THERE IS so much that a film that is set in Brixton, south London, could possibly explore. But South West Nine presents a picture of life that doesn't reflect the real experience of the area and consists of a range of cliches.
IT PERHAPS seems strange to be watching a TV series about war as the US and Britain set off on another bombing crusade-but Band of Brothers, a Second World War drama with a budget of £80 million, hit our screens last week.
TO UNDERSTAND why thousands of Palestinians have risked their lives to challenge the might of the Israeli state in the last 12 months, read The New Intifada: Resisting Israel's Apartheid. The book, edited by US journalist Roane Carey, "arose out of disgust at the mainstream media's constant misinterpretation of the basic facts of this uprising". It brings together many of the best writers who oppose Israel's brutal repression of the Palestinian people.
PARTICIPATING in the demonstrations in Genoa was for many a life-changing event. We saw Italian trade unionists join the diversity of the anti-capitalist movement in the biggest demo Europe had seen for many years. We knew another world was possible, and we came home and tried to tell as many people as possible.
ENIGMA IS a war movie that is worth a look. It is fiction, but is based against the background of real events, the successful breaking of the Nazi Enigma code machine by the Allies in the Second World War. It is well acted, with a decent plot, and has a sharp screenplay by playwright Tom Stoppard.
GEORGE MONBIOT'S detailed and devastating account of how the corporations are subverting areas of public life that are supposed to be "democratic" is now available in paperback.
NEW INTERNATIONALIST magazine has just released three more "No-Nonsense Guides". They are £7 and are available from Bookmarks-phone 020 7637 1848 or go to www.bookmarks.uk.com
MARK THOMAS, the comedian and activist who was so successful with his Channel 4 programmes, is on a tour which will take his establishment-poking talent to nearly 50 towns and cities across Britain. Go for a defiant, intensely moving, incredibly powerful and hugely funny evening.
THE MASS anti-capitalist protests in Genoa changed people. It became a beacon for all those fighting the system-not just those who were there but across the world.
KALEIL AND Tom are best friends from high school. Together they decide to set up an internet company to make money out of local government. Although it doesn't sound the most exciting story, Startup.com is a fascinating and funny film.
A SCHOOLGIRL collapses backwards to the floor, a knife embedded in her skull. Her terrified classmates cling to the walls. Their former teacher, now murderous overseer, announces "And today's lesson is...you kill each other!"
Britain has one of the highest levels of mixed race relationships in the Western world. The number of mixed race people is growing. Half of "Caribbean" children have one white parent. According to the 1991 census, mixed race people formed 10 percent of the black population.
UNREPORTED World is an interesting new TV documentary series starting this week. Unreported World's aim is to "highlight the effects of globalisation on the world". It shows footage that you don't normally get to see.
MANY OF the great political events of the past 40 years are almost inseparable from powerful documentary photographs of them. Think of the massacre by South African forces of black children in Soweto in 1976, and the picture of the lifeless body of Hector Petersen cradled by a fellow school student.
A FORGOTTEN war is raging on Russia's southern border. Russia is taking revenge on Chechnya for defeating its troops in the 1994-6 war. At stake is control over the oil-rich region of the Caspian Sea. Since Russia invaded Chechnya in October 1999 some 40,000 people have died and 400,000 have been made homeless.
THE IMAGE of the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 for me sums up the China of today. A highly repressive and nasty state, every bit as class ridden as the rest of the capitalist world.
"PEOPLE'S GLOBALISATION not corporate globalisation" is one of the slogans of the anti-capitalist movement. And if people's globalisation exists, it now has a soundtrack. Manu Chao is a hugely successful musician everywhere in Europe. But in Britain he remains largely unknown.
AS NEWSPAPER editors and politicians ignore the tragic consequences of their anti-refugee statements, some of our best dramatists are responding with brilliant plays about the experiences of asylum seekers. The latest drama to combine great theatre writing with a commitment to telling the truth about the asylum issue is Hannah and Hanna by Company of Angels. The play was a huge hit at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
"In the modern world the majority of people could be termed middle class." This is the conclusion of the new TV series Middle Classes: Their Rise and Sprawl. It charts the "middle classes' rise to social dominance" through the 20th century.
Liam is set in working class Liverpool during the depression of the 1930s. It is one of a number of recent films, such as Billy Elliott and Ratcatcher, which attempt to realistically portray social conditions and working class life. The script is by Jimmy McGovern-who wrote excellent TV dramas about the Hillsborough tragedy and the Liverpool dockers.