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The War on Democracy – Oct.1, 2008

Awareness Film Night will be opening its 15th season on Weds. October 1 with the 2007 John Pilger film “The War on Democracy”. This documentary is British journalist John Pilger’s first major film for the cinema – in a career that has produced more than 55 television documentaries. Beautifully filmed in Latin America and the U.S., “The War On Democracy” exposes the historic and current relationship of Washington with countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia and Chili.

In his last inaugural address, U.S. president Bush pledged to “bring democracy to the world”. In a 23 minute speech he mentioned the words “democracy” and “liberty” 21 times. “The War on Democracy” demonstrates the brutal reality of the U.S. notion of “spreading democracy”. Pilger conducts an excellent interview with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as well as some remarkable interviews with U.S. government officials who ran the CIA’s war in Latin America in the 1980’s. But this is a hopeful film, for it sees the world through the hopes and dreamsĀ and extraordinary actions of ordinary people. Pilger reports that in spite of a history of repeated U.S.-backed suppression, popular democratic movements are gaining ground in Latin America. According to Pilger the film’s message is that the greed and power of empire is not invincible and that people power is always “the seed beneath the snow”.

“The War on Democracy” will be presented at 7 p.m. at the Edward Milne Community School theatre. Admission is by donation.


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