Regardless of whether Obama or McCain won last year’s US presidential elections, today’s event would have taken place either way. Today, Iraq is celebrating “National Sovereignty Day.” The date for today’s US combat troop withdrawal from all Iraqi cities, towns and villages was agreed upon by the Bush administration and the Iraqi government headed by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who was overly eager to see US combat troops leave (and take credit for it).
“Everyone dies, but not every death has the same meaning.” (Ulrike Meinhof)
It is June. Thousands of students gather on the streets, venting their anger at the Iranian leadership which they consider to be corrupt and dictatorial. Suddenly, shots tear through the air. A young protester taking part in a political demonstration for the very first time, covered in blood, draws some last breath on an empty side road.
That protester is not Neda Agha-Soltan, but Benno Ohnesorg. And we are not talking about June 2009 on the streets of Teheran, but rather of June 1967 on the streets of then West Berlin. And well, the corrupt and dictatorial Iranian leadership is not (yet) to be confused with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, it is still Persian with Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi ruling from the “Peacock Throne.”
In early May London’s Barbican Centre showed its audience the lost and re-discovered propaganda films of the Marshall Plan.
Produced between 1948 and 1953 these films taught the wider Western European public about democratic values and free trade market principles.
The Barbican screening was made possible through the Selling Democracy Project, curated by Sandra Schulberg and Ed Carter.
For all propaganda film nostalgics out there: Some of the films shown at the Barbican’s are also viewable online, via the Film Archive of the German Historical Museum. All available material comes with valuable English descriptions.
And yet another “vraie trouvaille”, free of charge: The German Newsreel Archives.
The archives are in the process of being set up, but so far 6044 items can be called up.
Screenshot: German Historical Museum Film Archive.