The alternative video news magazine is back after a five-year break – and sizzling with cheeky radicalism. The logo says it all: UNN (Undercurrents News Network) formed out of CNN with the C twisted back.
The first issue of the relaunched magazine is a medley of news footage, stylish animations and clips (or the full works) from some of the best activist documentaries around. Included are extraordinary scenes from Australia's Woomera detention centre break-out, but also videos featuring other less well-known actions, such as US students taking on Harvard in defence of the Ivy League university's underpaid cleaners.
There are many hilarious moments. The Meatrix – a cartoon parody which takes us into the world of intensive animal farming – has the power to convulse. The Keanu Reeves character as a pig, sporting fashionably small dark glasses, is inspired. A love duet between Bush and Blair provides another sure-fire humour hit.
The mix and internationalism of issues is good. One quibble, some of the clips are just that little bit too short – but web addresses are given and you can easily log on for more. It's radical, it's not for profit, and it's damned good.Vanessa Baird
(available on VHS and DVD) To buy the video or become a subscriber see http://www.undercurrents.org or write to Undercurrents, Old Telephone Exchange, Pier St, Swansea SA1 1RY, Wales, UK. For the radical docs featured go to http://www.cultureshop.org
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