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This week’s front page editor

Clare Sambrook

Clare Sambrook, investigative journalist, co-edits Shine a Light.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

openDemocracy sees films differently: pioneering the mini-essay cine-crit, we offer in-depth and lateral criticism of films and the cultures they emerge from.

White God / Black Dog

Kornell Mandruczo's and Kata Weber's film, White God, is about Hungary, mongrols, Liszt ... and authoritarianism

Sebastião Salgado, ethics of time

The Salt of the Earth, a film about the photographer Sebastião Salgado, is an invitation to self-discovery in the mirror of the artist's ways of seeing.

The battle to preserve Bethlehem's cultural heritage

Open Bethlehem is a campaign to revive Bethlehem's legacy as a diverse, culturally rich, and entrepreneurial city, after decades of being suffocated by occupation.

Film review: the architecture of violence

The Architecture of Violence, part of AJE's Rebel Architecture series, explores the use of architecture as a central component of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, focusing on the work of Eyal Weizman.

Film review: 'Omar' and the nature of colonialism

A review of Omar (2014), the most recent offering from the Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad, which portrays the reality of life under occupation.

Believing in tears: a snapshot of new Russian documentary cinema

The Sixth London Russian Film Festival, which took place in London earlier this month, introduced 11 new feature films and 7 documentaries to the British public. Masha Karp went to watch the documentaries, hoping to see a true picture of Russia today.

The politics of myth making: 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'

Myths of human survival that evade questions of gender, race and social relations, won’t help us adapt in a world already being radically reshaped by environmental disasters and slow burning climate change, argues Agnes Woolley

Theo Angelopoulos: "I am standing by you"

The award winning Greek film director, Theo Angelopoulos, died yesterday in an accident whilst working on his new film The Other Sea. He spoke to Jane Gabriel in 2009 about his film 'The Dust of Time', and in 1993 about his films 'The Suspended Step of the Stork' and 'The Travelling Players'

Vapor Trail (Clark): wastes of history

A cinematic project in the Philippines that began as an exercise in political documentary and ended as excavation of the toxic legacies of the country’s early-20th century war with America is a vital counterblast to global amnesia, says Graeme Hobbs.

The Russian documentary: an endangered breed

Artdocfest is a Russian documentary film festival, now in its fourth year. This year, due to falling production at home, a new category was introduced: Russian-language films made outside Russia. Lamenting the decline of documentary filmmaking in Russia, Olga Sherwood examines what it is about Russia that interests foreign directors.

Good people with cameras

A can of worms is opened at the 54th London Film Festival

Hybridity, not District 10

What should we do with the aliens around us? Do they threaten and contaminate us? The intruders unite us, but only by terrifying us. Can globalisation assert itself positively without re-inventing and segregating its enemies? Tom Nairn finds these questions and more in the soon to be classic SciFi film, District 9

Antichrist: the visual theology of Lars Von Trier

The Danish filmmaker’s compelling drama uses the moving image as a celluloid icon to explore the depths of the Christian unconscious and its metaphysical terrors and longings. Tina Beattie reflects on “Antichrist”.

[This essay reveals some key events in the film's narrative]

Ingmar Bergman and Sweden: an epoch’s end

The great film and theatre director was at the heart of Sweden's cultural life for more than five decades, but Ingmar Bergman's relationship with his homeland was conflictual as well as intimate. Birgitta Steene, the world's leading authority on Bergman's work, tracks this long journey.

(This article was first published on 6 August 2007)

The tears flowed

The great Russian actor Oleg Yankovsky died in May this year.  Mumin Shakirov reviews the career of this outstanding actor and man

  Oleg Yankovsky as Metropolit

Oleg Yankovsky as Metropolit Philip in  Pavel Lungin's film "Tsar".

Propaganda or just good business?

Taras Bulba film 1

Soviet films were weapons of propaganda, but the pressures on a new blockbuster film like Vladimir Bortko's Taras Bulba are rather more familiar from Hollywood, in Dmitri Travin's view

Russian anti-Nazi film v Kremlin bulldogs

Pavel Bardin's film Russia 88, about Russian Nazis, has incurred official displeasure even before its release. Bardin says he wants to help government fight Russian fascism. Critics say the film's good. So what's the problem?The blogosphere is buzzing with answers

Rossiya 88 film

(Photo: Rossiya 88 film)

The ‘vertical of power’ grabs Russian cinema

 Russia has been gripped by the spectacle of a public battle for the heart of the film industry, says the cultural sociologist, Danil Dondurey.

Dissenting blockbusters

Russian cinema escaped direct state control until recently. Now Putin himself chairs the crucial Committee. Yet the message behind acclaimed new films by Valery Todorovsky and loyalist Fyodor Bondarchuk is defiant

Roberto Saviano: an Italian dissident

The author of "Gomorrah" - a fearless anatomy of the Naples mafia - is willing to risk his own life to expose a modern criminal-business empire, says Geoff Andrews. 

The dark (k)night of a postmodern world

Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight is a parable for our time that offers a bleak insight into the moral bankruptcy of democracy in a post-9/11 world, says Tina Beattie.

Youssef Chahine, the life-world of film

A great filmmaker of Alexandria and Egypt portrayed his country with a singular, passionate vision that remained constant in face of criticism and adulation alike. Tarek Osman pays tribute to Youssef Chahine

Clowning glories: Hollywood's screwball women

Kasia Boddy welcomes a London retrospective showcasing comediennes of classical Hollywood, and celebrates the brief reign of screwball's madcap women.

One day of life: a Romanian odyssey

Cristian Mungiu's portrait of a young woman's illegal abortion in Ceausescu-era Romania makes humane and moving art from its bleak subject-matter, says Grace Davies.

Calle Santa Fé: between Chile and freedom

The homecoming of a Chilean militant exiled in the Pinochet years is the beginning of a new journey. Carmen Castillo's journey holds wider lessons, says Patrice de Beer.

Ingmar Bergman: the sense of the world

The great Swedish filmmaker, who died on 30 July 2007, made art that speaks profoundly to the truth of ourselves, says Roger Scruton.

The Lives of Others: beyond good and evil

"The Lives of Others" depicts a world of paranoia and foreboding, but this is no ordinary cold war thriller. The compelling exploration of the "dark side" of Communist East Germany sets this film apart, says Steve Crawshaw.


Rachel Rawlins talks to director Abderrahmane Sissako about his new film Bamako, the IMF, the World Bank and relationships.

Letters to the past: Iwo Jima and Japanese memory

Clint Eastwood's film "Letters from Iwo Jima" finds the humanity behind the brutality of war, thus honouring the past and opening hearts in the present, says Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney, author of "Kamikaze Diaries".

A Prairie Home Companion: Altman's last ride

Robert Altman's last film, A Prairie Home Companion is a beautiful farewell to life and art, writes Maggie Gee

Rocky's American dreams

Sylvester Stallone's sixth instalment in the "Rocky" franchise about a washed-up palooka-cum-hero may be a movie driven by cartoon logic, but it is also a masterful exercise in nostalgia and American redemption, says Kasia Boddy.

Babel: worlds within worlds

Babel’s emotional and visual pleasures should not blind us to the simpler story told by the gift of the gun, says novelist Maggie Gee.

A murderous muse: Idi Amin and the Last King of Scotland

Forest Whitaker's superb performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin cannot redeem a hollow film that washes whiter a complex reality, says Stephen Howe.

Jungle dumb: Mel Gibson's Apocalypto

Mel Gibson's Mayan blockbuster is an imperialist Christian dream but otherwise an historical and cultural nightmare, says Kanishk Tharoor.

John Lennon: America's foe

openDemocracy's Richard Young talks to David Leaf, writer and director of "John Lennon vs the US", a film about the Nixon administration's attempts to silence Lennon's anti-war message.

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