A Hard Rain

This is a documentary that had to be made! Twice Academy award nominee and five times AFI winner David Bradbury’s latest contribution, A Hard Rain, explores the ‘other side’ of the nuclear debate.

Governments and most mainstream media are promoting that nuclear is now an attractive alternative to fossil fuels – the magic fix that will save us all from global warming. Nuclear power has taken on a clean and green spin from the low point 20 years ago which saw the Chernobyl meltdown.

Traversing five countries – China, France, UK, Japan and Australia, and using what Bradbury learnt from his previous three nuclear documentaries (Public Enemy Number One, Jabiluka and Blowin’ in the Wind), A Hard Rain takes a closer look at the global nuclear industry in its entirety – from the mining of uranium through to the nuclear power plant to the radioactive waste and weapons manufacturing. It exposes the hidden agendas behind this latest push for Australia to go nuclear.

Included are interviews with some of the world’s top scientists and environmentalists on the subject such as Dr Rosalie Bertell from Canada, Dr Chris Busby from the UK, and from Australia, Dr Mark Diesendorf (Ex CSIRO) from the Environmental Institute at the University of NSW, Prof. Ian Lowe, President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, and Dr Gavin Mudd from the Monash University Engineering Department.

Interviews with traditional owners who have been locked out of genuine consultation with what is happening on their country is also included in this film.

By looking at the experience of countries overseas that have gone nuclear, A Hard Rain debunks some of the myths of the nuclear industry: that nuclear is safe, cheap, health and green with little chance of another Chernobyl happening.

If you want vital and factual information to debate the issue intelligently and overthrow the myths that the nuclear and pro uranium mining lobby has so successfully implanted in the media, in the government and the Labor Party, then this documentary is a must see.

Another Life

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Africans risk their lives trying to get into Europe. This is their story. We follow a convoy of young migrants. First came the hopes and idealism of the journey’s start. They were going to be the lucky ones who overcome all the odds to build a new life in Europe. Next came the growing comprehension of just what they had undertaken. The loss of their money in bribes to corrupt officials. The dried-out bodies of other migrants in the desert – a constant reminder of what would happen to them if they ran out of water. Then came the hell of Libya’s internment camps. The squalid conditions and beatings. And finally, the bitter knowledge that they are simply pawns, to be used and abused by every authority they encounter. And the sickening realisation that they have lost the biggest gamble of their lives. DIRECTOR: ALEXANDRE DEREIMS.

Arc of Fire

They call it ‘Arc of Fire’. It’s the biggest operation against illegal logging in Brazil’s history. And its mission is to save the Amazon. Since April 2008, Federal Police, National Security Force Agents and the Environmental Protection Agency have been conducting joint operations against the timber mafia. It’s been dubbed the first ecological war of the 21st century. Hundreds of armed policemen scour the Amazon by helicopter, looking for signs of illegal deforestation. Already, they’ve imposed millions of Euros in fines, dismantled illegal sawmills and razed thousands of charcoal ovens to the ground. But locals, who rely on the lumber industry, claim Operation Arc of Fire is driving them to destitution. Director: Alexander Bouchet.

Living in a Minefield

Cambodia is one of the most heavily landmined countries in the world. In many rural areas, virtually all the fields and forest are full of mines. After her husband was killed, An Vi and her eight daughters were left with no choice but to risk their lives cultivating a mine-infested plot of land. “I just dig very shallow and don’t dare to hack,” Vi explains. “If there are deep mines then maybe we won’t reach them”. This is their story. Directed by Marit Gjertsen.

Murge: The Cold War Front

For 13 days in 1962, the world was on the brink of nuclear war. Krushchev’s decision to place nuclear weapons in Cuba sparked the Cuban Missile Crisis. But what’s relatively unknown is that he was responding to an earlier perceived threat from America: the stationing of nuclear weapons in Murge, Italy – within striking distance of the USSR. We reveal how Murge was transformed unwittingly into a theatre of the Cold War.

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?

Return To Gaza

‘Return To Gaza’ is a personal insight into the Middle East Conflict through the eyes of a Palestinian Australian, born on a refugee camp in Jordan, who wants to return to Gaza with his family.

This 53 minute documentary covers the difficult journey of Fetah Sabawi, a successful Melbourne musician whose dreams of peace takes him from Australia to Gaza through Egypt, Israel & the West Bank. With his wife, Ola and their two children, Sabawi plans to move to Gaza to head-up a project, funded by UN, to teach music to children. A new life for a rock star going into a war zone. Sabawi’s amazing journey coincides with the first Palestinian elections since the beginning of Gaza and the West Bank’s occupation and the subsequent election of Hamas.

In this film, we discover with our protagonist the Israeli invasion of Gaza and the response from the West. His journey and fate are punctuated by the dramatic events of the Middle East and the involvement of world’s leaders as we see statements from Palestinian President Abbas, US Vice President Biden and US Secretary of State Clinton. Including interviews with the former Ambassador to Egypt, Monzer Eldajani, the elected Hamas member Dr Yusuf al-Shrafi, the acclaimed Australian author Antony Loewenstein and Israeli Peace activists, the film provides a revealing insight into the political minefield of the Palestinian – Israeli conflict and it’s effect on their daily lives amongst the huge walls, check-points and constant military presence.

‘Return to Gaza’ is a poignant story and personal discovery, of a determined westerner and artist facing unbearable issues and losing hope to live one day in Peace in his ancestral home in Gaza.

Bulaq

On 25th January thousands of Egyptians gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, sparking what we call now the Egyptian Revolution. Only a few hundred meters far from the world-famous square, the people from popular neighbourhood Bulaq joined protesters, finding in demonstrations something more than a glimmer of hope. Through their voices, ‘Bulaq’ portrays their collective struggle against eviction and social marginalisation, whose destiny seems to be strictly intertwined with the hesitant fortunes of the Egyptian spring.

Tehrir: The Good, the Bad, the Politicians

When Egyptians woke up on January 25th, 2011, they never expected the one day demonstration planned for that public holiday to evolve into a full out revolution aimed at overthrowing the regime’s 30 year long grip on power. Three talented young directors decided to tell their story of the revolution from their unique cinematic point of view, choosing to focus not only on the politics, but on a handful of individuals whose actions would determine their fate and forever change the future of their country. This is the story of their revolution told from their eyes with three different perspectives.

We’re not likely to get a docu on the 2011 Egyptian revolution with greater scope than “Tahrir 2011,” at least not in the immediate aftermath of those momentous events. Cleverly divided into three parts, each helmed by a rising director of what’s sure to become known as the bridge generation between pre- and post-revolution, the docu covers the demonstrators in Tahrir Square (directed by Tamer Ezzat), explores the psyche of the police who violently intervened (Ayten Amin), and investigates Hosni Mubarak’s psyche (Amr Salama). Egyptian and international markets will enthusiastically applaud, the latter mostly via fests and TV.

Daisy Bitch

“Daisy Bitch” is the stage name of a young Israeli drag queen named Eli Abergel. The film documents Eli’s life for two years, enters his personal world behind the costumes and make-up, and turns into a psychological journey which reveals his unique and complex relationship with his conservative Jewish mother, Jacqueline. Coming to terms with her son’s strange lifestyle leads to a turning point in their lives. A huge gap exist between Eli’s two worlds: on the one hand, the world of the homo-lesbian community in Tel Aviv and on the other, living as an IDF solider in a low socio-economic, conservative family from a suburban proletarian town. The conflict that emerges from within this impossible combination reaches its climax at the end of the film.