John Pilger is a powerful journalist who achieved change by giving a voice to many global communities who were unable to speak themselves. Pilger’s strengthens lie in his ability to maintain and grow relationships with the global communities he has meet, this is evident in his continued documentary series in both Cambodia and Palestine. Pilger used the medium of film to communicate the horrific events that had been shut down by government and other officials, his clever and powerful use of archived footage and interviews are key to how he crafted moving and informative documentaries (click here for access to his filmography) across the globe for decades.
Despite all his work and efforts over the years and contribution to mediasphere and global events, I feel as if Pilger is not recognised enough in current times, as before this subject I was unaware of him, however I am now in awe of the commitment he has devoted to helping others, this was the ‘meaning’ and motivation behind my project. I was particularly moved by his work in Cambodia, as seen in the video the amount of donations and aid he helped raise there is astounding, and really showed how he has impacted communities. The research into how neglected Cambodia was before Pilger helped put them on the world stage was interesting and lead me to understand why he won the UN Peace Prize the year after his documentary was released.
I initially aimed to create a trailer depicting Pilger’s life but struggled with how to seamlessly add enough information into it and decided to change the style to a mini episode that provided key highlights about his career, his locations and video tools.
I wanted to answer the ‘key questions’ from the subject of the different agents of:
People and Organisations: John Pilger.
Places: Multiple geographic locations shown on world map, and a stronger focus on Cambodia.
Platforms/Products: The medium of film through documentaries and tools such as archive footage and first-person interviews.
Perceptions: To create change and give a voice to those who have been silenced by governments.
Practices: Using global communities, often Indigenous communities, to report on many forms of global events from wars to business cultures, throughout the course of 60 years all over the world.
This helped shape my video and the direction of where I wanted to go, I felt after reading about Pilger’s work that he had helped so many people in a truly lasting way, that a ‘hero’ title was worthy of his contribution to the global mediasphere. So, I was able to integrate the title of hero into the series, as I had wanted to do when planning for the original trailer idea. Although perhaps not as informative as I had hoped, as I struggled with editing , I feel I still was able to hit ‘key’ aspects of Pilger’s works and was able to show his personality within his commitment to all countries. I used many photos, each from a different decade and country to show how Pilger has continued throughout his 60 year career, he has never slowed down and even continues now helping Julian Assange.
I believe John Pilger is a strong interventionist who works tirelessly in all projects and I hope I have inspired others to research him and his work.
Bernstein, 2020, “#WEAreMillions”, Defend Wikileads, June 2020, https://defend.wikileaks.org/2019/06/27/john-pilger-the-global-war-on-assange-journalism-dissent/
GreenLeft, 2015, “John in Venezulea”, GreenLeft, June 2020, https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/john-pilger-us-hates-venezuelas-independence
Granada Television, 1970, “Quiet Munity”, SBS, Junes 2020, https://www.sbs.com.au/guide/article/2017/04/10/7-times-we-should-have-paid-more-attention-john-pilger
Johnpilger, 1984, “Burp! Pepsi v Cokes in the Ice Cold War”, online video 2020, John Pilger Archives, http://johnpilger.com/videos/burp-pepsi-v-coke-in-the-ice-cold-war
John Pilger, 1970, “Ho-Chi-Minh”. New Matilda, June 2020, https://newmatilda.com/2017/12/12/john-pilger-on-why-the-documentary-must-not-be-allowed-to-die/
Johnpilger, 1976, “Pilger in Australia”, online video, June 2020, John Pilger Archives, http://johnpilger.com/videos/pilger-in-australia
John Pilger, 2013, “Utopia”, The Guardian, June 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2013/dec/20/utopia-john-pilger-tv-review-indigenous-australians
Johnpilger, 1970, “Vietnam: the Quiet Mutiny”, online video, June 2020, John Pilger Archives, http://johnpilger.com/videos/vietnam-the-quiet-mutiny
Johnpilger, 1979, “Year Zero” Silent Death of Cambodia”, online video, June 2020, John Pilger Archives, http://johnpilger.com/videos/year-zero-the-silent-death-of-cambodia
Quote HD, 2012, “Quotes”, Quotes HD, June 2020, http://www.quotehd.com/quotes/john-pilger-official-truths-are-often-powerful
Wiki, 2020, “John and Julian”, The Gray Zone, June 2020, https://thegrayzone.com/2020/02/17/john-pilger-julian-assange-saved-betrayed/