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John Pilger's ‘The War on Democracy’

Media Release: 19th February 2008

America Goes to War Again

The United States of America government is fiercely in support of democracy… or is it?

Australian journalist John Pilger exposes the hypocrisy of a nation that purports to be a shining beacon of democracy. His new film ‘The War on Democracy’ features exclusive interviews with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, ex US government officials and the head of the CIA in Latin America.

‘The War on Democracy’ is Pilger’s first film for cinema. It follows more than 55 documentary films for television, which began with ‘The Quiet Mutiny’, set in Vietnam. Most of his films have told stories of people's struggles against rapacious power and of attempts to subvert and control our historical memory.

”It is this control, this organised forgetting, that has always intrigued me both as a film-maker and a journalist,” says Pilger. "The film tells a universal story, analysing and revealing, through vivid testimony, the story of great power behind its venerable myths. It allows us to understand the true nature of the so-called war on terror".

‘The War on Democracy’ films the people of the barrios and the social movements of Venezuela, Bolivia and Chile, and those who suffered under dictatorships tolerated and encouraged by the US and the West. Pilger’s interviews reveal that what happened in Latin America in the 1980s is a metaphor for how the rest of the world is being 'ordered' today, with the Middle East as its epicentre.

This inspiring and thought-provoking film sees the world not through the eyes of the powerful, but through the hopes and dreams and extraordinary actions of ordinary people. It explores people’s yearning for democracy – government, for, by and of the people – and demonstrates the brutal reality of America's foreign policy of spreading ‘democracy'. It also reveals the remarkable rise of true popular democracy and people power among the poorest on earth, the people of Latin America, whose grassroots movements are often ignored in the West. An extraordinary and illuminating documentary with Latin America at its heart.

‘The War on Democracy’ releases on the 6th of March exclusively at Auckland’s Academy Cinemas.

Release Date: 6th March 2008 at Academy Cinemas Auckland
Run Time: 94 minutes
Rating: M contains violence
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