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Utopia - John Pilger [DVD]

4.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: John Pilger
  • Directors: John Pilger, Alan Lowery
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Dec. 2013
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,895 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Following his hard-hitting documentary The War You Don't See, John Pilger's new film is a rare and powerful insight into a secret Australia and breaks what amounts to a national silence about the indigenous first people - the oldest, most enduring presence on Earth. An epic film in its production, scope and revelations, Utopia reveals that apartheid is deep within Australia's past and present and that Aboriginal people are still living in abject poverty and Third World conditions, with a low life expectancy and disproportionately high rate of deaths in police custody.

Starting his career as a journalist in his native Australia before moving to London, John Pilger has been the recipient of multiple awards, including Britain's highest award for journalism, twice, and television academy awards in both the UK and the United States. He has been a foreign correspondent and frontline war reporter, and is a regular contributor to international media, including the ITV Network, the Guardian and the New Statesman. An incisive and rare critic of Western economic and military power, Pilger's humane eyewitness reporting has been described as a unique presence on British television that explores where others dare not go.

[] More than four hours of additional interviews recorded during the filming of Utopia
[] Booklet by Pilger biographer Anthony Hayward
[] Original theatrical trailer

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: DVD
Australia has always had a sunny image and a positive,extrovert quality of benevolence,however something has been missing in its presentation of itself in its history and even politics.It has sent forth its sons and daughters to England and USA like Clive James,Germaine Greer,Robert Hughes and John Pilger.Pilger has been a polemical journalist and documenter of great conviction.Like Greer he has denounced Australia's treatment of its indigenous countrymen,sweeping its problems under the carpet to promote a 'city of white'(Canberra),built on colonial attitudes.There was no mention of Aborigines,the first Australians. Pilger has been here before 28 years before, seeing no changes,and even in 1966 in Jay Creek when he covered the `stolen generation' linked to fascist eugenics, 'breeding out the black',many to become domestic servants in middleclass homes,a form of slavery.

Pilger's tone is one of controlled anger,yet he tries to argue the case with calm reasonableness.He makes a searing indictment of the `apartheid' and `genocide' the early colonial settlers and future generations came to practice,the utopian fantasy of white Australia and the dystopia on which it is built.He visits Botany Bay,once home to the Aborigines,now a hotel that charges $30,000 a week to stay there.He visits spa hotels that once served as concentration camps, pausing en route to harangue sheepish- looking politicians and asking random revellers if they understand why their predecessors don't celebrate Australia Day.They blame the Aborigines for the conditions they live in as if they want to live like that,their drunkenness,their self-neglect.They are denied basic rights,classed as uncivilized,their humanity denigrated (cf.'the history wars'of the 1990s).
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Format: DVD
The film 'Australia' contained movie stars, had a well known director and attempted to tell a soaring tale of hardship, struggle and eventual thrilling victory against the odds. It was a flop. Was it partly a flop because the world suspected something more like the story of 'Utopia' needed to be told? I am Australian. Like Pilger, I have been living outside of Australia. There comes a time when one has escaped enough from the mess of influence that is local marketing, media and culture and can begin to reflect on the place one has come from. This time has now come for me. The two issues I am reflecting on are alcohol driven violence among youth and the genocide of Australian Aboriginals. It's therefore excellent timing that this film should come out now.

It's also a pity, and a poignant one, that the film is not getting a run in mainstream cinemas there. It's therefore likely to be viewed by a crowd already convinced of the issues and well versed in them. This is a pity because the message is easily processed, it does not require expert knowledge to comprehend, and it refers to recent events with which all Australians are familiar such as the Northern Territory Emergency Response of 2007. It also contains interviews with an impressive caste of politicians, who, with the exception of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, conduct themselves appallingly.

Call me an academic, but the only thing missing from this film is a list of references. I know it's not an academic offering so it's unfair to make such a request - that's why it's still got 5 stars from me - but it would be good to have a reference list for all of the facts cited in the film. I think this is important from the perspective of this film being a tool for change in Australian society. The film is less than 2 hours.
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There are some excellent and impassioned reviews here, which give very good overviews of this very important DVD, and for what it is worth, I wanted to add my thoughts in this brief summation. It is fact that Australia is one of the richest countries in the world, its mineral wealth the envy of many a nation. What is not so widely known is the horrendous treatment of the Australia's indigenous peoples through the almost `codified manner' by which successive governments, of that country, have tried to destroy the indigenous people their culture and their way of life. This is not the first time John Pilger has raised the horrific nature of what amounts to a managed genocide of a people. He has reported on this tragedy since the early 1980s. While certain policies and practices may not be as overt as those applied in the early 1960s, none the less the process continues. The 1998 legislation that removed the common-law rights of indigenous peoples is one such example. There is a very clear lack of interest of why indigenous peoples routinely die in police custody. Why they are over represented in the prison population in the first place? However, what really left me cold was the way people in general behaved when Pilger asked white Australian's on "Australia Day" for their comments on the plight of the indigenous peoples - in one a family hurriedly walks away in huff, while an elderly lady makes the following observation;

"That's what they (the Aboriginal people) want... that's how they like to live"

Therefore, is it surprising that Australia has the distinction of being the only developed country, whose government, has been condemned as racist by the United Nations.
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