Green Red Zone

March 13, 2010

green_zone2901.jpgThere was something unsettling sitting in the offices of a certain government department in Baghdad and hearing senior civil servants, some with PhDs from US and European universities, cynically observe that they had swapped their home grown dictator for Dictator Bremer of Washington DC. Perhaps most disturbing was their discussion about how they were poised to assist the imposed coalition government but how they were rejected and ignored – ironic given these are the folk now trying to administer their country and get it back on its feet. We sat in a boarded up building that had been bombed and looted. Here met men charged with providing utilities and basic living infrastructure four years after Bremer had arrived. Outside sat queues of silent and staring Iraqi citizens, waiting for a chance to petition their minister – a novel concept for them. Not all the signs were hopeless, though in my town we are not searched for weapons before we meet our local member. Read more

The Hurt Locker

February 20, 2010

hurt-locker-290.jpgWhat the heck was I thinking, watching Wolfsissie during the week? What a hopeless movie, starting with so much promise and fizzing half way through. Anthony Hopkins must need to pay off a credit card or something to be dragged into something as bad as this. Anyway, more than offset by The Hurt Locker which was recommended to me during the week by Greg. It’s one of those movies that sneaks up on you, Read more

Body of Lies a Body of Lies

October 13, 2008

bodyoflies.jpgOn Sunday I sat in a movie theatre¬† in Texas and watched Russell Crowe, Leonardo Di Caprio and others in the recently released movie “Body of Lies”. There was something in the experience that came full circle¬† – or rather I should say there were a number of interesting threads that came together that afternoon. Read more

Bomb Harvest

October 20, 2007

Imagine there was a new Unabomber at work in the US, sending letter bombs out across the nation. Now imagine there was one in every state, so that 164 letter bombs went off in one year, killing 36 people, 15 of whom were children. Would that make headlines?

So commences a review by Paul Byrne of “Bomb Harvest” in the Sydney Morning Herald. An Australian documentary which follows the work of an Australian called Laith Stevens. Paul’s review is simply titled Bomb Harvest and can be read by following the link. There is a handy trailer which gives you an idea of what the movie is about.

I went along to the Roseville Cinema tonight to have a look. Regrettably there were only three in the theatre. But we got a clear message about the danger of unexploded ordnance, and the way the filmmaker has you on the edge of your seat as cute little kids unearth bombs is worth the effort to catch this documentary if you can. It did not enrage me (there are some images that might be confronting) as Byrne warned it might, but the message that came though most clearly for me was the capacity we all have to make a difference, even if we are only one person. Laith Stevens is doing that with his life, and what he does has a direct and immediate benefit for some of the world’s poorest people. It is inspiring stuff. Sadly it makes too few headlines Paul.