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(10 Feb 1981)
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Alan Clarke had just made a documentary called 'Vodka-Cola',about the creeping influence that the big corporations weregaining over world politics,and I suppose he felt that peoplewouldn't really get what the whole thing was about unless hedramatised it - so we got this remarkable movie. Graham Crowden runs a multinational that wants to expand intothe USSR (still, of course, officially the enemy in 1981). Tony Doyleis his smoothly thuglike right-hand-man. Steven Berkoff is Doyle'sopposite number in the Russian delegation. We see somebeautifully observed scenes evoking the mind-numbing boredomof high-level business dealings, contrasted with the foul-mouthedenergy of the behind-the-scenes action. The story really kicks off,though, when it turns out that the Russians will play along, but onlyif the company gives them access to their state-of-the-art lasertechnology... which can, of course, be used as weaponry... The film portrays politicians as being alternately bullied and bribedby big business, ultimately colluding in the destruction of their ownnative industries in order to save money for the 'greater good' -globalisation. All this twenty years before Naomi Klein's 'No Logo'. But I shouldn't make it sound like a dry dissertation of a movie - theperformances, as always with Clarke, are superb, and it's great tosee the late Tony Doyle's powerhouse performance. could British TV ever make something as intellectually challengingtoday....?
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