Tag Archives: War

Theatrical Review: Hunger

Director: Steve McQueen
Screenwriters: Enda Walsh and Steve McQueen
Producer: Laura Hastings-Smith and Robin Gutch
Sean Bobbitt BSC
Editor: Joe Walker
Music: David Holmes with Leo Abrahams
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Liam Cunningham, Stuart Graham, Brian Milligan, Liam McMahon 
UK-Ireland, 2008, 96 minutes
The double meaning in this astonishing film’s title refers to both the hunger for food as well as for freedom. The prisoners in this factually-based and brutally realistic film are starved for both.
In 1981, during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the UK government was imprisoning IRA members but refusing to give them political prisoner status. As a result a group detained at the HM Prison Maze (aka Long Kesh), led by Bobby Sands, went on “blanket protest” which basically meant refusing prison uniforms. This led to them being exposed to almost unimaginably horrendous conditions and as well as to a series of violent repercussions.
The film, the first directed by British multi-media artist Steve McQueen, opens with a middle aged man beginning his day. Much of his initial behavior seems mundane; getting dressed and being served toast & tea by his wife. But then we see him soaking his bloodied and swollen knuckles in the bathroom sink; and, just before he drives off to work, he kneels down to look under his car for a bomb. This man turns out to be prison guard, Raymond Lohan (Stuart Graham). The film’s narrative is confusing at first; we assume that the story will be about this wounded individual. We also assume that he is carrying around fear, guilt and grief since he works in such a brutal environment. Surely he must feel ambivalent about his job.

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Prison Break In Afghanistan, 1,100+ Prisoners Freed, 400 Taliban

Reuters is reporting that an estimated 1,150 prisoners, including 400 Taliban were set loose from a prison in Kandahar, today. The door was apparently blown open by a truck bomb, presumably as part of a massive Taliban-organized prison break.
Are you kidding me? Oh, goodie. If there was any doubt that we were fighting two wars, they’re gone, now. 400 more Taliban on the loose in Afghanistan?
Something tells me the Stop-Loss fiasco is going to continue for years.

Kucinich Calls For Impeachment, Has Balls

This evening, the mas macho member of the US House of Representatives Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) introduced articles of impeachment against President Bush in a 35 count indictment on the House floor. It’s not going to happen, but think about it: 435 members of the House and only ONE has the nads/brains/morals to do this?
And lest you think this is all about the war (like that’s not enough) he’s addressing Katrina (STILL not answered for, almost THREE years later) and global warming.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has repeatedly said that impeachment is off the table and no one thinks this is going to get much traction, but all the wire services and hundreds of other outlets, have picked it up. Maybe combined with Scott McLellan’s testemony before the house judicialry committee on June 20th will have some effect, at least in the public consciousness.
It’s on C-Span. Dig it.

Horseshit Politics Pt. 1 – George W. Bush Has No Shame

In tonight’s speech, President George W. Bush offended millions of Americans. He did it repeatedly throughout a speech that lasted slightly more than 30 minutes. How? In a speech about the war in Iraq, Bush mentioned the events of September 11th, 2001 a whopping 8 times, sometimes specifically linking the two. In what has come to be called “playing the 9/11 card,” Bush repeatedly jabbed his finger in the wounds tugged on the heartstrings of not only the millions of people who were in New York, D.C. and Pennsylvania on September 11th, but of the billions of people around the world affected by those attacks.

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