Socialist Worker


Mapping their lies

The war in Afghanistan has produced a torrent of maps in the media. The British Library's current free exhibition couldn't be better timed. Under the brilliant punning title "The Lie of the Land", it shows how the rich and our rulers have used maps.

La Ville est Tranquille: Urban tale gets under the skin

La Ville est Tranquille (The Town is Quiet), directed by Robert Guediguian, is one of the most powerful and deeply moving films I have seen for many years. Set in Marseilles, it is a razor-sharp portrayal, devoid of sentimentality, of working class people suffering the unremitting brutalisation of modern day capitalism.

The Man Who Wasn't There: Dryclean partner

The Man Who Wasn't There is a new film by director Joel Coen. It follows the life of Ed Crane, a small-town barber in late 1940s California. Ed, who talks very little and always has a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, is tired of the futility of his life.

South West Nine: No picture of Brixton I know

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.

Brothers in arms?

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.

Intifada-hope for a people

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.

Capturing the spirit of Genoa

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.

Cracking mystery

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.

Sharp paper

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.

These aren't nonsense

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

Don't miss this night of dissent

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.

Genoa-debating a future

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.

Chants, crashes and a

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, is a fascinating and funny film.

Lessons in death

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 kill each other!"

Mixed Feelings: the colour of modern love

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.

Reality bites

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.

Photos expose capitalism

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.

Coming clean on a dirty war

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.

Eyewitness to a revolution

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.

All in the mix

"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.

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