finalement de ne pas intervenir. Ce n’est pas tout : un ancien insurgé retrouvé en Irak révèle que les Américains ont aidé Saddam Hussein à commettre ce massacre : "J’ai vu les avions américains tourner dans le ciel alors que les hélicoptères de Saddam nous bombardaient.
Les Américains les protégeaient, c’était comme une couverture aérienne."

Pour la première fois, un ancien officier des forces spéciales américaines, Rocky Gonzales, confirme l'accusation : les ordres donnés étaient de repousser les insurgés irakiens poursuivis par les hélicoptères de Saddam : "Nous avions reçu l’ordre de ne pas aider les insurgés, en aucun cas. En tant qu’être humain, je voulais les aider, mais en tant que soldat, j’avais des ordres à suivre."
Roland Dumas et Jean-Pierre Chevènement, anciens ministres français, expliquent pourquoi les Etats-Unis et la France ont finalement décidé, en 1991, de ne pas chasser Saddam Hussein du pouvoir. Roland Dumas confirme : "Le calcul était que seul Saddam pouvait tenir l’Irak et empêcher l’éclatement du pays."

 

 

 

    1990-2003, Les enfants morts de l’embargo

 

    Après le retrait de Saddam Hussein du Koweït, les Nations unies maintiennent contre l'Irak un embargo, officiellement destiné à empêcher Saddam Hussein de se rééquiper en armes de destruction massive. Or Dennis Halliday, un ancien chef du programme des sanctions de l’ONU, dévoile la véritable motivation de cet embargo, qui, selon l’Unicef, a tué de 500 000 à un million d'Irakiens : "L’embargo a été un outil pour détruire l’Irak et lui enlever son statut de leader du monde arabe. La théorie était que si on faisait du mal au peuple irakien et en particulier si on tuait les enfants, ils allaient se révolter et renverser le tyran."

Un document secret du Pentagone, daté de 1991, prouve que Washington avait calculé que le bombardement du réseau d'eau potable en Irak par les Américains allait provoquer épidémies et morts massives dans la population.

Les douze années qui ont suivi, Washington a utilisé l'embargo pour empêcher Bagdad d'importer les pièces de rechange permettant de restaurer l’eau potable en Irak et ainsi de stopper l'hécatombe. En 1996, une journaliste de la chaîne CBS questionne l'ambassadrice américaine à l'ONU, Madeleine Albright, à propos des enfants irakiens décimés à cause de l’embargo : "On a entendu dire qu’un demi-million d'enfants sont morts en Irak. C’est plus de morts qu'à Hiroshima. Est-ce que cela en valait la peine ?"

Madeleine Albright répond : "Je pense que c’est un choix très difficile, mais nous pensons que cela en valait la peine."

    Source du résumé de Canal + : http://www.canalplus.fr/emissions/lundiinvestigation/90mn_saddam_hussein_proces.htm

    Source du dossier de Canal + : http://www.canalplus.fr/emissions/lundiinvestigation/90mn_saddam_hussein_dossier.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L’Amérique en guerre : paroles interdites

 

Diffusion en France : 25 octobre 2004, France 3.

 

 

Le magazine de la rédaction livre deux enquêtes, Elise Lucet dresse le tableau de l’Amérique et la guerre, interpelle et interroge, en plateau, spécialistes et acteurs du dossier.

 

Première enquête : « GI’s en Irak : paroles interdites »

Ce document exceptionnel de 60’, signé Laurent Richard et Alexandre Jolly, et produit par light, propose les témoignages interdits de soldats en Irak et ceux de combattants revenus de la guerre, actuellement isolés en hôpital militaire.

Pour la première fois, des soldats d’une caserne de Bagdad parlent librement de leurs expériences, de leurs visions des choses, outrepassant leur devoir de réserve : « Le métier de Bush et de son cabinet, c’est juste de foutre la trouille aux Américains, avec leur soit-disant guerre contre le terrorisme. Cela fait 3 mois que je suis là et j’ai toujours pas vu un seul terroriste… ». La désillusion est violente pour ces militaires, dont la moitié a moins de 24 ans « On ne devrait même pas être ici…On doit rentrer, leur rendre leur pays.. réparer ce qu’on a détruit ».

1000 morts, 7 000 amputés et 24 000 soldats évacués pour raisons médicales : c’est le « coût humain » de cette guerre commencée il y a 19 mois. Pour la première fois, l’équipe a pu pénétrer clandestinement dans le plus grand hôpital militaire américain. Après 6 mois en Irak, Daniel parle de la « maladie du cauchemar », le syndrome post-traumatique causé par ce conflit qui, en s’éternisant, ressemble à un nouveau Vietnam.

 

Seconde enquête : « L’Amérique en guerre »

Ce reportage de 26’ de Marie-Pierre Courtellemont et Romuald Rat, partis à la rencontre des Américains (ouvriers, étudiants, chefs d’entreprise, jeunes incorporés..) pour qui la lutte contre le terrorisme justifie la guerre et le maintien en Irak.

    Source : http://info.france3.fr/emissions/1389638-fr.php

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arte > Thema > Hollywood et le Pentagone

 

Le cinéma américain entretient depuis toujours un rapport particulier avec le Pentagone et ne cesse de représenter la guerre. Quelle est la nature des relations entre Hollywood et l’armée américaine ?

Qui influence qui ?
Qu’est-ce que cette collaboration nous enseigne sur le cinéma
et sur la manière de faire la guerre ?

 

 

Opération Hollywood

 

Documentaire (90') de Maurice Ronai et Emilio Pacull.

Réalisé par Emilio Pacull.

Coproduction : ARTE France, Les Films d’Ici & Avro Hollande,
avec le soutien du Programme Media de la Commission européenne.

Diffusion en France : vendredi 29 octobre 2004 à 22 h 15, sur Arte.

Rediffusion : 2 et 8 novembre à 15 h 15.


    La longue collaboration entre Hollywood et le Pentagone a permis aux Américains de produire des films aux budgets gigantesques et à l’efficacité redoutable… Retour sur une association fructueuse, de la Première Guerre mondiale au conflit irakien, en compagnie de cinéastes, de militaires et d’agents des services spéciaux.

    Depuis la naissance du cinéma américain, Hollywood n’a jamais cessé de représenter la guerre. Conscient du formidable outil de propagande que pouvait constituer la production de ces films, le ministère de la Défense s’est aussitôt rapproché des studios. Aujourd’hui encore, nombreux sont les films qui bénéficient de l’appui du Pentagone. En contrepartie les forces armées américaines jouissent d’un droit de regard sur les scénarios… Entre ententes cordiales et profonds désaccords, entre censure et propagande gouvernementale, ce film retrace les soubresauts d’une coopération fort complexe.

   

    La guerre mise en scène

    Nourri de larges extraits de films, le documentaire de Maurice Ronai et Emilio Pacull radiographie plus de soixante ans de cinéma de guerre américain et y décrypte l’influence du Pentagone. Le récit s’appuie sur de nombreux témoignages : des interviews de réalisateurs, de producteurs, de critiques de cinéma, mais aussi de membres du Pentagone, parmi lesquels Philip Strub, responsable des relations avec le cinéma. Sans détour, l’homme clef du système confirme que seuls les projets véhiculant une image positive des forces armées bénéficient d’aides ministérielles. L’accord entre Hollywood et le ministère de la Défense repose sur une équation simple : les producteurs peuvent disposer de tout le matériel nécessaire (porte-avions, sous-marins, images d’archives, conseils techniques…) à condition que les films magnifient l’armée, exaltent l’héroïsme, le patriotisme, la camaraderie… Cette “entente” fonctionne bien entre la Première et la Seconde Guerre mondiale, donnant naissance à de nombreux films qui célèbrent l’invincible armée américaine. Le jour le plus long, réalisé en 1962, marque l’apogée de cette complicité. Puis, la collaboration devient plus difficile pendant la guerre du Viêt-nam – vaste sujet à controverses… Hollywood et le Pentagone se rapprochent à nouveau dans les années 80. Symbole de ces retrouvailles : Top gun. Le réalisateur Tony Scott y réhabilite l’armée, célèbre sa supériorité technologique et offre à l’US Air Force un formidable spot publicitaire d’une heure trente !

    Avec précision, le film révèle comment le Pentagone supprime (dans les scénarios qu’on lui soumet) les moindres aspects portant atteinte à l’image de l’armée. Et n’hésite pas à édulcorer certaines versions des faits qui discréditent ses troupes. Un véritable travail de censure approuvé par des réalisateurs parfois peu soucieux de leur intégrité artistique. “Un bon film est un film qui montre que la guerre n’est pas la bonne solution. Tous les films qui ont reçu l’aide de l’armée affirment le contraire…”, résume le journaliste David L. Robb. Compte tenu de ces critères, des films comme Platoon, Apocalypse now ou Full metal jacket n’ont perçu aucune aide gouvernementale. En revanche, Pearl Harbor a fait partie des élus… Aujourd’hui, le Pentagone se tourne vers les jeux vidéo et s’intéresse aux capacités acquises par Hollywood dans les domaines de l’imagerie numérique et de la simulation…

    Depuis début septembre 2004, le Pentagone a sa propre chaîne de télévision sur le câble (Turner) : Pentagone Channel.

    Source : http://www.arte-tv.com/fr/Impression/4982,CmC=647982,CmStyle=98674.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arte > Thema > USA ? Connais pas !

 

Diffusion en France : mardi 26 octobre 2004 à 20 h 45, sur Arte.

Rediffusions : 27 octobre à 15 h 15.

 

 

Les Européens croient connaître l'Amérique et, régulièrement, s'aperçoivent qu'ils ne la comprennent pas. Pour éclaircir nos idées, "Thema" propose deux grandes enquêtes : l'une sur les valeurs fondamentales de l'Amérique, l'autre sur les relations entre la presse et le pouvoir.

    Source : http://www.arte-tv.com/fr/semaine/244,broadcastingNum=408521,day=4,week=44,year=2004.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA : Indécence interdite

 

Une enquête de Frédéric Dupuis.

Production : CAPA.

Durée : 52 mn.

Diffusion en France : lundi 25 octobre 2004, Canal +.

 

A l'heure où les Etats-Unis hésitent entre l'ultra-conservateur Georges Bush et une alternative démocrate supposée plus tolérante, pour LUNDI INVESTIGATION, USA : INDECENCE INTERDITE mène l'enquête dans l'univers des nouveaux puritains américains, leurs lobbys, leurs méthodes et les conséquences spectaculaires de leur montée en puissance.

Automne 2004, la chaîne CBS est condamnée à 550 000$ d'amende pour avoir laissé Janet Jackson montrer son sein à la télévision au cours du programme le plus regardé des Etats-Unis, le SuperBowl. Quelques semaines plus tôt ce sont plusieurs animateurs radio stars à travers les Etats-Unis qui sont censurés et exclus des ondes, pour des propos provocateurs axés sur le sexe. Pour la première fois depuis les années 50, 2004 marque le retour en force du puritanisme dans les médias américains. En réalité ces évènements ne sont que la partie émergée d'un iceberg bien plus menaçant : les pourfendeurs du sexe et de " l'indécence " aux Etats- Unis ont pris l'offensive et veulent ramener l'Amérique à l'âge de pierre et de la pruderie.

En Floride, la police utilise des méthodes dignes de James Bond pour arrêter des délinquants qui ne s'avèrent qu'être des clients de prostituées. Policières déguisées en tapineuses, camionnettes espions, menottes, garde à vue, et pour finir dénonciation des contrevenants aux journaux. Le but est simple : faire suffisamment peur pour repousser le commerce du sexe loin des centres villes et des regards.

En Louisiane, dans le Sud conservateur des Etats-Unis, c'est la liberté de s'habiller qui est l'objet d'une virulente croisade des nouveaux puritains. Au Parlement de Louisiane un groupe de députés bataille pour faire interdire par la loi le port de jeans taille basse et les nombrils à l'air, jugés trop sexy. Ces codes vestimentaires jeunes sont considérés comme des symboles de " l'indécence " à éradiquer.

Dans la lignée des combats menés contre l'avortement ou l'homosexualité, la guerre anti-sexe est déclarée à travers tous les Etats-Unis. Soit par des lois nouvelles, soit par une application de plus en plus sévère des lois déjà existantes. En première ligne les télés et radios américaines sont désormais sous haute surveillance. Howard Stern, ou Bubba " The love spounge ", deux des plus fameux animateurs radios des Etats-Unis depuis 15 ans, ont été d'un coup mis à l'amende et licenciés de leurs radios pour " indécence " à l'antenne. A l'origine de ces mises au pas médiatiques, le FCC, l'instance de contrôle des médias américains, dirigé par le fils du secrétaire d'Etat Colin Powell. Un organisme longtemps tolérant avant de se découvrir récemment un nouveau credo pudibond. Un organisme, il est vrai, soumis depuis quelques mois à d'intenses pressions d'associations de parents en guerre contre " l'indécence dans les médias ", comme le Parents TV Council, près d'un million de membres à travers les Etats-Unis.

A l'exact opposé de la vie publique, cette reprise en mains réactionnaire bouleverse la vie des américains jusque dans sa sphère la plus intime. Dans plusieurs états américains, c'est désormais la vie amoureuse des adolescents qui est dans le collimateur des policiers et des juges. Ainsi des procureurs de l'état du Michigan qui condamnent à des peines infamantes des adolescents qui n'ont commis qu'un seul crime, avoir des relations sexuelles tout en étant mineurs. Depuis une loi récente faire l'amour avec son copain ou sa copine avant l'âge légal peut coûter dans certains états d'être répertorié pour 25 ans dans un fichier des délinquants sexuels en compagnie des violeurs et autres pédophiles. Un fichier accessible au public sur Internet, propice à la délation. Avec des conséquences qui peuvent être dramatiques lorsque l'on cherche par exemple un emploi ou un logement.

Derrière ces policiers ou ces juges de plus en plus répressifs, derrière ces députés prêts à légiférer sur la vie privée de leurs concitoyens, une population américaine conservatrice de plus en plus sûre d'elle-même. Et des lobbies qui multiplient sans complexe les pressions jusqu' à l'intérieur même du Congrès de Washington. Sous leur influence directe, les députés et sénateurs conservateurs n'ont d'autre choix que de se faire adouber par les associations les plus anti-sexe, comme la Christian Coalition, forte de ses millions de membres à travers les Etats-Unis. Et de faire voter des lois de plus en plus répressives sur les mœurs.

    Source : http://www.canalplus.fr/emissions/lundiinvestigation/indecence_interdite.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Les nouveaux militants de la foi

 

Documentaire de Michaela Kirst et Sabine El Chamaa.

Production : ZDF.

Allemagne, 2004, 27 mn.

Diffusion en France : mercredi 20 octobre 2004 à 16 h 5, Arte.

 

 

    Avec environ 16 millions de membres, la Southern baptist convention est la plus importante église évangélique des États-Unis. Et l'une des plus actives.

    Les baptistes insistent sur le fait qu'ils existent deux naissances, la naturelle et la spirituelle : on ne naît pas chrétien, il faut savoir "naître de nouveau" (Jean, 3-7) pour accéder au ciel, faire en permanence sa profession de foi (d'où le nom d'Églises "professantes" en Europe). Pour cette raison, les baptistes accordent une très grande place à l'évangélisation et organisent d'énormes campagnes de "recrutement" à travers tous les États-Unis... Scott Rourk, 33 ans, est l'un des missionnaires de la Southern baptist convention. En rejoignant les baptistes, le jeune homme a renoncé à sa vie de yuppie, "avec champagne et petites amies", et abandonné sa florissante entreprise d'entretien d'espaces verts - au grand dam de ses parents. Pour faire passer son message évangélique, Scott use de toutes les méthodes modernes du marketing : distribution gratuite de donuts, hip-hop ou rock "chrétiens"... Cet automne, il va ouvrir sa propre église sur Times Square. Il l'a financée notamment grâce à certains dons restant de la collecte organisée au profit des victimes du 11 septembre. Un signe pour lui que Jésus devrait revenir un jour sur l'emplacement du World Trade Center.

    Source : http://www.arte-tv.com/fr/semaine/244,year=2004,week=43,day=5,broadcastingNum=451850,themaNumber=451844.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L'Europe ira-t-elle en enfer ?

 

Documentaire de Robert Cibis et Lilian Franck.

Production : ZDF.

Allemagne, 2004, 43 mn.

Diffusion en France : mercredi 20 octobre 2004 à 16 h 30, Arte.

 

Comment les stratèges évangéliques venus d'Amérique
s'efforcent d'avoir une influence politique en Europe.


    Certains groupes évangéliques américains ont vu dans les événements du 11 septembre la confirmation de leurs réflexions sur l'Apocalypse et la nécessité de porter la bonne parole partout dans le monde. Ainsi, 20 000 missionnaires se sont rendus à Athènes pour les J. O., convaincus que tout lieu de communion fraternelle entre les peuples est favorable à la propagation de leurs idées. D'autres groupes sont à l'oeuvre en Europe centrale. Leur prosélytisme et leurs méthodes ne sont pas du goût de tout le monde. Il y a des pays où certaines communautés sont considérées comme des sectes ou sont accusées de tenir des propos discriminatoires.

    Source :    http://www.arte-tv.com/fr/semaine/244,year=2004,week=43,day=5,broadcastingNum=451850,themaNumber=451844.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soupçons / The Stair Case

 

 

 

 

 

Maha Productions
http://www.canalplus.fr/emissions/soupcons/index_photos.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Série documentaire de 8 x 45 mn.

    Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, réalisateur > Voir aussi Un suspect idéal.

    Production CANAL+/Maha Productions avec la collaboration d’ABC.

    Diffusion en France sur Canal+ Horizons des deux épisodes, le jeudi à 20 h,

    les 14, 21, 28 octobre et 4 novembre 2004, soit deux épisodes de 45 mn par soirée.

 

    Le 9 décembre 2001, à 2 h 41 du matin, à Durham en Caroline du Nord, la police reçoit un appel au secours du célèbre romancier Michael Peterson. Il vient de trouver sa femme morte en bas de l’escalier de leur maison. Quelques jours plus tard, Michael Peterson est inculpé alors que rien ne l’accuse. Crime ou accident ?

    Les deux versions s’affrontent. Mais ce n’est que le point de départ d’une affaire qui, durant dix-huit mois, va défrayer la chronique en allant de rebondissement en rebondissement. Une histoire dans laquelle se mêlent argent, homosexualité, pouvoir et une autre mort mystérieuse qui refait surface dix-huit ans après.

    Construit comme un véritable "polar du réel", autopsie d’une défense, SOUPÇONS, dévoile les coulisses du système judiciaire américain. Jean-Xavier de Lestrade (Oscar du meilleur documentaire pour UN COUPABLE IDEAL en 2002) a obtenu l’exclusivité de cette histoire et a pu suivre, jusqu’au verdict, l’ensemble des protagonistes...

    Source : http://www.canalhorizons.com/chaine/present/rentree2004/documentaire.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maha Productions
http://www.canalplus.fr/emissions/soupcons/index_photos.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Autre résumé de Soupçons :

 

    Le 9 décembre 2001, à 2H41 du matin, dans la ville de Durham en Caroline du Nord la police reçoit l'appel affolé d'un homme qui hurle que sa femme est en train de mourir après avoir fait une chute dans un escalier. Cinq minutes plus tard les secours arrivent sur place et Michael PETERSON, 59 ans, romancier et personnage public, est à genoux près de sa femme Kathleen qui gît dans un bain de sang. Elle vient de décéder.

    En l'espace de deux heures, c'est une grande partie des forces de police de la ville qui vont débarquer dans cette immense et luxueuse maison. Très vite les soupçons se portent sur lui et il est inculpé quelques jours plus tard.

    Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, Oscar pour " Un coupable idéal ", a obtenu l'exclusivité de cette histoire et a pu suivre jusqu'au verdict, l'ensemble des protagonistes : l'accusé, ses enfants, ses avocats, les détectives privés, la police…

    Construit comme un véritable "polar du réel", ce film suit pendant 18 mois les rebondissements de cette affaire où se mêlent argent, homosexualité, pouvoir et une autre mort qui refait surface 18 ans après.

    Alors : crime ou accident ?

    Source : http://www.canalplus.fr/emissions/soupcons/index.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maha Productions
http://www.canalplus.fr/emissions/soupcons/index_photos.html
 

 

 

 


 

 

    The Stair Case

    A Look at Novelist Michael Peterson's Case:

    From Defense Preparation to Dramatic Verdict

    July 19, 2004 — From the 911 call to the surprising verdict, ABC News will air an extraordinary behind-the-scenes look at all facets of a high-profile murder trial in the college town of Durham, N.C., with the two-hour special, The Stair Case.

    A co-production of ABC and an Academy Award-winning team from France, The Stair Case documents every aspect from the perspective of the defense and defendant in the case against novelist Michael Peterson, who was charged with bludgeoning his wife Kathleen to death at the bottom of the staircase in their million-dollar home in December 2001. Hosted by ABC News Senior Legal Correspondent Cynthia McFadden, The Stair Case airs on Thursday, July 22 (9-11 p.m. ET) on the ABC Television Network.

Was it an accident, as the defendant claimed, or first-degree murder? Viewers get the chance to decide for themselves as the documentary unfolds. Cameras record every dramatic twist as it happens, including:

- The 11th-hour discovery of what the prosecution terms the missing murder weapon;

- The stunning revelation of Michael Peterson's bisexuality, despite his so-called "storybook marriage" with Kathleen, and that he was in contact with gay escorts online;

- And the exhumation of the body of Peterson's close friend — a woman who also died mysteriously at the bottom of a staircase 18 years earlier, whose two daughters were later raised by Michael and Kathleen Peterson. Margaret Ratliff, one of the daughters, says: "The D.A. is saying our father killed our biological mother and our stepmother. But where are we sitting? We're sitting behind our dad."

Throughout the two-hour documentary, Michael Peterson and his family react to these dramatic developments in the case, voicing their thoughts and fears. Viewers become a "fly on the wall" as Peterson's million-dollar defense team debates the "good facts/bad facts" that will shape their courtroom strategy — and star defense witness forensics expert Henry Lee investigates the crime scene.

In addition to the behind-the-scenes footage of the Peterson family and defense team, The Stair Case transports viewers into the courtroom for high-intensity testimony from police investigators and the prosecution, along with graphic visual depictions related to the case.

Peterson — an author, newspaper columnist and two-time political candidate — provides a running commentary throughout the two-hour documentary, which was culled from 650 hours of footage filmed over two years. In addition to hearing directly from Peterson, viewers will also see candid interviews with his brother and his five children. After reading the autopsy report, his stepdaughter Caitlin (the only biological child of the victim) becomes "100 percent" convinced that Peterson murdered her mother, leading her to sever ties with her siblings and the stepfather who raised her for 13 years. Peterson claims that if Caitlin had supported him, "there would have been no trial."

The Stair Case is a collaboration between ABC and the Academy Award-winning team from Maha Productions in Paris. Rudy Bednar is the senior executive producer of The Stair Case. Teri Whitcraft is the senior producer. For Maha, Denis Poncet and Jean-Xavier deLestrade are executive producers.

    Source : http://more.abcnews.go.com/sections/primetime/us/stair_case_040722.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fahrenheit 9/11

 

Film documentaire de Michael Moore, USA, 2004. Palme d'or à Cannes, 2004.

 


 

 

http://www.michaelmoore.com/special/f911-screenshots.php

 

" Marine recruiters in Flint, Michigan
approaching teenagers outside a shopping mall to enlist them in the military.
"Maybe we can get you a career in music, you know, let the Marines go for it.
I'm sure you know who Shaggy is, right?
How about a former Marine? Did you know that?" "

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fahrenheit 9/11

interdit aux moins de 17 ans aux Etats-Unis

 

    "Il est malheureusement très possible que, dans les années qui viennent, de nombreux jeunes de 15 ou 16 ans soient recrutés pour servir en Irak. S'ils sont assez vieux pour être recrutés, aller au combat et risquer leur vie, ils méritent bien le droit de voir ce qui se passe en Irak."

    Michael Moore a ainsi plaidé, le 13 juin, la cause de son documentaire militant antiguerre et anti-Bush Fahrenheit 9/11, qui vient d'être classé "R" (pour "Restricted"), c'est-à-dire interdit aux mineurs de 17 ans non accompagnés. Cette décision a été prise par la MPAA, l'association professionnelle qui régit la censure aux Etats-Unis.

    Le cinéaste et ses distributeurs, la compagnie canadienne Lions Gate, ont décidé de faire appel de cette décision, mais l'audience a été fixée au 22 juin, alors que Fahrenheit 9/11 doit sortir trois jours plus tard, le 25. Des négociations sont en cours pour avancer cette date. La MPAA justifie sa décision par la présence d'"images violentes et dérangeantes" et par le "langage" employé dans le film. Michael Moore montre, en effet, certains détails des lynchages de civils américains à Fallouja ainsi qu'une décapitation en Arabie saoudite. Tom Ortenberg, le président de Lions Gate, fait valoir qu'il n'y a rien dans Fahrenheit 9/11 "de plus dérangeant que ce que nous avons tous vu sur les chaînes câblées". Lions Gate doit distribuer le film dans plus de 1 000 salles, un chiffre jusqu'ici jamais atteint par un documentaire aux Etats-Unis.

    Pendant ce temps, une organisation conservatrice, Move America Forward, dont les fondateurs avaient déjà obtenu de la chaîne CBS qu'elle annule une série consacrée au couple Reagan, fait pression sur les exploitants de salles de cinéma afin qu'ils ne projettent pas Fahrenheit 9/11. Move America Forward, qui se définit comme une organisation qui "soutient nos troupes et la guerre contre le terrorisme" a posté sur son site Internet une page intitulée "Stop Michael Moore". On y trouve les coordonnées des responsables de circuit d'exploitation que les militants de la cause patriotique doivent inonder d'e-mails leur demandant de renoncer à diffuser le film de Moore.

    Comme le fait remarquer la publication professionnelle hollywoodienne Variety, cette polémique, à l'image de celle qui a précédé la sortie de La Passion de Jésus-Christ, de Mel Gibson, devrait favoriser la fortune commerciale du film dont les recettes "pourraient dépasser celles de Bowling for Columbine", soit 23 millions de dollars.

    Thomas Sotinel, Le Monde, 16.6.2004, http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3208,36-368991,0.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.impawards.com/2004/fahrenheit_nine_eleven_ver1.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.michaelmoore.com/

http://www.michaelmoore.com/special/f911-screenshots.php

http://www.festival-cannes.fr/films/fiche_film.php?langue=6002&id_film=4201423

http://film.guardian.co.uk/News_Story/Guardian/0,4029,1259818,00.html

http://www.lemonde.fr/web/dh/0,14-0@14-0@2-3208,39-23270941,0.html

http://www.economist.com/world/na/displayStory.cfm?story_id=2878011

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1256558,00.html

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=entertainmentNews&storyID=5523545

http://film.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,12589,1249022,00.html

http://film.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,12589,1240819,00.html

http://film.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,12589,1248276,00.html

http://film.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,12589,1246849,00.html

http://film.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,12589,1246356,00.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/story/0,13918,1218376,00.html

http://film.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,12589,1241083,00.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1319718,00.html

http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3476,36-370340,0.html

http://www.liberation.com/page.php?Article=221868

http://www.liberation.com/page.php?Article=218772

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Le monde selon Bush

 

Documentaire de William Karel et Éric Laurent, France, 2004.

Production : Flash Film.

Diffusion en France : 18 juin 2004, France 2.


 

    Qui est Georges W. Bush ? Ce film raconte les mille jours de sa présidence, des attentats du 11 septembre au bourbier de la guerre en Irak. Il dresse un état des lieux de l’Amérique d’aujourd’hui et tente de comprendre comment un petit groupe d’hommes, sous l’influence des faucons néoconservateurs, a pris le contrôle de la politique étrangère américaine. Ce film tente aussi de raconter les liens troubles entre les États-Unis et l’Arabie Saoudite, les abus de la loi Patriot Act votée au nom de l’état de guerre contre le terrorisme, le poids écrasant de la religion au sein même du gouvernement, et surtout celui de la corruption. Ce film propose enfin de passer de l’autre côté du miroir pour raconter la dynastie Bush. « Aucune présidence antérieure ne s’est livrée au dixième de ce qui s’est passé sous Georges W. Bush. Pas une seule », écrivit le Los Angeles Time. En janvier 2004, Georges W. Bush admettait qu’il n’y avait pas de lien entre Saddam Hussein et les attentats du 11 septembre. Comme un complément à la récente Palme d’or de Cannes signée Michael Moore, ce film a le mérite de poser les questions qui gênent. À chacun d’y trouver les réponses qui lui conviennent.

    Source : Centre national de documentation pédagogique > Télédoc,
   
http://www.cndp.fr/tice/teledoc/actuel/mire_bush.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CIA, guerres secrètes

 

Documentaire de William Karel, France.

Diffusion en France  des trois épisodes de la série :

le vendredi à 15 h 45 (hertzien) à partir du 19 mars 2004.

 

1990-2001 : D'une guerre à l'autre.

1947-1977 : Opérations clandestines.

1977-1989 : La fin des illusions.

 

    Episode 1

    Dans le premier volet de cette série passionnante consacrée à l'histoire de la CIA, le réalisateur William Karel plonge au cœur du système de renseignements américain et pointe ses défaillances, s'appuyant exclusivement sur les témoignages d'anciens hauts responsables.

Au lendemain de la destruction du World Trade Center, les Etats-Unis vilipendent leur principal organe de renseignements à l'étranger. "Peut-être, je dis bien peut-être, que s'ils avaient laissé la CIA faire son boulot correctement, nous aurions pu empêcher le 11 septembre", assène Robert Baer, des Opérations clandestines de la CIA. Ces paroles résument à elles seules la méfiance réciproque qui caractérise les relations entre la mythique agence et son gouvernement.

Il faut avouer que, depuis sa création, échecs et erreurs d'appréciation successives ont sérieusement terni l'image de la CIA : désastre de la Robert Baer, arrivée de Khomeiny, occupation de l'Afghanistan, effondrement du mur de Berlin, invasion du Koweït par l'Irak...

Le scandale culmine en 1994 avec l'arrestation d'Aldrich Ames, directeur du service de contre-espionnage de la CIA, accusé d'être une taupe du KGB. Dès son arrivée au pouvoir, Bill Clinton marque volontairement un désintérêt profond pour tout ce qui émane de la Central Intelligence Agency.

Deux mois après la prise de fonction du président, le premier attentat perpétré au World Trade Center jette un nouveau discrédit sur le système de renseignements et les rivalités qui opposent CIA et FBI.

Au fil des témoignages d'anciens membres de ces deux entités et de hauts fonctionnaires qui ont accepté de répondre aux questions du réalisateur William Karel, on apprend ainsi que les documents arabes saisis par le FBI juste après l'action terroriste n'ont jamais été traduits.

Ce n'est pas la seule révélation de ce documentaire où les intervenants ne mâchent pas leurs mots concernant les dysfonctionnements du système et le cynisme des dirigeants. Des relations ambiguës entretenues avec l'Arabie saoudite aux liens de la famille Bush avec la famille Ben Laden et à l'incompétence d'un Bush junior manipulé, en passant par les agissements obscurs du groupe Carlyle où siège Bush senior, sans oublier les avertissements répétés de la CIA à la Maison-Blanche avant le 11 septembre.

L'histoire secrète de la CIA projette un éclairage cru sur la réalité, que l'historien Joseph Trento résume ainsi : "Le poids de l'argent du pétrole sur la politique étrangère américaine est énorme. C'est le cœur de tout ça."

    Source : Anne-Laure Fournier, France 5, http://www.france5.fr/articles/W00068/1323/107213.cfm

 

 

 

    Episode 2

    Anciens dirigeants et membres de la CIA reviennent - dans Opérations clandestines, deuxième volet de la série signée William Karel - sur plusieurs événements de l'histoire contemporaine pour en donner une vision inédite.

L'histoire racontée autrement. Non plus telle qu'on la connaissait, mais envisagée à travers le prisme de la CIA. Dans le plus grand secret des cabinets présidentiels, l'agence américaine se révèle la grande ordonnatrice de la marche du monde. C'est elle qui, pendant plusieurs années, a tiré dans l'ombre les fils de la politique étrangère, et peut-être même ceux de la politique intérieure américaine.

"Dans les années 50, la CIA a cru qu'elle pouvait faire tout ce qu'elle voulait sur l'ensemble de la planète", explique James Schlesinger, ancien directeur de l'agence. Bien sûr, son histoire est intimement liée aux décisions prises par le gouvernement des Etats-Unis. Mais elle a également été influencée par les intérêts de ses propres dirigeants.

Dans le deuxième volet de cette série, William Karel revisite plusieurs événements de l'histoire contemporaine, révèle dans quelle mesure la CIA y a pris une part active, et les raisons de ses agissements.

Anciens dirigeants ou membres de la CIA expliquent ainsi avec une grande franchise comment le Guatemala a sombré dans l'horreur pour la simple raison qu'United Fruit, société productrice de bananes, s'opposait à la redistribution des terres guatémaltèques et refusait de payer une taxe.

Ils racontent aussi comment Patrice Lumumba a été renversé deux mois après l'indépendance du Congo belge, simplement parce que les Etats-Unis convoitaient les ressources minières du pays. Le Watergate, l'échec de la baie des Cochons, la guerre du Vietnam, l'assassinat de Salvador Allende au Chili... sont appréhendés ici sous un jour nouveau. De même que l'assassinat du président Kennedy, auquel la CIA ne serait pas étrangère...

    Source : Isabelle Ducrocq, France 5, http://www.france5.fr/articles/W00068/1323/108277.cfm

 

 

 

    Bibliographie

 

CIA-KGB, le dernier combat, de Milton Bearden et James Risen, chez Albin Michel, 2004.

Qui mène la danse ? La CIA et la guerre froide culturelle, de Frances Stonor Saunders, chez Denoël, 2003.

La Chute de la CIA : les mémoires d'un guerrier de l'ombre sur les fronts de l'islamisme, de Robert Baer, chez Gallimard, 2003.

La CIA en guerre, de Catherine Durandin, aux éditions Grancher, 2003.

     Source : Isabelle Ducrocq, France 5, http://www.france5.fr/articles/W00068/1323/108277.cfm

 

 

 

    William Karel

 

Reporter photographe pour les agences Gamma et Sygma de 1977 à 1985, William Karel a réalisé de nombreux reportages pour la télévision. Egalement scénariste et réalisateur de téléfilms, il est l'auteur de nombreux documentaires, dont Les Deux Morts de Joseph Staline, Israël-Palestine : une terre deux fois promise, Les Hommes de la Maison-Blanche, Conversation avec les hommes du président...

     Source : Anne-Laure Fournier, France 5, http://www.france5.fr/articles/W00068/1323/107213.cfm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bowling for Columbine

 

   

 

    Documentaire de Michael Moore, USA, 2002.

    Elu "meilleur film documentaire de tous les temps" par l'IDA.

    Disponible en DVD. Edition française : VO STF.

 

 

    Extrait de la critique du Monde :
 

    Columbine est le nom du lycée d'une paisible bourgade, Littleton, dans le Colorado, où deux élèves ont massacré douze de leurs condisciples et un professeur, avant de se suicider avec des armes à feu acquises en toute légalité.

    Michael Moore est ce documentariste américain rendu célèbre par le film Roger et moi, où il essayait de mettre en lumière pourquoi General Motors, la principale entreprise de sa région, le Michigan, en avait programmé la ruine. L'Etat du Michigan est aussi le premier bastion de la National Rifle Association (NRA), la ligue de défense des armes à feu, qu'anime avec d'inépuisables ressources de mauvaise foi, de fierté cocardière et de démagogie l'acteur Charlton Heston. Et c'est à Flint, Michigan, ville natale du réalisateur, qu'a été battu le record du plus jeune meurtrier par balle, le jour où un gosse de six ans a flingué à la maternelle une gamine du même âge.

    Voilà l'ancrage personnel des dossiers que Michael Moore, avec sa caméra têtue, son culot et sa tête de bon gros Américain, instruit mieux que personne. Le résultat est, du même élan, édifiant, terrifiant et extrêmement drôle. Il justifie pleinement que, pour la première fois depuis près d'un demi-siècle, un documentaire soit sélectionné en compétition officielle à Cannes.

    Suite de la critique du "Monde" : http://www.lemonde.fr/article/0,5987,3250--276322-,00.html

 

    Site de Michael Moore et résumé du film en anglais :

    http://www.michaelmoore.com/

    http://www.bowlingforcolumbine.com/about/synopsis.php

    http://film.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,4566967-3156,00.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Murder on a Sunday Morning (Un suspect idéal) *****

 

Documentaire de Jean-Xavier de Lestrade. 2001.

Produit par Denis Poncet.

Disponible en DVD : VO STF, sans sous-titre anglais.

Editions Montparnasse.

Oscar 2002 du meilleur long métrage documentaire / Fipa d'Argent.

 

 

7 mai 2002, dans le parking d'un Ramada Inn de Jacksonville, en Floride.

Une femme blanche, Mary Ann Stephens, 65 ans,

est tuée d'une balle dans la tête sous les yeux de son mari.

Une heure et demie plus tard, un jeune adolescent noir de 15 ans,

Brenton Butler est immédiatement arrêté.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Un coupable idéal        Maha Productions
http://www.allocine.fr/film/fichefilm_gen_cfilm=42694.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Tout l'accuse :
il est formellement identifié
par Mr Stephens (seul témoin oculaire du meurtre)
et signe des aveux à la police…

    Pour les enquêteurs et les médias,
c'est la nouvelle et triste histoire d'un adolescent
qui a stupidement gâché sa vie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Un coupable idéal

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

    Pour ses avocats, c'est aller trop vite : Butler clame son innocence.

    Une terrible enquête dans les coulisses de la justice américaine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Un coupable idéal        Maha Productions
http://www.allocine.fr/film/fichefilm_gen_cfilm=42694.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Alors que tout le monde - justice, forces de l'ordre, médias, opinion publique - s'accorde à faire de Brenton Butler le " Coupable Idéal ", le film de Jean-Xavier de Lestrade (co-produit par Denis Poncet de Maha Productions, France 2, Pathé Archives et HBO) nous montre le combat extraordinaire de deux avocats "Public Office Defender", Patrick Mc Guiness et Ann Finnell, pour transformer le procès d'un adolescent - qui risque la prison à vie - en réquisitoire contre la police.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Un coupable idéal        Maha Productions
http://www.allocine.fr/film/fichefilm_gen_cfilm=42694.html

 

 

http://www.editionsmontparnasse.fr/presse/titres/coupable_ideal/coupable_ideal.html

http://www.docurama.com/Docurama/Products/murder_on_a_sunday_morning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capturing the Friedmans

 

Documentaire de Andrew Jarecki, USA, 2003.

 

    What Jarecki found himself unravelling is an extraordinary story: that of Arnold Friedman, 1931-1995, described on his gravestone as "loving father, devoted teacher, pianist, physicist, beach bum", father of David, Seth and Jesse, husband of Elaine, resident of affluent Great Neck, Long Island. This is the story of the phenomenal documentary film Capturing the Friedmans, on show in Edinburgh, which has already topped critics' choice lists in the US and is released in the UK early next year.

    This is the story of how, in 1984, US customs intercept child pornography addressed to Arnold from Amsterdam. How a sex crimes officer delivers the package dressed as a postman, returns an hour later dressed as a lawman and asks: "Now do you recognise me?" Of how, on searching his papers, police discover that Arnold, aided by his 18-year-old son Jesse, runs after-school computer courses for boys, and do some basic sums. It's a story about false and slippery memories, worst nightmares, fantasy and hysteria.

    Suite de la critique du Guardian : http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/features/story/0,11710,1016678,00.html

 

    Site du film : http://www.capturingthefriedmans.com/main.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Huntsville, la colonie pénitentiaire

 

Documentaire de Frédéric Biamonti et Olivier Lamour.

Diffusion sur France 2 le 27.9.2002.

 

    Résumé du "Monde" :

    Avec quarante-trois exécutions capitales en 2000, le Texas est l'Etat le plus répressif des Etats-Unis. En 30 ans, il est passé de dix à cent-vingt pénitenciers, dont huit à Huntsville, siège de l'administration pénitentiaire de l'Etat.

    Le Monde, Th.-M. D., p. 34, 27.11.2002.

    Site du film : http://perso.wanadoo.fr/fipa/prog/2002_fipatel/fip_02261.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Houston, Texas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Documentaire de François Reichenbach, 1980.

Dans cette nuit du 16 Août 1979, François Reichenbach roule avec une voiture de police qui patrouille... Soudain, le crime éclate : le shérif Charles Bakerest est tué. A ce moment-là, le film n'est plus seulement un reportage, il se transforme en drame dont les premiers protagonistes sont le Sergent Eddy Crowson et un criminel que les voitures de police traquent dans la nuit. Le meurtrier réussit à s'échapper. L'enquête est alors prise en main par le détective Carl Kent. A travers les témoignages se dessine le portrait du meutrier : Charles Bass et la solitude d'un coupable confronté avec la justice et avec lui-même.

Source (texte et illustration) :

http://perso.wanadoo.fr/camera-one/html/fr_mov03.htm

Filmographie de Reichenbach :

http://fr.encyclopedia.yahoo.com/articles/jb/jb_1282_p0.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Western Deep

 

Documentaire de Steve McQueen.

Sortie au cinéma Lumiere de Londres en novembre 2002.

 

 

Extrait de la critique du Guardian  :

 

This is extraordinary, almost inexplicable footage.

Some of the workers flail about, barely able to stand,

let alone step up and step down, one foot after the other,

on the rows of low metal benches.

    GE2, Into the unknown, p. 9, 8.10.2002, http://www.chico.mweb.co.za/art/2002/2002oct/021018-art.html

 

 

 

 

 

When We Were Kings

 

Documentaire de Leon Gast. 1997. Disponible en DVD.

 

 

"When We Were Kings, a documentary about the Muhammad Ali/George Forman heavyweight "Rumble in the Jungle" boxing match, is a wonderfully nostalgic, and occasionally insightful, window into the recent past. By nature, however, it is not a motion picture of any particular depth, nor is it intended to be. Although the film touches on issues of racism and nationalism (...), it does not delve far beneath the surface. Those who would criticize the film view this as a fault; I see it as a creative choice. When We Were Kings does not take a political or philosophical stance (...).

    While When We Were Kings is not a biography of Ali, it offers a great deal of insight into why the boxer was equally beloved and despised during his heyday. It's easy to forget how controversial a figure Ali was in the '60s and '70s, when he constantly proclaimed himself "the greatest", refused to register for the draft, and said things like "Damn America. I live in America, but Africa's my home." Age and Parkinson's Disease have softened the man's image, and, as Spike Lee comments, it's shocking to realize how few young people understand who Muhammed Ali was."

Suite de la critique de J. Berardinelli : http://movie-reviews.colossus.net/movies/w/when_we.html

 

Autre critique : http://www.film.u-net.com/Movies/Reviews/When_Kings.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Titicut Follies

 

Documentaire de Fred Wiseman, 1967.

 

Wiseman's cinema-verite masterpiece about the horrid conditions

at a Massachusetts asylum for the criminally insane

is very possibly the greatest documentary film of all time.

 

Source : http://www.subcin.com/titicut.html

Filmographie de Wiseman : http://www.subcin.com/wiseman.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

La loi de Lynch

 

Documentaire de Christophe Weber, 2002.

Diffusion en France : 10.9.2002, France 5.

Extrait de la critique de Francis Cornu, in "Le Monde Télévision-Radio-DVD-Vidéo" :

 

    Histoire sinistre et instructive de l'exécution sommaire aux Etats-Unis. Terrorisme particulier mais aussi universel méconnu, le nom de Charles Lynch est, hélas ! passé à la postérité. Au XVIIIe siècle, ce magistrat a paradoxalement inventé l'un des plus criminels dénis de justice. Ardent partisan de l'indépendance des futurs Etats-Unis, il fut l'instigateur de parodies de procès destinées à masquer l'élimination rapide - pour ne pas dire quasi instantanée - de traîtres présumés à la cause de la " liberté ". Sa méthode expéditive lui a survécu, et a même fait fortune dans la conquête de l'Ouest. Elle s'est répandue à travers les grands espaces, qui étaient aussi des vides juridiques ou judiciaires. Dès lors, même déclarée illégale, elle était inscrite dans la tradition américaine.

    Moyen pratique de régler les litiges entre Blancs - pour tuer un Indien, aucun alibi n'était nécessaire -, le lynchage a pris une nouvelle orientation à la fin du XIXe siècle. Avec le début de l'émancipation des esclaves noirs vint le développement d'une haine raciale qu'il fallait assouvir. Jusqu'aux années 1960, plus de quatre mille personnes ont été lynchées, un Noir par semaine en quelque quatre-vingts ans.

    Dans le documentaire réalisé par Christophe Weber, le défilement des photographies d'exécutions devient obsédant. Ces foules complices qui prennent la pose devant l'arbre de justice, tous ces visages satisfaits aux pieds des pendus, souvent rôtis à la corde... De ces clichés étaient même tirées des cartes postales sur lesquelles de bons citoyens signalaient d'une croix leur présence au cas où l'on ne les aurait pas reconnus.

    Dans le Sud, pour mériter ce châtiment, la moindre incartade ou provocation suffisait, la moindre rumeur était instruite. Ainsi, après les deux guerres mondiales, des soldats noirs ont-ils été condamnés à mort pour avoir osé s'être montrés fiers de leurs décorations, fiers d'avoir enfin le sentiment de pouvoir appartenir à la " communauté ", à la " nation ".

    Ce film montre bien que le lynchage n'était pas seulement une forme de justice spontanée et sauvage, mais également un système élaboré de terreur pour " contrôler " une partie de la population et conditionner l'autre. Cette tradition, encore récente, est l'une des ombres du " pays de la liberté ", si sûr de son bon droit et de son modèle.

 

    Site du film : http://perso.wanadoo.fr/fipa/prog/2003/scf_07644.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

41 shots

 

Court métrage militant de Jo D. Jonz, 6 min, color, 1999.

 

A documentary-style music video of the song '41 shots' performed by Alliance Afrique. The video offers a haunting tribute to Amadou Diallo, the young Guinean immigrant who was killed by four New York City policemen who fired 41 shots at him as he stood unarmed in front of his home in the Bronx.

    http://www.pantherfilmfest.com/films.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Injustice:

The story of the struggles for justice

of the families of people killed by the police

 

 

Film militant de Ken Fero, 2001.

 

 

The film being shown is Injustice, the British documentary about deaths in police custody, including those of Joy Gardner, Shiji Lapite, Brian Douglas and Ibrahima Sey. It was slapped with injunctions by the Police Federation when attempts were made to show it in Britain. The screening has been organised by the New Panther Vanguard Movement and the October 22nd Coalition, a group that campaigns on the issue of deaths in custody in the US. It has brought the director, Ken Fero, and relatives of those featured in the film to LA.

        Source : Extrait de la critique de Duncan Campbell, The Guardian, 18.4.2002,
       
http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/featurepages/0,4120,465294,00.html

 

Site du film : http://www.injusticefilm.co.uk/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Apted's Up Series

 

Série de films documentaires britanniques, Michael Apted.

Certains épisodes sont disponibles en DVD.

 

 


 

   

 

 

 

 

 

    Give me a child until he is 7, and I will show you the man." With this simple premise, Michael Apted, prolific in both scope and accomplishment, began his illustrious career as few successful feature directors have, doing documentaries.

    In 1962, Apted began chronicling the lives of fourteen English children, all aged 7, and from sundry walks of life. Then, a researcher at Granada Television with a background in history and law, Apted got his break when the project's intended director, Mike Newell, went on holiday and Apted asked if he could take Newell's assignment.

    The "children" of 7 UP are now 47 years old and the documentary series

    (14 UP, 21 UP, 28 UP, 35 UP and 42 UP) chronicling their lives is going strong.

    Source du texte / de la photo : http://www.dga.org/news/v27_3/feat_apted_up.php3

 

    Filmographie de Michael Apted : http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000776/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Texas murder in black an white

 

Documentaire de Whitney Dow et Marco Williams, USA, 2002.

 

In 1998 in Jasper, Texas a black man was chained to a pick-up truck

and dragged to his death by three white men.

Two film crews, one black, one white,

set out to document the aftermath of the murder.

    Watch preview clip

    You will need RealPlayer to access these clips.

    Visit WebWise for help downloading RealPlayer

 

    Pour en savoir plus sur le meurtre de James Byrd Jr :

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/documentaries/storyville/texas.shtml

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/526745.stm

 

 

 

 

 

Robert W. Castle Jr.,

Outspoken Harlem Priest and Accidental Actor,

Dies at 83

 

November 6, 2012
The New York Times
By MARGALIT FOX

 

The Rev. Robert W. Castle Jr., an outspoken Episcopal priest in Harlem who was the subject of Jonathan Demme’s acclaimed 1992 documentary, “Cousin Bobby” — and who went on to a film acting career as a result — died on Oct. 27 at his home in Holland, Vt. He was 83.

The death, of natural causes, was confirmed by his family.

Father Castle, who really was Mr. Demme’s cousin, was the rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, a largely black and Hispanic congregation on West 126th Street, near Broadway, from 1987 until his retirement in 2000.

There, he ran an energetic ministry in which spirituality and social action were indissolubly linked, relishing his role as “an obdurate whirligig fulminating against the establishment,” as N. R. Kleinfield wrote in The New York Times in 1996.

Mr. Demme, the Oscar-winning director of “The Silence of the Lambs” and other feature films, had been out of touch with his cousin for decades. In the late 1980s, he read a newspaper article describing Father Castle’s practice of plastering irate notices on the windshields of cars that were parked illegally on the church sidewalk, blocking congregants’ access.

That the vehicles in question were police cars from the local precinct did not deter Father Castle in the least.

Could this genteelly combustible, professorially rumpled priest, Mr. Demme wondered, be his long-lost cousin Bobby Castle, a former star athlete 15 years his senior?

“I thought: ‘Good Lord. I wonder — no, that couldn’t possibly be cousin Bobby,’ ” Mr. Demme said on NPR in 1992. “The good Bobby Castle would never be trashing police cars, for heaven’s sake.”

But he was — and then some. Over his years in the pulpit, first at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Jersey City, where he was the rector from 1960 to 1968, and later at St. Mary’s, Father Castle fought city hall in all its incarnations.

In the 1960s, he marched in Mississippi with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He opened his church, and his home, to meetings of Students for a Democratic Society and the Black Panthers. He picketed banks and restaurants for failing to hire minorities. Later, at St. Mary’s, he brought in a priest to say Mass in Spanish.

He marched against the Vietnam War, preached against the death penalty and fought gentrification of the urban neighborhoods he served. In Jersey City, lobbying for cleaner, safer streets, he once dumped vanloads of garbage outside City Hall. In Harlem, to call attention to an unfilled pothole or a much-needed traffic light, he sometimes preached in the middle of the street.

Father Castle picketed other churches, including the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, his neighbor in New York, to protest a service there honoring Gen. Colin L. Powell and other participants in Operation Desert Storm. In New Jersey, he picketed his own bishop for belonging to segregated clubs.

He once picketed himself, joining ranks with workers seeking a better contract from St. Mary’s Episcopal Center, an AIDS hospice he founded in Harlem.

Father Castle was arrested so often that, as Mr. Demme’s film relates, his children were entirely accustomed to asking, “How much is the bail, Mom?”

“He was an angry white man, I’ll tell you,” Mr. Demme said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “He really found fault with so many ways that people of color are treated in America; it infuriated him. That said, he was a lot of fun.”

Father Castle’s crackling on-screen presence in “Cousin Bobby” led to roles in more than a dozen fiction films. Among them was “Philadelphia” (1993), directed by Mr. Demme, in which he played Bud Beckett, the father of the young lawyer Andrew Beckett, played by Tom Hanks, who is dying of AIDS.

Unfazed by civil disobedience and its consequences, Father Castle quailed at the prospect of kissing Joanne Woodward, who played his wife, Mr. Demme later said.

His other films for Mr. Demme include “Beloved” (1998) and “Rachel Getting Married” (2008). His films for other directors include “The Addiction” (1995), directed by Abel Ferrara, in which Father Castle exercised his priestly prerogative by performing an exorcism on Lili Taylor.

Robert Wilkinson Castle Jr. was born in Jersey City on Aug. 29, 1929. He earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., where he was an all-American quarterback, followed by a degree from the Berkeley Divinity School in New Haven.

As a divinity student, he was assigned to work in a black parish on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The experience, he later said, helped forge his commitment to civil rights.

In the late 1960s, after leaving his pulpit in Jersey City — he had proved enough of a thorn in the diocesan side that no other parish was open to him — he moved with his family to Vermont, where he ran a general store and did social service work.

Father Castle’s first marriage, to Nancy Thomas, ended in divorce. He is survived by his second wife, Kate Betsch; three children from his first marriage, Jane, Paul and John Castle; two stepchildren, William and Emily Betsch; 10 grandchildren and step-grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

A son from his first marriage, Robert W. III, died in a swimming accident at 19. It was this that Father Castle was thinking of when he ad-libbed during a pivotal scene in “Philadelphia.” In the scene, his character and Ms. Woodward’s visit their son for what they know will be the last time.

“The line originally was ‘Good night, Son. Try to get some rest,’ ” Father Castle told The Times in 1994. “What I added was ‘I love you, Andy.’ This was very important to me. If I had been able to see my son before he died, I would have wanted to say that to him.”

Mr. Demme kept the ad-lib in the finished film.

    Robert W. Castle Jr., Outspoken Harlem Priest and Accidental Actor, Dies at 83, NYT, 6.11.2012,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/07/nyregion/robert-w-castle-jr-outspoken-harlem-priest-dies-at-83.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related

 

Sunny Side of the Doc / Marché international du documentaire

http://www.sunnysideofthedoc.com/



International Documentary Association (IDA)

http://www.documentary.org/

 

Black Panther film festival (films militants)

http://www.pantherfilmfest.com/