12 December 2010

11am screening at the Renoir Cinema, London.

The Weavers: Wasn't That a Time!
Jim Brown, US 1982
78 mins

Documentary about the blacklisted folk group, and the events leading to their triumphant return to Carnegie Hall: ‘The Weavers’ were Pete Seeger, Ronnie Gilbert, Lee Hays and Fred Hellerman. They sang traditional folk
songs, blues, labour songs and ballads, selling millions of records at the height of their popularity and inspiring the commercial ‘folk boom’ of the 1950s and 1960s. During the McCarthy ‘red scare’ Pete Seeger and Lee Hays were denounced as Communists and the Weavers were banned from performing on television or radio, Decca Records terminating their recording contract in 1953 and deleting their songs from its catalogue. We are grateful to Jim Brown Productions for permission to screen this print.

Whose Conspiracy?
Chris Reeves, UK 2010

[Advised E]

After the 1972 building workers’ national strike twenty-four trade unionists were tried at Shrewsbury in a hostile act to criminalise picketing. Some were given severe prison sentences. Des Warren and Ricky Tomlinson soon became known as the ‘Shrewsbury 2’. Des died following treatment meted out to him during his incarceration. Successive Governments, both Conservative and Labour, have remained unresponsive to the calls for these perverse judgments to be set aside, and for these men to be cleared. We première the film in support of a renewed campaign to right this miscarriage of justice.

Work in Progress on a Work in Progress
Margaret Dickinson, UK 2010

10 mins
[Advised E]

London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Olympics turned a large area of the city west of Stratford into one of Europe’s biggest building sites. This film asks what the massive development will mean for construction
workers. Will the Olympic Delivery Authority be able to keep its promises about jobs and training? As the title implies, this is provisional material from an ongoing project. The purpose is to provoke responses that will feed into continuing work on a longer documentary about construction workers and the influence of the Olympic development on prospects, conditions and training.

Discussion led by Chris Reeves, Margaret Dickinson and Tony O’Brien, National Secretary, Construction Safety Campaign.

14 November 2010

11am screening at the Renoir Cinema, London.

Salt of the Sea (Milh Hadha Al-Bahr)
Annemarie Jacir, Palestine/France 2008
104 mins

This first feature film by a Palestinian woman, won critical acclaim and numerous prizes. Michael Moore called it ‘absolutely one of the best films I’ve seen in years’. Soraya, a Palestinian refugee born in Brooklyn, fulfils her lifelong dream of ‘returning’ to Palestine after she discovers that her grandfather's savings were frozen in a bank account in Jaffa. She meets Emad, a young Palestinian who longs to leave forever. Driven by frustration, they break the law, become fugitives and together search for the ruins of old homes and villages, icons of the Palestinian struggle that evoke loss and tragedy.

The Silent War: Israel's Blockade of Gaza
Kashfi Halford, UK 2010
10 mins

The film examines what the blockade means for the 1.5 million people of Gaza, as they struggle to rebuild their lives over a year after Israel’s Operation Cast Lead.

Discussion led by Betty Hunter, General Secretary, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, HE Prof Manual Hassassian of the Palestinian General Delegation UK and Andrea Becker, Head of Advocacy, Medical Aid for Palestinians.

10 October 2010

11am screening at the Renoir Cinema, London map

The Time of Their Lives
Jocelyn Cammack, UK 2009
57 mins

With a combined age of almost 300, Hetty, Rose and Alison love to share their concerns on everything from terrorism and global warming to sex, death and the meaning of life. Rose, at 101, is the oldest newspaper columnist in the world; Hetty, 102, is still marching against war; and Alison, 88, a one-time Communist Party member is now a self-styled 'establishment lady'. Surprising, passionate and at times very funny, they bring to the screen a rare perspective on old age. The film has screened in nurmerous festivals and was broadcast on BBC Storyville in July 2009.

The Bitter Taste of Tea
Erling Borgen and Tom Heinnemann, Denmark/Norway 2008
59 mins

The filmmakers travel to tea estates in Sri Lanka, Kenya, India and Bangladesh—some traditional, some fairtrade — to expose unsafe work environments and labour exploitation. They find little meaningful difference between fairtrade and non-fairtrade operations, which raises difficult questions. Are organisations like the EU’s Max Havelaar Foundation being duped by tea growers? Or are growers doing the best they can in a brutal industry and a market in which the demand for fairtrade tea is insufficient to create trickle-down profits for their workers? It is left to the viewer to weigh the arguments and decide.

The screening will be followed with a discussion led by Jocelyn Cammack, Hetty Bower and Bernard Miller; Tom Heinemann (to be confirmed) and Barbara Crowther, Fairtrade Foundation Director of Communications.