Jabiluka

The struggle of the Mirrar Aboriginal people against the Jabiluka uranium mine, in the Northern Territory…. Jabiluka is about us, blackfellas, whitefellas together… and our belief in the future of our nation…

Currently Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) is pushing to open a new uranium mine that is surrounded by the World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park. The traditional Aboriginal owners have told the company and the government that they do not want this mine. They are concerned about its effects on their country and culture. Environment groups and many others are also working to stop Jabiluka and other new uranium mines.

Many Australians are asking how can we threaten the cultural and environmental values of our most famous world heritage listed national park… Kakadu? How can we put at risk the culture and the lives of the indigenous people of Kakadu with a new uranium mine at Jabiluka?

The Federal Government of Australia, the government of the Northern Territory, mining company Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) and the Northern Land Council all want uranium mining to go ahead at Jabiluka… but the Mirrar people are saying ‘No’.

Since the Ranger mine at Jabiru was given approval in 1978 Mirrar opposition to the proposed Jabiluka mine has strengthened… 19 years on. Living and social conditions amongst Kakadu’s indigenous population have worsened and the people are deeply concerned about the impact of mining on their lives and the unknown consequences of storing crushed and pulverised radioactive wastes on their land.

In the culture of the Mirrar. Jabiluka is so sacred not even traditional owner Yvonne Margarula can speak about it. And yet knowing this the Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has given the green light to the Jabiluka mine… despite the negative findings of a Social Impact Study and warnings from his own departmental bureaucrats that the mining company’s Environmental Impact Statement was deficient in key areas.

Jabiluka is the first of 26 proposed new uranium mines the Howard Government has before it for approval. In this important new film twice Academy Award nominated director David Bradbury captures the controversy over Jabiluka.

The Jabiluka mine will be underground, below the flood plain in an area infamous for it’s big wet season… and beside Kakadu’s famous wetland. ERA plans to clear a mine site and bulldoze a road 22.5 kilometres long to truck the ore to the Ranger mine where it will be processed into yellowcake and then exported.

ERA’s Philip Shirvington (CEO sees management of the mine as a simple matter a job they do well: ‘We don’t add any radioactivity to what’s already there naturally.’ he says. But ‘not so’ say the traditional owners, scientists and environmentalists… who are concerned that the tailings will remain radioactive for the next 250.000 years.

The film Jabiluka clearly shows how the Mirrar were given no choice over the Ranger mine, how they were caught in a misleading process to consent to a lease over Jabiluka… and how today they are resisting those same pressures to allow mining to proceed.

The story of Jabiluka is also significant because it raises questions about the real value of ‘Land Rights’… the Mirrar people now own their land but are wondering whether that actually means anything. On December 16 as part of her steadfast campaign Yvonne Margarula will take her case to the Federal Court of Australia to prevent the Federal Government granting ERA approval to export uranium from Jabiluka.

She must continue the fight first taken up by her father Toby Gangale… for the right of her people to live in harmony with 40,000 years of cultural tradition. “We know we own the country” she says. “We know. We born the country, and we live the country. It is our country… black country… not white country.”

In 1978 Professor Manning Clark visited the ‘Top End’ and was left with an enduring impression of its abundant cultural treasures, of its pristine wetlands and majestic escarpments. Following that visit he stated clearly his opposition to mining Kakadu.

“It would be an evil day in the history of this country if the white man once again showed the black man that nothing else mattered except material grandeur.

Is it too much to hope that the natural paradise of Kakadu National Park might be a setting not so much for a human paradise but at least a place where the white man and the black man can at last live in harmony with each other?”

Underhand Tactics: High Frequency Trading

Most of us have never heard of high-frequency trading. Yet, many experts predict that the next financial crisis will be caused by this new practice, invented by Wall Street. Thousands of computers are interconnected, buying and selling thousands of market shares every micro-second, with no human control or regulation. We delve into a mad financing world dominated by machines, or rather, by elaborate algorithms carefully developed by mathematicians. The ultimate goal? To reach maximum profit within a few seconds. But sometimes, software breaks down and creates, what experts call a “flash crack,” an instantaneous market collapse. We investigate the job of speed traders and expose the often shocking methods they use to reach their goals.

Iran: The Bomb At Any Cost

Halting Iran’s nuclear programme is one of the West’s main defence objectives and the number one priority of Israel. But we weren’t always so scared of the idea of an Iranian nuclear programme. In fact both the United States and Europe played a key role in setting it up. We look back at Iran’s nuclear programme over the past 50 years. What began with the blessing of the Americans under the “Atoms for Peace” programme in the 1960s has turned into a deadly cat and mouse game with the IAEA. With the help of technology from China and Russia and centrifuges from Pakistan, Iran is now well on the way to developing nuclear weapons. What would be the consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran? How would Israel react and can anything now be done to stop the nuclear programme?

Squeezed Like Lemons: Italy in Crisis

The economic crisis and consequences of the strict austerity policies have hit the Italian people hard. Tax offices are being occupied while business people are taking their own lives in despair. We document the current mood in Italy from the point of view of those whose existence is threatened by this crisis. Giorgia Frasacco, 33, is determined to save her family’s company from bankruptcy after her father killed himself. In her spare time, she runs a support group for the families of business people who, like her father, committed suicide in the last months. Franca Stefani, 37, has been unemployed for over a year and is trying to raise her six year old daughter on 250€ a month while Piero Lospi, 47, recently lost his job. He struggles to adapt to this new reality and feels he has lost his dignity, social recognition and the sense of having a useful role in society. Finally, Gian Luca Brambilla, 50, runs a consulting business specialising in cutting costs in big companies. His problem is not getting work but being paid and his clients owe him almost an entire year’s turnover. We follow our protagonists for several month, interweaving their stories.

Secrecy

In a single recent year the U.S. classified about five times the number of pages added to the Library of Congress. We live in a world where the production of secret knowledge dwarfs the production of open knowledge. Depending on whom you ask, government secrecy is either the key to victory in our struggle against terrorism, or our Achilles heel. But is so much secrecy a bad thing?
Secrecy saves: counter-terrorist intelligence officers recall with fury how a newspaper article describing National Security Agency abilities directly led to the loss of information that could have avoided the terrorist killing of 241 soldiers in Beirut late in October 1983.
Secrecy corrupts. From extraordinary rendition to warrant-less wiretaps and Abu Ghraib, we have learned that, under the veil of classification, even our leaders can give in to dangerous impulses.
This film is about the vast, invisible world of government secrecy. By focusing on classified secrets, the government’s ability to put information out of sight if it would harm national security, Secrecy explores the tensions between our safety as a nation, and our ability to function as a democracy.

Atomic Alert

As nuclear power expands across the globe what are governments doing to prepare for potential nuclear accidents. What do we need to know, and what will our governments tell us? How would a nuclear crisis impact on public health, the environment and global politics? This documentary is a through investigation of the measures and strategies put in place to manage the possibility of disaster.

Director Thomas Johnson explores the risks of nuclear technology and it’s impact on the world, in this follow-up to the award winning “The Battle of Chernobyl” (Prix Italia 2006).

Uranium – Is It a Country?

This documentary visits Australia to explore the mining, processing and environmental effects of uranium. It answers questions like; “Where does uranium go?” and, “What is left behind after uranium is mined?”. An interesting look at the direct environmental and social cost of nuclear power, as uranium must come from somewhere.

2 Degrees

Director: Jeff Canin

As the world waits in hope for a new dawn on climate change, 2 Degrees reveals the chaotic failure of the UN negotiations in Copenhagen. It becomes chillingly clear that we cannot wait for governments to lead the way. So if commitment to act won’t come from above, perhaps the voices and actions of communities will bring the revolution that is needed. 2 Degrees takes to the streets of Port Augusta, a small Australian town, and follows the passionate efforts to replace the coal fired power stations with solar thermal power.

If we don’t understand the lessons from Copenhagen, we are doomed to repeat them in 2015, when the world body meets once more in Paris to adopt a legally binding agreement. From the award?winning producer of The Burning Season and The Man who Stole my Mother’s Face, 2 Degrees explores climate change through the prism of climate justice. While An Inconvenient Truth alerted us to the problem of climate change, 2 Degrees is the gripping and vital fight for a solution.

Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve

100 years after its creation, the power of the Federal Reserve has never been greater. Markets around the world hold their breath in anticipation of the Fed Chairman’s every word. Yet the average American knows very little about the most powerful financial institution on earth. Narrated by acclaimed actor Liev Schreiber, Money For Nothing: Inside The Federal Reserve is the first film to take viewers inside America’s central bank and reveal the impact of Fed policies – past, present and future – on our lives. As Ben Bernanke’s tumultuous tenure comes to a close, join Paul Volcker, Janet Yellen, and many of the world’s best financial minds as they debate the decisions that led the global economy to the brink of collapse and ask whether we might be headed there again. Directed by Jim Bruce.

Our Generation

Australia’s image to the world often features the didgeridoo and Aboriginal art. The country prides itself on its Aboriginal culture and heritage.

But what is its real relationship with the Aboriginal people living today?

This powerful documentary explores the hidden scandal of Indigenous relations in Australia, and the Australian Aboriginal struggle for their land, culture and freedom. Featuring the stories of the remote Yolngu tribe of Northeast Arnhem Land, one of the last strongholds of traditional Aboriginal culture in Australia, as well as the voices of national indigenous leaders, historians and human rights advocates, the film explores the ongoing clash of cultures that is threatening to wipe out the oldest continuing culture in the world.

Australia’s Aborigines have some of the worst health statistics and living conditions of any Indigenous group in the world, even though they live in one of its richest countries. Despite the government’s National Apology to the Aborigines in 2008, paternalism and assimilation continue to wreak havoc on their lives. Current government policies, whilst claiming to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, are further disempowering Aboriginal communities and separating them from their lands, culture and languages. The United Nations has repeatedly condemned the government for racial discrimination. But Aboriginal lands contain a large proportion of Australia’s precious natural resources, including uranium, which the government and mining corporations are determined to exploit. The “Children of the Sunrise” are fighting for freedom. This is their untold story, and their message stick to the world.