Military bases, neocolonialism get out of Africa, film


This video is a film by Aziz Salmone Fall, saying about itself:

Africom go home, Foreign bases out of Africa

19 February 2014

AFRICOM GO HOME: No Foreign Bases in Africa is shot within the context of the fiftieth anniversary of the “Independence” of African states (OAS 1963-2013). It’s an anti-propaganda, not-for-profit film dedicated to raising public consciousness by opening up a space for discussion and building a sound information base drawn from archival records.

This documentary represents my views, and my views alone, on geopolitical challenges to both Africa and the wider world. The contents of this film can in no way be ascribed to GRILA or any of its members. It addresses Africa’s leaders, all PanAfricanists, internationalists and especially the African Youth caught up in the maelstrom of Africa’s place in the world.

AFRICOM GO HOME illuminates a vision of freedom that comes down from the mothers and fathers of panAfricanism.

This documentary takes a personal look at how events have evolved in the wake of the signing of the declaration “AFRICOM Go Home” by fifty or so organizations from Africa and Germany that are united in their opposition to the presence of AFRICOM on either African or German soil. The film is a combination of images filmed or taken off the WEB. However, the authors of those images are in no way responsible for the production or point of view of this film.

This video helps us to understand events arising out of the “AFRICOM Go Home” Declaration and what has been achieved since then.

It shines a spotlight on the history and evolution of imperialistic, neocolonial military forces within Africa over the last fifty years.

It unpacks AFRICOM and how it came into existence, what it means and provides a way of interpreting imperialist rivalries and ambitions on the continent, including why they spy on each other and exposing the contradictions that have surfaced in the “fight against terrorism”.

It articulates disbelief in claims of humanitarian goals by those who established AFRICOM for Africa after building a whole network of bases stretching as far as Germany.

It explores contradictions that also arise between Africans and within African organizations as they try to defend themselves within a context of conflicts tied to the pillage of their resources and the appropriation of their ancestral lands.

It examines the urgent need for panAfrican and internationalist resistance as well as the re-politicization of our Youth for future democracy.

The film follows President Obama when he visits Germany and Africa, highlighting the attitudes of various European, American and African presidents as well as AFRICOM’s military chiefs. There is also footage on some of the men and women who make up the opposition.

It takes stock of security policies on the continent, paying special attention to the influence of American neoconservatives and how regional power blocs are already putting some of their policies into practice.

AFRICOM GO HOME exposes the machinations of both imperialism and neo-colonialism and shows how they operate to coopt our elites and military leaders as well as civil society organizations. It paints a picture of the damage to which Africans are exposed when these bases take up residence in their midst.

Clearly, our local elites are no less responsible than their foreign bosses for [what] has evolved.

The film urges all parties to review those bases already cached on the African continent or encircling it as well as NATO‘s position, the vulnerability and tutelage of the African Union and the presence of a ravenous pack of emerging nations under the rubric of BRIC.

By way of explanation, this video mounts a hypothesis that takes note of the repatriation of Germany’s gold which had long been held captive by the US, France and the UK; the now dominant position of China in the global monetary system as well as the reasons why the base was launched so precipitously in Germany. It then goes on to provide reasons for the crisis unfolding in Mali.

This 3 May 2012 video is called AFRICOM and the Conflict in Mali. Nii Akuetteh: Why did US trained officers organize the coup in Mali?

This film unveils the AFRICOM base in Germany before the eyes of the world. In doing so, it also draws special attention to the heroic efforts of members of the public and parliamentary representatives belonging to the Linke Party and acknowledges their court action against AFRICOM’s drone strikes and targeted killings.

Beyond the security question, this video demonstrates that the crisis in capitalism as well as endemic under-development are fertile ground for culturalism, integrationism, populism and terrorism which are tools that can both create divisions across the continent and abort sovereignty.

AFRICOM and NATO have concocted formulas that they claim will protect Africa.

However, this film is an appeal for more self-determination and balance in Africa’s development. It calls for the reemergence of progressive wings of African states as well as a plan for accelerating panAfrican integration within the context of internationalism and a polycentric world that upholds all of humanity’s common “good”.

Soviet filmmaker Eisenstein, new film about him


This video says about itself:

Eisenstein In Guanajuato – Official Trailer

8 February 2015

A film by Peter Greenaway, 2015, Netherlands/Mexico/Finland/Belgium, 105′

On 27 July 2015, I went to see the film Eisenstein In Guanajuato.

In this film, movie director Peter Greenaway reconstructs the stay of his famous Soviet colleague Sergei Eisenstein in Mexico in 1931. Eisenstein then made recordings, intended for a film on Mexico and the Mexican revolution, entitled ¡Que viva México!

In his reconstruction, Greenaway had to consider that some of the facts in this part of Eisenstein’s life are known. Some others are not certain, but maybe, with some fantasy (Greenaway made a feature film, not a documentary), might be deduced from known facts. And many other things about Eisenstein’s Mexican episode are completely unknown.

Greenaway’s film ‘plays fast, loose and salaciously with the facts’, according to film critic David Robinson.

Robinson points out, inter alia, that Eisenstein was a workaholic, while Greenaway depicts him as hardly ever leaving his hotel bedroom. Eisenstein did not drink alcohol, while Greenaway depicts him as drunk.

The central theme in Greenaway’s film is that Eisenstein was a virgin, until his initiation into gay sex in Guanajuato at 33 years of age. Very improbable, according to Robinson.

Was Eisenstein gay? Maybe, we don’t know for sure.

However, there are so many and such obvious inaccuracies in Eisenstein In Guanajuato that, rather than being results of Greenaway’s supposed ignorance or sloppiness, one may suspect that Greenaway included them on purpose to indicate the film is not about the historical Eisenstein, but about an Eisenstein of his own post-modernist imagination.

In post-modernism there is no historical truth.

Eisenstein as a film role in Greenaway’s work speaks about lots of famous filmmakers and other artists he supposedly had met. A list so long that it looks a bit incredible. Is this not really a list of Peter Greenaway’s favourites in film history and art history?

One can see that Eisenstein In Guanajuato is by someone who was originally a visual artist, and an admirer of the imagery of Eisenstein’s films. Greenaway’s imagery in this film is good. So is the acting. However, Greenaway undeservedly makes the issues in Eisenstein’s films, Russian revolution and society, Mexican revolution and society, etc. play a very second fiddle to aesthetics.

At least one review of this film has a historical inaccuracy of its own: Variety magazine in the USA writes that Lenin underwrote Eisenstein’s expenses while in Mexico. Lenin had died in 1924. While the Variety article also spells ‘Guadajuato’ which should have been Guanajuato.

Filmmaker Miyazaki against remilitarising Japan


This 2013 video is called A List of the Best Hayao Miyazaki (Japanese Anime) Movies on DVD and Blu-ray.

By Richard Phillips:

Veteran filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki denounces government plans to remilitarise Japan

21 July 2015

Acclaimed animator and filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki last week denounced Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s moves to undermine the country’s nominally pacifist post-World War II constitution and called for an unambiguous apology to China and Korea for Japanese war crimes committed during World War II.

Miyazaki made the comments last Monday, a few days before Abe’s right-wing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) government, with the backing of its ally New Komeito, pushed 11 new “collective self-defence” bills through the parliament’s lower house.

The measures, which are expected to be rubber-stamped during the next two months in the upper house where the LDP has a majority, are based on the government’s “reinterpretation” of the constitution in July last year.

Final passage of the new legislation will allow the foreign deployment of Japanese troops with the US and other military allies and are in line with a US-Japan military agreement signed in April and Washington’s “pivot” to Asia aimed at militarily encircling China.

“I think we are going in completely the wrong direction,” Miyazaki told a meeting hosted by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan and streamed live over the Internet.

Japan’s challenge, he said, is to find a new means of creating peace and stability in the region. “Prime Minister Abe seems to want to be remembered in history as the man who revised the constitution and remilitarised Japan, but this is despicable,” the 74-year-old animator said.

During the hour-long press conference Miyazaki also noted the approaching 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, and said Tokyo should make “very clear that [Japan’s] aggressive war was a complete mistake and that we have deep regret for the great damage it caused the people of China

“Regardless of the political situation, Japan has to have deep remorse over a long period of militarist activities in China. There are many people who want to forget this, but it is something that must never be forgotten.”

Miyazaki, a liberal pacifist, has carved out a five-decade career as an animator, filmmaker, writer and manga artist and founded Studio Ghibli. While his meticulous, hand-drawn animations have always been popular with millions of Japanese youth, international releases of his full-length features—Princess Mononoke (1997), Spirited Away (2001), Howls Moving Castle (2008), Ponyo (2008) and The Wind Rises (2013)—brought him a global audience and numerous awards, including an Academy lifetime achievement award, the first anime director to receive the prize.

Miyazaki’s denunciations of the Abe government are another indication of widespread anti-war sentiment in Japan and, in particular, the mass opposition to the government’s efforts to legitimise overseas operations by the Japanese military.

According to a Kyodo News poll conducted on the weekend, the Abe government’s approval rating plunged by 9.7 points to 37.7 percent, the lowest since it was elected in December 2012. More than 70 percent of those surveyed were opposed to the way the security legislation was pushed through the parliament.

Last month about 25,000 people demonstrated outside the Japanese parliament against the government’s new self-defence laws. Over 20,000 marched to the parliament last Tuesday and another 6,000 demonstrated on Saturday over the lower-house passage of the new legislation and carrying placards stating “We will not tolerate Abe’s politics.”

Miyazaki’s anti-war views are well-known. He refused to visit the US to receive an Oscar for Spirited Away in protest against the US invasion of Iraq and is an official spokesman for the Henko campaign group, which is opposing the construction of a new US marine base at Onaga in northern Okinawa.

The popular animator and filmmaker’s political outlook, however, is a confused combination of pacifism, Japanese liberalism and environmentalism.

In a lengthy interview in 2013, Miyazaki forthrightly denounced Abe and others “who mess around with our [pacifist] constitution,” appealed for the government to pay compensation to Chinese, Japanese and Korean “comfort women” enslaved by the Japanese military during WWII and called for a negotiated solution to the territory conflicts with China and Korea.

In the same interview, however, Miyazaki declared that he supported previous Japanese military missions in Iraq and the Persian Gulf, repeating the official lie that Japanese involvement had been “humanitarian.”

New Dutch wildlife film, trailer


The makers of Dutch wildlife film De Nieuwe Wildernis have made a new film, about wildlife in the south-west of the Netherlands: Holland – Natuur in de Delta. This 26 June 2015 video is the trailer.

The new film will start in the cinemas on 24 September 2015.

Enchanted Kingdom, new wildlife film, review


This video is the trailer of the new film Enchanted Kingdom, aka Nature 3D. It is the first film in 3D by the BBC Earth filmmakers.

The theme of the film is wildlife in Africa, centred around water.

It was filmed in 13 African countries.

This is the first time ever that I went to a cinema and put 3D glasses on. They did enhance seeing the movie: an elephant‘s trunk seems to reach out to very close to the audience; there is more depth in mountain scenery; you see more clearly how various fish in a coral reef swim behind each other; etc.

Just after the beginning, a forest which exists because of rain water. Millions of army ants march through the rainforest, feeding on animals much bigger than the ants.

Then, a gorilla family.

Then, volcanism in Africa. It seems to make life impossible. However, at Lake Bogoria in Kenya, volcanism creates the right conditions for many lesser flamingoes to feed.

The movie continues to the almost waterless sandy desert in Namibia. And shows how snakes, lizards and insects adapt to that harsh environment. Much of this part of the film are macro lens recordings.

East of Namibia is Botswana. Also a rather dry country most of the time. Elephant herds have to migrate over long distances to find water at last. They have to be careful because of lion attacks.

Then, from an environment with little water to one of 100% water: a coral reef in the sea off Africa. Where hawksbill sea turtles, lionfish and many other animals live.

Then, to the highest level in Africa. Mountains of over 5,000 meter, like Mount Kenya. Near the top, water, especially during freezing nights, exists only in the form of snow or ice. Special plant species have adapted to these high altitude circumstances. So have gelada baboons in the Ethiopian highlands.

Eventually, the ice melts, and forms rivers which get bigger and bigger. Pied kingfishers dive for fish into these rivers. During their long migration to Maasai Mara in Kenya, wildebeest follow the water of the rain. They have to cross river water, where Nile crocodiles which have not eaten for a year may attack them.

This is a really good film. One of the good sides is that, contrary to the film Earth by the same filmmakers, and contrary to some other good wildlife films, the film Enchanted Kingdom does not have on screen greenwash propaganda for polluting corporate sponsors.