Drowned Out examines the massively controversial Narmada Dam and its relatives in India, an enormous and expensive project originally conceived to bring water to drought-ridden areas. According to critics (and director Franny Armstrong), this isn't quite the case: Not only are dry areas not getting water, thousands of families are being displaced because of the dam. The government has little land to give, so it offers meager amounts of cash to those affected: Most spend it immediately and move to the disease-infested slums of the cities. Meanwhile, a few brave souls choose to stay and tough it out, moving to higher ground if they can, resigning themselves to die if they must. (The government won't allow that either, though: People are beaten until they move.)
Continue reading: Drowned Out Review
In England, there's a law that gives corporations wide-ranging authority over what can and can't be said about them. It's trivially easy to threaten a libel suit -- which is exactly what happened to Dave Morris and Helen Steel, who were handing out anti-McD's leaflets in 1990. Accusing the company of being unhealthy, unfair to workers, cruel to animals, and other atrocities, Morris and Steel were expected to quickly apologize and promise to cease and desist -- as countless media empires had before them. Not quite. The duo went to court, creating a PR nightmare for Mickey D's.
Continue reading: McLibel Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.