Truth is the first casualty of war and 'Newspeak' explores just how media is currently controlled in the UK through power structures like Ofcom. Using poetry and experimental visual techniques the film is a personal journey with filmmaker Ken Fero reflecting on how the radical content of certain images - deaths in police custody, Occupy London the invasion of Iraq, workers uprisings - remain hidden from UK audiences.
The film uses strong political statements to expose the forces seeking to censor the media. The challenging style of 'Newspeak' offers a visual essay that unites the mothers of those killed by the British police with the Palestinian children who were victims of Operation Cast Lead, exposes the bloodlust for oil that lead to British interference in Iran and shows how, in all these areas, there is always resistance, always survivors always a memory.
A Migrant media Production for News Anew.
Update: This film was broadcast on Sky on the 20th January 2012. Shortly after the broadcast, at 3.00pm, Ofcom revoked Press TV’s licence to broadcast in the UK and was taken off air. This was the last film broadcast by the channel and was made as a response to the impending act of censorship as outlined in 'Newspeak'.
(2001/98 minutes/UK/Dir: Ken Fero & Tariq Mehmood/Migrant Media)
The struggles for justice by the families of people that have died in police custody.
In 1969 David Oluwale became the first black person to die in police custody in Britain. Many others have died since then. None of the police officers involved have been convicted of these deaths. In this documentary, the families of these victims ask "Why not?"
This is a blow by blow account of the relentless struggles of the families as they find out how they lost their loved ones in extremely violent deaths at the hands of police officers.
Each family is met with a wall of official secrecy and the film documents how they unite and challenge this together. The documentary uses powerful exclusive footage filmed over a five year period and witnesses the families pain and anger at the killings. It documents the fight to retrieve the bodies for burial, the mockery of police self-investigation and the collusion of the legal system in the deaths. The film asks why an accused killer in a police uniform is not judged by the same standards as the rest of society.
I N J U S T I C E documents the horrific loss of life at the hands of the state and it's attempts to cover up these killings. The British police have been responsible for hundreds of deaths and have walked free.The families of the dead want justice and they will not stop until they have got it.
Winner Best Documentary - BFM London Film Festival 2002, Winner National Social Justice Award 2003, Winner Best Documentary (Human Rights) - One World Film Festival 2003, Winner New Nation Campaign group of the Year 2004.
TASTING FREEDOM (50 minutes/1994/Director: Ken Fero)
'Tasting Freedom' documents the struggles of asylum seekers in Britain for recognition of their basic human rights and investigates abuses on asylum seekers in detention centres and prisons. The documentary gives a startling account of how people who have come to Britain to find freedom are instead persecuted. The film contains unprecedented interviews with detainees who speak about the abuses they have suffered under Britain's immigration laws and documents deaths in detention centres and prisons including that of Zairian asylum seeker Omasase Lumumba who was killed by prison officers in Pentonville in 1991.
The documentary closely follows the struggles of the detainees including hunger strikes, revolts and uprisings. They give first hand accounts of how they organised themselves during these protests and the measures used by the immigration service to suppress them. Despite being ignored by the media and isolated from the outside world the film documents the courage and determination of people prepared to stand up for their rights even at the cost of their own lives.
"a damning investigation" - The Independent
"an important programme" - Time Out
Directors Postscript January 2012: Since the making of this film we have seen two changes of Government in the UK, Zaire is now the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Middle East is in ever increasing turmoil with national movements for freedom on one hand and the escalation of imperialism with direct military intervention on the other, as a result refugees are being created. One thing has remained the same with every UK government - the detention, as well as the deaths, of asylum seekers. Against all that, the resistance against abuses continue - mass hunger strikes and protests have taken place at Campsfield House recently and other detention centers. We would urge you to support these protests when they occur to bring an end to the torture and oppression that refugees are subjected to in the UK which, as 'Tasting Freedom' highlights, is what they are trying to escape from.
Defeat of the Champion (25 minutes/2011/UK/Dir: Ken Fero & Tariq Mehmood/Migrant Media)
In Birmingham in 2010 the police covertly erected 200 CCTV cameras for ‘Project Champion’ – an anti-terrorist initiative targeting Muslims - which incensed members of the communities it was ring fencing. This documentary is the story of how Project Champion was successfully opposed by community and civil rights activists.