Julie Bundy

London Road

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The murder of five prostitutes in Ipswich does not sound like a promising subject for a film. But following two sell-out runs for the stage production at the National Theatre the film adaptation of London Road reunites the original cast with director Rufus Norris, script by Alecky Blythe and music by Adam Cork.

Taken at Midnight

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It’s hard to comfortably watch a set so sparse and foreboding while seated at the Theatre Royal, sumptuous, gilded and warm as it is. A single chair we know means torture, grey walls, the world seen in black and white, cold concrete — like some post-apocalyptic underground car park. The story of left wing Jewish lawyer Hans Litten’s legal pursuit of Hitler through the German courts has been uncovered in recent years through Mark Hayhurst’s TV drama The Man Who Crossed Hitler and a documentary, To Stop a Tyrant.

Redemption in Ukraine

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Review of 'Everything is Illuminated', director Liev Screiber

Everything is Illuminated unravels a tale of how the past locates itself in the present, and does so with terrific humour, charm and affection. It is based on a novel of the same name which comprises three narrative pieces - two novels in progress and a collection of letters that link those novels. The film takes the form of a road movie, and uses skilful and subtle visual cues to do the same thing.

Tourism: Paradise Lost?

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Guilt-tripping the tourists won't save the planet.

The millions of pounds raised by ordinary people for those affected by the devastating tsunami along the coastal regions of the Indian Ocean indicate that, far from suffering from 'compassion fatigue', the reverse is true. Working people relate to the suffering of others and are prepared to help alleviate that suffering.

Finding Hope Amid the Madness

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Review of '16 Years of Alcohol', director Richard Jobson

There are many titles that could have provided a banner for this film - the opening narration spells out the other potential one: 'Sometimes, for some people, things don't work out the way they might hope. Hope is a strange thing. Hope is a currency for people who know they are losing. The more familiar you are with hope, the less beautiful it becomes.' So begins the narrator as he bears poetic witness to his own demise, casting his beautiful and battered gaze down into another glass of whisky as he does so.

Guantanamo Bay: 'This is Not the Dark Ages'

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Moazzam Begg and his wife Sally had fulfilled a lifelong dream to teach and work in Afghanistan, moving to Kabul with their three children a few months before the events of 9/11.

There they built wells giving access to fresh water in remote villages. When the US invaded Afghanistan they temporarily left for Islamabad. Their house was raided, and Moazzam was beaten up and taken away in the boot of a car by two US and two Pakistani soldiers. He was taken first to Kandahar, then Bagram airbase by the US military before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay. He has never been charged with any crime and has been denied any legal access. When five British citizens were released from the camp last month Moazzam was not among them.

Respect: 'The Unity We're All Looking For'

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Julie Bundy and Gareth Jenkins spoke to activists at the launch convention about how they see the coalition developing.

Over 1,400 people attended the founding of the Respect coalition at Friends Meeting House in London at the end of January: the young and the old, trade unionists, the left and those who have come to politics though the anti-war movement. The convention represented something historic in British politics - an embryonic movement making a decisive break from seeing the Labour Party as the party of the working class.

British Politics: Laying the Foundations

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As the left unity coalition forms nationally, Julie Bundy speaks to Harlow activists about how they are bringing together the local anti-war movement and ex Labour members to challenge New Labour

Harlow is a small town of around 70,000 in south Essex. Created as one of the postwar new towns, it was first populated as an east London overspill. Many of the manufacturing industries that were there when the new town was created have disappeared and many people now commute into London to work.

Find Out What It Means to Me

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Review of 'Loyal Women' by Gary Mitchell, Royal Court, London

Gary Mitchell's play gives us a complex, engaging and thoroughly humorous insight into the deeply embedded effects of living in a segregated community. Four generations of women live under the same roof in a poor estate in Protestant Belfast. All have a strong association with the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). One is a baby and the eldest, the mother in law, has confined herself to bed in the living room. This leaves Brenda caring for all of them, including her 16 year old daughter Jenny.

Poetry in Palestine

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Review of 'Divine Intervention', director Elia Suleiman

What do we learn of the real lives of Palestinian men, women and children from the press? Not much. 'Divine Intervention' is a highly successful attempt to challenge this censorship by omission. Its form is reminiscent of 1980s Latin American magical realism. This is not accidental. In order for those voices to be heard, director Elia Suleiman has created an allegory, a pastiche of the sufferings of the Palestinian people which contains sublime moments of pathos, humour and love.

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