Breaking the Silence: The Films of John Pilger,
an updated edition of Anthony Hayward's book about the journalist and documentary-maker's work, was published by Profiles International Media in November 2013 as an e-book, price £3.99.
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For five decades, John Pilger's documentaries have been exposing injustices around the world and bringing to account those in power who make decisions that affect the lives of others, often in faraway countries. From his first film, The Quiet Mutiny, Pilger made waves, revealing the shocking truth about American troop rebellions in the Vietnam War. More recently, in the wake of September 11th, he has been a rare media voice in questioning the United States's foreign policy and its imperial ambitions.
Scenes of the starving in his landmark documentary Year Zero − The Silent Death of Cambodia, filmed in the aftermath of Pol Pot's genocide, helped to trigger $45 million in aid for that country. Pilger has highlighted repression in Czechoslovakia, East Timor and Burma, the continuing Israeli occupation of Palestine and, with his first film for both television and the cinema, the attempts by small countries to carve out their own democracies, without interference from the United States. The British-based journalist has also subjected his own home country of Australia to affectionate but critical examinations over the years, culminating in his 2013 film Utopia.
His dedication to uncovering unpalatable truths and his disregard for traditional journalistic concepts of 'impartiality' and 'balance' have sometimes brought him into conflict with both the political and broadcasting establishments. In Breaking the Silence: The Films of John Pilger, Anthony Hayward traces Pilger's screen career, details the documentaries, their effects and controversies, and compares them with other factual output on TV and in the cinema. It is published to tie in with the release of Pilger's epic film Utopia.
CLICK HERE TO READ A SAMPLE FROM THE BOOK
Anthony Hayward is author of the acclaimed books Which Side Are You On? Ken Loach and His Films and In the Name of Justice: The Television Reporting of John Pilger, as well as the
biographies Julie Christie and Phantom: Michael Crawford Unmasked. He has written many
books about television and film, and contributed to The Independent since 1993 and The Guardian since 2009.
Some of the films and issues in Breaking the Silence are raised in Anthony Hayward's interview with John Pilger at the 2006 Hay Festival (which was included as a bonus feature with the DVDs John Pilger – Documentaries That Changed the World and Heroes – The Films of John Pilger 1970-2007).
Click here to view it.
REVIEWS OF THE ORIGINAL
‘An excellent introduction to abuses of power around the world.’ – FAR EASTERN ECONOMIC REVIEW
‘Anthony Hayward’s excellent account of Pilger’s
work shows how [his] sensibility [to justice and
injustice] has driven Pilger to create 50 British television documentaries over the last 30 years, programs that have changed public policy and saved lives… Pilger’s professional life has been dedicated to exploring tragic situations, and Hayward stares unblinkingly into these horrors.’ – VARIETY
‘Hayward takes a step back to examine not just
Pilger’s reporting, but the powerful and lasting impact
it has had on flashpoint chunks of the world map…
This is a fitting tribute and a fine work.’
– MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS
‘A remarkably thorough account of the work of John Pilger, performing a
valuable function simply by documenting the sheer extent of the journalist’s television work… a fascinating account of the changing nature of censorship on British television.’
– THE INDEPENDENT
Breaking the Silence author Anthony Hayward interviews John Pilger at the 2006 Hay Festival