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Alternative political documentaries

13 July 2005

Auckland Indymedia presents.......


An evening of alternative political docos Sunday 28 August The Comedy Classic, 321 Queen Street, CBD 7.00pm start time for films $5

Yes, the Antidote is back! With an election coming up, this month’s screening focuses on political participation and local democracy in action.

Democracy? Don’t Know, Don’t Care 47 minutes Produced by - Aotearoa Indymedia 2001

Democracy? Don’t Know, Don’t Care is a 47 min. documentary investigating falling voting and political participation rates in New Zealand particularly at local government level. It is very timely look at voter apathy in New Zealand and a local political race in action.

Democracy? Don’t Know, Don’t Care follows the election process in Auckland City and, in particular, the high-profile mayoral race between Dick Hubbard, John Banks and Christine Fletcher.

The documentary investigates reasons for why people aren't voting by going out onto the street to find out ordinary people's attitudes to voting and local body politics and by talking to academics who specialise in the study of elections, political commentators, the electoral commission, those seeking electoral reform and, of course, the politicians themselves, including personal interviews and fly on the wall moments.

Is it the cynical portrayal of politics by the news media that turns people off voting? Is it the predominance of spin-culture and the so-called professionalisation of politics? Or is it the lack of coverage of local body issues in the media that means that people simply lack the information to be able to vote? Or is political campaigning, with its billboards and baby-kissing, perceived to be a bit passé and just too 'uncool' to be involved in these days?

Democracy? Don't Know, Don't Care was made by a group of non-profit, volunteer documentary makers associated with Aotearoa Indymedia, the Auckland Doco Collective, which aims to provide community access to video and documentary making. This project was in part funded by a grant from Creative Communities.

Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town 59 minutes Director - Micha Peled 2001

STORE WARS looks at the impact on a small town when Wal-Mart plans to build a mega-store there. It raises questions about consumerism, suburban sprawl and the decline of community, issues applicable to New Zealand.

In the US, Wal-Mart opens a new mega-store every two business days. This is the story of the impact of discount chain stores on American towns and cities, and on society as a whole.

STORE WARS follows events in Ashland, Virginia, over a one-year period, from the first stormy public hearing that galvanizes residents' opposition till the Town Council takes a final vote on the proposed Wal-Mart store. Arguments for the store (tax revenues, low prices, jobs) and against it (destroys small town character, traffic, low-end jobs) are articulated and hotly debated. The cast of characters includes the mayor and Town Council members who will eventually make the decision, Wal-Mart representatives and the "Pink Flamingos," the grassroots citizen group opposed to the store.

STORE WARS does not single out Wal-Mart, but rather highlights its position as the icon of the Big Box industry. While offering a critical view of this industry, the film presents fairly all viewpoints on this controversial issue.

"A fascinating study in community action."Julie Salamon, New York Times

What Weapons of Mass Destruction? 4 minutes Director / Producer - Matthew Donaldson 2005

Commemorating the 60th anniversaries of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, New Zealand artist Matthew Donaldson uses a bright orange billboard to highlight the hypocrisy of the United States government's position on weapons of mass destruction.

The Antidote aims to be a regular forum for the exposure of alternative political filmmaking and media art. This is the 13th screening presented by Auckland Indymedia. For more information contact: auckland@indymedia.org


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