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
ENO's production of La Boheme is a triumph,
This political thriller recalls a very difficult chapter in French history when, in 1994, four Algerian terrorists from the GIA - the Armed Islamic Group - hijacked an Air France plane.
There were 172 passengers on board and the hostages endured 54 hours of terror while governments negotiated. It was the first time an event such as this was broadcast globally.
The film's focus is on three of the protagonists - an ambitious Foreign Office technocrat, a determined jihadist from the Algiers slums and an obscure GIA envoy.
The clash between Western "logic" and hateful beliefs ensues.
Rich in suspense - the terrorists are planning to crash the plane into the Eiffel Tower - this film suggests the crisis could be seen as a premonition for future atrocities.
And it points toward the irresponsible attitude of the French government and, equally as damning, the total lack of political engagment displayed internationally.
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