I finally got around to watching Martin Scorsese's The Departed the other day, an excellent film that raises some interesting questions about the role of informers in modern policing.
In some ways The Departed resembles a Cold War spy thriller as much as a gangster flick. It points up the fact that every informer is potentially a double agent, capable of manipulating those he is supposed to be giving information to as much as those he is informing on.
The PSNI was one of the seven forces which refused the BBC's request, and the recent history of Northern Ireland provides perhaps the best illustration of the range of issues that can arise from the use of informers.
The Independent reports that Miramax has bought the film rights to The Wonga Coup, Adam Roberts' book about mercenary Simon Mann's failed attempt to take over Equatorial Guinea in 2004.
There is as yet no production schedule, but any movie would tap into
Hollywood's current appetite for Africa, which has spawned The Constant
Gardener, The Blood Diamond and The Last King of Scotland (about Idi
Amin's murderous regime in Uganda).
"We're optimistic Miramax will actually make it," Roberts tells me.
"Nic Cage would be good as Mann - he's ageing, but has a very hard
edge." (The Independent)
What drives a young Irishwoman to volunteer as a 'peace activist' in the Middle East? Caiomhe Butterly is one of a growing number of volunteers who risk their own safety to intervene in the long-running and bloody conflict between Israel and Palestine. "An astonishing piece of work... a wonderful film" (John Pilger).
+ discussion with Katie Barlow and Caiomhe Butterly (tbc)
Saturday 6th May at 1.30pm
Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland Road, Dalston, London E8.
There are a couple of new London screenings coming up for Visit Palestine, the film about Irish human rights activist Caoimhe Butterly which I mentioned in a post back in January. They are at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith on April 5 and the Curzon in Soho on April 9. The latter includes a Q & A session for which I've pasted the details below:
CURZON SOHO SUN 9 APRIL 2.15PM
VISIT PALESTINEFOLLOWED BY A Q&A WITH KATIE BARLOW AND CAOIMHE BUTTERLY (15)
Tickets £6.50 / £5.50 concessions/members
Director Katie Barlow will take questions from the audience after the screening of her moving wake-up call VISIT PALESTINE.
Director: Katie Barlow. UK 2005. 78 minutes.
What drives a young, well-educated Irishwoman to volunteer as a ‘peace activist’ in the Middle East? Caiomhe Butterly is one of a growing number of volunteers who risk their own safety to intervene in the long-running and bloody conflict between Israel and Palestine. This film offers an insight into a brave, honest, determined yet self-critical woman who takes direct action to the limit, with no quest for glory. She also serves as a conduit into the everyday lives of Palestinians, who are also usually presented to the viewer in a one-dimensional way, as fighters or victims, heroes or fanatics.
"An astonishing piece of work, a wonderful film…quite unlike anything I’ve seen." John Pilger.
The Tricycle Cinema provides a rare opportunity next week for British audiences to see Visit Palestine, a documentary following the experiences of Irish human rights activist Caoimhe Butterly. Tom Griffin reports.