The War On
horror the face
of facism creates… how
hard it is to sing when
I must sing of horror
in which silence and
screams are the end of
from the final
work of Victor Jara, the
Chilean folk singer who
was imprisoned and
tortured before being
killed on 11 September
1973, aged 38.
THE WAR ON DEMOCRACY, directed, written and reported by John Pilger,
is one of those films you absolutely must watch
if only to judge for yourself how you see the sometimes uncomfortable, occasionally
harrowing, content of this documentary.
Following on from the success of other hard-hitting factual docu-mentaries such
as An Inconvenient Truth and Black Gold, Lions Gate Home Entertainment
has released the DVD of the one of the most powerful and thought-provoking documentaries
The War On Democracy
in which award-winning writer John Pilger investigates the repercussions of
the United States' foreign policy, in particular to South America.
The War On Democracy opens with dramatic shots of war and Richard Nixon's
words of hope: "Guatemala is going to enter a new era in which there will be
prosperity for the people together with liberty for the people." And George
Bush's ambitious statement: "America will not impose our own style of government
on the unwilling; our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain
their own freedom and make their own way."
John Pilger believes that neither statement resulted in benefits for South America.
He introduces his work as "a film about the struggle of people to free themselves
from a modern form of slavery" and speaks of "the power of courage and humanity
among people with next to nothing… they are defending the most basic human rights
of all of us
in a war being waged against all of us."
Pilger conducts in-depth interviews with people such as Hugo Chávez, President
who comes across as a man deeply com-mitted to what he wants for his people
and Mariela Machado, who knows what it is like to be excluded in her own country.
Before Chávez, she says, the people did not feel part of society and were literally
'written off the map'. Although thanks to oil Venezuela is the
richest country in South America, the majority live in poverty.
Pilger speaks of the role of the US government in human rights violat-ions and
exploitation of whole countries
of natural wealth sold to foreign companies for peanuts; and he looks at the
widespread poverty in Guatemala and Bolivia, the inequality of Chile and why,
in 1973, September 11 was a date to remember.
The documentary contains references from the US National Security Archive and
Pilger speaks of The National Endowment for Democracy
a US organisation that was formed to get "right to the heart of America's faith
in democratic ideals and institutions and offers hope
to people everywhere".
Victor Hugo wrote: "There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose
time has come". The War On Democracy reflects the lives and dreams of
the ordinary people and it is a prayer for the world to be governed by the rule
of law; of equality, justice and fraternity.
huge critical acclaim on its theatrical release, the uplifting and at times
emotive documentary The War On Democracy is now available for the first
time on DVD and was released on 4 February 2008. RRP £19.99 | Cert 12.
"An extraordinary and fascinating documentary **** " Empire
The War On Democracy is Pilger's first feature film: the highly-respected
journalist has made 55 television documentaries to high praise and critical
commendations. He has won television academy awards in both Britain and American
including a BAFTA for a life-
time's achievement in factual television. Always at the cutting-edge
of documentary filmmaking, The War On Democracy is factual infotainment
at its very best.
The War On Democracy's Director and Producer is BAFTA-nominee Christopher
Martin (Breaking The Silence
Truth and Lies In The War On Terror,
Palestine Is Still The Issue).
The fantastic theme tune is perfect: A Change Is Gonna Come, composed
and peformed by legendary American soul singer Sam Cooke courtesy of ABKCO Music
& Records Inc. Something Inside (So Strong) was composed and performed
by Labi Siffre.