I recently watched the ABC (Australia) produced two-part TV series The Secret River, based on Kate Genville’s 2005 ‘historical novel about an early 19th-century Englishman transported to Australia for theft. The story explores what may have happened when Europeans colonised land already inhabited by Aboriginal people’ [Wikipedia]. However I wanted the outcome to be different — be it white guilt, romanticising less atrocious and brutal settler-colonial attitudes (even just hoping form a different portrayal, however inaccurate) — what it portrays is pretty accurate. In short, aside form the ove…

I have watched three very human films over the last several weeks: Into the Wild (2007), The Road (2009), and Che (2008) Parts 1 and 2 — in that order. I found Into the Wild both inspiring and depressing. I am still processing (or trying not to think about) The Road, which was quite challenging to watch. Part 2 of Che, which I watched most recently, left me feeling quite depressed. My initial thoughts revolved around a personal need to have something more than trying to reduce the suffering and untold destruction our species is imposing on all other species and the planet. I described each fil…

I recently watched The People Speak (2009), and have once again reflected on the amazing and inspirational contribution of Howard Zinn (1922–2010). I was a little taken aback by how frail he seemed when on stage for the documentary. I guess the last footage of his I had seen was in the film based on his autobiography You Can’t be Neutral on a Moving Train (2004). In The People Speak, he summed up what we can all do quite simply: If we live now as we think human beings should live. In defiance of all that is bad around us, that in itself is a marvellous victory. …

I was recently given a copy of the Julie Taymor’s film Across the Universe, having no knowledge of the plot, genre or any reviews. After starting slow this film has became one of the most memorable I have seen in some time—more striking as I am not a fan of any type of musical film at all. This has proven the be the exception. I do not know where to start in describing this film. I found it enjoyable to watch (after the slow start) based on numerous features. It is a film I will need to watch many times to pick up even some of the nuances, references to pop culture and society in general. It i…