Culture

Sorry to Bother You
Written & directed by Boots Riley
In cinemas now

This review includes mild spoilers.

As an Australian living abroad, incidents of Australians being racist and/or misogynistisic that attract attention from international media outlets are frequently forwarded to me in anticipation of a seething refrain.

"The issues raised in this film are vitally important: it is a history of the involvement of journalism and the mainstream media in not merely reporting on, but collaborating with, the making of wars," John Pilger, radical filmmaker, journalist and author, told the audience at a showing of his 2010 film The War You Don't See.

The film was part of the Power of the Documentary: Breaking the Silence film festival, curated by Pilger and showing at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney between November 28 and December 9.

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus offers up eight new books as recommended reading for ecosocialists. Inclusion does not imply agreement with a book’s contents.

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1. The Biofuels Deception: Going Hungry on the Green Carbon Diet
By Okbazghi Yohannes
Monthly Review Press, 2018

Rock & Roll Harbour
Exhibition by The Shop Gallery
112 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
Thurs January 3 – Wed Jan 9

Peter Gow is the people’s artist.

His ouvre is driven by his down-to-earth, inner-city environment such as boathouses and the heritage-listed Sydney Harbour Bridge in various attitudes, all of which feature prominently in this exhibition.

Gow is a qualified electrician and builder as well, very handy for making the frames in his spare time that embrace his art.

Disaster Capitalism
Written by Antony Loewenstein 
Directed by Thor Neureiter
www.disastercapitalismfilm.com

Disaster Capitalism is a groundbreaking documentary film about Bougainville, Haiti and Afghanistan, revealing the dark underbelly of the global aid and investment industry. The film offers important insights into a secret multi-billion dollar world by investigating how aid money is actually spent — or misspent.

Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist
Directed by Lorna Tucker
In cinemas

In the 1970s, punks astounded Britain with their T-shirts worn inside out and torn clothes with safety pins.

Vivienne Westwood was the person responsible for most of that look. Not only did she tear clothing apart, she lived a similar life.

Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist is a raw, unpredictable and unapologetic documentary about the punk icon and fashion designer. 

Watching it was a whirlwind. At times I was smiling, others I felt frustration.

Here are the best new albums that related to this month's politics. (There are actually far more than 10 - count them). What albums would you suggest? Comment on TwitterFacebook, or email. This column is taking a break and will return at the end of January.

Melbourne-based researcher Iain McIntyre is the author of a number of books including a recent anthology entitled On The Fly! Hobo Literature and Songs, 1879-1941. Rachel Evans spoke to him about the 2019 How To Make Trouble and Influence People Diary he has produced as a fundraiser for the Rainforest Information Centre and Community Radio 3CR.

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Don’t Forget Super
By Brian Boyd
Published by the Victorian Electrical Trades Union, 2018

Ever wondered where your superannuation scheme came from and what it is meant to do?

I always thought it was a lump sum payment so I could buy a caravan and go around Australia before going on the age pension, and many have tried to do just that. But today anyone will tell you the age pension is not enough to live on, and working until your 67 is just not possible for most people, especially if you work in the construction industry.

An Imperial Disaster: The Bengal Cyclone of 1876
Benjamin Kingsbury
Hurst, 2018
256 pp, $45

In the early hours of October 31, 1876, there was a terrible convergence of storm, tide and full moon in the Bay of Bengal. Its immediate effect was to send a giant wave, 12 metres high, over the low lying islands and coastal areas.

At least 215,000 people drowned.

It was followed by famine as shocked communities tried to scrounge what food they could. Then at least a further 100,000 died in a cholera epidemic.

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