Sunday, April 29, 2007

Venezuela Bolivariana : inspiring people's power !

Halo folks,Screening of `Venezuela Bolivariana' 12 people attended the screening of the film described as `agitating' by an attendant. Even though it is a film made from a certain partisan perspective the pro-people stand of the doco derive its authenticity from the numerous interviewees from the street level. The results from the Venezuela revolution led by Hugo Chavez eg land reform, ban on intrusion of trawler ships into shallow seas, improvement of literacy etc become concrete reasons for the people's undying support for the President when he was hijacked through a coup d'tate in 2002. The street mobilisation despite numerous people being killed by anti-Chavez snippers finally caused the President to be brought back !
It is a miraculous success -especially compared to the fate of another democratically elected president in Chile (Allende) who was deposed through the coup staged by the upper class. The Chavez's success had since spawn a `domino effect' on the S. America as more changes of government take place in the last 5 years.
After the screening we had a discussion on how far the people should defend the democratic process and the constitution in the event of military coups. The situation is also contrasted with the coup against the more conservative Thaksin regime in Thailand. But the real debate actually relates to how far the very corrupted democratic process in Malaysia can be trusted to bring about real changes to the people !
The Venezuela situation showed that even if the City Council in the capital city was in the hand of the Opposition the Chavez government did not abolish the City Councils' election as happened in Malaysia as far back as 1965 ! But how far have and would Malaysian citizens fought against this denial of their citizens' rights ?
Next screening
Videos from the last 2 by-elections by MALVU (Election Watch group) + other proposals. Chuin Nian called to suggest that he MAY be able to bring along a copy of the Inconvenient Truth by Al-Gore the American Presidential candidate-about climate change. Hope he can confirm soonest for us to publicise it earlier. Since both the videos & the film have interests beyond the Film Club members we will publicise it beyond the mail-list. Cheers,Ong BK

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Screening of Hitler Speaks during Kg. Berembang Tragedy Cultural Night (14 April)

A gig and art exhibition will be held this *Saturday (14th April)* for the victims of the Kg. Berembang tragedy.

Saturday, 14 April,
D’Space, 60 Weld Quay, Georgetown
5pm: Urban pioneers’ struggle art exhibit
8pm: Gig feat. Coma, Firefly, Weot Skam
More info here

If you don’t know what happened in Kg. Berembang, find out here:

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Review of "Night On Earth"

An impressive low-budget film directed by Jim Jarmusch, "Night On Earth" is a 30 to 40 minute vignette on the lives of five different taxi drivers in five different cities around the world. Each of the five separate snapshots is supposed to take place at the same time, with the clock rewinding itself when transitioning from one story to the next...

In LA, a chain-smoking (Lucky Strikes) 18-20 yr old girl (Winona Ryder) drives a middle aged Hollywood exec. who is looking for looking for young undiscovered talent and sees it in the driver. She refuses, adding that she has her life all planned out to be a taxi driver, and more.

In New York, an East German immigrant and former circus clown tries to drive a New Yorker who complains about racial inequality e.g. that he usually can't get a taxi because most taxi drivers fear being robbed by a black guy (this is NYC in the early 90s). This story also highlights the cultural barriers between the East German and the black passenger from the suburbs of NY. If you observe, Helmut's driving skills improve at the end. Is this intentional?

In Paris, African diplomatic officials (Cameroon) insult African (Ivory Coast) immigrant driver. It shows that blind people have character as well e.g. can be sarcastic, rude, confident. The Rome story relates to humour, religion and parodising the Church while in Helsinki, the idea of sadness as being relative and the personal problems of the poor and retrenched are exposed.