Film Festival

Watching a Chomsky documentary in Germany

I had had a great deal of difficulty finding a plane flight to Berlin. The mystery was solved when I arrived and discovered that I had randomly and unknowingly chosen to be there during the Berlin International Film Festival.

It was too good an opportunity to miss, especially as the films were being shown in their original languages, with German subtitles. The general practice in Germany is to dub over in German, which would have made going to the cinema a fairly pointless exercise for me.

Hidden away in one of the guides I found a Canadian film called Manufacturing Consent by Peter Wintonick and Mark Achbar. Subtitled Noam Chomsky and the Media, it is a documentary film about Chomsky’s political activism.

The film has (according to the blurb) won eight international awards, and in my opinion it deserves them all. It’s long, but I actually almost resented the five minute break after the first ninety minutes.

Chomsky was supposed to be in Berlin for the festival, to attend a discussion after the film. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it; according to the organizers, he had a very bad cold and didn’t feel fit to travel.