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Silence is a film of ideas, examining the meaning of mercy and compassion, and the personal cost of betrayal. It is also visually stunning. The cinematography has been nominated for an Academy Award and rightfully so.

It poses fascinating theological questions, their historical bases and the comparison between their Christian and Buddhist understandings. With so much going for it, why does Silence fail?

Greens leader Richard Di Natale has backed calls for a new “people’s bank” to challenge the power of the Big Four mega-banks. He told the National Press Club on March 15: “The time has come for a people's bank, one that injects real competition into the banking sector.”

Senator Di Natale drew on the example of the state-owned KiwiBank in New Zealand, run by the NZ Post Office. A similar operation in Australia would boost competition, push down fees, help young buyers enter the property market and deter “unscrupulous behaviour”, he said.

There have been countless predictions that the election of Donald Trump as US president would bring a renaissance of political music - and it finally seems to be happening. Here are 10 of the best from this month (plus a few extra - count them).

Students and staff are celebrating the defeat of Sydney University’s attempt to cut semesters from 13 weeks to 12. After almost no consultation with students or staff, the university attempted to push through the move at the Academic Board meeting on March 28.

Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association (SUPRA) protested against the proposal and called on the board to vote "No". Overwhelmingly academic staff took this advice, with only management voting for the change.

The Adelaide March in March has evolved and taken on new characteristics since its inception in 2014. This year’s event, on March 25, brought together a diverse range of participants: grass-roots activist groups; representatives from socially conscious organisations; and individuals concerned by the trajectory of Australian society.

About 50 Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) members and supporters occupied the foyer of the Brisbane offices of Rio Tinto on March 28.

Rio Tinto has reneged on its agreement with the MUA to have 70–80% Australian crew on its coastal fleet. Instead it is using exploited foreign workers who are paid $3–4 per hour. This is despite posting a $6 billion profit last year.

Queensland branch secretary of the MUA Bob Carnegie said: “No Australian should be locked out of Australian jobs so foreign workers can be exploited and paid below a minimum wage.”

Over 80 protesters promised they would stop the Carmichael coal mine outside a March 31 appearance at the Hilton Hotel by Adani boss Jeyakumar Janakaraj. Protesters said they would #StopAdani in solidarity with traditional owners who are opposed to the development. Saving the reef and tackling climate change were other reasons given to stop the mine.

The #StopAdani protest was organised by 350 Brisbane which has pledged to build a people's movement against the mine, including targeting banks such as Westpak who have refused to reject funding the mine.

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