John Pilger – The Power of Documentary – Selected life works at the British Library

9 November 2017 — John PilgerThe British Library

John Pilger’s films have been credited with drawing public attention to human rights crises, the impacts of wars and abuses of power by governments and corporations.

John will be speaking on both days. Due to demand, tickets are now bookable for single or half days or for the whole weekend:

The Power of Documentary – Buy Tickets

Saturday 9 December

The Quiet Mutiny (John Pilger, Charles Denton, 1970, 27 mins)

From his first documentary, John Pilger made waves. This film for World in Action broke the sensational story of American troop revolts, particularly those conscripts of the anti-war generation. It was among the most important ever reports from the Vietnam War.

Stealing a Nation (John Pilger and Chris Martin, 54 mins)

Stealing A Nation (2004) is an extraordinary film about the plight of the Chagos Islands, whose indigenous population was secretly and brutally expelled by British Governments in the late 1960s and early 1970s to make way for an American military base. The tragedy, which falls within the remit of the International Criminal Court as ‘a crime against humanity’, is told by Islanders who were dumped in the slums of Mauritius and by British officials who left behind a damning trail of Foreign Office documents.

Talk: The Power of the Documentary

John Pilger explores the impact of great documentary film making.

Burp! Pepsi v Coke in the Ice Cold War (John Pilger, 1984, 54 mins)

This is the first film made by John Pilger with director Alan Lowry, a fellow Australian. It looks at the worldwide struggle for soft drink supremacy by the Coca Cola Company, illuminating the overwhelming power of multinational corporations over poorer countries and their struggling economics.

Harvest of Shame (Edward R. Murrow, Fred W. Friendly, 1960, 55 mins)

Selected by John as a key moment in documentary making, this richly photographed and poignant television film exposed the plight of migrant farm workers. It was first shown to millions of Americans the day after Thanksgiving and helped usher in permanent changes in the laws protecting workers’ rights.

The War You Don’t See (John Pilger, 2011, 1hr 36 mins)

A powerful investigation into the media’s role in war, tracing the history of ’embedded’ and independent reporting from the carnage of World War One to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq.


Sunday 10 December

Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia (John Pilger, David Munro, 1979, 52 mins)

Filmed in what John describes as ‘brutal circumstances’ following the downfall of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge regime, Year Zero brought the world’s attention to this uniquely stricken country. It is ranked by the BFI as among the 10 most influential documentaries of the 20th century.

End of the Line (Rupert Murray, 2009, 1hr 30 mins)

John’s second selection of a documentary by another director is this examination of the devastating effect that overfishing has had on the world’s fish populations and the drastic action must be taken to reverse these trends.

The Coming War on China (John Pilger, 2016 1hr 43mins)

John’s 60th film for ITV warns of the potential for war between the world’s greatest military power, the United States, and the world’s second economic power, China, both nuclear-armed.

John Pilger in Conversation


The Power of Documentary – Buy Tickets

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.