Stop,Look,Listen…my weekly selection of favourite films, books and events to get you out of the house

Rosewater. a film based on the real life experiences of Maziar Bahari, an Iranian journalist, and his experiences of his imprisonment by the Iranian government in 2009. Maziar’s father and sister were communists and had been imprisoned by different regimes in Iran.Maziar had left Iran to become a journalist and was married to a British woman and living over here. He went back to Iran to cover the contentious elections of 2009 when the incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faced major opposition from Mir-Hossein Mousavi. In fact the more “liberal” Mousavi was on the way to winning the election when Ahmadinejad announced his victory hours before the polls closed. Bahari filmed the riots by angry Mosavi’s supporters and sent it to the BBC. Rosewater was made by Jon Stewart of famous US talkshow The Daily Show and he may have felt guilty at Bahari’s imprisonment because the Iranian authorities used his spoof interview with Bahari as evidence that he was a US spy. The film is interesting because it gives a historical viewpoint to the struggle in Iran for a more democratic society through Bahari’s family but I think it will suit the western world because although, quite rightly it criticises oppressive regimes such as that of Iran, Stalin and Mossad, it doesn’t touch on the role of the USA and other western democracies and their torture regimes particularly Guantanamo Bay. And much as I love the Spanish actor Gael García Bernal who plays Bahari I think they should have used Iranian actors. Highly recommended.


to a play “Fighter” about Len Johnson who was a Communist and boxer. He was born in Clayton, Manchester in 1902 of African and Irish parents. His father was a seaman who went into boxing and Len followed in his footsteps and became well known as a successful professional fighter from 1922-1933. But he was banned from fighting for official British titles because the British Board of Boxing operated a colour ban. During the Second World War he joined the Communist Party, and was an active member, standing 6 times in the Moss Side ward but attracting only a small vote. He attended the Pan African Congress in Manchester in October 1945 and later set up the New International Society in Moss Side which was both a social club and campaigning organisation. He had retired from active politics by the 1960s and died in Oldham in 1974. Michael Herbert has written an insightful book about Len, to buy it see. A play based on Len’s life is on at the Kings Arms Salford next week see

save our public
Against the Tory government. Its started. So, get there at the beginning, at an emergency meeting at 6pm, on Monday in the Council Chambers of University of Manchester Students Union.
All welcome, student or non-student. (It’s on the second floor of the building, and is accessible by lift). Organiser Karen Reissmann says We’re calling an emergency Save Our NHS meeting and would like to invite activists from across Manchester. We need as many fresh ideas as possible about how we move forward, organise further and ramp up the urgency of this campaign!

….the latest issue of Now Then magazine…a fascinating mix of articles about culture in the northwest. Love the article about challenging fascism. See

About lipstick socialist

I am an activist and writer. My interests include women, class, culture and history. From an Irish in Britain background I am a republican and socialist. All my life I have been involved in community and trade union politics and I believe it is only through grass roots politics that we will get a better society. This is reflected in my writing, in my book Northern ReSisters Conversations with Radical Women and my involvement in the Mary Quaile Club. .If you want to contact me please use my gmail which is lipsticksocialist636
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s