TELEVISION / BRIEFING: Digging dirt on the flower trade

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The Independent Culture
Last week's Biteback presented complaints from viewers about the amount of airtime devoted to foreign news. In the face of such sentiments, C4 defiantly perseveres with EUROPE EXPRESS (8pm C4). Tonight's programme opens with a not very pretty story about tulips from Amsterdam. Flowers are big business in Holland, but they come at a high price. Mieke van der Wey interviews one worker who, at the age of 28, has been paralysed by a gas used to fumigate greenhouses, and another who has contracted thyroid cancer after 45 years spent handling pesticides.

The final story in Europe Express begins with a soldier in camouflage carrying a machine gun through the ruins of a Croatian village. For once, this picture of violence in the former Yugoslavia is make-believe - a scene from the first feature film to be made in Croatia. A Time for . . . , about the human cost of the war, is being directed by Oja Kodar. She explains her motivation: 'I said yes to this film not for my movie career, but (picking up handfuls of rubble) for this.' Making a film about Serbian aggression is not without its dangers. Serbian militia-men still patrol the nearby hills.

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