The Fourth World War (2004) Poster

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Not what you see on American television
The_Deputy3 April 2005
This film is a look at "the fourth world war", the global resistance of the working people of the world against the war being made on us by the owners of the world. It covers the last few years of this resistance, from the general strike of workers in South Korea, to the resistance to launching the war against Iraq.

The documentary is made by the same group which made the excellent documentary "This is What Democracy Looks Like", and like that movie the producers say they are indebted to Indymedia and activist groups for their help in making this. Like that film, this one pretty much lets events speak for themselves - as in that movie, you are in the streets with the people struggling, this time not in Seattle, but in Mexico, Palestine, Korea, Argentina, South Africa and so forth.

There is a gut-wrenching scene of doctors in Jenin trying to save a little girl whose body was completely shot up by Israeli soldiers, and then her father crying over her dead body. One thing that occurred to me while watching this is that this is that I would absolutely never see this on the US corporate media. My tax dollars are what paid for the bullets who shot that little girl, as are every US citizen taxpayers, which is why the existence of such things is completely absent from all that you watch on TV. It is wiped from existence, as surely as commissars in the USSR wiped events from existence. Thankfully, people are out there making films like these.
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Gut Wrenching
confuzzledoifo18 May 2005
This movie was incredibly moving. It wasn't able to provide much background to any of the events shown due to the length and format, but it gave a good snapshot of activism from the past ten years.

It would be easy for people to label this movie as "Propaganda". For some reason, it seems easier for people to label something left-leaning as Propaganda than the news that everyone is forced to take notice of on the TV every night, which is unmistakably right-leaning, especially in the case of countries like Britain and the United States. It is a shame that for the most part this movie will be preaching to the converted, as I believe it has something valuable to say to everyone - that one's voice, despite how small it may seem, can actually rise up and be heard along with thousands of others, as long as one has the motivation to shout loudly enough.

Of course this film was unable to show both sides of every issue, but that wasn't what this movie was about. It was a successful attempt to show the side that most people never see of so many conflicts throughout the world - Israel/Palestine, the Zapatista movement in Mexico, and all the protesting that surrounds the meetings of the WTO, the IMF and the G8 conferences. And it inspires you to get out and say something yourself.
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Great Movie
carltonwilliams17 July 2006
This is a great movie that displays a view not found in US media. Anyone that wants a fuller picture of the realities of the middle east should watch Fourth War.

Also Suheir Hammad's commentary keeps a good pace and make that film move along. People who are interested in poetry (if your are not you should be) should check Ms. Hammad's work out. Much of her work can be found online.

Lastly, if people like this film I would also suggest Gaza Strip; Peace Propaganda and the Promised Land; Jenin Jenin; and, of course, Paradise Now.
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Good, but predictably depressing
groggo28 October 2007
The Fourth World War is another earnest effort by filmmakers to underline the severe social and economic injustices that continue to escalate, not decrease, around the world. Seven years after this film was made, it seems to me that not much has changed.

Despite the titanic struggles of dispossessed peoples around the world, the wealth of nations continues to reside in fewer and fewer hands. The economies of poor countries collapse under vicious IMF policies, and capitalism's global 'clubs' thrive ever and ever upward. Meanwhile, people keep struggling, ultimately downward.

The depressing thing is that the world does not get better because of documentaries like this. There are miniscule victories here and there, but the world carries on as it has always carried on: the rich just get richer, and the poor keep fighting uphill battles. I've been on the streets many times over four decades, demonstrating against the rape of the world by global capitalism. A lot of people think it's healthy to ventilate, but it's ultimately futile: if demonstrations brought governments down, they'd be outlawed. The democracy we live with is a myth.

This is a necessary film, but it just reminded me of bloody depressing it all is.
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Fourth World War Opens Eyes
emj11386 September 2006
Big Noise Films production of "The Fourth World War" is a powerful look at protest movements around the world and shows how all of them have, at their core, the very same struggle. Taking place in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, Palestine, Korea, "the North" from Seattle to Genova, and the "War on Terror" in New York, Afghanistan, and Iraq, this film is a war cry for change. It is a powerful example of John F. Kennedy's statement that "those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable" and gives a foretaste of what may become the norm unless we make our voices heard now. It is a must see.
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Really not that insightful
cherbo16 August 2006
Really it's an extremely one sided view of the many confrontations in the world, trying to tie the knot that links corporations to poverty, and how it's all ultimately a battle between the haves and the have nots. It doesn't quite help that the poetry is a little on the high school side. Michael Moore does a better job of being one sided while seeming to be righteous.

The documentary simply suffers from having too many subjects. Every revolution shown was just skimming the surface. The producers knew that too, which is why the Palestine conflict had just less than 10 minutes of screen time. With a more narrow focus and some balanced reporting, this could have been good.

It would be better to just watch Fahrenheit 911 or some Noam Chomsky documentary - power and terror - is good.
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Propaganda comes from both sides.
ChiefOren5 May 2005
True to leftist propaganda, this movie takes the opportunity to paint everything black. I'd say that black is the color most sought out by end of worlders, false prophets, etc.etc.

As for the heart rendering pictures of the Palestinian girl, did anyone see the heart rendering pictures of Israeli children blown to bits by Arabs? Of course not. Like I said, propaganda comes from both sides.

As for the technical aspects of the movie, it is well written, and even though it is one-sided, it does leave something for thought. A good production, well worth the time invested watching. But be forewarned, it does get rather repetitious.

Other recommended leftist propaganda include 9/11. You know by whom.
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Not the best work...
BrotherGrymm26 April 2010
First off, I wanted to point out that it was very hard to follow this movie, for many reasons. The version I watched did not have subtitles or overdubbing, yet basically all of the talking, except the intermittent narrator, was done in other languages. If you are going to make a one-sided movie to tell one side of a conflict, at least tell let us hear about it. I found myself looking at pictures for 2-minute intervals between a 10 second narration or two quick lines of text. Maybe it was just the copy I saw, but it didn't really help it's case.

Second off, the movie was incredibly one-sided. I know, I know, it's a propaganda film, so it will be, but this was very over the top. I didn't see any Arabs cutting off heads, or detonating suicide bombs at markets and schools, or gassing thousands of Kurds.

What many people fail to realize, is that Israel wasn't just created out of nothing. Much of the original area that was "granted" to Israel in 1947 (And previously, in 1917) had been bought by the Jews from the Ottoman empire which ruled the area for hundreds of years. During the first World War, the Jews and Arabs were somewhat of allies against the Turks due to being discriminated against.

The Arabs tried to force the Jews out of the lands they had paid for, when the Ottoman empire collapsed. The Arabs are the ones who refused to live with the Jews. The day after Israel declared independence, the armies of five Arab countries invaded (Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon). During this time, Jews were discriminated against in Arab countries, having property stolen and denied citizenship.

In the mid-50s, Egypt closed the Suez canal to Israeli shipping, until Israel attacked the Sinai Peninsula. Israel withdrew after Egypt agreed to lift the anti-Jewish ban.

Again in 1967 the allied Arab states sought to destroy Israel, expelling UN peacekeepers and initiating a six-day war that left Israel in control of Gaza, the West Bank, the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights, and east Jerusalem. Even after giving control of the Gaza Strip back, the Arabs launched attacks, killed and kidnapped Israeli soldiers, and have done everything in their power to cause violence.

As is often the case, there are two sides to every story, and this film does a very poor job of telling either side of any of the conflicts it portrays.
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only made for certain people
steven-riss11 October 2008
I was forced to watch this in one of my college classes, big surprise. For me, i thought that this film was horrible. This is not a documentary because it doesn't give both sides of the issue, that's what "big noise films" is known for. If you are a radical-liberal, socialist and/or are studying social movements and uprisings, then there is a good chance you will like it. The film shows social uprisings in impoverished areas of horrible countries. It is framed in the classic propaganda fashion, by using violent/moving images, words, and taking quotes out of context, among other things. So when you watch this, be thinking or remembering that there are two sides to the argument, and that most people in the world want to be in this country. Also be ready to see some pretty messed up images.
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