The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
A run through of the stand-outs at the Turin Film Festival
This year's Turin Film Festival was somewhat overshadowed by the row between its organisers and British film director Ken Loach, who was expected to pick up the Gran Premio Torino lifetime achievement award.
Loach cancelled and withdrew the screening of his film The Angels' Share, saying it would be "weak and hypocritical" to accept the honour after learning about a jobs row at the National Museum Of Cinema.
The museum has subcontracted cleaning and security services to a private company and the workers are in dispute with management over outsourcing work done by the lowest-paid staff.
To those protesting outside the museum, Loach's was a real gesture of support.
In the festival there was some surprise that Scott Graham's Shell won the best film award, beating a string of other favourites.
It's set in a remote service station in Scotland and tells the story of a troubled father-daughter relationship.
A raw and impressive debut, the film also carried off the international film critics' prize.
Remarkable too was Kamal KM's I.D., a film about a young woman searching for the identity of a worker who died while painting her Mumbai flat.
Intensely realistic, it comes across as a quasi-documentary but it can also be taken as metaphor of Indian society.
The underlying vein of black humour and minimal use of music are in marked contrast to the wall-to-wall music of most Bollywood product.
Instead, through the revelatory sounds of the city, I.D. offers a sense of the everyday and the director truthfully renders the reality of the slums which is falsified in other films.
Opposite in style, but equally as metaphorical, is Giovanni Columbo's gripping Su Re, focusing on the last days of Christ.
Set far from Palestine on the island of Sardinia it's infused with paganism and the anger of unreason as its characters take the route of collective violence. It packs a big emotional punch.
Another mesmeric offering is the autobiographical Approved For Adoption by Jung Henin.
At the age of five Henin was found in the street of the South Korean capital Seoul and, like 200,000 other war orphans, was approved for adoption and sent to Belgium.
Trying to find his identity, Henin embarks on a solitary path. He finds in art a way to overcome his struggles and becomes a graphic novelist.
Using Super-8 home film footage and animation, Henin revives the past and creates a gripping tale of emotional complexity.
He tackles painful issues candidly and reveals the perverse behaviour of society, the family - and a dark history political history of human rights. A great film.
The best Italian documentary went to Maged El-Mahedy's I Don't Speak Very Good, I Dance Better, in which the Italian-born Egyptian film-maker tells the story of the Arab Spring in a memorably idiosyncratic way.
After his brother dies of hepatitis El-Mahedy learns his sister has liver cancer and returns to Egypt as the revolution is at its peak.
He starts to collect the memories, hopes, worries and fears of Tahrir Square demonstrators and in doing so discovers that 25 per cent of Egyptians are infected with hepatitis.
That insight is typical of a film that records and reflects contemporary society with a refined sense of poetry.
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