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Kung Fu Panda July 7, 2008

Posted by Andreas in Movie Reviews, South Africa.
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My son Josef, who’s just turned 9, wrote this review of the animated movie Kung Fu Panda. Dad’s very proud! You can find it here (ok, so it does “pay” to have connections in the right places…)


What Would Jesus Buy? November 19, 2007

Posted by Andreas in activism, Life, Movie Reviews, Politics, Society, Sustainable Living.
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I’ve long been a fan of the irreverent Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping. They have just released a documentary called What Would Jesus Buy?, produced by Morgan Spurlock of Supersize Me fame.

The film “follows Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir as they go on a cross-country mission to save Christmas from the Shopocalypse: the end of mankind from consumerism, over-consumption and the fires of eternal debt!”

Looks like an absolute hoot and I can’t wait to see it – come to think of it, I’ll ask them if While You Were Sleeping can show it in Cape Town…

Movie Review: The Iron Wall February 7, 2007

Posted by Andreas in Israel and Palestine, Movie Reviews, Politics.

I’m part of a small, Cape Town-based non-profit collective called While You Were Sleeping. We organise public screenings of progressive documentary films with topics that address what we think are important social, political and environmental issues.

The screenings are always followed by a facilitated audience discussion and the whole idea behind these events is to raise awareness in our communities, to encourage open and honest debate about these issues and to help people connect and “network”.

“Our” next movie is called The Iron Wall and it’ll be showing at the Bo-Kaap museum next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (see our website for details).

The Iron Wall documents the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, paying particular attention to the continued existence and expansion of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian West Bank and the massive wall that is being build between the West Bank and Israel.

The movie was released last year and is therefore still quite current.

I found the The Iron Wall, which was directed by Mohammed Alatar who grew up as a Palestinian refugee in Jordan, surprisingly balanced. I had half expected shrill, passionate and irreconcilable viewpoints from two sides who will seemingly be separated by mutual animosity and hatred for eternity.

What the film does contain, apart from scenes of events happening on the ground, is a series of very insightful interviews in which Israeli and Palestinian commentators (including politicians, ex-soldiers, NGO workers and an Israeli woman living in a West Bank settlement) describe the situation in a very factual and level-headed fashion.

One of the things that struck me when I was watching The Iron Wall for the first time was the disjunction between my  own personal image of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the realities as depicted in the film.

I consider myself a reasonably well-informed individual who is familiar with the issues at stake and felt that I was approaching media-overload as far as the Crisis in the Middle EastTM was concerned. Watching The Iron Wall, however, was quite an eye-opener.

If you are even vaguely interested in this long-standing conflict, no matter where your allegiances lie, I highly recommend that you watch this film – I guarantee that you will come away with a new understanding of the crisis.

(For loads of up to date reports and commentary on the Israel-Palestine conflict, check out ZNet’s Israel-Palestine Watch.)