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Tinseltown and the show trials


THE MAJESTIC is about a Hollywood screenwriter who is blacklisted as part of an anti-Communist witch-hunt. It is set during the period of McCarthyism which gripped the US at the start of the Cold War.

Star Wars out


GEORGE BUSH's plan to start a new nuclear arms race came a step closer last week. He and Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, did a deal that would allow the "Son of Star Wars" weapons system to be set up. This unity won't mean a more peaceful world.

Exposing new world disorder


THE NEW Rulers of the World is the powerful new book from investigative journalist and documentary film-maker John Pilger. Pilger has always written and spoken out against war, oppression, poverty and racism. He has been one of the most prominent figures in the anti-war movement in Britain.

Catch these two plays


TWO interesting Latin American fact-based dramas are scheduled for radio this weekend. Tango Sensations is a play based on the kidnapping of Victoria Mendez during Argentina's "Dirty War" in 1976. Mendez was a career diplomat murdered by the regime she loyally served. Years later an Argentinian woman investigates Mendez's murder.

An Indian journey


THE WARRIOR is a surprise hit movie. It is a low budget independent film directed by Hackney-born Asif Kapadia, and was filmed in India with an international crew and a few professional actors. It is set in the past somewhere in India.

Watchdog with the deadly bite


ONE OF the best accounts of the nature of the state of Israel is now back in print. It is available for a new generation of people angered by Israel's massacre of the Palestinians. Socialist Worker's pamphlet Israel: The Hijack State by Jewish socialist John Rose was first published in 1986.

Dance music that's full of discontent


THE MULTIRACIAL band Cornershop have returned with a brilliant new album, Handcream for a Generation. Cornershop are known to a wider audience for their huge hit single "Brimful of Asha". They chose the name Cornershop to subvert the stereotype of Asians only running newsagents and grocers, not performing in indie bands.

Sell-off story


THE FILM The Navigators by socialist film director Ken Loach has just been released on video. It was written by a former rail worker, and exposes the impact of privatisation on the lives of rail workers. Some workers take a gamble by opting for redundancy money and life as casual workers.

The Forsyte Saga — brutality behind perfect manners


IT SEEMS we can't get enough of costume dramas on TV. The new ITV adaptation of John Galsworthy's The Forsyte Saga is proving to be a big hit with critics and audiences alike. Some 40 percent of the audience for terrestrial TV tuned in to watch the first episode last Sunday.

Sounds which stick a finger up at Blair


THE STREETS' Original Pirate Material is the amazing debut album of Mike Skinner, a West Midlands UK garage MC. Original Pirate Material has been getting all the headlines in the music press. It is hailed as the bright new hope that will save the music industry.

The Firing — taking aim at the media


THE FIRING is Richard MacSween's first novel. It explores the emotions and to some extent the politics surrounding those mistakenly identified as sex offenders. A wave of hysteria about paedophilia swept Britain last year following the murder of eight year old Sarah Payne, ignited by the News of the World's "name and shame" campaign.

Bend It Like Beckham


THE NEW film Bend It Like Beckham is a funny, entertaining look at multiracial relationships and football. Jess, a young Sikh woman, is obsessed with football, especially "that skinhead boy", as her parents call David Beckham.

Eric Schlosser on Fast Food Nation


WHY DID you write Fast Food Nation?

Lena Horne: she sang up a real storm


PAUL ROBESON Jr is presenting a new series, Lena Horne: A Force of Nature, on Radio 2. It looks at the black woman described as a living legend. The programme is great-a real musical feast, and much more. It describes the life of Lena Horne, the performer, artist and singer. There are real gems of information about the influence of the organised black middle class in the US.

Mark Thomas interviewed on his new series


COMEDIAN and activist MARK THOMAS's new TV series started on Channel 4 this week. Socialist Worker spoke to him.

Ten Reasons to Abolish the IMF and World Bank


Anti-Capitalist activist Kevin Danaher is as powerful and persuasive a writer as he is a speaker. His new pamphlet, Ten Reasons to Abolish the IMF and World Bank, shows why only the end of these institutions can begin to challenge the injustice and inequality of global capitalism.

The Coup – Party Music


How many rappers from the US would describe themselves as socialists and advocate "millions of people moving, organising and making something happen-a revolution"? Boots Riley of the anti-capitalist band The Coup has done just that. The Coup came to notoriety after the 11 September attacks in the US last year. The original cover of their latest album, Party Music, was a picture of Boots holding a detonator in front of the exploding Twin Towers.

In the Blue House: a bright tale of dark days


If you are looking for an intelligent political novel you should definitely pick up a copy of In the Blue House by Meaghan Delahunt. It is a fictional account of the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky's last years in exile in Mexico.

Behind the Sun: revenge is very sweet


Walter Salles, who made the acclaimed Central Station, has created a very different but equally compelling new film, Behind the Sun. It is about two families divided by a blood feud in harsh, remote northern Brazil in the early 20th century.

Femi Kuti - Fight to Win


The latest album by Nigerian musician Femi Kuti and his band Positive Force has it all-politically and musically. The title track is a rallying cry all socialists will applaud. "Fight To Win" addresses the endless suffering of the African masses, and Femi sees the struggles of the people as a positive action.

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