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32nd Wellington Film Festival

Kia Ora

We are writing to let you know about the 32nd Wellington Film Festival which runs from July 18 – August 3. As a part of our comprehensive programme we will be screening the following films which will be of particular interest to the socio-political community.

Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony As the South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim remarks in Amandla!, the toppling of apartheid may be a special case, the first revolution ever to be conducted ''in four-part harmony.'' Mr. Ibrahim's observation, which supplies this restless, moving film with its subtitle, points to the central role that music -- in the streets, on records, in prison and in exile -- played in black South Africa's long struggle for liberation from white domination.

Balseros With an epic sweep fitting its epic subject, this dramatic documentary follows seven years in the lives of seven of the thousands of Cuban emigres who fled their country in makeshift rafts in the mid 90s in the hope of a more prosperous life in the US.

Black Box Germany An anti-capitalist ‘terrorist’ and a Deutsche Bank official assassinated in a terrorist car-bombing are given scrupulously even-handed treatment in this lucid documentary. "A masterful historical work... Veiel transcends the tales of the two men at the film's core to establish connections within a conflict between international capitalism and its opponents that continues to unfold."--Sean Farnel, Cinema Scope.

Bloody Sunday Golden Bear, Best Film, Berlin Film Festival 2002 British soldiers open fire on unarmed demonstrators on January 30, 1972, in Derry, Northern Ireland. This acclaimed dramatic re-enactment takes you into the heart of the unfolding catastrophe.

Bus 174 “Brazil's immense contradictions between dire poverty and populist rhetoric are on full display in this unusually thoughtful investigation into a notorious bus hijacking … a documentary masterpiece.” – B Ruby Rich, S.F. Bay Guardian

The Cuckoo This shrewd, often hilarious comedy of international sexual rivalry and incomprehension may be the year's most entertaining anti-war statement. At the end of the second world war a Russian and a Finn find refuge with a Lapp woman who farms reindeer and hasn't seen a man for four years!

The Day I Will Never Forget Amnesty Award, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam 2002 Set in the Somali community of Nairobi, Kenya, where female genital mutilation is still a common practice, The Day I Will Never Forget takes a many-faceted look at the complex social and cultural forces that continue to thwart effective reform.

The Education of Gore Vidal Born into a privileged class, raised with political expectations, on intimate terms with the Kennedys, writer and raconteur Gore Vidal is the disaffected patrician par excellence. This admiring biographical documentary is structured around a series of recent, typically frank interviews.

Is the Crown at war With Us? Alanis Obomsawin, a veteran chronicler of First Nations political struggle, covers the controversial events surrounding indigenous fishing rights – upheld by the courts but opposed by the Department of Fisheries - at Burnt Church in New Brunswick.

Mercano the Martian After an errant Voyager probe squishes his beloved space dog Mercano impulsively leaves his Martian home and heads for planet Earth. This cutely scurrilous Argentinian cartoon allows us to witness the smash and grab world of multinational corporate exploitation through alien eyes.

Morning Sun A fascinating history of Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution. "With insight, passion, and objectivity, using rare footage and recent candid interviews with ex-Red Guards and their victims, they map the psychology of the Cultural Revolution and its participants, and capture the mentality of the time." - Roger Garcia
Power Trip The chaotic transition from communism to capitalism is magnified when American power company AES attempts to regulate electricity in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. This is documentary as black comedy as executives gamely attempt to lay a modern framework over ancient graft and corruption – and a populace accustomed to free electricity.

Robert Capa: In Love and War A fascinating portrait of the Hungarian refugee who became the foremost chronicler of the Spanish civil war and D-Day, Life magazine’s golden boy, a fabled gambler and womanizer, the ‘greatest war photographer in the world’ at age 25 and a journalistic martyr at 40.

Weather Underground A fascinating and provocative documentary about the 60s activists convinced that only militant action could end racism, the war in Vietnam and the inequalities they felt inherent in a capitalist society.

We’re delighted to be presenting these films as a part of our 2003 programme. We’d greatly appreciate it if you could spread the word through your networks. If you know of any other people or organisations that would be interested in receiving this information, please do not hesitate to either let us know or share this information with them.

Our free brochures, containing all programme, schedule, booking and venue details are widely available in each city three weeks prior to the Festival opening. Please let me know if you would like to receive copies and I’ll ensure some are sent to you.

Should you have any queries about these films or our Festivals, please give me a call.

With best wishes

Shelley McCarten Festival Publicist mailto: mailto:shelley@nzff.co.nz

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