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Film: Rushes

TODAY'S RUSHES feels it should give the Human Rights Watch Film Festival a belated mention. After two weeks at the Brixton Ritzy, London, the festival shows a final programme today. Why plug it now? Well, Rushes has been primed to proclaim the HRWFF to the free world for a while, but lost the battle for page space.

To re-cap, then, the festival gave Jonathan Demme's adaptation of Toni Morrison's novel its UK premiere. It also featured the Chilean film-maker Patricio Guzman's long-term documentation of Chile's political turmoil over the last 30 years. The second part of his epic Battle of Chile trilogy (1973-79), on the build-up to the coup, made for illuminating, if grim, viewing. Allende's desire to pacify the privileged right wing of his country now seems utterly misguided and Guzman allows the tension to build with almost savage grace. Impressive, too, was the film of Guzman's return to Chile in 1996 after 23 years of exile, Chile, Obstinate Memory. Will there be another chance to see these films? Last year HRWFF showed Waco, the Rules of Engagement, causing such a stir that BBC2's Storyville strand picked it up. Let's hope the same happens here. (As for Guzman, he's just been awarded $100,000 by the US-based Soros Institute to make "the last film about Pinochet").

Anyway, do the right thing and get down to Brixton this afternoon: Sacrifice (a documentary on Burmese child prostitutes) plays at 4.30pm, followed by Windhorse (a Tibetan political drama) at 7pm and The City (a tale of New York working-class struggle) at 9.30pm.


JUST A couple of weeks into his post-ER career, gorgeous George Clooney is close to landing a role in a Coen brothers project. Brother, Where Art Thou will be the literary adaptation to end them all, based as it is on Homer's Odyssey.