sun 22/04/2018

Syria

Civilisations, BBC Two review - no shocks from Schama

Lord Clark –  “of Civilisation”, as he was nicknamed, not necessarily affectionately – presented the 13 episodes of the eponymous series commissioned by David Attenborough for BBC Two in 1969; it was subtitled “A Personal View”, and encompassed...

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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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Goats, Royal Court review - unfocused and muddled

The civil war in Syria spawns image after image of hell on earth. Staging the stories of that conflict presents a challenge to playwrights: how do you write about horror in a way that is both accurate and entertaining? Goats, by Syrian playwright...

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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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Strike Back, Series 6, Sky 1 review - more stories for boys

Laughable though it frequently – oh go on then, always – is, Strike Back is obviously a target-rich environment for those of a thespian persuasion. The likes of Richard Armitage, Andrew Lincoln, Robson Green and Michelle Yeoh have passed through the...

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CD: TootArd - Laisser Passer

It’s impossible to discuss TootArd without digging into the history of their region. They’re a funky desert blues outfit but they don’t derive from Saharan Africa; they were born and raised in the village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights. This...

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'I come from there': how the Royal Court brought home plays from Ukraine, Chile and Syria

The autumn season of plays at the Royal Court leads with international work. B by Guillermo Calderón (from Chile), Bad Roads by Natal'ya Vorozhbit (from Ukraine) and Goats by Liwaa Yazji (from Syria) have a long history with our international...

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Insyriated review - claustrophobic terror in a Damascus war zone

It doesn’t take long, I think, to work out the associations of the title of Insyriated: we are surely being presented with a variation of “incarceration”, one tinged by the very specific context of the conflict that has ravaged Syria for six years...

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The State, Channel 4 review - dishonest portrait of British jihadis

It’s a burning question of western civilisation: what persuades young people brought up among us to walk out on their lives and join the cult of murderous fanatics who call themselves Islamic State? If any dramatist could attempt a coherent answer...

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City of Ghosts review - chilling but inspiring report on Syria's citizen journalists

Raqqa was once a prosperous if little-known town in northern Syria. Since 2014, however, it has served as the de facto capital of ISIS’s self-styled caliphate, and as such has been physically decimated, its population subjected to increasingly...

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The Other Side of Hope review - Aki Kaurismäki at his tragicomic best

It takes real skill to make a film about a desperate Syrian refugee and a dour middle-aged Finn reinventing himself and turn it into the warmest, most life-enhancing film I’ve seen this year. But Aki Kaurismäki has form, he’s been making movies...

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Syria’s Disappeared review - 'must-watch can't-look record of Assad's atrocities'

“The following images are extremely graphic.” The words appeared in white lettering against a black background, two-thirds of the way in. For the next minute, the screen filled with photographs of naked, emaciated corpses, some with crude writing...

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