Previous Programmes

Sunday 13th May 2012

Jafar Panahi, Iran 2006 [PG], 93 mins, Farsi with EST

A group of girls disguised as boys fail in their attempt to watch the World Cup qualifier in Tehran's Azadi Stadium but hear the closing victory en route to the regime's vice squad to receive punishment for transgressing the moral code.  In this witty and funny film, football is a metaphor for criticism of the regime and the symbolic changes foreshadowed by its young people;  meanwhile the director is held in prison and denied both personal and professional freedom.

Grant Gilchrist, UK 2008 [12A], 7.5 mins

This incisive animation produced by Manic Films Production and the World Trade Movement presents familiar arguments about the balance of power in the globalised world.  Addressing the dominant players in Brussels, the capitalist wolf outlines to an audience how the global market strategies in tourism, finance and energy can create wealth but is foiled by the sharp sheep's exposé of the moral issues and an alternative strategy.

Discussion led by Majid Beheshti, Iranian film critic and magazine editor, Azar Sephr of the Committee for the Defence of Iranian People’s Rights (CODIR) and Megan Dobney, Regional Secretary, Southern & Eastern Region TUC and Executive Member of the National Assembly of Women.

Sunday 15th April 2012

Shabnam Virmani, India 2008 [ 12A], 98 mins, Hindi/Malwi with EST

Shabnam Virmani  illuminates the world of Kabir, the 15th century mystical poet of north India through the friendship between Indian folk singer Prahlad Tipanya, a ’low caste’ Dalit singer, and an American academic Linda Hess.  Using poetry and song the film juxtaposes familiar concepts of urban and rural, classical and folk music, and secular and fundamentalist thought in the weaving of the wisdom of the ancient world with a contemporary secular one.

Yasmine Kabir, Bangladesh 2008 [12A], 17 mins

Yasmine Kabir, in this silent film takes us to the shipbuilding yards of Chittagong, Bangledesh, where thousands of men, driven by poverty, each year seek jobs.  She links the ‘last rites’ rituals of ship breaking with the survival of a community willing to work in an environmental wasteland of toxic waste and asbestos. The film won the top award at the Film South Asian Festival in 2009 where it was compared with Robert Flaherty’s Man of Aran.

Discussion led by Ayub Aulia, of the Pakistan Writers’ Guild, writer, poet, art critic and musicologist

Tickets for children under the age of 16 are priced at £3. Both the above films are suitable.

Sunday 11th March 2012

Tomo Brody, narrated by Juliet Stevenson, 22mins (of which we screen 15mins) (E)
(made for the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians)

Palestinian Health care in Lebanon is underfunded and chronically unfit for the needs of the refugee population.  Of particular concern are the overburdened and under-resourced UN clinics, an acute shortage of Palestinians training to become doctors and an inadequate tertiary healthcare system that places unbearable stress upon patients.

There is an accompanying MAP report on Palestinians in Lebanon, copies of which will be available on the 11th. 

Eyal Sivan, Belgium/Germany/France/Israel 2010 [PG], 86 mins, French/Arabic/Hebrew/English with EST

Israeli filmmaker Eyal Sivan peels back the orange skin to expose the history and layers of meaning in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict through the Jaffa brand, a globalised image reproduced in the media and authenticated by historians as the symbolic life-affirming fruit of the 'Holy Land'.  The image of the orange, rebranded by the Palestine Liberation Organisation as a grenade, is the fruit dripping with the blood of the lost lands and its people.

Serge Avédikian, France 2010 [PG],15 mins

In 1910 the Turkish authorities rounded up 30,000 stray dogs in Constantinople and transported them to die on a deserted island in the Bosporus. The haunting images and soundtrack in this animation foretell the genocide of the Armenian people which was initiated by the Turks in 1915.  This film won the Palme D'Or in 2010.

 We are delighted that HE Prof Manuel Hassassian, of the Palestinian General Delegation UK, will take part in our panel for the Q&A and discussion after the screenings.  We are very honoured that he has been able to make time to be with us.

 On the panel with Dr Hassassian will be Sarah Colbourne (Director, Palestine Solidarity Campaign) and Vaughan Pilikian, filmmaker (Hammer and Flame) as given in the programme.  Frank Barat Co-ordinator, Russell Tribunal on Palestine and co-author of Corporate Complicity in Israel’s Occupation (Pluto 2011) is unable to attend, as his work with the Russell Tribunal is taking him to Canada.  He sends his apologies.  Marj Mayo will chair the discussion and we ask that audience members keep their remarks brief and to the point in order that all may participate.

Sunday 12th February 2012

Emily James, UK 2011 [12A], 88 mins

Emily James spent a year within the environmental movement documenting the clandestine activities of the major players. In this feature documentary, she presents an insider's account of the new global movement, an independent group funded by volunteers; inspiring, anarchic individuals with inventive strategies challenge the multi-nationals, frustrate the police and create confusion. This film shows what one group of committed individuals can achieve.

Gabrielle TierneyIreland/UK 2009 [Advised 18], 30 mins

Nine men were totally acquitted of their £350,000 criminal damage to the International Arms manufacturer in Derry in 2006. The decision became a legal benchmark; an act of deliberate civil disobedience recognised as a weapon in the fight for peace. This film documents the victory and their solidarity with the people in the Lebanese town of Qana; knowledge of the production of those weapons and their use in the Israeli massacre became an impetus for the men to act.

Discussion led by Emily JamesGabrielle Tierney and Anne-Marie O’Reilly, Outreach Co-ordinator, Campaign Against Arms Trade

Sunday 8 January 2012

Joan Sekler, US 2010 [12A], 60 mins

The multinational, Rio Tinto group, historically known for draconian measures, attempted to severely cut the pay and conditions of 570 borax miners in the isolated, desert town of BoronCalifornia, in 2010.  Joan Sekler, independent filmmaker, crafts the course of the miners' action during the 107 days of a lock out. With solidarity at local and national level and the support of their community the miners agree to a new contract with the majority of their benefits intact.

Emma-Louise Williams, UK 2011 [12A], 56 mins

Director Emma-Louise Williams has collaborated with Hackney poet and resident Michael Rosen to produce a film-poem that explores the inter-connection between ourselves and where we live, based on his play Hackney Voices.  The changing face of Hackney and its residents emerges through current images, urban sounds and rare historical footage, and Rosen's voice illuminates and questions the threats and the choices fostered by the dubious activities of Hackney Council and the regeneration of the area.

Discussion led by Emma-Louise Williams, Michael Rosen and Shane Enright - Amnesty International UK Trade Union Campaigns Manager/ AI Global Trade Union Adviser.

Sunday 11th December 2011

German Gutierrez/ Carmen Garcia, Canada 2009 (E) 80 mins
Labour rights lawyers Daniel Kovalik and Terry Collingsworth are activists for the 'Stop the Killer-Coke campaign,' which has seen Ray Rodgers put the Coca-Cola empire on trial. Coca-Cola stands accused of the drying of water wells in India and the torture/ murder of union leaders trying to improve working conditions in Columbia, Guatemala and Turkey. Predictably, two courts have already dismissed their claims but the struggle continues to make the giant multinational drinks company accountable for policies of profit over people.

Peggy Froerer, India/ UK (E) 32mins.
Produced by Margaret Dickinson
Focusing on one village in central India, this film asks why the poor are routinely deprived of basic services; how does a culture of bribery impact on their everyday lives. The story is told from the perspective of the anthropologist/ filmmaker who takes up a problem with a senior civil servant and soon finds herself also paying court to a politician. It poses sharply the potential contradiction in the idea that an anthropologist is a 'participant observer.'

Discussion led by Tony Benn, filmmaker Peggy Froerer, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at Brunel University, and writer and filmmaker Margaret Dickinson.

*Tickets for this event must be obtained as usual but they will be issued free. We appreciate donations to cover venue and other expenses.

Sunday 13th November 2011


Frieder Wagner, Germany 2006 (E) 93 mins
In a science-based documentary, we accompany Prof Gunther, epidemiologist and specialist in tropical diseases, and his expert colleagues as they explore the effects of depleted uranium ammunition used in Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia, though banned by the Hague and Geneva Conventions. Winds can carry them clear across our planet, leaving behind a path of destruction. The surge in post-war birth defects indicates an epidemic of reproductive abnormalities. We express our gratitude to Frieder Wagner for facilitating today's premiere.


Henri Cartier- Bresson/ Herbert Kline, US 1938 (E) 18 mins
Internationally acclaimed photographer Cartier- Bresson filmed the Brigade, which had emerged in response to the US policy of non intervention. Drawn from all wakes of life and thought to be the first military unit commanded by a black officer, the volunteers trained alongside Spanish troops and became known for their bravery. In 2010 the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archive discovered, restored and re-released this cinema treasure.

Discussion led by Rae Street, CND Council member and active in the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons, John Green, former documentary filmmaker, and Helen Graham, Professor of Modern European History at Royal Holloway University of London.

The November programme was co-sponsored by CND and the International Brigade Memorial Trust.  

Sunday 9 October 2011

Ceri Dingle/Viv Regan, UK 2011 [E], DVD, 90 min

The contribution made by campaigner Sylvia Pankhurst to human rights is contextualised in this documentary researched and produced by over 100 volunteers. The film contains interviews with her son Richard Pankhurst and his wife Rita as well as suffrage historians and rare archival footage. While her mother Emmeline and sister Christabel focused on a limited suffrage of upper class women, Sylvia devoted her time to improving women’s lives during the war in the slums of East London. Initially establishing nurseries and a free clinic, the movement for universal suffrage encompassed the women’s struggle, the Irish struggle and the anti war movement and aroused the wrath of politicians.

Paulina Tervo, Ethiopia 2010 [E], DVD, 28.5 mins

Awra Amba is a model village nestling in the hills of northern Ethiopia promoting radical politics in a conservative culture:  gender equality, sharing the workload and rejecting traditional religion.  Filmmaker Paulina Tervo brings us the vision of its founder, local farmer Zumra Nuru and the project to build a new senior school to government standards. The fundraising events will have a boost in the autumn with the Great Ethiopian Run, a campaign to provide scholarships for young women in the Horn of Africa. The Sylvia Pankhurst scholarship is one of their partners.

Discussion led by Ceri Dingle and Mary Davis, Professor of Labour History at London Metropolitan University.

Sunday 11th September 2011

Ewald André Dupont, UK 1929 silent [PG], DVD, 108 mins

Ewald Andre Dupont, a German émigré, voices the sexual and racist tensions in this London based melodrama of the late silent cinema. Set in a night club, Sosho, the dishwasher attracts the attention of the club owner with her striking dancing and the resentment of the lead dancer, the club owner’s former lover. The black and white tones tinged with amber and blue tinted scenes glide between fashionable jazz age London and the underworld of Limehouse.  We screen now to the newly commissioned score by Neil Brand, recorded by some of UK’s leading jazz players.

Tom Hunter, UK 2010 [Advised E], 18 mins

The artist and filmmaker Tom Hunter entices us to look afresh at the Woodberry Down Estate in East London.  Filmed in and around the Estate, the memories and experiences of residents, who have lived there since it opened are beautifully re-captured through dramatisations and evoked through sound and image. The film challenges the negative stereotypes of working class culture; these residents present the hopes and dignity that the newly formed welfare state had offered to communities reeling from the poverty and anxiety of the 30’s and 40’s.

Discussion led by Bryony Dixon, Curator of Silent Film at the BFI National Archives, Tom Hunter, Senior Research Fellow and lecturer at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, and Lizzie Woods, Public & Commercial Services Union (PCS) organiser, with the Royal Cleaners’ Campaign for the London Living Wage