Saba Shiraz aka Kali Rayt

Films: Belle

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Inspired by true events, the film Belle follows the case of a young mixed race woman named Dido Elizabeth Belle, who is raised by an aristocratic family in 18th century England.

She was the illegitimate daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay and an enslaved African woman. Dido is raised by her aunt and her uncle, Lord Mansfield who was Lord Chief Justice at the time.

Film After Film

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In his explosive and thought-provoking new volume Film After Film: Or, What became of 21st Century Cinema? James Hoberman argues that the world of making movies has undergone a ground-breaking transformation.

His vast and versatile collection of reviews and essays, written mainly for New York's The Village Voice, affirm Hoberman's reputation as one of the most shrewd and politically sharp commentators on film.

The Man Who Loved Dogs

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Leonardo Padura's exciting new novel The Man Who Loved Dogs shows a Moscow deteriorating under the rule of Joseph Stalin, a Mexico enlivened by the artist Frida Kahlo, Leon Trotsky's tragic assassination and a post revolutionary Cuba, all in one breathtaking narrative that truly does the events of the period justice.

The novel is set in the late 1970s and follows the journey of a dispirited Cuban writer named Ivan Cardenas Maturell, who on a Havana beach one day happens across a mysterious foreign stranger, Ramon Mercader, who is always accompanied by two stunning wolfhounds.

The Duck House

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Vaudeville Theatre, London, until 29 March 2014

"I don't want a real job, I want to be an MP!" The ironic words of Ben Miller's ill-fated character Robert Houston echoes through the theatre to be met with a loud and hearty laugh from the audience.

The words pose the crucial questions. What does it really mean to be an MP and what is their purpose? What sort of heartless individuals would spend hard earned taxpayers' money on duck houses, manure and glittery toilet seats?

Palestine: youth in revolt

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Saba Shiraz and Estelle Cooch spoke to economist and East Jerusalem activist Ibrahim Shikaki about the recent protests in the West Bank and the impact of the Arab Spring on Palestine

What were the origins of the protests in September in the West Bank?

I think initially it started because of economics. The main reason people protested was because of increasing costs. But it was when the trade unions acted, the most important of which were the public transport unions, that people really felt the impact of what was going on. On top of that you had youth groups, political parties and others becoming involved alongside a shift from the initially economic goals to political ones as well.

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