“The Wave”, directed by Dennis Gansel

Movie, 2008 A largely powerful, provocative film looking at an experiment in a political science class that mushrooms and takes on a life of its own. While this is a bold idea – particularly as a German film reflecting on dictatorship – and while the film is based, in part, on an experiment which took place in a Californian school, the film loses a little … Continue reading “The Wave”, directed by Dennis Gansel

“The Baader Meinhof Complex”, directed by Uli Edel

Movie, 2008 A good looking, gritty film charting the rise and fall of the Baader Meinhof gang’s main protagonists. The core of the film is engaging, with great detail and performances, though round the edges, there’s a hint of confusion. The film’s focus wavers a little between character studies and interplay, socio-political history and the narrative stretches, particularly when it comes to the rush through … Continue reading “The Baader Meinhof Complex”, directed by Uli Edel

"It Can’t Happen Here," by Sinclair Lewis

Novel, 1935 A novel which is quite shocking and almost demands being read, not through intrinsic merit, but through the astounding reminder of how far and – since Trump – how very little we’ve from the Fascist blighted 1930s. The resistible rise rise of Buzz Windrip is incredible, both for the obvious and sometimes seeming too obvious parallels with the then contemporaneous goings on in … Continue reading "It Can’t Happen Here," by Sinclair Lewis

"Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class", by Owen Jones

Non-fiction, 2011 Compelling account which does what the title suggests, setting out how the working class has been set apart and savaged by contemporary power bases. Jones makes his arguments clearly and backs them up, then repeats them before going back again and doing it all over again. The book flags as a result – this feels like a tight documentary spun into a mini-series. … Continue reading "Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class", by Owen Jones