Last night I had the chance to see John Pilger’s last movie at Ritzy Picturehouse in Brixton, followed by a Q & A with the director. John Pilger‘ s investigations have been focused on issues such as deportation as seen in Stealing a Nation , the U.S interventions in Latin America as described in The War on Democracy and the media role during the war on terrorism (The War you don’t see). In his last movie, Utopia the awarded journalist heads back to his homeland, Australia in order to take us in a stunning and dramatic journey into the conditions of one of the the Aborigines, the first Australians, a journey started for him 28 years ago.
Utopia is a region located in Northern Australia, homeland of the most ancient human civilization, but it is also the poorest area of the country where Aborigines are forced to live in inhuman conditions, absolutely unchanged from the previous documentaries by the awarded journalist realized in the last decades.
There is an impressive difference from the wealth shown in Sidney and Canberra to the harsh life in the Northern territories. This journey leads us in an awful history of racism, oppression, tortures, military occupation driven by John Howard’s government in 2007 brutality and stolen generations . The interest of the mining industry in the vast natural resources in the Northern territories is a fundamental part of the investigation.
The country where we are travelling recalls a lot Apartheid’s South Africa with an important difference: there is no international condemnation or interest at all towards the life conditions of Australian indigenous people.
In the movie we can also find journalists, activists and intellectuals able to stand for the rights of Aborigines, giving some hope to a future process of change in the country.
When we think about Australia the idea that comes to our minds is the one of a Paradise, that does not know the crisis spread in most of the Western World and is plenty of perspectives to offer….unless you are a native Australian. Utopia is striking, strong and powerful, a call for justice and human rights’ respect, a movie that must be seen.
You can watch Utopia’s trailer from John Pilger’s official site.