India: New Bollywood depiction of Maoism — outlawed rebels with voice and song

[A rare cultural and commercial depiction — Bollywood, no less! — of the growing Naxalite/Maoist rebellion.  See, below, a video clip (in Hindi) of a song perrformance in the film, followed by commentary from bourgeois cultural media critic in India; an article describing Maoist reaction to the film; and an article from an Indian-Canadian publication which draws connections between indigenous conditions and rebellion in India and those in Canada. — Frontlines ed.]

CHAKRAVYUH: A re-look into Maoist agitation across the country

By Enkayaar, Glamsham Editorial, October 17, 2012

It may be fortuitous that just a fortnight after the death anniversary of the revolutionary Che Guvera has been celebrated around the world by his fans on 09 October, Hindi cinema would be having another look at the resistance against the state and the system through Prakash Jha’s CHAKRAVYUH. Che Guvera is one of the rallying points against the atrocities of the state as perceived by those who are living on the fringe of development.

The location chosen for setting the content of CHAKRAVYUH is the area around Chattisgarh, Orissa and parts of Andhra Pradesh that continue to be the destinations where the Naxalist movement is gaining ground on a daily basis and the writ of the state does not run at all in these areas. Revolt against the state that is gaining ground is on account of the fact that the benefits of development aimed at the common man still do not reach them in spite of 65 years of independent India. Continue reading

“The Last War Crime” Debuts At Cannes – But Censored In US.

By Jeanine Molloff, Information Clearing House, July 12, 2012

During this summer of Occupy and subsequent police brutality, the subject of torture is hotly denounced by protesters and conveniently ignored by candidates. Like that ostrich diving head first into the sand of political expediency–Americans want to focus on the alleged debt crisis or gay marriage–anything that absolves us from the messy subject of tortures committed in our names by the Bush/Cheney administration and which continue under Obama to the present day. The entire Bradley Manning debacle speaks volumes to this accusation.

In spite of strong evidence identifying Dick Cheney as the mastermind behind this torture regime–the subject remains taboo, both in the ‘news’ business and in Hollywood–that is until Hollywood executives watched trailers for the anti-war documentary– The Last War Crime.

Written, produced and directed by a new talent known only as ‘The Pen,’ this film documents the torture protocol ordained by the Bush-Cheney administration. Since it first circulated a trailer on the web; it has been heavily censored and cyber attacked. You Tube has removed it at intermittent intervals and MTV (which is owned by Viacom) has refused to sell air time for a commercial.

Apparently, there are some things that Viacom won’t accept money for—namely any film or story which exposes the regular torture ordered by Vice-President Cheney. Curious about this documentary and the blatant censorship–(I couldn’t download it)–I contacted the artist aka The Pen. Here is the interview.

JM : What are you hoping this film will accomplish in terms of genuine political change?

The Pen:” The Last War Crime Movie is about indicting Cheney for torture. And isn’t that something billions of people want to see? They say sometimes life can imitate art. But first we felt it was important that we retrace our country’s steps as to how torture was used to get the false intelligence to sell us on a war with Iraq. The real story of how this happened has been buried under an avalanche of pseudo history. They want people to forget the Downing Street minutes and the foreknowledge that the British had that Cheney and Bush were determined to invade Iraq, even if they had to “fix the facts around the policy” to do so. They want to obliterate the memory of the flimsy legal arguments in the torture memos. So we dig out all the true facts, and put them on the big screen, together with an entertaining narrative story about what it would have been like if justice had already prevailed. Continue reading

William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe

William Kunstler at the Attica Prison Rebellion, Sept. 11, 1971

Film Description

When they were small, Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler idolized their father, who was famous for having championed the underdogs in some of the most important civil rights and anti-war cases of that contentious era known as the 1960s. By the time they were born in the late 1970s, however, those cases were behind William Kunstler, who was almost 60. As the sisters grew into their teens, they were embarrassed and then distressed when their father continued to represent some of the most reviled defendants in America — now accused terrorists, rapists and mobsters.

The man who had marched with Martin Luther King, Jr., and who had defended the Chicago 8 anti-war protestors, Native American activists at Wounded Knee and prisoners caught up in the Attica prison rebellion was now seen kissing the cheek of a Mafia client and defending an Islamic fundamentalist charged with assassinating a rabbi, terrorists accused of bombing the World Trade Center and a teenager charged in a near-fatal gang rape. The sisters remember the shock of disenchantment they felt.   Disturbing the Universe is Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler’s attempt to reconcile the heroic movement lawyer from the past with the father they knew. Continue reading