In Canada, a number of public figures have made the front pages for one reason: each has been alleged to be a ´Pretend Indian´. In other words, someone who claims distant indigenous identity but upon deeper scrutiny has been accused of stealing jobs and opportunities from real natives.
But why would someone fake an indigenous identity?
That question is the premise of The Pretendians, as we cross Canada revealing what really lies behind this explosive issue. We go on the hunt for knock-off west coast indigenous art, witness an explosion of dubious Status Indian Claims to get cheap fuel, and unpack where the claims of blood-quantum come from (that idea that one drop of Indian blood is enough to claim indigeneity). We meet people truly seeking, and asking, if they are indigenous – or not – and meets a university teacher fighting Pretendian persecution.
John Daly, an ex-neo-Nazi skinhead, fled to Israel after his own gang attempted to murder him for being Jewish. Years later he receives an e-mail from someone in his long forgotten past.
Kevin Connell, a former friend and fellow ex-neo-Nazi is on a mission to change his own life and make amends for his past. He invites John to meet him in Eastern Europe to discover first hand the effects of what they both practiced and preached.
Suffering from PTSD and a brain tumor John is reluctant at first. Is this another attempt on his life? Or is this actually a man trying to better himself and make amends for the pain he caused so many people so many years ago?
Why do we accept huge levels of inequality and social injustice? This is one of the central questions that The Price of Fairness sets out to answer, beginning with a surprising set of social experiments in Norway, which suggest that our willingness to support systems of inequality is far greater than we are often prepared to admit.
In Atlanta, we take a different look at fairness, from the perspective of a group of capuchin monkeys. Behavioural scientist Sarah Bronson’s work with the monkeys questions the idea that we have an evolutionary tendency towards selfish behaviour. Could it be that the outrage we feel towards systems of inequality have roots in our human need for cooperation?
We visit Costa Rica and Iceland to see how whole economies have been engineered to function with greater ‘fairness’, and the US where systematic racial injustices have tested many of their citizens hopes for a fairer justice system.
From the caste-biased villages of India to the race-sensitive streets of Ferguson, Missouri, this documentary explores our understanding of fairness and what it takes to change an unfair system.
Touching on issues of economic, political, racial and gender inequality, this film offers a thought-provoking and timely look at what fairness really means to us.
German and Greek nationalists have paradoxically joined forces, and grown in numbers promoting a fascist agenda while on both sides, antifascists have risen to challenge them amidst a backdrop of global recession, finger-pointing and scapegoating.
Burning from the Inside charts the rise of the Greek Nazis ‘Golden Dawn’ – the ‘monstrous’ child of the crisis – the changes they brought to Greek society after their entry to parliament, their collaboration with German Neo-Nazis in the formation of ‘Black International’, and their fall two years later with the murder of the anti-fascist Pavlos Fissas.
Through the trajectory of the party, we question the political and social structures of Greek leadership that fomented the rise of fascism and corruption, as well as the dis-function of Capitalism and Democracy in the country that gave birth to it. We also look at the role of Germany as the ‘queen of Europe’ and the extent to which she is responsible for developments in southern European countries.
While the rise of far right may seem unthinkable, dramatic scenes of racially motivated blood shed on the streets of Athens, police brutality linked to membership of far-right organisations and institutional racism in Greece tell a different story. Meanwhile, in Germany a more subtle, insidious message reaches the public with headlines blaming ‘lazy Greeks’ and other minorities within the country. Burning from the Inside is a visceral indictment of a deadly minority on the fringes of Europe that we ignore at our peril.
Fatherland is a controversial coming-of-age documentary set in the remote South African bush. It follows a group of Afrikaner boys over 9 days at a military camp in the spirit of their fathers before them.
“You’ve got these millions and millions of blacks around you. Smothering you and killing you.”
However, what starts out as basic training, fitness and camaraderie soon intensifies as the true nature of the camp is revealed and the boys are forced to question their place in the ‘New South Africa’.
“One must look at the negro not as one’s equal but as a child. A black man has the intelligence level of a 14 year old white boy.”
These camps are designed to recreate a sense of Nationalism amongst the next generation of Afrikaaners, though as their training progresses darker ideological elements emerge revealing the stark realities of their training and indoctrination.
“We have the men. We just need to plant the will in you because you’ve been brain washed by old Mandela. Be proud of your race”
The film follows three particular boys and Col. Franz Jooste -an ex-SADF soldier that fought for his country pre 1994 – and focuses on the conflicting views developed by the boys. Under the strict leadership of their camp leader, they struggle to find their identity within their own communities and within their ‘rainbow’ nation at large. The children are forced to participate in a physically and mentally grueling process that tests their values, believes and identities on every level.
“The truth is that there will definitely be a war in this country. So I’m preparing myself for a war that’s coming.”
We follow Welshman Paul Duddridge as, with the help of some of the world’s greatest writers, thinkers and professors, he pushes aside society’s taboos to find out what “race” really is. Along the way he attempts to solve the Middle East peace crisis, buys hundreds of twinkies and desperately tries to find contestants to join him for a mini-Olympics staged in Los Angeles where teams are split by race rather than nationality.
There is a serious point to the seemingly irreverent approach: if we can’t easily define race, why can it sometimes seem so easy to define racism?
Filmed on location in Los Angeles, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Ohio, and the UK – “A Film About Races” is an entertaining exploration of the common myths and misconceptions about race.