Sunday, September 26, 2004

Australia : PM's Fahrenheit 9/11 moment has arrived

They are calling it this country's answer to Fahrenheit 9/11.

A rapidly compiled feature film about the Howard years opens in cinemas, universities, community centres, hotels and even private homes this week.

Time To Go John is a compilation of shorts on such issues as the war in Iraq, detention centres, the GST, anti-terrorism laws and reconciliation.

They are linked by commentary in the style of a Big Brother eviction by the comedian Rod Quantock.

One of the film's producers, Keren Flavell, said Time To Go John grew out of discussions about the lack of a Fahrenheit 9/11-style film on the Howard Government and has been produced without a budget in just seven weeks.

Seeing it as part of a wave of films that also includes The Corporation and Control Room, Flavell said it would be aimed especially at marginal seats.

"It's a call to action," she said. "We thought we'd make a film that captures the essence of disgruntlement and the way we're fed up living in a country that has compromised so many values."

The documentary maker Anna Broinowski, best known for Helen's War, has contributed a short drama about a woman in a burqa travelling to the Sydney Opera House. It was made "in a fit of rage" after the Reverend Fred Nile's call for Muslim women to be banned from wearing traditional robes in public places in late 2002.

Broinowski is helping to organise the Sydney premiere, at the Chauvel cinema on Wednesday, but is not planning to invite Mark Latham.

"There is no alliance with the Greens, the Democrats or the Labor Party - no direct alliance," she said. "However, everyone is unified in the desire to expose the fallacies and lies of the Howard Government."

Screenings are also scheduled for the University of Sydney, University of NSW, community centres in Glebe and Manly, Bankstown and Parramatta and other venues around the state.
Adopting a strategy that helped spread interest in the Fox News documentary Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism in the United States, there will also be grassroots screenings in private homes.


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