Arts & Entertainment

The Power Of The Documentary: Breaking The Silence

A program of 26 thought-provoking documentary films from the past seven decades has been specially curated for this film festival by John Pilger, an Emmy and BAFTA award-winning documentary filmmaker, journalist and author.

Pilger chose the 26 documentary films from more than 100 films and he said that it wasn’t a daunting task to sift through all of them, but it was a privilege to look again at the work of film-makers who he describes as ‘true tellers’.

“The documentary film is uniquely placed to make sense of news that often makes no sense. The best documentaries lift rocks and push back screens and are not afraid to deal with subjects that touch our lives. The 26 documentaries in this festival have been chosen for that reason. Each film breaks down and offers a perspective often denied us and counters the most common form of censorship: by omission.”

Special guest speakers who will be appearing at this festival include Mark Davis, Damon Gameau, Curtis Levy, Robert Love and Alec Morgan.

Pilger claims that people generally don’t watch enough documentary films. “The reason is television – still our main source of information – prefers the stunts of ‘reality’ films and the specious ‘debates’ between reporters, so-called experts and politicians known as ‘current affairs’.”

Ultimately how will attendees benefit by attending this festival? “People will be given information and a worldview beyond the daily media menu of sound-bites and platitudes. Those who come along will find riches on the screen. I suggest readers go to see them all – they won’t be disappointed.” (MMo)

HOT PICKS

JOHN PILGER’S BURP! PEPSI v COKE IN THE COLD WAR (1984) the story of the political struggle between Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola.

HARVEST OF SHAME (1960) – Through the extremities migrant farm labourers endured, Correspondent Ed Murrow offers proof of the existence of slavery in modern times.

LOUSY LITTLE SIXPENCE (1983)Alec Morgan’s affective documentary was the first to tell the stories of Australia’s First Peoples Stolen Generations.

Nov 28-Dec 9. Riverside Theatres & Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. $12-$45+b.f.. Tickets & Info: www.thepowerofthedocumentary.com.au

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