Valencia, July 2006. One of the worse subway disasters in history occurs when a train derails, killing 43. While relatives mourn the victims, attention turns to the arrival of the Pope five days later, a PR agency is hired to sweep the incident under the carpet and within a month the case is closed.
Faced with a media blackout and a wall-of-silence from the government, a small group of families of the victims led by Beatriz Garrote begin what at first appears to be a hopeless cause – to find the truth about what happened that fateful day and seek justice for those who died.
The Strategy of Silence chronicles their 9 year struggle, and along the way exposes government corruption, mass safety breaches, a cynical culture of cover-ups and both a media and judiciary in thrall to government officials.
From nothing the protests grow until they can no longer be ignored, Beatriz’s band of bereaved campaigners first take over their local television station and finally reach the European Parliament. They are granted an independent investigation vindicating their entire struggle and finally leading to the downfall of the leading PP party.
The Strategy of Silence is an inspiring under-dog story, that showcases government capacity for deception and abuse, but also the power that we as citizens can – with courage and tenacity – take back.
The Strategy of Silence from Sideways Film on Vimeo.
Code of Silence follows the parallel journeys of a fervently Orthodox Jewish father and his now-secular son, after the son Manny breaks the code of silence in Melbourne’s Orthodox community and goes public with his story of being sexually abused as a school student.
Manny Waks claims he was abused by an Orthodox Jewish security guard, who also taught boys karate, at the Yeshivah Centre in Melbourne. Now Manny is demanding his abuser be brought to justice, and the rabbis and Chabad leaders who tried to cover it up, are brought to account.
His father Zephaniah joins forces with his son, but soon finds he has been virtually excommunicated for breaking an ancient Jewish law forbidding Jews from informing secular authorities about other Jews.
We see how father and son split this tightly-knit, powerful Jewish community as we open the door into their insular world of study and duty, charity and faith, power and piety.
Will Manny get justice in court? Will the rabbis be held to account? And, what price will the father and son pay for blowing the whistle?
Code of Silence from Sideways Film on Vimeo.
Breaking the Silence follows the journey of Manny Waks who was, until recently, the only survivor of child sexual abuse within Melbourne’s Orthodox Jewish community to speak publicly.
This is the dramatic follow up to the Walkley Award winning Code of Silence.
Breaking the Silence begins with Manny Waks as he gives evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, during which two ultra-Orthodox Jewish institutions are accused of covering-up and protecting perpetrators in the 1980s and 90s.
Over two explosive weeks inside Melbourne’s County Court, viewers will witness, for the first time, those rabbis and officials accused of the cover-ups take the stand and be grilled. For the first time, it is also revealed that Manny was not the only member of the family who was abused; Manny’s father Zephaniah Waks reveals two other sons were abused by a Yeshivah Centre teacher, David Kramer in the 1990’s. He had tried to have the abuse handled by community leaders but was subject to an ancient code of silence that forbids Jews from speaking about the allegations involving other Jews, to the police.
The result was that Zephaniah and his wife were virtually excommunicated and feeling isolated, they decided to relocate to Israel. Now his other son Yanky agrees to speak on camera for the first time.
After the hearings, Manny travels to the United States to confront one of the two men who he claims abused him. The film’s climax follows Manny to Los Angeles, where he meets a convicted pedophile who was given a suspended sentence for abusing AVB in Sydney in the 1980s. It’s a powerful moment between victim and abuser that delivers an unexpected conclusion.
Will Manny’s confrontation with the man he claims abused him give him peace of mind? And will his meeting with the convicted pedophile give him a crucial sense of resolution?
Breaking the Silence from Sideways Film on Vimeo.
Burzynski: The Cancer Cure Cover-up is the story of a pioneering biochemist who discovered a unique and proprietary method of successfully treating most cancers. This documentary takes the audience on a near 50-year journey both Dr. Burzynski and his patients have been enduring in order to obtain FDA-approved clinical trials of Antineoplastons. Defying the face of skepticism, legal attacks from state and federal agencies, and a powerful propaganda campaign to stop Burzynski – this doctor and his patients are still going strong.
Due to the continued failed efforts of state and federal agencies in their attempts to stop Burzynski from continuing to treat patients and expand his research, special interest groups have since launched a relentless propaganda campaign against Dr. Burzynski, and his supporters and patients, in hopes that this game-changing innovation never reach the open market.
The primary reason that the cancer industry and its regulatory agencies fear the approval of Antineoplastons is purely economical.
If Antineoplastons were FDA-approved for just one cancer type this would mean that anyone of any age diagnosed with any type of cancer could legally insist their oncologist provide them with Antineoplastons “off-label”. Given the gentle and nontoxic nature of these medications, most people would begin to opt for Antineoplastons as a first line of defense against their cancer instead of first choosing life-threatening yet profitable chemotherapy and radiation.
Burzynski: The Cancer Cure Cover-up investigates this hidden cancer treatment and the decades of failed lawsuits the US government and FDA have pursued in order to try to silence him.
Closed Sea reveals the untold story of the endangered migrants who attempted to escape Libya to Italy during the 2011 war, only to be returned to the hands of Gaddafi as a result of a prior agreement signed between Berlusconi and Gaddafi.
During a perilous journey by boat from Libya to Italy, our protagonists become adrift, facing near certain death on the waves. A sighting, and subsequent rescue, by the Italian Navy cause scenes of unbridled joy and celebration – all captured by the stranded refuges on camera-phone.
Their joy though was to be short lived as it soon became clear that their rescuers had other plans.
Closed Sea meets the refugees who were forced back into the hands of the dictator, and witnesses the abuses faced by those who dared to attempt an escape. Families are divided and in limbo as Gaddafi’s regime crumbles and the revolution gains pace, though it is the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg that truly determine the final fate of our protagonists.
From their battered vessels and failed rescue to their subsequent imprisonment, tenure at a refugee camp and onward to the distant European Court of Human Rights. Closed Sea captures the dramatic stories of those whose lives were torn apart and forgotten, not just by Gaddafi, but his allies in Europe who claim to stand for freedom and human dignity.