Thu, 10 May 2007

Taking liberties

Taking liberties is a documentary to be released in the UK on June 8th. Through stories of people from all walks of life intermingled with soundbites from Blair and his government, this movie tackles what's happening in the UK to the right to protest, the right to freedom of speech, the right to privacy, the right not to be detained without charge, to be innocent until proven guilty and to the prohibition of torture.

Just ten hours after having finished the production and with very little sleep, Chris Atkins, the film director, did a preview screening and Q&A at Amnesty International. The film was very well received but then most attending were already sensitive to the issues presented, if not activists.

‘This story is not told by celebrities or politicians, but by ordinary people whose lives have been turned upside down by injustice. What is probably most fascinating is to see how these people – whether they have been arrested for a peaceful protest or tortured in Guantanamo Bay – have reacted to their injustices in startling and uplifting ways.’ - Chris Atkins

This rich mix of stories means, that when the documentary is released to a wider audience, there's a chance for everyone to identify with one of the characters; this is the path to realisation that these liberties can be taken away from you. This is not the story of some remote dictatorship, this is happening to many here in the UK. The film includes footage rarely seen before (such as how the Police literally pushed the door on one the Fairford coaches to prevent the passengers to get out of the coach) making these episodes all the more immediate. And the animations are fantastic.

For now watch the trailer, on June 8th go see the full movie. I found it very effective, sometimes moving and with a few funny moments.

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