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  • seandodson 12:05 pm on May 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: middle east, osama bin laden, ,   

    When Robert Fisk interviewed Osama bin Laden 

    Robert Fisk, The Independent’s Middle East correspondent, and a war reporter of some renown, interviewed Osama bin Laden three times in 1996/7. Here is a memoir from from his three encounters, of which I’ve quoted below. The Sudanese interview (1996) is re-published here, I can’t yet find the other two interviews, all links lead nowhere, almost as if they’ve been removed from the web (although there is an account of all three in Fisk’s book, The Great War for Civilization) If I were the Indy’s web editor I’d dig them out of the archive, sharpish. The interviews are of historical significance and are most useful articles in trying to understand bin Laden, who almost always was presented as an Emmanuel Goldstein-like figure in most of the Western media and as a Saladin-cum-Che Guevara by the mythmakers in the mujahideen.

    The first time I met Osama bin Laden inside Afghanistan it was a hot, humid night in the summer of 1996. Huge insects flew through the night air, settling like burrs on his Saudi robes and on the clothes of his armed followers. They would land on my notebook until I swatted them, their blood smearing the pages. Bin Laden was always studiously polite: each time we met, he would offer the usual Arab courtesy of food for a stranger: a tray of cheese, olives, bread and jam. I had already met him in Sudan and would spend a night, almost a year later, in one of his mountain guerrilla camps, so cold that I awoke in the morning with ice in my hair.

    I had been given a rough blanket and my shoes were left outside the tent. Whenever we met, he would interrupt our interviews to say his prayers, his armed followers – from Algeria, Egypt, the Gulf Arab states, Syria – kneeling beside him, hanging on his every word as he spoke to me as if he was a messiah.

    On 20 March, 1997, I would meet him again. Although only 41 at the time, his ruggedly groomed beard had white hairs, and he had bags under his eyes; I sensed some infirmity, a stiffness of one leg that gave him the slightest of limps. I still have my notes, scribbled in the frozen semi-darkness as an oil lamp sputtered between us. “I am not against the American people,” he said. “Only their government.” I had heard this so often in the Middle East. I told him I thought the American people regarded their government as their representatives. Bin Laden listened to this in silence. “We are still at the beginning of our military action against the American forces,” he said.

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  • seandodson 9:42 am on June 13, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , bold creative, , , , , israel, lebanon, , middle east, , , Waltz with Bashir, , will kim   

    Waltz with Bashir: Cartoon documentary about Lebanese war is no caper 

    Waltz with Bashir is an animated documentary (trailer is here) telling the story of Israeli soldiers fighting the Lebanese War of 1982. Screened in competition at Cannes this year, it is being touted as the first feature-length animated documentary. The Times (of London) has called it “a voyage of discovery into Folman’s uncharted subconscious,” as it deals with the suppressed memories of those fighting in the war.

    Software is so lowering the cost of animation that the barriers to making it continue to fall. Using animation in documentary also allows you to portray things, like memories, that you can’t with ordinary footage, it also offers the opportunity to stage things the camera missed first time around. Will Kim’s In Search of the Colors (above right), for example, uses various hand-drawn and painterly animation to tell a story drawn from his own experiences at a home for people with developmental disabilities. While the work of east London’s Bold Creative uses animation to tell stories straight the mouths of British teenagers. They told me that this approach – recording the kids’ voices but animating their faces later – allows the kids to open up much more, not least because they know they are not on camera. We have seen some extraordinary comic books dealing with complex adult issues in recent years. It looks like their animated relatives are following suit.

     
    • Andrew C. Sailer 4:13 am on February 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Heyy, Found your blog on Google and I will definatley be recommending and coming back to the site! =)

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