PLO: History of a Revolution

1. Masters of their Own Destiny

Masters of their own Destiny is the first episode in Al Jazeera’s six-part series on the history of the Palestine Liberation Organisation. It looks at the challenges encountered as Palestinians sought to wrest control of their own destiny from Arab regimes and create an independent Palestinian organisation that would lead the struggle for a national home.

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A musical blast from the past

H/t to The Nation’s Greg Mitchell for finding this rare gem and posting it on Twitter.

This is from John Lennon’s documentary “Gimme Some Truth.”  It features a young Tariq Ali, Robin Blackburn, Regis Debray, and the legendary Miles Davis … shooting hoops with Lennon. Classic.

Onward!

Defamation: In Search of Antisemitism

From "Defamation"

Last month, PULSE published Yoav Shamir’s film, Defamation. I’ve finally gotten around to  watching it, and just couldn’t help writing as I watched. Aside from the comical Nancy Drew music, I found it at times very hard to watch. Looking in the mirror is never easy.

The Easy Part – The Adults
There’s something pathetic about a grown man living in unsubstantiated fear. Probably the most pathetic statement in the movie is made by the security guy at Crown Heights:

When a black guy sees two people walking down the street, a black person and a jewish person, his choice to attack someone will not be a black person. With a black person, you never know, does he carry a knife, does he carry a gun?..

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The Agronomist

This superb documentary by Oscar-winning director John Demme (Philadelphia, BelovedMan from Plains, The Manchurian Candidate) uses  the story of legendary Haitian journalist and broadcaster Jean Dominique as a focus to present the larger history of the country’s political struggles. The film features excellent archival footage and interviews, and a briliant soundtrack (although Wyclef Jean I have just learned is a poseur who actually echoed the Bush State Department line in laying the blame for the 2004 coup and kidnapping of Jean Bertrand Aristide on the president himself).

(Don’t miss Democracy Now!‘s excellent, in-depth coverage of the tragedy in Haiti)

Panorama – Gaza: Out of the Ruins


[see the rest of the clips after the jump]

The BBC’s Panorama program is typically loaded with Israeli Government propaganda such as saying Hamas provoked Israel, rather than Israel provoking Hamas; it also fails to provide adequate context about who broke the ceasefire and the illegal military occupation and blockading of Gaza, hardly an ‘impartial’ way to frame events.
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Militainment

The first Gulf War was recently descibed by Robert Fisk as a turning point, where Western society seemed indifferent to war and civilian casualties, he discerned that part of the problem was due to journalism saying “our television lads and lasses played it [the war] for all it was worth – it was the first war that had ‘theme’ music to go with the pictures”.

Militainment is a documentary on this phenomena where journalism blends with entertainment and the military establishment.