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TAKING LIBERTIES

26-05-2007

The Stirrer has a bona fide movie star in its midst. Regular blogger Dr David Nicholl appears in Taking Liberties - Britain’s answer to Fahrenheit 9/11. Here’s his first hand account of his own glittering premiere.

click the images for a larger picture

director Chris Atkins and Dr David Nicholl Rich from Shackle Suffling and Dr David Nicholl Dr David Nicholl and Rachel North Dr David Nicholl with Theo and Shannon from Seize the Day Walter Wolfgang and Dr David Nicholl
director Chris Atkins and Dr David Nicholl
Rich from Seize the Day and Dr David Nicholl
Dr David Nicholl with Rachel North
Theo and Shannon from Seize the Day with Dr David Nicholl
Walter Wolfgang and Dr David Nicholl

It was a very weird feeling tonight. I love going to the cinema, there is nothing quite like a bit of cinematic escapism, but this time was going to be a little bit different as I was in the movie.

I had been invited to a ‘cast and crew’ showing of the film “Taking Liberties” in London.

Of course, I was excited, who wouldn’t be, but it all felt a little unreal. No paparrazi, stretch limos and red carpet for m e- more like the train, the Tube and trying to work out where this arthouse cinema in Shoreditch was for the screening.

It was odd standing in the foyer not knowing anyone - the only people who did know anyone were the filmmakers who had spent hundreds of hours putting together all that footage.

Then sitting in the cinema sitting down eating my popcorn with the ‘cast’ and thinking how ordinary everyone looked. Yet this entire film is all about ordinary people who have done extraordinary things. This is a film where, unlike the usual Hollywood stars, the cast haven’t made any money. Indeed, everything they have done has cost them something because civil liberties is a subject they believe in passionately.

The film itself, although billed as the “UK’s answer to Fahrenheit 9/11” is less cynical and more humorous than Michael Moore’s film but is very inspirational and makes one seriously question where we are heading as a nation.

I met some of the ‘stars’ like Walter Wolfgang who was manhandled out of the Labour party conference for telling Jack Straw like it is; AbuBakr Deghayes whose brother Omar has been held for over 5 years in Guantanamo without charge; Rachel North who was a victim of the Russell Square tube bombings on 7/7 and thinks the anti-terror legislation is likely to increase the likelihood of terrorism; and band Seize the Day who wrote the “shackle shuffle” that we danced to outside Hiatts, provider of Guantanamo shackles on a particularly lousy day in January in Great Barr.

There is a stack of material in this film with contributions from Mark Thomas, Tony Benn, Boris Johnson, Moazzam Begg. and many many others. What the film doesn’t show is that the father of Theo, the lead singer of Seize the Day, had died the day before, but Theo felt that this was such an important issue, that his band should come and do the gig anyway.

What about my role? There I was when I jumped onto the screen being forcefed outside the US embassy (not pleasant and not to be repeated), then later discussing how Hiatts had contributed to the slave trade 200 years ago and were now part of a 21st century slave trade of extraordinary renditions to Guantanamo and other secret prisons.

More than anything, this film is a call to action. It shows that ordinary people can make a difference. Indeed they are the only thing that does make a difference. So finally the answer to the question that had been bugging me prior to the film - is it any good, will I bore my friends and family senseless to go and see this film? “Yes and absolutely Yes” I scream!.

I am immensely proud to be associated with such a film if even in a small way. NOW GO SEE IT! There is an exclusive preview showing with director Chris Atkins on Saturday May 26th at Warwick Arts Centre, the film is on release from June 8th, details and trailer via www.noliberties.com

The more people that see it opening weekend, the bigger the release will be - or so my luvvie mates tell me. Now where is that stretch limo home?

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