Sally Campbell

Broken Embraces

Issue section: 

Director: Pedro Almodovar; Release date: out now

Pedro Almodovar's latest film, Broken Embraces, is a self-referential meditation on filmmaking starring his muse, Penelope Cruz, and dealing in all the melodrama, sex and death that we have come to expect (and love) from the Spanish master.

O is for oppression

Issue section: 

One of the common accusations thrown at Marxism by others in the movement is that it is "economistic" - it reduces everything to the economy and class relations and therefore can't deal adequately with questions of oppression.

On the surface this can seem a reasonable point.

Oppression doesn't mirror class but cuts across it. All women suffer from sexism, whether an Indonesian factory worker or a highly paid (though not as highly paid as her male counterparts) London City trader. A factory worker's experience of her oppression, however, is very different to that of a rich woman.

Sweeney Todd

Issue section: 

Director: Tim Burton; Release date: out now

The opening credits set up what's to come: giant, sinister lettering (if you can have such a thing) runs with thick red blood while orchestral music drums up fear, suspense and horror. If you didn't know it already, you can tell this is not a story with a happy ending.

Day Watch

Issue section: 

Director: Timur Bekmambetov; Release date: 5 October

On its release in Russia last January, Day Watch became the highest grossing film in post-Soviet Russian history. It is the second part of a trilogy which began with 2004's Night Watch - itself a box office hit, trouncing Spider-Man 2 and Lord of the Rings. The films are flashy, special effects led and very post-Matrix - but achieved at a fraction of a Hollywood budget.

Empty Pages

Issue section: 

Review of "Black Book", Director: Paul Verhoeven

Dutch film director Paul Verhoeven has spent the past two decades making a name for himself with trashy Hollywood films such as Basic Instinct and Showgirls, as well as slightly heftier satirical action flicks including Robocop and Starship Troopers.

Black Book, set in the Netherlands at the end of the Second World War, supposedly marks his return to his roots as a serious filmmaker. He and his colleague Gerard Soeteman say they have worked on the script for over 20 years.

Cracks in the System

Issue section: 

Sally Campbell spoke to John Rees about the growing weaknesses in the imperialist project, and how they might be exploited by the anti-war movement.

The cover of John Rees's new book, Imperialism and Resistance, shows graffiti on a wall in Barcelona on 15 February 2003 - the global day of action on which, according to one study, 36 million people demonstrated against the pending war on Iraq. The image depicts George Bush, Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld with red noses. I ask Rees whether it boosts the argument that the Iraq war is simply the result of a few bad men's stupidity. "I like the cover," he responds, "because it illustrates the theme of imperialism and resistance.

Passion for the Truth

Issue section: 

Review of 'The Constant Gardener', director Fernando Meirelles

The news in recent weeks has been dominated by the threat of an avian flu pandemic, which could kill millions worldwide without a coordinated global response. As I write, a spokesperson for the pharmaceutical giant which produces tamiflu, an anti-viral drug being stockpiled throughout the world to cope with the looming crisis, is on the radio.

Refugees, Asylum and Immigration: The Facts

Issue section: 

The facts to undermine the racist myths, and useful links for more information.

There is no such person as an 'illegal asylum seeker'. By law, anyone has the right to enter Britain and apply for asylum, and to stay until a final decision has been made. The government is not allowed to penalise a refugee or asylum seeker for having false papers or ID - the 1951 Convention to which Britain is a signatory recognises the difficulty of gathering the correct papers when fleeing war or persecution.

From Russia with Love

Issue section: 

Review of 'Wild East' by April de Angelis, Royal Court, London

When Frank went on an archaeological dig that uncovered a 30,000 year old figure of a bird carved from a mammoth's tusk, he made up his mind: this figure was so exquisite, so perfect, so lovingly carved, he had to understand the people who made it. So he studied anthropology, inquisitive about human societies and their desires and needs.

Ideas for the Movement

Issue section: 

Sally Campbell analyses Michael Albert's dreams.

If my thought dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine.'

Bob Dylan's words echo for a new generation vocalising their dissent, questioning the system, in a million ways today. Over the last five years thousands of activists, students, academics and others have been engaged in political debates at a level and of an importance not seen for 30 years.


Subscribe to RSS - Sally Campbell