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DVDs for smart, creative thinkers

Dir: Robert Connolly

BaliboIn 1975, five Australian-based journalists went missing after the invasion of East Timor by Indonesia. Four weeks later, veteran foreign correspondent Roger East travels to the town of Balibo to investigate. What happened to the men – including East – has been the subject of much debate and controversy. Balibo claims to tell the true story but the film has been criticised by some – notably journalist John Pilger – for perpetuating the cover-up of the role played by western governments in the invasion of East Timor and the Australian government's part in the murder of its own journalists. Recommended viewing.







Dir: Sean Mathias
Dist: Love Films

BentMartin Sherman has faithfully adapted his award-winning 1970 stage play into a film, starring Clive Owen as Max, a young Jewish gay man who ends up in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. He strikes up a friendship with Horst, who wears a pink triangle – the lowest symbol – and the pair make love under the watchful eye of the guards without touching. Cameo appearances from Ian McKellen, who played Max in the original stage play, and Mick Jagger as a Berlin drag queen are a nice touch to this otherwise relentlessly violent film, which serves as a powerful reminder of the atrocities humans are capable of. A gay classic.





Beautiful Losers
Dir: Aaron Rose
Dist: Madman

Beautiful_LosersIn the 1990s, a loose-knit group of American artists and creators, many just out of their teens, began their careers. Influenced by the popular underground youth subcultures of the day, such as skateboarding, graffiti, street fashion and independent music, artists like Shepard Fairey, Mark Gonzales, Spike Jonze, Margaret Kilgallen, Mike Mills, Barry McGee, Phil Frost, Chris Johanson, Harmony Korine, and Ed Templeton began to create art that reflected the lifestyles they led. Many had no formal training and almost no conception of the inner workings of the art world, learning their craft through practice, trial and error, and good old-fashioned innovation. Not since the Beat Generation have we seen a group of creative individuals with such a unified aesthetic sense and varied cultural facets. The world of art has been greatly affected by their accomplishments as have the worlds of fashion, music, literature, film, politics and, ironically, athletics. Over the years, the group has matured, and many have become more establishment-oriented; but no matter, their independent spirit has remained steadfast.




Do you know of an inspiring or political or feminist or quirky DVD that encourage social justice or change? We are keen to promote DVDs from across the world, particularly non-fiction documentaries. If you're a documentary film-maker or have suggestions for any recent (within a year) DVDs that fit the bill, please email Katrina Fox at: editor [at] thescavenger [dotnet]. suggestions.



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