Cambodia — The Betrayal is the fourth follow-up to John Pilger and David Munro’s series on Cambodia, the film Year Ten from 1989, which examined the hypocrisy of western geopolitics by looking at the way in which the United Nations pressured Cambodia to accept the Khmer Rouge regime as part of the United Nations peace plan.
Guilty Until Proven Innocent reports on the issue of innocent people confined to prisons on remand in the UK, circa 1974. People are imprisoned without trial and are later released with either a small fine, a set of mandatory conditions, or leave completely innocent. It’s a strange set of circumstances in a country with such pretensions of a bill of rights and espoused ‘legal protections.’ Is bail a right or a privilege?
John Pilger travels to Reno, Navada in the United States, to investigate the threats facing Pyramid Lake—a reservation of the Paiute people. With water diversion beginning in 1905 by Derby Dam and the lake’s very existence threatened, the Paiute sue the conservation department of government—the DOI—to curtail further damage. By the mid 1970s, the lake had lost 80 feet of depth, with extensive impacts to fish and other life of the lake. Further water diversion in the 1970s was driven by a racially-exclusive sportsman’s and leisure reserve used for white hunting and recreation near the town of Fallon…
To Know Us Is To Love Us covers the public reaction to a Vietnamese refugee camp constructed outside Fort Smith in Arkansas, 1975—not long after the end of the Vietnam war. The film documents the stories of the refugees coming to the United States, along with the reactions of American troops, the public and citizens who take in Vietnamese refugees to assimilate them into American life.
The Search For Truth In Wartime investigates the changing face of war reporting and the role of the media during wartime, in context with the Crimea through the two World Wars, to Vietnam and the Falklands. “What is the role of the media in wartime? Is it simply to record, or is it to explain? And from whose point of view—the military, the politicians or the victims?”
Heroes reports on the treatment of returning combat soldiers from Vietnam in the early 1980s. The film investigates the strange cultural absence of reverence or memory to soldiers returning home, and shows with first-hand accounts and interviews with returning soldiers, opines from the front line about America’s unpopular war.
In 1979, the people of Nicaragua successfully put an end to decades of the corrupt Somoza dictatorship whose family had been in power for more than 40 years, put there by the United States marines. Four years later, this film travels to Nicaragua to question: How can a country survive when its jungle borders hold 4000 hostile troops?
In 1975, John Pilger reported the end of the Vietnam War from the American Embassy in Saigon, where the last American troops fled from the roof-top helicopter pad. Twenty years later, he returns to Vietnam to revive the Vietnamese past and present from the plethora of fake Hollywood images which pity the invader, and overshadow one of the most epic struggles of the 20th century.
Cambodia — Year One investigates the effect of aid to Cambodia and the extent of the country’s so-called new found stability as in 1980. The film portrays Cambodia on a brink of famine and cultural annihilation, but in the process of recovery, also showing the continued support for the Khmer Rouge regime by China and the United Nations.