A. Loewenstein Online Newsletter


Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life affirms humanity

Posted: 10 Jun 2011

Last night I saw Terrence Malick’s new opus, The Tree of Life in New York, a haunting and beautiful film about love, loss and the almost insignificance of humanity in the face of earthly beauties.
Malick is one of my favourite directors – my honours thesis was on his 1978 masterpiece, Days of Heaven – and he has a remarkable way of capturing nature in its most intimate moments. The characters in The Tree of Life, including Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, are often swimming in confusion in our world, desperately seeking clarity, meaning and hope.
The film won the top prize at Cannes this year and it’s not hard to see why. It’s visually spectacular and edited with such precision and the two and a half hours feels like a dream, moving from the present day to the 1950s and 2001-style space musings to when dinosaurs roamed the planet.
Malick strives for meaning in his films and he usually achieves it. He finds something disagreeable in the modern age and looks for alternatives.
A meditative film for a mad world.

Yes, citizens need to know which Jews rule the world

Posted: 10 Jun 2011


Of course Wikileaks is a force for good in the world

Posted: 10 Jun 2011


Stuart Rees, head of the Sydney Peace Foundation and presenter to Julian Assange of the Sydney Peace Medal recentlywrites in today’s Sydney Morning Herald why Wikileaks matters:

The WikiLeaks revelations are a watershed in decades of struggles to unmask what really occurs in the conduct of powerful people and institutions, in governments, corporations and the military.
Julian Assange’s creativity, plus the courage and initiatives of whistleblowers, has made a significant contribution to the global understanding of democracy and the promotion of human rights. WikiLeaks cables have exposed corruption, demystified the activities of diplomats and emphasised the indispensability of freedom of speech. Its revelations have encouraged movements across the Middle East to resist oppression and to advocate universal human rights and democracy.
The controversy highlights a struggle between violent and non-violent philosophies and practices. Bogus claims about national security have been used for decades to conceal militaristic ways of thinking and acting, as shown in the 2007 video of murder from a helicopter over Baghdad. Emphasis on transparency in government, on holding governors accountable and on freedom of speech illustrates the non-violent alternatives in policy-making of all kinds.
Powerful people’s ”we must seek revenge” reaction to Assange and Private Bradley Manning, the US soldier due to be tried over the alleged leaking of US government secrets to WikiLeaks, shows the threat it poses to centuries-old assumptions about government: that only a few can comprehend the mysteries of Whitehall, Washington or Canberra or even of corporate boardrooms or the governing bodies of universities.
It looks as though powerful people – politicians, media commentators, senior managers – have been given a painful laxative that is having such an effect they’re running around crying that we’ll all suffer if they have to take the WikiLeaks potion again. On the contrary, all citizens, shareholders and students will benefit from a new transparency in governance. And there should be inestimable benefits for the powerful. If they’ve taken their WikiLeaks medicine, they should eventually get better.
Once they recover from the pain and embarrassment, they may even be grateful that all the energy needed to keep secrets and pretend that they always acted in people’s best interests will no longer be required.

This is what our tax dollars are funding in Israel

Posted: 10 Jun 2011

Having HIV in Egypt

Posted: 09 Jun 2011

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