Television

Dispatches attacks Workers' Liberty

Author: 

Cathy Nugent

In the video above Sacha Ismail explains why he was secretly filmed by Dispatches, the politics behind the programme — distrust of socialist ideas, and what Workers' Liberty stand for.

Channel Four slurs against Workers' Liberty and Momentum + explainer video.

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Owen Smith, the AWL and “left anti-semitism”

Author: 

Cathy Nugent

On BBC Question Time (Labour leadership debate, 8 September) Owen Smith, in the stream-of-consciousness style that has come to typify Smith's approach to political debate, links the Alliance for Workers' Liberty (as part of the “hard left in our Party” “flooding into the Party”) to those on the left who “associate anti-Zionism, anti-imperialism”, “anti-Israel” perspectives (sic). That is, he implicitly called us anti-semitic.

This incoherent tirade against the “hard left” was a disgraceful intervention into an important issue that deserves serious, well-informed debate.

Owen Smith misrepresents "left anti-semitism" and smears AWL's record on this issue.

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The life and films of Ken Loach

Author: 

Luke Hardy

People think they know what to expect from a Ken Loach type of film. It’s about working class struggle, collectively or as individuals. It’s political. It uses non-professional actors, alongside professional ones. It will be naturalistic and eschew studio filming or flashy effects. The welcome BBC documentary ‘Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach’ reminds us there is more to Loach.

A review of Versus, now available on BBC iPlayer.

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Style trounces substance in small-screen Bond

Author: 

Daniel Randall

Daniel Randall reviews The Night Manager (BBC, 2016)


The Night Manager has a good go at being right on. The opening episode drops us right in the middle of Tahrir Square, days before the fall of Mubarak. Tom Hiddleston's Jonathan Pine, a dashing ex-soldier working as the eponymous night manager in a luxury Cairo hotel, is first motivated to go after Hugh Laurie's dastardly arms dealer Richard Roper because he's worried the weapons he's selling might be used to put down the uprising.

Daniel Randall reviews 'The Night Manager' (BBC, 2016).

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Trapped: The village against nature

Author: 

Les Hearn

Followers of Nordic noir will have been enjoying this new treat on BBC4. It has the typical features of the flawed policeman confronted with gruesome murders; but a dominant character in the drama, sometimes it seems the dominant character, is nature.

A review of Trapped, BBC4's new Nordic noir crime drama.

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The “precariat” of the 19th century

Author: 

Cathy Nugent

The Newport rising of November 1839, when a few thousand men from the south Wales valleys, many of them armed, marched in protest at working-conditions and for the right to vote, was the subject of a recent BBC documentary presented by actor Michael Sheen.

A review of Michael Sheen’s Valleys Rebellion, BBC2.

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A bitter dose of reality

Author: 

Vijay Jackson

Bitter Lake is a highly unconventional documentary, in equal parts haunting, chilling and moving. Like some of Adam Curtis’ earlier pieces, narration is kept to a minimum — quite fitting, considering the touching meta-narrative it tells. At over two hours long, it is like falling down the rabbit hole.

Bitter Lake is a highly unconventional documentary, in equal parts haunting, chilling and moving.

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Wealth trickling up

Author: 

Becky Crocker

If you didn’t see The Super Rich and Us, I would really recommend you look at it on i-player.

The first episode covered Britain’s property market and tax laws. The second focused on the growth of international financial markets.

Presenter Jacques Peretti begins each episode with these stark observations: “The super rich are taking over. 85 people now own the same as half the world’s population. Never before has money been so polarised. The 21st century will be the most unequal in human history.”

A review of The Super Rich and Us.

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Eichmann on TV

Author: 

Ruben Lomas

"People say 'it cannot be true. You invent this. Such things are not possible.' I say, 'if I could make up such things, I would be in Hollywood, not running a cheap hotel in Jerusalem." Rebecca Front as Mrs. Landau, a Holocaust survivor, in The Eichmann Show.

The Eichmann Show, the BBC’s dramatisation of the filming and broadcast of the trial of senior Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann, in Israel in 1961, is, perhaps, about too much.

A review of The Eichmann Show (BBC, January 2015).

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The gothic reaction to industrial capitalism

Author: 

Luke Hardy

What have Karl Marx, Dracula, a modern robotic production line and St Pancras station got in common? According to Andrew Dixon they all have more then a touch of the gothic about them.

In this three part series, Dixon makes a convincing and fascinating case that the gothic sensibility has become a way of responding to and critiquing industrial capitalism and the urbanism, technology and pollution that comes with it.

A review of The Art of the Gothic, BBC 4.

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