wed 13/12/2017

Afghanistan

The Prince of Nothingwood review - come for the man, stay for the country

In the most unlikely of places, there is one of the world’s most prolific directors. He has produced over 110 films, he’s mobbed wherever he goes, and he inspired people through the darkest of civil wars; yet outside of Afghanistan, no-one knows the...

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Human Flow review - two hours of human misery

Soaring over an expanse of blue sea, a white bird traverses the screen diagonally. Gliding unhindered through the air, it is the embodiment of freedom; by contrast, the movement of people down below is constrained by border crossings and passport...

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Age of Terror: Art Since 9/11, Imperial War Museum review - affecting but incoherent

The Imperial War Museum’s Age of Terror: Art since 9/11 brings together art made in response to the immediate events and long-term consequences of the events of 11 September. In the main the exhibition is more historical survey of conflict-related...

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War Child, Channel 4

In the mindset of Nigel Farage and his biddable followers, the route from Asia into Europe throngs with undesirables. Their threatening faces can be plastered on a vote-winning poster. In this calamitous failure of empathy, young men – hordes of...

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The Kite Runner, Wyndhams Theatre

Khaled Hosseini's 2003 bestseller ticks all the boxes as an A-level text. A personal story with epic sweep, it interweaves the bloody recent history of Afghanistan with a gripping family saga. Its treatment of racism and radicalism is timely. Other...

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Paranoid, ITV

They keep on coming, these crime dramas, from every direction. The Viking invasion continues, the co-productions with France, the ongoing American global takeover. Meanwhile back in Blighty, Red Productions have been a reliable source of quality...

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DVD: A War

The premise driving A War – lead character Claus Pedersen’s war – is the decision he makes as Company Commander while leading an army patrol in Afghanistan: whether or not to say he and his Danish unit are under attack from a specific house in a...

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The Silk Road, BBC Four

Terracotta warriors, Bactrian two-humped camels, Heavenly Horses, Buddhist caves, sand dunes, the world’s first printed book, a silk factory and temples galore including one that was the great mosque in Xi’an, were but some of the ingredients in a...

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CD: PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition Project

PJ Harvey's ninth album is one with a message. I know this because it marks the first time that my pre-release copy of an album has come with a lyric booklet, despite the fact that it is perhaps the least oblique thing that the Dorset-born...

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Pink Mist, Bush Theatre

The war in Afghanistan has not exactly been neglected by contemporary British theatre, and the plight of returned soldiers is a standard trope of new writing. These distant wars function in our culture like worse-case scenarios, an excoriating...

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A War

Tobias Lindholm is something of a specialist in exploring the fate of enclosed groups under stress, charting how the dynamics of behaviour between men develop in crisis. I say men, though the Danish director’s name may still be better known in some...

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Best of 2015: Art

From weaselly shyster to spineless drip, the biographies of Goya’s subjects are often superfluous: exactly what he thought of each of his subjects is jaw-droppingly evident in each and every portrait he painted. Quite how Goya got away with it is a...

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