Cannes film festival crew protest Brazilian coup

This video says about itself:

Cast at Cannes Film Festival Protest Brazilian Coup

18 May 2016

Protesters in France are taking to the red carpet! A Brazilian film crew publicly denounced the coup against Dilma Rousseff while at the Cannes Film Festival.

Hillsborough film, on English football fans’ deaths

This video from Britain says about itself:

EPSN/BBC: Hillsborough #JFT96

27 April 2016

Finally aired in the UK at 9pm on BBC 2 on Sunday May 8th 2016, without much additional material.

“American sports network ESPN, as part of its 30 for 30 series of sports films (under a new “Soccer Stories” subdivision), aired the documentary Hillsborough as a co-production with the BBC. Directed by Daniel Gordon, the 2-hour film chronicles the disaster, the investigations, and their lingering effects; it also included interviews with survivors, victims’ relatives, police officers and investigators. Hillsborough aired the first time on 15 April 2014, the 25th anniversary of the disaster. The documentary was unable to be shown in Great Britain upon initial release due to the 2012 High Court inquest still being in progress and the UK’s jury tampering laws; the documentary contains previously unreleased security camera footage from the stadium the day of the disaster. However, upon the inquest verdict the BBC announced they would air the documentary, with additional footage from the inquest and final verdict.”

Source: here.

A version of this documentary will be on BBC 2 at 9pm on Sunday May 8th 2016. It will be about 15 minutes longer and feature the inquest verdicts and proceedings.

By Robert Stevens in Britain:

Hillsborough: A powerful and moving account of Britain’s worst sporting disaster

14 May 2016

Hillsborough, aired on UK television for the first time on May 8, examines the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans at Sheffield Wednesday’s football stadium, a neutral site, on April 15, 1989.

It details how those responsible, above all the South Yorkshire Police, covered up their role for decades—in collusion with successive Conservative and Labour governments. They concocted a pack of lies, blaming the actions of football supporters for the tragedy they caused.

On April 26, 2016, a full 27 years later, an inquest concluded that the 96 were unlawfully killed. They were crushed to death after Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, the officer in command, gave the order to open Exit Gate C at 2.52 pm, just before the 3 pm kick-off. Hundreds of fans then entered an unpoliced tunnel leading directly into two already dangerously overcrowded and enclosed pens.

Hillsborough, produced and directed by British documentary film director Daniel Gordon, was originally shown in the United States two years ago. It could not be shown in the UK due to the just concluded two-year inquest into the deaths—the longest jury case in British legal history. The factual consultant on the film, Professor Phil Scraton, told the Liverpool Echo, “It was about to go into cinemas when the coroner [Sir John Goldring] placed an embargo on films and books about Hillsborough.”

BBC Two aired it on May 8, with public screenings in Sheffield, the city where the disaster took place, and Liverpool.

The documentary reconstructs key events and includes harrowing footage of the crush and its aftermath, interviews with family members, survivors and police officers on duty. Scraton narrates. He played an important role in uncovering the truth about Hillsborough. He was the lead author of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, whose 2012 report exonerated the Liverpool supporters of all blame. This led to the quashing of the original flawed inquest verdicts and the setting up of the new inquest.

The film explains the circumstances in which Chief Superintendent Duckenfield was placed in charge of operations at Hillsborough after a scandal led to the removal of his more experienced predecessor. Duckenfield had never been in charge of such a major policing operation and did not even know the name of the other club involved in the game in a pre-match briefing.

The film documents the poor layout and dilapidated state of the stadium. Prior to entering, thousands of Liverpool fans were herded into a small concourse at the Leppings Lane end. If all the fans had gone through the handful of turnstiles to enter the ground, it would have required the game to be delayed by 40 minutes. But no delay was ever considered by the police and the Football Association (FA).

Duckenfield was in the police control box looking directly over the Leppings Lane end and the seriously overcrowded central pens. Consulting with a police officer on the packed concourse, he made the catastrophic decision to open a main exit gate. The match kicked off at 3pm, with the fans already having been crushed.

The film shows fans trying to escape onto the pitch and police telling them to stop. There are graphic scenes of crushed bodies, with fans desperate to get out of the fenced-off terraces. Some are pulled up onto the elevated rear terrace behind. Others manage to climb the fences onto the pitch. Other fans desperately try to rip the fence open.

Describing people crushed against the main fence, one traumatised police officer states, “It was like looking at fish in a trawler net.” One of the police officers opens a gate in the adjoining pen, recalling, “I couldn’t understand why these people weren’t moving towards me. There’s actually six foot high spiked railing fences between the pens.”

One of the survivors managed, with the help of fans, to get out of the pen. Later, leaving the ground he tells how he saw the body of his father lying dead on the floor on a concourse area with around 10 other bodies.

The police control box is visited by FA Chief Executive Graham Kelly. Scraton states, “Duckenfield tells him there has been an inrush of Liverpool fans forcing entry through an exit gate into the stadium and down the tunnel. At that moment, the person who is ultimately responsible for the hiring of the stadium is told unequivocally that Liverpool fans have caused the disaster by violent access to the ground.”

Likewise, a BBC football commentator tells millions watching on television that a “gate was broken, people without tickets got in and were overcrowding the people with tickets and that’s why the crush occurred.”

“The lie becomes defining,” states Scraton.

No emergency rescue plan is enacted. Ambulances are seen backed up on Penistone Road outside the stadium, unable to go anywhere. The now infamous scene of police officers standing in a cordon across the middle of the pitch, doing nothing to help, is shown. The majority of people involved in the rescue were the fans who managed to get onto the pitch.

A few ambulances manage to get some injured fans to a local hospital, where 12 are pronounced dead. The other deceased were taken into the gymnasium at the stadium.

One of the police officers recalls that when asked what they should put in their police pocket books, a chief inspector replied, “You don’t need to put anything [in] your pocket books. It will be all be covered in the disaster log.”

On the basis of the lie that “drunk” Liverpool fans broke into the ground and caused the deaths, the coroner, Dr Stefan Popper takes the unprecedented decision to take blood alcohol level of all the victims, including the children.

A harrowing reconstruction is shown of relatives, some having driven for hours from Liverpool, waiting in a nearby Boys Club. After identifying the bodies, the families were not allowed to touch the bodies of their loved one. Family members are asked if they had recently drunk alcohol and if those who died drank alcohol.

The following day Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Home Secretary Douglas Hurd, her press secretary Bernard Ingham and local, ultra-right Tory MP Irvine Patnick are taken to the stadium by Peter Wright, the South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable and Duckenfield. Scraton notes that Ingham wrote, “What we learned on the spot is that a tanked up mob had actually caused the disaster.”

Rupert Murdoch's Sun lies on Hillsborough

The documentary forensically exposes this pack of lies, disseminated by right-wing newspapers, in the words of The Sun, as “The Truth.”

The Labour government which came to office in 1997 refused to call a new public inquiry, despite being presented with new evidence obtained by Scraton, that original statements by police officers had been significantly altered by South Yorkshire Police to delete any criticism of their role.

At the 20th memorial service for the 96 at Liverpool’s Anfield stadium, the film shows a speech by leading Labour politician Andy Burnham being interrupted by fans shouting “Justice for the 96!” Burnham looks sick—like a deer caught in headlights.

Only then did Labour establish the Hillsborough Independent Panel, leading to the release of hundreds of thousands of documents relating to the events. Just a few years earlier, then Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair had ruled out any further inquiry, asking, “What is the point?”

The survivors of the disaster and family members never gave up fighting for justice. Margaret Aspinall, who lost her son James, is filmed speaking after the jury recorded the verdicts of unlawful killings. She notes that up to the very end, South Yorkshire Police were still “prepared to live with the lies and still sell them in the courts.”

Operation Resolve, a police investigation to establish whether any individual or organisation is criminally culpable for their role in the disaster put into place after the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report, has not charged or even arrested a single person after more than three years.

Those with access to the BBC’s iPlayer can view the documentary here for the next 24 days.

The film is also available here.

The author also recommends:

Hillsborough inquest: Ninety-six UK football supporters unlawfully killed
[28 April 2016]

The Hillsborough disaster as it unfolded
[28 April 2016]

Report on Hillsborough football disaster exposes “biggest cover-up in British legal history”
[15 September 2016]

New Zealand ‘Lord of the Rings’ volcano eruption?

This video from New Zealand is called Mt Ruapehu Crater Climb (February, 2016).

Mount Ruapehu is well-known because much of the movie The Lord of the Rings was filmed there; scenes depicting Mordor and Mount Doom.

From the New Zealand Herald:

Ruapehu on alert after 20C rise

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

By Chris Schulz

Mt Ruapehu’s risk of eruption may have increased, but GNS volcanologists say nearby residents should not feel concerned.

GNS today announced the mountain’s crater lake temperature had doubled in the past few weeks, rising from 25C to between 45C and 46C over the past couple of days.

Duty volcanologist Geoff Kilgour says scientists made two visits to Ruapehu yesterday, one flight to measure the gas output and other to sample the crater lake water and make additional ground-based gas measurements.

Volcanic gas measurements indicate an increase in the amount of both carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) output … Seismic activity at Mt Ruapehu is usually dominated by volcanic tremor. Since the volcanic earthquakes in late April the seismicity has been dominated by volcanic tremor at varying levels. The level of tremor has increased but is not exceptional in terms of the last few years.”

Volcanologist Brad Scott has quashed a few “urban myths” about why there is currently an increasing level of activity in the volcano.

“It’s got nothing to do with weather. And White Island, they’re [volcanoes] all independent of each other.”

Mr Scott says the activity is caused by molten lava getting trapped inside the volcano itself.

“When that new pulsar heat and hot rock comes into the volcano it’s whether or not it can flow through the volcano and get out of it and if the holes in the volcano aren’t big enough to let the gas through it just over pressurises and pops.”

And for those in surrounding towns worried that a lahar will swamp them, Mr Scott says debris is unlikely to travel more than a few kilometres from the volcano itself.

“One of the biggest eruptions, in 1995, only a few blots got past the 3km or 4km mark and that was really rare. Being away from the volcano is very safe and even the standard places you can go. Different story if you go and climb the thing and you’re camping at the crater lake or something.”

As for where it travels, Mr Scott says the majority head out towards the Desert Rd but there have been some eruptions producing lahar on the northern side.

“If you’re at the ski lodges, they’re safe as. Ruapehu only affects within about 3km of the lake and the nearest part of the ski fields are about 4km or 5km away so it does make it a fairly safe environment and the rest, once off you’re off the bottom of the volcano, nothing can touch you.”

Mr Scott says Ruapehu Alpine Lifts has shifted all of its infrastructure – ski tows, towers, cafes – out of the valleys in case it did head in that direction.

As for how the volcanic unrest occurs? “That’s the $64,000 science question of volcanologists all over the world.”

The Department of Conservation also issued a warning to climbers and trampers on the mountain, to not enter the Summit Hazard Zone on Mt Ruapehu until further notice.

The Summit Hazard Zone is the area within 2km of the centre of the crater lake.

It encompasses all the peaks in the summit area, with Te Heuheu Peak at the north end of the summit area at the edge of the zone, and the upper Turoa skifield at the south.

Climbers and trekkers should refer to the Summit Hazard Zone map or use their map and GPS reading skills, to determine when they are approaching the zone.

“We recommend climbers, trampers and walkers do not enter the zone,” said Paul Carr, DoC‘s operations manager for Tongariro.

“Guiding companies should also heed the advice and not take people into the zone.”

No ski areas, other facilities or roads on Ruapehu or elsewhere in Tongariro National Park – including the Tongariro Alpine Crossing – are affected by this warning.

Nazi era crimes and post-1945 West Germany, film review

This video says about itself:


8 August 2015

Top German actors Burghart Klaussner (The White Ribbon) and Ronald Zehrfeld (Barbara, Phoenix) star in this riveting historical thriller, which chronicles the herculean efforts of German district attorney Fritz Bauer to bring Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann to justice.

Today, I saw the film The People vs. Fritz Bauer.

Here is a review by Joanne Laurier from the USA; with, as usually, links and remarks added by me:


In Germany, fewer than 500 individuals were punished for their participation in the liquidation of millions of Jews and others in the Holocaust. Only one hundred defendants out of a total of 4,500 who stood trial between 1945 and 1949 for Nazi crimes were accused of murder-related offences.

Fritz Bauer (1903-1968), a Social Democratic lawyer and, later, judge, had been forced to flee Nazi Germany because of his politics and Jewish origins. Upon his return from exile in Denmark and once more taking positions in the justice system, his unrelenting attempts to prosecute the crimes of the Third Reich encountered fierce resistance from the officials in the Konrad Adenauer government (1949-63). The first postwar West German administration harbored many former high-ranking Nazis. In a well-known comment, Bauer stated: “When I leave my office I am entering an enemy, foreign country.”

Bauer is the subject of Italian-born, German filmmaker Lars Kraume’s engrossing film, THE PEOPLE vs. FRITZ BAUER. The movie opens in 1957. Famed Attorney General Fritz Bauer (the remarkable Burghart Klaussner) is found lying unconscious in his bathtub. Near him are a glass of wine and sleeping pills. Federal Office of Criminal Investigation officer Paul Gebhardt (Jörg Schüttauf) wants the incident to be classified as an attempted suicide. He intends to claim Bauer, a thorn in the side of the authorities, is unstable and should be dismissed. The attorney general is feared for his dogged efforts to bring to justice former Nazis and their defenders.

Bauer succeeds in quashing rumors about his supposed attempted suicide, all the while receiving death threats. Soon after his release from hospital, he gets a tip that Adolf Eichmann, one of the most pivotal figures in the deportation of European Jews to the concentration camps and known as the “architect of the Holocaust,” is living under an assumed name in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

A chain-smoker with a razor-sharp mind and disheveled attire, Bauer wants to try Eichmann in a German court. He has dedicated his life to tracking down major Nazis like Eichmann, Martin Bormann (who, in fact, had died in 1945) and Josef Mengele, hoping to help rehabilitate the post-war German state. However, as he is fully aware, the country’s investigative agencies are peppered with Nazis. In addition, no help is forthcoming from Interpol, a thoroughly reactionary and dubious body, which claims it has no jurisdiction over “political crimes.”

In fact, the film suggests that that not only the BND (German Federal Intelligence) but the CIA as well were involved in shielding high-ranking Nazis,

Eg, in the Eichmann case, they both knew where Eichmann was, but did nothing about that.

and depicts the constant attempts to derail Bauer’s investigation. Eventually, Bauer turns to the Israeli intelligence service Mossad, risking prison for committing treason.

As his colleagues scheme to undermine him, Bauer’s only ally is a young public prosecutor, Karl Angermann (Ronald Zehrfeld), who is prosecuting a man arrested for prostitution. At Bauer’s suggestion and in defiance of a code against homosexuality made more onerous by the Nazis, Angermann demands only a small fine. Angermann is married, but, like Bauer, he is a homosexual. He and Bauer are obliged to keep their sexuality a secret. Eventually, the naïve Angermann gets entrapped by Bauer’s enemies, who force him to choose between going to prison or fingering Bauer as a traitor.

As the noose tightens around Angermann’s neck, Bauer, trying to get his foes off his back, covertly creates the conditions for Eichmann’s capture by Mossad. Bauer’s plan is to put Eichmann on trial in West Germany, but he underestimates the extent to which the Adenauer government, backed by the United States, is hostile to the possibility of a show trial that might name names.

The film ends as Eichmann faces trial in Jerusalem in 1961. Bauer initiated the famous Auschwitz trials in Frankfurt that began in December 1963 and were the largest criminal proceedings in postwar Germany against former members of the Nazi Party.

According to the filmmakers, Bauer’s influence was far-reaching. In the movie’s production notes, the director states that Bauer was “convinced that the German postwar generation [had] the opportunity to build a new society. In reality he opened a completely new perspective for the youth in the Adenauer era, because he dared to lift the veil and break the bleak silence. And so he became an important source of inspiration later on for the student revolts.”

Despite a few rough edges, Kraume’s film is driven by a powerful commitment—and extraordinary lead actors—to dramatize Fritz Bauer’s historic contribution. It is inspired by Bauer’s determination to put “everything that was inhumane here on trial.”

British government spying on citizens, documentary

This April 2016 video from Britain says about itself:

Brought to you by Scenes of Reason, The Haystack documentary is a real life investigation into 21st century surveillance in the UK and the Investigatory Powers (IP) Bill currently before Parliament.

In light of Snowden’s revelations in 2013, both privacy groups and our government agree that the laws surrounding surveillance need to be updated, but public debate and examination of the Bill have been shockingly limited on an issue that impacts us all. The Haystack explores whether the powers set out in this Bill will stop the next terrorist attack, and asks, are we willing to accept an unimaginable level of intrusion before it’s too late?


In late 2015 Scenes of Reason decided to take action and do what they do best; decode complicated topics for young millennials in order to stimulate debate. A team of four young female journalists wanted answers to both the simple and complex questions surrounding surveillance. Producer and director, Olivia Cappuccini states;

“At a time when the U.S are rolling back their surveillance powers, we need to be asking why the UK isn’t following suit, and instead pushing forward with an unprecedented Bill that is more intrusive and could seriously challenge our fundamental civil liberties in the name of national security.”

Scenes of Reason set out to present a balanced debate on the effectiveness, necessity and intent behind mass surveillance powers but found that it will never be a simple accept or deny conclusion. We interviewed a host of the biggest players in the surveillance space; ex director of GCHQ David Omand and National Security Agency whistleblower Bill Binney to name a few, and put the main arguments both for and against mass surveillance to them.

For more information, additional content, visit:

Edward Snowden, new Oliver Stone film

This video says about itself:

Snowden‘ Trailer

28 April 2016

Oliver Stone’s “Snowden” provides a look at the drama behind the adventures of former CIA employee turned whistleblower, Edward Snowden. “Snowden” hits theaters September 16.

New Study Shows Mass Surveillance Breeds Meekness, Fear and Self-Censorship: here.

Iraq war 2003-2016, new film

This film trailer video from Belgium says about itself:


18 December 2015

Exploring a future for Iraq and the Middle East, we interviewed all kinds of people. We let people speak for themselves in their true colors. Fiction meets reality in poetry of the image and in esteem of the human kind! – a production of The BRussells Tribunal with the support of theWizard.

You can watch the film here.

From the filmmakers:


A documentary by Luc Pien


War is intensifying in Syria and Iraq … with the support of our governements. Life has become unbearable in both countries. Hundreds of thousands of refugees seek safe haven in Europe. Many drown attempting to cross the Mediterranean. Others make it across only to discover that there is no place for them in Hotel Europa. A peaceful life seems a distant dream …

Drawing on voices other than those we hear, see and read daily in the media, “… Whose peace will it be?” traces the origins and causes of the present disaster. The documentary weaves memories of the past through experiences of the present to create a mosaic within which the pathway to peace might be discerned. It provides an impetus to think differently about the future and act accordingly. But, above all, the film seeks to chart a pathway to peace.

Iraqi academics in the diaspora muse about the need for freedom, education and humanity in the Arab world. Refugees from Iraq and neighboring countries highlight the horror of the catastrophe. Artists discuss other ways of social thinking and acting. United Nations officials recount what has gone wrong in recent decades. European philosophers and experts explain how knowledge of, and respect for, other cultures has gotten lost.

In what sense are we, “the West,” complicit in—perhaps even responsible for—the disaster that has struck Iraq and Syria? What political action should the UN take? What’s stopping the supposedly enlightened nations from entering into genuine dialogue, with respect for the identity of all concerned?

What means do we have at our disposal to restore the human and cultural riches of Iraq and Syria? How can we show solidarity with the desire of people to decide their own fate? What can we do to make sure Iraq and the entire region become, once again, a secure and decent place to live? Can so much suffering be forged into hope? Whose peace will it be once the war is over?

All these questions have led to a movie full of options and possibilities for the future. We do not show the atrocities of war: we know them all too well. Nor do we show the unbearable and self-destructive side of human behavior. We let people speak for themselves, in all their uniqueness and sincerity. Utopia and reality meet in the poetry of the narration, and respect for everyday people.

This video from London, England says about itself:

At the invitation of Lord Maginnis of Drumglass and Lord Clarke of Hampstead, a conference was held at the House of Commons on 10 June 2014 “11 Years After the Occupation of Iraq” to discuss the major concerns in Iraq including the situation of human rights, the lack of security, absence of social developments and Iraq’s international obligations.

Participants in the conference included Mr Sabah Al Mukhtar, official of Arab Lawyers and Legal Consultant in UK, Dr Isam Al Chalabi, Former Iraqi Oil Minister, Prof. Saad Naji Jawad, Professor of Political Science and visiting professor at LSE, Dr Subhi Toma, Expert on Minorities and Immigrants, His Excellency Sid Ahmed Al Ghozali, former Prime Minister of Algeria, and Messrs Denis Halliday and Hanz von Sponeck, former Assistant Secretary Generals at the UN.