Timbuktu: a stunning cry for freedom

<em>Timbuktu</em>: a stunning cry for freedom

Timbuktu, from the Malian director Abderrahmane Sissako is a stunning film and likely to be the best I’ll see this year. It’s a portrait of the country of the director’s childhood, and particularly of the city of Timbuktu, whose rich culture and traditional tolerance were trampled and its people terrorised when jihadi forces from outside the country swept in three years ago. Continue reading Timbuktu: a stunning cry for freedom”

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Bitter Lake: helping make sense of complex reality?

Bitter Lake: helping make sense of complex reality?

Increasingly we live in a world where nothing makes any sense.  Events come and go, like waves of a fever, leaving us confused and uncertain. Those in power tell stories to help us make sense of the complexity of reality. But those stories are increasingly unconvincing and hollow.

So begins Bitter Lake, the new film from Adam Curtis who has previously brought us intellectually-challenging films such as The Century of the Self, which showed how the work of Freud, Jung and others was appropriated by business and politics, Power of Nightmares, that compared the rise of American neo-Conservativism with the radical Islamism  and claimed similarities between the two, and All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace which argued that computers have failed to liberate humanity and instead have ‘distorted and simplified our view of the world around us’. Continue reading “Bitter Lake: helping make sense of complex reality?”

Reading Charlie Hebdo

Reading Charlie Hebdo

Like most during these last, terrible days I have been transfixed by the unfolding drama around the Charlie Hebdo massacre – horrified by events and fearful of what may be to come in Europe. This afternoon, however, the images of 1.5 million marching in Paris are breathtaking and heartening. And nearly a million more have joined rallies in towns across France. Continue reading “Reading Charlie Hebdo”