Reviews

What in the World

terrific and moving series…sobering and affecting films… contribution to our understanding of global economic inequality has been significant
The Irish Times

presents an inspiring account of life… movingly presented
The Irish Examiner

illuminating and insightful… the human consequences of global economic inequalities and human rights violations
The Irish Independent

An impressive documentary series…(it) offers an accessible crash course in the myriad ways in which politics, history and economics conspire to create and consolidate social deprivation for many. Peadar King’s report, for example, on how the electric chair has become an allotted seat at society’s table for a disproportionate number of African Americans was exemplary.
Sunday Times 4 March 2007

Weighty and worthy, the documentaries are excellent.
Sunday Tribune 04 March 2007

What in the World? Highlight of the week
Irish Independent 17 February 2007

NEW OFFERINGS ASIDE, RTÉ also screened the last episode of Peadar King’s terrific and moving series What in the World? with a report from the islands of Tuvalu in the South Pacific. King’s unobtrusive presence allowed the islanders, who are living on the ever-shrinking atolls just half a meter above sea level, to demonstrate their unique culture and lifestyle and to make a moving plea to the rest of the world for assistance to save their homeland and way of life.

With a population of just 10,000, Tuvalu was described by one resident as “a beautiful culture, with no crime or danger”. Sadly, on Funafuti, the main island and capital, men and women are already being forced by economic and environmental circumstances to leave their home to work as fruit-pickers in New Zealand. They are leaving behind a gentle life, which for innumerable generations has been rooted in fishing, farming, and collecting shells from the coconut tree-lined beaches to make jewelry. Tuvalu’s carbon emissions are negligible, its contribution to climate change insignificant, and yet this tiny but culturally rich population is paying the ultimate price for the rest of the world’s behaviour.

Many scientists seem to believe that the sinking of Tuvalu is inevitable. Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth claimed that the islands had already been depopulated, but their Bible-educated inhabitants have in fact chosen to hang on to the promise of God that “never again shall there be a flood to cover the earth”. Well, maybe not of God’s making.

With this chain of sobering and affecting films, King’s contribution to our understanding of global economic inequality has been significant.
The Irish Times Saturday, July 12, 2008

Other reviews for What in the World? 3 are summarised as follows:

Just time to alert you to the third series of What in the World? which returned this week with a grim portrayal of life under the military junta. In The Generals’ Genocide, film-maker Peadar King entered Burma illegally to talk to some of the four million Karen people who live by the Moi River on the Burma/Thailand border, one of the many ethnic groups who make up Burma’s population of 55 million people.

Its distressing interviews with survivors of torture, imprisonment and brutal displacement under the Chinese-backed gerontocracy made the film a pocket guide to a terrifying state, one that has hosted the world’s longest civil war. Made prior to the recent devastating cyclone, it was eloquently enlightening as to the nature of the regime that shrugs its epauletted shoulders so callously when faced with the suffering of its citizenry.

The series continues over the next five weeks with reports from Bolivia, Angola and Argentina among other destinations. How was it Patrick McCabe described his work again? “A primal hunger to make sense of madness”. God knows, there’s enough of it out there.
Irish Times – 31 May 2008

This third run of the illuminating and insightful documentary series is a welcome addition to the schedule – opening up whole new worlds to viewers and examining radically different lifestyles. It casts an eye over cultures, lifestyles and communities that seem a world away from our own. It will visit remote parts of the world to raise greater public awareness of global development and human rights issues.

This documentary series will focus on the ordinary people in these countries as they experience the human consequences of global economic inequalities and human rights violations.
Irish Independent 31 May 2008

You might not have head of the Chagos Islands, but you can expect the little archipelago between Africa and India to loom large on the front pages later this year. The House of Lords will make a final; determination on a case that will hopefully give a happy ending to a long-running saga that has been a blot on the record of Britain and the US

What in the World presents an inspiring account of life for the islanders since they were expelled from their homes in 1966. Back then a deal was done in which the British leased Diego Garcia, the biggest of the Chagos Islands, was given to the US military in a 70-year deal. In return, the Americans gave the British a good deal on Polaris nuclear missiles. And the 2,000 inhabitants? Officially they didn’t exist as the islands were classed as uninhabited except for a “few Tarzans and Man Fridays” – as one British official put it. Forcibly removed from a home they loved to a slum in Mauritius, the islanders suffered all the usual social problems of displaced people. We hear heart-breaking accounts of people dying from “the sadness” – essentially homesickness. All this was done with the utmost secrecy. The British queen gave her consent but Parliament was kept in the dark. Gradually sadness gave way to anger and these impoverished people began to take on two of the most powerful states on the planet.

Led by the women hunger strikers and legal campaigns have eventually led them to being just one step away from a legal ruling which will recognise the wrong-doings. It has dragged on this long because Tony Blair added further insult to injury by appealing a High Court decision to the Lords. What a story and it’s movingly presented by a What in the World? team that, despite an unfavourable scheduling slot represents a much-needed broadening of RTE’s horizons.
Irish Examiner 14 June 2008

Audience reaction to What in the World?

…excellent…informative…thought provoking…well-presented …compelling …powerful …disturbing … this great series…another chilling reminder of how we ignore the poverty of our fellow humans…this excellent programme…

 

What the critics said about Chasing the Rainbow

In this one-off documentary, Rice reacquaints himself with the country and visits old friends in townships, farms, factories and mines, to critically analyse the state’s achievements since 1994 and to explore the issues of South African identity, its efforts to deconstruct racism, its championing of a cultural renaissance and its position in the modern world.Irish Times 24 April 2004

…best documentary…Irish Independent 24 April 2004

…a brisk accomplished documentary…a fascinating perspective on the still fledging democracy Chasing the Rainbow is genuinely moving fare…Rice is remarkably responsible in his reporting, if not always entirely unemotional…Irish Examiner 24 April 2004

…pick of the week…Irish Catholic 25 April 2004

…this documentary goes a long way towards telling the real story of South Africa and the issues it faces today…TV Now 24 04 2004

…a thoughtful and often informative programme…Irish Independent 01 April 2004

…an important programme…ensuring that the viewer was challenged to see the grey around what is often presented as a black and while issue…Sunday Tribune 02 April 2004

What the critics said about Breaking the Chains

It took the formidable combination of Bono and the Pope to put pressure on the international community to think again about world debt. Surprisingly, it is the human factor that is the element often missing from the debate: the enormous toll of suffering and anguish that doesn’t register in the bank balance and rarely even appears in the margins. That’s why programmes such as Breaking the Chains have such a crucial part to play in putting a face on the misery. Stories of how life in the country has become a bitter struggle bring the real impact of global; debt into vivid focus.Irish Independent 16 December 2000

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