Author Archives: Miriam

Too Beautiful

The celebrated Brazilian photojournalist Sebastiao Salgado documents the lives of the poor, the marginalized and the dispossessed. In doing so he delineates a world that is rendered largely invisible in our media and brings it into art galleries across the globe. His photographs are formally brilliant and for this he has been roundly criticised.

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Bitter Lake: a review

A young British woman lectures a room of Afghan students. ‘Does anyone know what this is?’ she asks, pointing to a photo of a urinal. ‘An artist called Marcel Duchamps, who is very important in Western art, put this toilet in an art gallery about 100 years ago. It was a huge revolution.’  This is […]

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Timbuktu: review

From the nebulous Al Qaeda to the rampaging mobs who call themselves Daesh, Islamist fighters are portrayed in our media as an almost metaphysical threat: barbaric, ‘medieval’, an enemy that defies comprehension, they are the personification of the Terror that ‘we’, the civilized, are told we must fight. The beautiful and troubling film ‘Timbuktu’, set […]

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Amy: a review

In 2012, a year after her death, Asif Kapadia was approached to make a ‘warts and all’ documentary about Amy Winehouse. The commission came from the label that owns the artist’s back catalogue – Universal Music UK – whose CEO is an executive producer on the film. ‘Amy’ is now out on general release and […]

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Saccharine Sweet Francaise

Red lipstick and suspenders upstage Nazi atrocities again, as the National Front come second in French election. Now I like a floral frock and a well-pressed Nazi uniform (on screen, you understand) as much as the next gal, but I do find the nostalgic framing of WWII in the movies a little troubling – and ‘Suite […]

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Icy innocence: Review

This tale of aspiring writer Viktor, the emperor penguin he has rescued from Kiev zoo and the murderous intrigue in which they find themselves embroiled, is related with the guilelessness of a story for very young children. The black humour and understated, deadpan style place the novel firmly in the absurdist, satirical tradition of other […]

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Not Waving but Drowning

Last September a ship left a small Mediterranean port with 500 people on board. Each had paid $2,000 for the trip. Later that day the ship sunk. Amongst the passengers was a 19 year old girl and her fiancé. This is her story: ‘My fiancé let go of my hand. We had to let go […]

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Invitation to a beheading: the day I filmed an execution

Yesterday the demented nutcases who call themselves ISIS killed Alan Henning, a taxi driver from Salford who fell into their clutches while taking aid to Syria. ‘The brutal murder… . . . shows just how barbaric these terrorists are,’ tweeted the UK prime minister. It’s hard to disagree with him. This ‘theatre of cruelty’, the […]

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The Dawkins Delusion

9/6/2014 Like some wicked ogre intent on ruining bed time for the worlds’ children, Richard Dawkins, author of ‘The God Delusion’, caused a bit of a hoo-ha last week when he queried the wisdom of reading fairy tales to the young: “I think it’s rather pernicious to inculcate into a child a view of the […]

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Pretty in Pink or Shameless in Seattle?

4/2/2014 Last Friday an Italian court re-instated the conviction of American Amanda Knox and Italian Raffaele Sollecito for the savage killing of British student Meredit…h Kercher in 2007. In the British tabloids Amanda Knox, a sexually active twenty year old who smoked marijuana, has been painted as a drug-crazed, cold-hearted nymphomaniac. David Marriot, the PR […]

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