Homeless Power!

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The elections dominate the headlines of American media. But elsewhere in the US, far from the glare of the media, another group are fighting daily for their lives – America’s 3.5 million homeless people.

Despite all the candidates’ talk on the economy, helping working-class families, and pledges to fight poverty, the issue of the homeless has been largely removed from the campaign trails.

While the majority of homeless people are men, 41 per cent are families, and more than 500,000 are children.

But things could change, with a political movement led by a determined single mother, Cheri Honkala.

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The Batle For Basra

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Basra is Iraq’s economy – its Rumeila oil fields tap one of the largest pools of petroleum in the world, and without its revenues the central government in Baghdad would collapse. This wealth makes Basra the site of a battle for political control between the three largest Shiite parties in Iraq – al-Hakim’s SIIC, Moqtada al-Sadr’s ‘Sadrist Current’, and the Islamic Virtue Party, which controls the Basra governorate and is linked to the Oil Workers’ Union. The Battle For Basra explores the power struggle underway in Basra, and what it reveals about the larger battle for control in the new, Shiite-dominated Iraq.

An investigation by Rick Rowley, Hiba Dawood and David Enders with the support of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis reporting. Aired on Al Jazeera English.

SPRING TOUR: Films From The Last War
Sample ImageIn the spring of 2008, Big Noise will go back on the road, screening a collection of short films from the wars in the Middle East.
Our teams are shooting and editing all Summer, and the final list has not been compiled, but it will include new films from Lebanon, Iraq, and a film on deserting American soldiers.

Look for a calendar of dates in late Summer, or sign up for our mailing list now by logging in.

Bring the war home to your community or university – book a screening with the directors through Evil Twin Booking .


– Watch Trailer for ‘The War of 33: Letters From Beirut’ –

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Uncovering the Truth Behind the Anbar Success Story
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The US military’s progress report on Iraq is in and it’s mostly bad news. But there is one unexpected success story: in the heartland of the Sunni Insurgency, a group of tribes has joined with the Americans to fight Al Qaeda. The Americans report that attacks on US forces have dropped dramatically and claim that life is beginning to return to normal. The leader and symbol of this movement that the Americans claim is rapidly securing Anbar province is a sheik named Sattar Abu Risha.

But is Abu Risha all he claims to be?

Included in the DVD compilation ‘Dispatches Vol. 2’

This piece was produced by David Enders Rick Rowley and Hiba Dawood with the support of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Sadr City, Iraq
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Sadr City is a small neighborhood in Baghdad that holds half the city’s population. It was the center of Shi’a resistance to Saddam’s regime, the Northern epicenter of the two Shi’a intifadahs, and is now the stronghold of Moqtada Al Sadr’s Mehdi Army. A Big Noise camera spent a summer in Sadr City and brought back these video clips.

Lebanon Reconstruction
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In July 2006, Israel attacked Lebanon in an attempt to weaken Hezballah and push it North of the Litani River, creating a buffer zone along Israel’s northern border. Israeli warplanes pounded Lebanon from the air, dropping 5,000 bombs a day for 33 days. 130,000 homes were destroyed and over 1 million refugees created, but Israeli ground troops took heavy casualties and were unable to reach the Litani River.
This Big Noise video report originally aired on Al Jazeera International.

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The Other Campaigns
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The presidential elections are over, but the real battle over Mexico’s future is being fought outside of electoral politics. Two powerful figures have launched other kinds of political campaigns here.The multibillionaire Carlos Slim and the guerrilla leader Subcomandante Marcos are facing off in the struggle between the Mexico above and the Mexico below.

This Big Noise report originally aired on Al Jazeera International – english.aljazeera.net

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World Bank Famine in Niger
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In 2005 a food crisis hit Niger. Out of a population of 12 million, 3.6 million went hungry and 800,000 children faced starvation. But activists in Niger claim that the famine was not caused by drought. « This is a structural famine. A permanent famine, » says journalist Moussa Tchangari. « It was caused by 20 years of structural adjustment programs.
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Ecuador – The Rumble in the Jungle
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Big Noise teams up with investigative journalist Greg Palast, travelling into Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest to take a look at the biggest environmental case in history.US Oil giant Chevron-Texaco versus the Cofan Indians.

Battle Over ‘Vulture Funds’
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Big Noise teams up again with investigative journalist Greg Palast to follow up on a report they made on Vulture Funds. These vultures are speculators who buy up the debt of the poorest nations on the planet for pennies on the dollar — then use legal extortion or less-than-legal bribery to extract payments from these nations – payments equal to five, ten or twenty times what the vultures “invested.”The initial report , that aired on BBC Newsnight and Democracy Now, created an international outcry that reached the White House and 10 Downing Street, and that threatens to close the legal loopholes that make this unscrupulous proactice possible.

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“Vulture fund” companies buy up the debt of poor countries at cheap prices, and then demand payments much higher than the original amount of the debt, often taking poor countries to court when they cannot afford to repay.Investigative journalist Greg Palast reports on one company that has won the right to collect $20 million from the government of Zambia after buying its debt for $4 million. In his recent State of the Union address, President Bush declared the United States was taking on the challenges of global hunger, poverty and disease, and urged support for debt relief, which he called the best hope for eliminating poverty. Big Noise joined Greg’s team to shoot and edit this piece.
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Fraud in the Mexican Elections
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GREG PALAST: July 3rd, I was in my office in London when the phone rang. It was Mexico City. I was told, “Take a look at the Mexican papers.” The exit polls in the presidential election there showed a clear win for Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the left wing’s candidate for president, but the official count gave the election to George Bush’s ally, Felipe Calderon, of the rightwing ruling party, the PAN. Hmmm. Exit polls that don’t match the official vote count. I had heard that story before. In Ohio in 2004, John Kerry led Bush in the exit polls, and in 2000, Al Gore won in the Florida exit polls. But in both cases, George Bush won in the official count.
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  1. Colibri Zurdo Says:

    Bon jour

    Je suis interesé en contacter Big Noise Films
    pour des projets a venir en 2009
    maintenant son site est hors service
    à cause de maintenance selon son
    le message de son serveur

    Je me domande si par chance auras tu le numero telephone
    à Seattle de la boîte, j’ai mal a le trouver sur la web
    en fin.
    Je suis content de rencontrer quelqun qui partage
    l’interet pour ses films.

    Merci et a bientôt

    Colibri Zurdo

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