Google and the World Brain is now available on DVD!

The film is endlessly fascinating and engaging. It’s probably the best documentary you’ll see all year.

Lucas McNelly – Huffington Post 

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Google and the World Brain is now available to buy on DVD via the Polar Star Films Website.

Buy it here!

It will also soon be available on Amazon – keep an eye out for the announcement!

 

 

The Great Contemporary Art Bubble DVD

I have DVDs of the extended 90-minute version of my documentary “The Great Contemporary Art Bubble” for sale. Recommended Retail Price £19.99 – but available from my website for only £11.99, (approximately €15 or USA $19) each. Payment is via Paypal, though you can pay with all major credit cards too.

We have Region 1 (US, Canada) and Region 2 (Europe) versions.


On September 15th 2008, the day of the the collapse of Lehmans, the worst financial news since 1929, Damien Hirst sold over £60 million of his art, in an auction at Sotheby’s that would total £111 million over two days. It was the peak of the contemporary art bubble, the greatest rise in the financial value of art in the history of the world. One art critic and film-maker was banned by Sotheby’s and Hirst from attending this historic auction: Ben Lewis.
Why?

He had spent the whole of 2008 making a documentary investigating the reasons behind the booming contemporary art market, and they didn’t like what he was finding out… Art critic and film-maker Ben Lewis spent over a year investigating this contemporary art bubble in Europe, America and China and discovered a world of secretive deals, speculation, tax breaks and market manipulation that involved the whole art world – dealers, collectors, galleries, auction houses and even public museums. In the climax of the film, his discoveries lead him to play his own small secret part in the bursting of the contemporary art bubble. Includings interviews with leading dealers, gallerists, auction house specialists, artists and financial analysts.
Shown at the Montreal Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, San Francisco Documentary Festival and Tel Aviv Art Film Festival.

DVD Aspect ratio 16:9 Stereo Duration 90 min Language: English Release Date: 2009 © 2009

Buy Art Safari 2

PAL Region 2. English language

Available on-line from Artsafari.tv SHOP for only £9.99 (RRP£19.99) (approximately €13, or USA $16)

plus p&p.

Following the runaway success of the multi-award-winning first BBC4 series of ‘Art Safari’, documentary-maker Ben Lewis, returns with another survey of the world’s most interesting, imaginative, intelligent and insane contemporary artists.

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WIM DELVOYE is the world’s rudest artist. Cloaca is a work of art and a machine which reproduces the human digestive system. You put food in one end and faeces comes out the other. But is this s**t for real?

SOPHIE CALLE
is the Grand Dame of French contemporary art. Her art often involves following a set of rules or executing a task devised by someone else. She wants Ben to come up with an artistic idea for her to do…

TAKASHI MURAKAMI
is Japan’s most successful contemporary artist. He makes super-sized cartoons and toys inspired by Japanese Manga comics. His art may look superficial and commercialised, but behind it lies a theory about the history of postwar Japan.

SANTIAGO SIERRA
is Spain’s anti-capitalist artist and one of the world’s most radical artists. Ben travels with him to the heavily militarised border between North and South Korea, and then to globalisation hub of Dubai. but there’s friction between artist and TV presenter…

Comes with a 12-page Bonus Booklet, with essays on each artist/episode by Ben Lewis DVD Aspect ratio 16:9 Stereo Duration 4 x 30 min Language: English Release Date: 2009 © 2005

Hammer & Tickle DVD



(only £9.99)

Under the oppressive Communist Regimes of the Soviet Union and its satellites, ordinary people told thousand of jokes about the society they lived in and the political system they suffered under. This documentary tells the real history of Communism though the jokes and the joke-tellers, many of whom ended up in the gulags. The film is illustrated with a combination of rare archive, interviews (Lech Walesa, General Jaruselski) and recreations of the jokes in sketches and animations.  It is packed with strange stories – the official who collected jokes for Ronald Regan, the Polish prankster who gave away toilet paper to deprived fellow citizens, and the Romanian statistician who collected and analyzed Communist Jokes to reveal the part they played in the downfall of the Communist system.

PAL  –   Dur 90 mins  –  Language: ENGLISH

King of Communism DVD

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I now have DVDs of this classic, award-winning, archive-and-interview historical documentary I made in 2001.

‘Using Nicolae Ceausescu’s own archive of propaganda films, this eerily entertaining documentary paints a sureal picture of the Romanian Communist Dictator.” Daily Telegraph.

This 60-minute DVD is PAL Europe Region 2. You can buy it via paypal, using your credit card or paypal account. Only £14.99 plus P&P.



only £9.99 !

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‘It was great Theatre. There were 22 million spectators applauding. . . . but there was only one performer.’ Andrei Duban

‘This week’s best television programme.’ The Observer ‘

Picture a Maoist spectacular, all fluttering flags and synchronized smiles, choreographed by Busby Berkeley and starring the entire population of a European Country. Throw in medieval royal pageants scripted by poets that make our laureate look like a venom-spitting anarchist and you will have some idea of the bizarre world that Nicholae Ceausescu created in Romania in the 1970s. The Peasant’s son who came to power after staging a huge demonstration against Soviet invasion grasped that grand public display worked. The results, as Ceausescu’s own film archive shows, make compelling viewing.’ Sylvia Simmons, The Sunday Times

I spent a month spooling through rusting tins of film at the Bucharest State Film Archive to find this material of the incredible spectacular shows Ceausescu used to stage in stadiums to glorify his regime. This film is really about politics as a kind of theatre, Communism as a giant illusion, ie a giant work of art. I know you can describe Capitalism the same way…. but this was the Communist ‘society of the spectacle.’

Winner of the Grierson Award for best historical documentary, 2002

Continue reading King of Communism DVD

Blowing Up Paradise DVD

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I have just printed up a limited edition of my award-winning documentary about French Nuclear testing in the Pacific 1966 – 1996. It’s full of French Ministry of Defence footage of French nuclear tests and propaganda films. I spent two weeks filming in Tahiti, and also shot further interviews in France and Australia. The film won awards across the world and a year after it was released, the French government finally agreed to pay compensation to the local islanders and to their military personnel.  The DVD is, as usual PAL Europe Region 2. Only £14.99 plus postage and packing  (£2 for the UK, £3 for further afield). You can buy it via paypal. Credit cards accepted!



(only £9.99)

“Both painful and empowering, this is a film everyone needs to see.” San Francisco Bay Guardian

“A salutary tale encompassing repeated betrayals of trust, extraordinary recklessness and the brutal suppression of any local or international resistance” Time Out, London.

On 2 July 1966, a nuclear device codenamed ‘Aldebaran’ was detonated on Moruroa Atoll, beginning thirty years of nuclear testing in French Polynesia. A few days later, the French sent a naval vessel, La Coquille, to the island of Mangareva, situated only 400 km from the test site to carry out a series of tests. The results were shocking – so shocking they were kept secret for over 30 years. President Jacques Chirac promised the end of nuclear tests there in 1995, as rioters set fire to the Tahitian capital Papeete, and a thirty-strong flotilla of international protestors’ yachts defied French warships in the waters around Moruroa. This is the true story of liberty, equality and radio-activity.

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At the end of May 2005, ten years after they stopped nuclear tests on the idyllic atolls of Moruroa and Fangataufa, documents finally came to light that proved that the French government has been lying for fifty years about the fallout from their tests in the Pacific.

The documents published in the journal ‘Damocles’ show that fallout from French nuclear tests in 1966 and 1967 fell on inhabitants on nearby islands at levels up to 140 times those in the forbidden zone around Chernobyl.

The publication of these documents follow a new independent medical study which offers the first conclusive scientific proof that French Polynesians were affected by fallout from French nuclear tests. The study reveals that French Polynesians are three times as likely to suffer thyroid complaints as Europeans – health problems known to indisputably linked to radiation.

In “Blowing Up Paradise” completed shortly before these new documents came to light, director Ben Lewis comes to the same conclusions by a different route. using meticulously researched archive material from New Zealand, Tahiti and the French television and the French Ministry of Defence, this documentary reveals how right until today, the French army and state has been lying about the harmlessness of their tests., while islanders, test workers and their own soldiers fell ill.

Focusing on ten French tests, presented stylistically itself as a nuclear countdown, this documentary recounts the story of French nuclear testing in the Pacific and the struggle to stop them 1966-96. It is a rollercoaster of a story packed with massive nuclear explosions filmed in colour, proud French generals and presidents, idyllic tropical islands, adventure on the high seas, the tears of sick former tests workers and French soldiers , the bombs of radical terrorist cells and Pink-Panther-esque escapades of French spies, the struggle of an oppressed people for independence, environmental protest, riots and a city in flames.

The result is a real-life, nuclear version of the age-old myth of Paradise Lost, and a French equivalent of the award-winning film about the American nuclear tests, ‘Radio Bikini’.

Agent Moura DVD

ALSO PRODUCED BY BLTV

LIMITED EDITION DVD AVAILABLE<

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(only £9.99)

Baroness Moura Budberg’s life reads like a cold war thriller: caught up in a plot to topple the Bolsheviks with Bruce Lockhart and Sidney Reilly (the inspiration for James Bond). She was a lover of pies and writers, men like HG Wells and Maxim Gorky.  Her life was so intriguing the direct of Casablanca even made a Hollywood movie about her called British Agent in the 1930’s.

British Intelligence suspected she was a calculating Soviet spy, she was under MI5 surveillance for over five long decades. The Russian Secret Services believed her to be a British Double Agent. Russian historians made the most serious allegations, that she smuggled sensitive documents to Russia in the 1930’s which sent, hundreds, perhaps thousands to their deaths. Others accused her of poisioning her lover, Maxim Gorky, on Stalins’ orders.