An award-winning independent documentary seriesmade of seven one-hour parts
“Powerful testimonies! This certainly deserves to be seen by a broad audience. You have done an excellent job.”
- Howard Zinn
Featuring: Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, Howard Zinn, Arno Mayer, Amy Goodman, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Scott Ritter, Susan Sarandon, September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, Nelson Mandela, Jesse Jackson, Desmond Tutu, The Nation, Ramsey Clark, Danny Glover, Angela Davis, Jessica Lange, Greg Palast, Ossie Davis, American Civil Liberties Union, Indymedia, Al Sharpton, Pete Seeger, Harry Belafonte, Democracy Now!, Veterans for Peace, United for Peace and Justice, FAIR, Pacifica Foundation, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, MediaChannel, Not in Our Name, International ANSWER and many other voices of dissent.
There are years when nothing happens and then days that change the course of History. From September 2002 to May 2003 we met with intellectuals, journalists, university professors, writers, historians, political analysts, international observers, human rights organizations, civil rights fighters, religious leaders, peace and anti war activists, asking questions to understand these years in which we are living and try to put together the many pieces of a complicated puzzle. The picture that comes alive is – to paraphrase James Baldwin – “longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it”.
2000 Presidential Elections and September 11, 2001. Afghanistan, Iraq, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. The first Gulf War and the UN sanctions against Iraq. Saddam Hussein and the inspections. The axis of evil, the coalition of the willing and collateral damages. News, media, concentrations of power and censorship. The Middle East and the old and new colonialism. The Constitution, the Bill of Rights, civil liberties and human rights. United Nations, International Criminal Court and the Old Europe. War, peace and patriotism. The anti war movement, oil, blood and the voices of dissent. Is it possible to find interconnecting links?
“XXI CENTURY”, a documentary film in seven parts, tries to give some answers but above all wants to keep asking questions. It tries to regard problems from a new angle since we agree with Albert Einstein that “the mere formulation of a problem is far more often essential than its solution”.
Read on for an overview of all seven parts...
XXI CENTURY: PART 1 of 7 – The Dawn
“XXI CENTURY” starts its journey from the presidential elections 2000. What happened in those elections? Who really won the State of Florida? How many Americans could not vote in Florida that day? Why? Who were they? Why was the Supreme Court called to decide who was the winner? Did the media do their job? Howard Zinn talks about a “political coup” and Gore Vidal refers to the 2000 Presidential Elections as “the end of the Republic”. Why?
Everybody in the world knows what September 11th, 2001 means. But how many people know what really happened that day? Who were the terrorists who attacked us? Why did they do it? How and with whose money? And how was it possible? Has there been an investigation? Why did Henry Kissinger resign from the presidential commission? The BBC and The Guardian investigative reporter Greg Palast tells us the “most censored story in America”. Gore Vidal and Arno Mayer reflect critically on this event and with extraordinary clarity of mind open new views and formulate new challenges.
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XXI CENTURY: PART 2 of 7 – … and the pursuit of Happiness
The second part of “XXI CENTURY” tells us the story of what has happened in America after September 11th, 2001. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Freedom, democracy and the First Amendment. The Patriot Act and Guantanamo. We asked these questions to American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, Center for Constitutional Rights, Amnesty International and many other civil rights fighters. Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, Howard Zinn and many others question the “official version” and the status quo.
In this part we also see and analyze the response of the people of the United States of America. Rallies and demonstrations had never before been so crowded and frequent as in this anti war movement which – to use Noam Chomsky’s words – “it’s not just opposition to war, it’s a lack of faith in the leaderships”. We go back over the fear to speak out against the Bush Administration and record the rising of the biggest anti war movement the United States has ever had. How effective has the peace movement been? What’s its future?
XXI CENTURY: PART 3 of 7 – … and nothing but the truth
Who is the very famous American journalist who went to the BBC in London to denounce that if he dared to ask serious questions he would be called unpatriotic and lynched? And who is the other very famous American journalist who said, referring to Iraq: “in a few days we are going to own that country”?
In this third part of the documentary we dare to put under trial the media complex, and particularly those news outlets which sold their soul and worked as the propaganda machine of the power. A meaningful list of concrete examples is told to us by some of the most irreverent, honest and bravest journalists and news people.
Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, Howard Zinn, Arno Mayer, Greg Palast of BBC and The Guardian, Katha Pollitt of The Nation, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, Emily Reinhard of Indymedia, Danny Schechter of MediaChannel.org and many others will enumerate examples of how the mainstream media abdicated its public role as watchdog of the power.
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XXI CENTURY: PART 4 of 7 – War, Peace and Patriotism
David Cline, a Vietnam war veteran and president of Veterans for Peace, remembers his personal story and gives us an idea of what a war looks like. We get to know the notorious “chicken-hawks” and how they succeeded to avoid going to war. The historian Michael Foley helps us to go back to the Vietnam War period and other veterans tell us about their coming back. The artist Dread Scott recalls his work “What’s the proper way to display the US flag” and with him we start to talk about patriotism.
We asked Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch about the military spending and the new weapons. The Nobel Peace Prize Nelson Mandela reflects on the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs while a Hiroshima survivor, remembers that tragic event.
With the help of Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn we go back to the anti war movement. Angela Davis, Susan Sarandon, Desmond Tutu, Jessica Lange, Tim Robbins, Ossie Davis, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Patti Smith...
“God bless America”, Bush says. “God bless the world”, they reply.
XXI CENTURY: PART 5 of 7 – Civilization
Zainab Baharani is an Art Historian at Columbia University who was born in Baghdad. With her we retrace the famous civilizations of the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians. She also describes in detail the damages to the Iraqi architectural and artistic heritage due to the first Gulf war, the sanctions imposed by the United Nations and the bombings of this war.
World War I, the collapsing of the Ottoman Empire and the partition of the Middle East. Saddam Hussein and the Baath Party. The close ties between the Reagan and Bush Administrations with Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war. The use of gas against the Iranians and the Kurds. The weapons of mass destruction and the money behind them. Finally the invasion of Kuwait, the first Gulf war, the UN sanctions against Iraq and their effects on the civilian population.
All of this and much more are discussed by historians, international law scholars, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark and many others.
XXI CENTURY: PART 6 of 7 – Blood and Oil
While the war against Iraq was approaching, many international organizations were working to foresee the effects of a new conflict on the civilian population and the Iraqi economy. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War tell us about the possible scenario of this recent war. What was the price? And who paid it?
UN and the International Criminal Court. Weapons of mass destruction and the inspections. Oil, US military bases in the Middle East and the doubts of part of the American Establishment.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, historians, free thinkers and the former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter tell us “the other version” and help us to question and deconstruct the lies which we have too often been told.
Gore Vidal, Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn share their critiques and propose their point of views. Finally the historian Arno J. Mayer opens new horizons and talks about a missing link.
XXI CENTURY: PART 7 of 7 – Pax Americana
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the connections between the Bush Administration and the Sharon Government; the geopolitical scenario after the war in Afghanistan and Iraq are discussed by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, historians and international scholars. The Israeli filmmaker Udi Aloni will add his passionate point of view.
We also take a look at who’s who in the Bush Administration and beyond and propose an interesting point of view on the “Old Europe business.”
Noam Chomsky recalls the 80s and reminds us that in Washington now there are the same people. Howard Zinn, Gore Vidal, Noam Chomsky, and Arno Mayer will try to see and foresee the century that has just – and so tragically – started. The XXI Century has begun.
See the trailers : http://thecatsdream.com/productions/xxi/gallery.php