Culture Vulture: our guide to the week’s entertainment (1 October – 7 October 2022)

Highlights this week include: Moonlight, a documentary on the 1978 Winter of Discontent and a debate on Britain on Strike.

Saturday 1 October 2022

I See You: Poetry, Porn and Me 11:30pm BBC RADIO 4

Last year, poet Helen Mort discovered that images taken from her social media page had been uploaded to a porn website.

Users of the site were invited to edit the photos, merging Helen’s face with explicit and violent sexual images. This is deepfake pornography.

In I see You: Poetry Porn and Me, Helen reclaims her voice as she reflects on this experience and charts the journey she has taken to come to terms with being a victim.

Unable to get support from the law – as deepfakes are not illegal – Helen navigates a new path for herself.

She speaks to storytellers, vocal coaches, tattooists and others on this journey, which interrogates how we look at women’s bodies, and the way women are valued and in turn, value themselves.

Weaving between poetry and interviews, the programme follows Helen through the different stages of letting go, rediscovering her voice and restoring some control over what happened to her.

Sunday 2 October 2022

The Coming Storm (4/8) Q Drops 1:30pm BBC RADIO 4

QAnon and the plot to break reality…

In Oct 2017 Donald Trump says something weird in a room full of military figures: “Maybe this is the calm before the storm.”

A few weeks later a poster on 4chan who calls himself Q starts to tell a crazy story about a coming storm, in which Trump is engaged in an epic battle against a cabal of satanic paedophiles who have hijacked the American Republic.

A group of bloggers mainstream the theory and it starts having a life of its own with real world consequences. Qanon is born. But who is directing it?

1978: Winter Of Discontent 9pm Channel 5

The story of the period of industrial action that changed the face of Britain between November 1978 and February 1979, with contributions from Esther Rantzen, David Hamilton, Carole Malone, and Alastair Stewart. With the worst weather in a decade, 13 million days were lost due to strikes, resulting in thousands of schools closing, hospitals only admitting emergency patients, and the dead not being buried.

The RMT rail union (followed by Aslef and TSSA) in the privatised railways and the Communication Workers Union in privatised BT and Royal Mail are leading the fightback for workers today. Ballots of public sector workers are being prepared in local government, universities, teachers, civil servants and most likely NHS workers and firefighters. Although the situation unions face today is in many ways different there are lessons to learn form the 1978 and 1979 strikes.

There is a very good article from the Socialist Party on the strikes old and new here.

Pariah: The Lives and Deaths of Sonny Liston 9pm Sky Documentaries

A look at the life and death of the iconic boxer, who died from a supposed overdose eight years after becoming heavyweight champion of the world.

Monday 3 October 2022

Analysis: What’s the point of street protest? 8:30 BBC RADIO 4

Is a protest march worth your effort? About a million people attended the Stop the War street protest in 2003. About half a million had marched to protest against the fox hunting ban a year earlier. More recently, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to demonstrate against the decision to leave the EU. Nonetheless, the Iraq war happened, the hunting ban remains and Britain did leave the EU. James Tilley, a professor of politics at Oxford, finds out if street protests achieve anything, why people take part and what effect they have on politicians and voters.

The American Civil War 11am, 4.25pm, 8.50pm PBS America (Episode 1, 3 showings)

The American Civil War Ken Burns documentary series aired on PBS is an in-depth, comprehensive look at the causes and effects of the Civil War. The series features interviews with historians and Civil War experts, as well as archival footage and photographs. The documentary provides a detailed account of the events leading up to the Civil War, the battles fought during the war, and the aftermath of the conflict.Further episodes at the same times Tuesday-Friday. Not to be missed.

Britain On Strike: The Debate 9pm Channel 5

Jeremy Vine moderates a discussion about the current wave of strike action and how it affects the public. He hears the stories of those affected by the strikes, from small businesses to daily commuters, while those participating and union leaders explain why they believe such measures are necessary.

The Walk-In (1/5) 9pm ITV

The new ITV drama “The Walk In” tells the story of Michael Collins, a far-right activist who becomes an informer for the Hope Not Hate political pressure group/charity. Collins is played by Stephen Graham, who is best known for his roles in “This Is England” and ” Boardwalk Empire “.

The drama follows Collins as he comes to terms with his new role, and soon finds himself in over his head as he attempts to infiltrate a violent extremist group. With tensions high and the stakes ever-growing, Collins must decide where his loyalties lie: with the far-right extremists or with Hope Not Hate.

Here at Counter Culture we will reserve judgment on how far the story is “true” and how nuanced the story is till after we’ve seen all five episodes.

Tuesday 4 October 2022

What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali 9pm Sky Documentaries

What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali has earned some excellent reviews.

The Hollywood Reporter called it “a vivid and fascinating portrait of a career”, while the Chicago Sun-Times said that “the greatness of What’s My Name is that if you’re young and you know very little of Muhammad Ali, this would be the perfect place to start learning about him — but if you remember Ali in his prime and you’re well-versed in his history, it’s still a must-see television event”.

Wednesday 5 October 2022

Head-on: Rugby, Dementia and Me 9pm BBC2

Ex-rugby player Steve Thompson’s life has been turned upside down by a diagnosis of early onset dementia. Steve and his family attempt to come to terms with the condition.

Back Seat Drivers 1am BBC RADIO 4

The historian Steven Fielding explores one of the most rarified jobs in British politics: ex-Prime Minister. As Boris Johnson joins the five other former premiers, at the age of 58, Steve asks politicians, journalists, advisers and historians what ex-PMs should do – and how they actually approach this strange role in public life.

Since the Second World War, former Prime Ministers have engaged in Long Sulks, made Occasional Decisive Interventions and – in Margaret Thatcher’s famous phrase – tried to be Back Seat Drivers. Only one – the man who was PM when Johnson was born – has ever returned as a minister. But, as Steve explores, the early twentieth century offers some more surprising precedents. So could Johnson ever return – and if not, what positive roles are open to him and his select band of colleagues, with their unique depth of experience at the top of British politics?

Thursday 6 October 2022

Muhammad Ali: A Life In Pictures 8pm BBC4

Muhammad Ali is one of the most photographed men in history. But just a handful of iconic shots and private snaps reveal a new story: an extraordinary life through a unique lens.

Ali (2004) 9pm BBC4

A biography of sports legend Muhammad Ali, focusing on his triumphs and controversies between 1964 and 1974.

Moonlight (2016) 11.30pm BBC4

A thought-provoking and inspiring film

A young African-American man grapples with his identity and sexuality while experiencing the everyday struggles of childhood, adolescence, and burgeoning adulthood. See our review here. and watch the official trailer here.

Friday 7 October 2022

We Are England: Coping In Construction 7.30pm BBC1

Alfie and his scaffolding gang have seen first-hand the mental health struggles of colleagues in construction. Now they’re joining forces with other workers to make a difference.

Britain`s Evicted Kids 7.30pm Channel 4

Dispatches lifts the lid on the reality of life for thousands of families across the country at risk of eviction, and how losing a home impacts the youngest members of our society

Bowie at the BBC 9pm BBC4

Clips from the BBC archive giving an overview of David Bowie’s career from 1964 to 2016, blending interviews and performances from music programmes, documentaries and chat shows.

David Bowie Finding Fame 11.30 BBC4

Part three of Francis Whately’s Bowie trilogy, telling the story of how David Robert Jones became David Bowie, how Bowie became Ziggy Stardust and how Ziggy became immortal.

Selections by Henry Falconer and Patrick Harrington

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