"If people really knew the process through which money is created, the system would not hold more than 24 hours". - Henry Ford. Two years ago, Turkish-born Canadian director Isaac Isitan watched from the comfort of his living room as thousands of people in Turkey and Argentina took to the streets, attacking the banks when their life-savings evaporated overnight. Middle-class people who once lined up at the banks were now lining up at the food banks. Isitan describes how the demands of the World Bank and the IMF, have plunged entire nations into economic crisis. Faced with a lack of money, the people have begun to re-invent it through initiating barter systems and by inventing local parallel economies. An incisive look at the power of money.
As the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO are aiming to develop a common approach to world economic policies called the 'coherence agenda', The Yes Men have an agenda of their own. The Yes Men gain worldwide notoriety for impersonating the World Trade Organization on TV and at business conferences around the world, amazingly without being discovered. The bizarre story begins with activists Andy and Mike setting up a website that mimics the WTO, which is mistaken for the real thing - they soon find themselves invited to important functions as WTO representatives. Delighted to speak as the organisation they oppose, Andy and Mike don cheap suits and set out to see how far they can push it - with darkly comic satires featuring the worst aspects of global free trade.
This film travels between one remote tribe in India and another, far more powerful, in Washington DC, to uncover a story of misunderstanding and bureaucratic arrogance that achieves the opposite of the World Bank's GEF paper promise.
The story of a Peruvian paradise lost after a devastating mercury spill at the Yanacocha mine. The environmental catastrophe turned Choropampa, a quiet village into a hotbed of civil resistance. The mine, partially owned by the World Bank, claim the problem was quickly resolved - the villagers tell a starkly different story.
Surplus explores the destructive nature of consumer culture. Against a backdrop of cynical world leaders, corporate captains and Microsoft fanatics the film puts the controversial anti-globalisation guru John Zerzan, whose call for property damage has inspired many to take to the streets. An intense visual odyssey filmed over three years in eight countries, finding links between the explosive anti-globalisation riots of Genoa, $7000 sex dolls to George W's infamous "just keep shopping" speech. Twenty per cent of the world is gobbling up 80% of its resources. The stunning editing and cinematography turns the statistics into an unforgettable emotional experience.
In the First World War is primarily a spectacle - sensational footage, military briefings, carefully edited news presentations. The Fourth Word War shows a different kind of war - without battlefields, without a clear enemy, that is economic and cultural as well as military. It shows footage from the frontlines of neglected struggles in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, Palestine, Korea, and finds a connection with the WTO protests of Seattle and Genoa, and the so-called 'War on Terror'. Directed by the award winning New York-based Big Noise Films, with Tony Award winner Suheir Hammad and singer Michael Franti from Spearhead, it is a radical story of hope and human connection in the face of a war that shatters and divides.
Vera Putina at 77 years of age is typical of the Russian women of her generation. What makes her different is that in 1999, she recognized President Vladimir Putin as the son she thought was lost forever. Did Vera's son really become the President of Russia?
As Russian Head of State, Vladimir Putin is one of the most powerful men in the world. An ex-KGB Officer, he became Acting President in 1999, taking over from a sick Boris Yeltsin and was elected President in 2000. Award winning filmmaker Vitalij Manskij's film starts off as straightforward reportage but then, Putin seems to take a leaf out of Clinton's book in his willingness to be open to the camera, and the film succeeds in giving us not only a unique insight into Russian political life but also a surprisingly intimate portrait of this secretive and complex central figure.
In 1947, Amos Vogel established a film club in New York called Cinema 16. He was determined to show there were alternatives to Hollywood. Its aim was to invigorate citizenship...
In March 2001 the ruling Taliban destroyed Afghanistan's foremost tourist attraction, the Buddhas of Bamiyan. Over the course of a year, this film follows the story of one of the refugees who lives in a cave amongst the ruins...
A searing anti-war essay on the Russian-Chechen war - one of the most brutal yet under-reported of current conflicts. A collection of graphic footage from freelance camera people is interwoven with Tolstoy's writings, penned during his own stint in the Russian army, fighting Chechnya 150 years ago. Tolstoy asks 'why they are fighting'. The answer seems no clearer now than it was then. All that's changed, it seems, is the level of brutality.
The winds of change blow through a remote community living in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. This beautifully observed film looks at life since the Russians have left the country, and the once modest rural economy is now steered towards market capitalism. However while the rural areas suffer from the loss of subsidies, the fortune of those living in the city is very different. Market forces have also brought change there, but mostly for the better. The film offers unique insight into this universal dilemma.