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human and animal liberation

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Films & activism

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In recent months I run a quite intensive educational campaign by organizing a series of screenings of films involved politically and socially. They’re connected with lectures and discussions held after the screenings. Some of the movies I watched for the first time, and I think it is worth to mention a few titles, and post a short review. Perhaps it will be useful to other activists in their work.

Let me start by Bold Native, which to me is a big favorite. For me it’s the best film of 2010. The film tells the story of a member of Animal Liberation Front, wanted by the FBI, and his father (the CEO of one of the corporations) who is desperately trying to make contact with him. We find here a range of difficult questions and tough answers; we also find here the truth about the so-called. organic milk and organic eggs, vivisection, farming, etc. The film unobtrusively prompts to think over our choices, our commitment to the conformism based on suffering of thousands of animals. At the same it presents a number of controversial topics such as the use of violence against those involved in animal cruelty, the absurdity of vegetarianism, or double standards. All this is wrapped in a gripping story, excellent camera work, music and directing. I showed the movie twice already, and soon I will show it once again. Each time the reactions were very positive, people were touched, some even shocked, and most inspired by what they saw. A must-see-before-die for everyone!

The Economics Of Happiness is a documentary about globalization and its alternative, namely building a society based on the local economy, ecology and equity. The first part sets out the key features of globalization and its tragic impact on people’s lives in different parts of the world. We are talking about climate change, the environmental devastation, exploitation, drastic Western consumerism and the destruction of local cultures. The second part deals with aspects of local social life. The film presents a pretty interesting alternative, while explaining the mechanisms that can improve the lives of us all. The advantage of the film is a positive message, hope for change that moves between different sequences. The downside is a utopian belief or omission of fact which is familiar to most activists. Building egalitarian alternatives and opposing status quo is always connected with the reaction of corporate and political elites who seek to block any possibility of rejection of capitalism, corporatism, or the monetary system. Just to mention the Zapatistas struggle or Shell To Sea campaign in Ireland, which has been well documented in The Pipe movie and the book Once Upon A Time In The West. The lack of a theme for me is a big omission on the part of the filmmakers.

At the end, well-promoted another part of the Venus Project Zeitgeist: Moving Forward. Unfortunately, despite much promotion of it, this production is a disaster. We are dealing here with nearly three hours long document, which consists mainly interviews with people from diverse fields. Although quite interesting issues rose in the film, such as genetics, the monetary system and a more anti-capitalist expression of this (third) part, the film is simply boring. It’s more a propaganda tool of the Venus project. Futuristic solutions proposed by the authors do not convince viewers, often seem unreal and far from the expectations of people. In the discussion after the film it turned out that nobody liked it. It is worth noting that at least half of these people would have seen the previous parts. The only good aspect of the film is a thorough critique of neo-liberalism, the banking and monetary system. But I’m afraid it is all what it can offer.


Battle In Seattle in Greystones!

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We’ll be showing another great movie this Saturday! This time we’ll be screening Battle In Seattle. The film depicts the historic protest in 1999, as thousands of activists arrive in Seattle, Washington in masses to protest the WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999. The World Trade Organization is considered by protesters to contribute to widening the socioeconomic gap between the rich and the poor while it claims to be fixing it and increasing world hunger, disease and death.

The movie takes an in-depth look at several fictional …characters during those five days in 1999 as demonstrators protested the meeting of the WTO in Seattle’s streets. The movie portrays conflicts between the peaceful protesters and a minority committing property destruction whose actions were widely covered by the media. Although the protest began peacefully with a goal of stopping the WTO talks, police began teargassing the crowd and the situation escalated into a full-scale riot and a State of Emergency that pitted protesters against the Seattle Police Department and the National Guard.

15th January 2011 (Saturday)
The Happy Pear
Church Road

This is free screening and everyone is welcome! If you happen to be nearby, please come!

Capitalism by Michael Moore

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Yesterday I had a chance to watch Michael Moore’s latest Capitalism: A Love Story. This document should become a must for all those who entrust politicians, banks and financial institutions, living in the belief that the current system of democracy is the result of natural or social order. There were dozens capitalism critics written or filmed by different people. I’m myself the author of at least a few. Why, then, Moore’s film is so special? Well, because it shows what capitalism is in practice, he exposes it and shows as it is without shining lies of economists. At same time he’s not focused on the statistics, slogans or scientific names which can be found in many studies. In return, Moore shows the individual stories of victims of the system: evicted families, laid-off people, dying towns and overall degeneration. The movie fully exposes the corruption of politicians, corporate greed and large-scale corruption. The director shows it simply as it is, trying to even talk with some of the capitalists.

Howver it’s not the end, the movie is not only extensive criticism. The film in fact shows what is most important – an alternative to capitalism. Moore shows the self-organization: several thriving businesses, whose owners are the workers. In these companies there is a direct democracy, collectivism and egalitarian management. You may use several names here, but it’s always the same. As it looks among Argentine workers or Greek anarchists once again we can see broken myths of capitalism like the hierarchy, the need for the boss, or the sacred principle of making a profit in the first place. Now things can look different, the workers-owners of these companies concentrate on the common good, and all decisions are to serve the common welfare, not the President and shareholder interests. Here we come therefore to what the anarchists propose and what they fight for. For example WSM, FAU or IP. We do not need government and bosses in order to develop and perform our work well. Current system can not be adjusted, it needs a radically change and return to the sources, ie the value of sharing and mutual aid which are the force of society.

The film emerges, therefore, revolutionary (and, moreover, true) conclusion. Capitalism is evil and should be eliminated as soon as possible. It is the negation of all true values of life. Its effect on a global scale is the only progressive poverty, exploitation and destruction. We can’t modify it, improve or get rid of some shortcomings, because the system is built to exploit and destroy, its purpose is not to serve people but provide huge income to small groups of bourgeois crooks and rich criminals. So revolution is inevitable, is a natural consequence of enormous harm suffered by ordinary people and thousands animals each day, not only in America but around the world. Our task, however, is to make sure the revolution has not turned into another period of transition. Power to the People!

Written by Kruk

September 23, 2010 at 9:16 pm