ITV News Channel to show season of Pilger films

ITV News Channel is showing a season of documentaries by awardwinning journalist John Pilger, starting on 11 July.

Beginning at 9pm, the nine films by the campaigning journalist and filmmaker will include the two that he made on Iraq, beginning with Paying the Price – Killing the Children of Iraq, which was originally shown on British television on 6 March 2000.

Written and presented by Pilger, who has made more than 50 documentaries, and produced and directed by Alan Lowery, the film looked at “the hidden human cost” of the Anglo/American-led embargo imposed on Iraq, which Unicef said was responsible for the deaths of half a million young children.

His last film, Breaking The Silence: Truth and Lies in the War on Terror, will end the series on 28 August, followed by a 30-minute phone-in.

In the film aired last year, Pilger investigates the discrepancies between US and British claims for the “war on terror” and the facts on the ground in Afghanistan and Washington with harrowing footage from both conflicts.

Inside Burma is an undercover exposé of Burma’s reliance on child labour and includes a secret interview with democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Other films in the series include Palestine Is Still The Issue, a follow-up to a film Pilger made 25 years earlier; Apartheid Did Not Die, where he returns to South Africa 30 years after he was banned for his reports on apartheid; Japan Behind the Mask; the two Vietnam documentaries, The Quiet Mutiny and Vietnam – The Last Battle; and Welcome to Australia in which Pilger juxtaposes the elaborate preparations in his native country for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney with a hidden world where Aborigines continue to live in Third World conditions.

“In survey after survey, when people are asked what they want more of on television, they say documentaries,” Pilger said.

“The reason is quite simple.

Documentaries, at their most incisive, look behind the news and strip away the facades of “official truth” and make sense of events. In other words, they try to tell the real truth.”

By Wale Azeez

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