The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, film review

This 2015 video from the USA is called The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Official Trailer – “We March Together”.

By Maria Duarte in Britain:

Last-lap triumph

Friday 20th November 2015

The final film in the Hunger Games series is a winner, says MARIA DUARTE

The Hunger Games:
Mockingjay Part 2 (12A)
Directed by Francis Lawrence

OSCAR-WINNING Jennifer Lawrence bids farewell to the empowering Katniss Everdeen in this riveting and compelling finale to the franchise which has grossed more than $2.2 billion worldwide and turned her into a global star.

Picking up exactly where the last film left off, Everdeen is still unable to get through to the brainwashed Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) in the bunkers of District 13.

However, with Panem descending into war she heads for the Capitol with a crack unit which includes her closest friends Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin) and Peeta to liberate the citizens and assassinate President Snow (Donald Sutherland).

Director Francis Lawrence delivers a complex and emotionally charged final chapter with spectacular and nail-biting action sequences which is faithful to Suzanne Collins’s best-selling novel.

In this 76th Hunger Games, the team faces deadly booby traps and hideous creatures while being hunted down by President Snow’s troops.

In the sewer tunnels of the Capitol they are chased by mutant lizard mutts which seem to have stepped out of a Guillermo del Toro film.

Lawrence is magnificent once more as the battle-weary Everdeen, who finally embraces her role as leader of the rebellion while Hemsworth and Hutcherson are again merely a supporting act.

The film also explores the cost of war, its compromises, its devastating effects on survivors and the secret political agendas being pursued — District 13’s rebel leader President Coin (played brilliantly by Julianne Moore) isn’t as altruistic as she appears.

Bleak and brutal as it is, Everdeen’s final showdown with Snow underlines the hollowness of revenge. No-one emerges unscathed.

This is a fitting ending to one of the most in-depth, thought-provoking, action-packed and empowering tween franchises.

And watching the great Philip Seymour Hoffman in his last ever performance leaves a bitter-sweet taste.

Antarctica and climate change, new film

This 11 September 2015 video is called Ice and the Sky / La Glace et le ciel (2015) – Trailer (English subtitles).

On 14 November 2015, I saw Ice and the Sky, the new film by Luc Jacquet from France. Luc Jacquet became famous because of his Oscar-winning film The march of the penguins; about emperor penguins in Antarctica.

The new film is basically about Antarctica as well. However, not a single emperor penguin. A few Adélie penguins and gentoo penguins, appearing not for long. An albatross flying, for even shorter.

For the subject of Ice and the Sky is not wildlife in the Antarctic. It is ‘dead’ nature in the Antarctic: ice and snow; as studied by French glaciologist and climate scientist Claude Lorius. He went for the first time to Antarctica as a 23-year-old student in 1956, with the book The time machine by H.G. Wells in his luggage.

Probably, ‘dead’ ice will not attract as many people to cinemas as lively, though non-flying, birds. Which would be a pity, as Claude Lorius during over fifty years of Antarctic research discovered in ‘dead’ ice important things for animal, including human, life, on all of planet Earth.

Claude Lorius discovered that even in Antarctica, there was influence of human pollution, thousands of kilometers away. Nuclear bomb fallout was detectable in the polar continent’s snow.

Lorius was also a pioneer of studying ancient ice, thousands of meters under the surface and hundreds of thousands of years old. Studying this, Lorius found out that human CO2 pollution was causing climate change, threatening to melt masses of ice, leading to big flooding. Pseudo-scientists paid by Big Oil today still deny this truth.

The film shows the very harsh cold stormy conditions under which Lorius did his research. Sometimes, there are funny moments, like when an accordion player plays a song while riding on a snowmobile at Soviet research base Vostok in the 1980s. It reminded me of the accordion player which I heard recently on Vlieland island. I recognized one spot where I myself had been while in Antarctica: the whale skeleton at the abandoned Norwegian whaling station on Deception island.

This 11 June 2015 video is called Film “Ice and the Sky”. Marion Cotillard and Luc Jacquet at the official launch.

A critical review of this film is here.

Another review is here.

Jurassic World movie for refugees

This 2015 video is called Jurassic World – Official Global Trailer (HD).

The Witte Weekblad, paper edition, in the Netherlands, 11 November 2015, reports that last week in Leiden, refugees living there at the moment were shown the movie Jurassic World by the organisers of the Leiden International Film Festival.

The film had subtitles in Arabic.

Let us hope that the imaginary horrors, of dinosaurs killing and being killed in the film, did not remind the audience too much of the real horrors they went through.

Refugees help against Dutch warmongering

This propaganda video from the USA during the cold war says about itself:

Atomic Alert: 1950’s Era Duck & Cover Nuclear Safety Film for Children

22 July 2014

Atomic Alert (1951) is an Encyclopedia Britannica produced film for elementary school children. It was prepared by the University of Chicago’s Institute of Nuclear Studies.

The film is a 50’s era education film detailing atomic radiation and what to do during an attack. It shows children learning about radiation and Geiger counters, what atomic blasts are and how they can be safe during such an event.

It talks about hiding in basements if they hear air raid sirens to avoid radiation. Even better is a basement with a strong work table that one can hide under (I.e. Duck and Cover).

First is to hide in the basement. A cross-section of a home is shown with a drawing of a child, all by his lonesome, curled up in a corner of the basement.

It also talks about other advice like laying flat on the ground if you cannot get to a basement and wait for the danger to pass. And it tells children not to drink the water as it may be radioactive but it also tells them to wash with soap and water to remove any radiation.

Like most safety films of this era, we can look back on them and recognize that we weren’t really prepared for any major disasters. (Unfortunately, not much has changed since then.)

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

It’s the first Monday of the month and that means the air alarm systems in our country is tested again at noon. In Schagen and Tubbergen this time were was no siren, to take account of the refugees housed in these towns.

The local authority of Tubbergen told RTV Oost that it had decided not to use the siren in the village “to avoid the sound from unnecessarily evoking traumatic memories.” In the other villages in Tubbergen, the siren did go off.

Schagen says they have made the same evaluation, reports RTV NH: “In our town there are currently 180 refugees, including 60 children, in crisis emergency housing. They are largely from Syria and are fleeing a terrible war“, said a spokesperson.

These noisy warmongering sirens are relics from the cold war. 1952-1986 there was in the Netherlands a governmental organisation called Bescherming Bevolking (BB). Translated into English: protection of the people. That sounds nice. However, reality was not so nice. In an internal document, BB described as its aim: ‘making the people totally war-minded’.

They meant a nuclear third world war. They lied to the people that it would be easy to survive a nuclear holocaust. In 1961, a series of four booklets, paid by the taxpayers, and entitled “Wenken voor de bescherming van uw gezin en uzelf” (Hints for protecting your family and yourself), was delivered to all houses in the Netherlands. The booklets spuriously claimed that private citizens could easily survive nuclear attacks by taking a few simple measures, like whitewashing their windows.

Well-known Dutch author Harry Mulisch wrote a parody of these booklets, called “Wenken voor de bescherming van uw gezin en uzelf tijdens de jongste dag” (Hints for protecting your family and yourself during Doomsday). He succeeded in making the BB look deservedly ridiculous, contributing to its demise in 1986.

However, unfortunately, though the BB is dead, these hellishly noisy warmongering ‘the Russians are coming’ scaremongering sirens have unfortunately not been silenced yet.

Dutch river wildlife, video

This video is the trailer of a new Dutch TV documentary series, De Levende Rivier, scheduled for November-December 2015, by Ruben Smit.

It is about a man traveling by canoe along the river Rhine in the Netherlands; seeing kingfishers and other wildlife.