News: John Pilger's Utopia

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News: John Pilger's Utopia

Published:

Thu, 14/11/2013 - 10:03

By:

oscar
Utopia investigates socioeconomic racism in north Australia
Utopia investigates socioeconomic racism in north Australia
Published: 
14 November, 2013
by DAN CARRIER

JOHN Pilger returns to his homeland Australia to uncover the story of a country that on the surface likes to portray a united nation that has put its racist past behind it, but in reality suffers from an appalling social and economic apartheid.

Utopia is the name given to the huge area in the north of Australia and Pilger travels there from the affluent suburbs of the capital Canberra to investigate the way the indigenous population is considered and treated.

He covers ground he first visited in his film The Secret Country, released in 1985, and through his well-reasoned narrative we see a world where casual racism is the norm.

He shows how Australia sits on top of a huge reserve of mineral wealth, but what he calls “the lucky country” seems to have a similar sense of apartheid as South Africa suffered from.

He asks how could this happen in the 21st century, and considers what role has the media played. As he puts it in his film blurb: “Utopia is both a personal journey and universal story of power and resistance and how modern societies can be divided between those who conform and a dystopian world of those who do not conform.”

One of the most shocking things about this thoughtful documentary, released by Camden-based company Dartmouth Films, is the way you could take Pilger’s argument and apply it here: it is a warning that we must never rest on our laurels in the fight against socioeconomic racism and consider the job done.

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