The Forum Blog

October 21, 2013

Granta 125 – After the War: “The story erupted around me”

By Caroline Schmitt The Frontline Club hosted an evening of reflections marking the publication of Granta 125: After the War on 17 October. Two correspondents shared their personal views on developments on the ground, after the battles are fought and the camera teams have moved on to cover other wars.


October 21, 2013

The Central Park Five + Directors Q&A: “How is it that we were so ready to believe they were guilty?”

by Ratha Lehall On Friday 18 October, the Frontline Club hosted a screening of the documentary The Central Park Five, in partnership with PBS America. The film focuses on five black and hispanic teenagers from Harlem, New York, who were imprisoned after falsely confessing to brutally raping and beating a young woman in Central Park in 1989. […]


October 18, 2013

Which Way is the Front Line From Here? A film and conversation about Tim Hetherington

By Alex Glynn “Why do young men go to war?” was asked again and again at the Between the Lines follow-up screening of Which Way is the Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington on Thursday 17 October at the Lexi Cinema. It was a question that occupied Hetherington during his lifetime and […]


October 16, 2013

The New Middle East: Why would you expect it to be easy?

By Caroline Schmitt During a conversation with BBC Arabic’s Samir Farah on 15 October, the BBC’s former Middle East Bureau Chief Paul Danahar gave the audience at the fully-booked Frontline Club a first-hand regional snapshot of the post-Arab Spring Middle East. One of the conclusions Danahar has drawn in his recent book The New Middle East: The […]


October 15, 2013

Pussy Riot: Punk Rock, Orthodox Christianity, and the Russian Courts

By Daniel Alan Kennedy Less than two weeks after Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova ended her hunger strike against the conditions in her Mordovian prison, on 14 October 2013, filmmakers Maxim Pozdorovkin and Mike Lerner held a Q&A following the screening of their documentary, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer. The film tracks the journeys of […]


October 14, 2013

Traitor Hero Comrade Spy: Philby – The Spy Who Went Into the Cold

By George Symonds “Good breeding and good manners are no guarantee of loyalty.” On Friday 11 October 2013, the Frontline Club screened Philby – The Spy Who Went Into the Cold. Kim Philby acted as a Soviet double-agent while serving as chief British intelligence officer in the United States, and while heading MI6’s anti-Soviet section. […]


October 8, 2013

“He took pictures to be seen” – The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington

By Pete Ford Director Sebastian Junger and producer James Brabazon screened Which Way is the Front from Here – The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington, on the 7th October 2013 at the Frontline Club. Tim Hetherington was not only a close friend to both Junger  and Brabazon, but also one of the Club’s founding members and a […]


October 3, 2013

Just Kenya’s problem? The Westgate Mall terror attack and the internationalisation of al-Shabaab

by Sally Ashley-Cound A week after the climax of the 3-day terrorist attack which started on 21 September at the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, the Frontline Club’s First Wednesday panel on 2 October 2013 – chaired by BBC Africa Editor Solomon Mugera –  gathered to discuss the Kenyan government’s response to the event and […]


September 27, 2013

The Forbidden Poet – Salma + Q&A

By George Symonds “The evening breeze blows towards the bride as she takes her leave on her wedding day.” (“New Bride, New Night” by Salma) On Thursday 26 September, the Frontline Club and DocHouse screened the evocative documentary Salma. Hosted at Rich Mix, the film was the latest in the Between the Lines Follow-Up series. […]


September 26, 2013

Maintaining the line of ethical journalism

By Richard Nield An event at the Frontline Club on 25 September saw a discussion focused on the recently published book by Stewart Purvis and Jeff Hulbert, When Reporters Cross The Line, examining the ethics of reporting in high pressure situations.


September 24, 2013

The Battle for Bizerte & the Salafi Debate

By Antonia Roupell Tunisian identity, neighbourhood quarrels, and Jihadist fighters in Syria were among the subjects discussed at the Frontline Club on 23 September. The evening began with a screening of Tunisian journalist, Zuhair Latif’s latest film for BBC Arabic, The Battle for Bizerte. It was followed by an energetic Q&A moderated by BBC Arabic TV presenter, Makki Helal. Fifty-two […]


September 23, 2013

Pretty Village: Life After War

By Peter Ford On Friday 20 September, the Frontline Club hosted a preview screening of David Evans’ Pretty Village, which was followed by an emotional debate and panel discussion featuring protagonist and producer Kemal Pervanic and journalist at ITV News, Penny Marshall. The debate was moderated by Ed Vulliamy, writer for The Guardian and The Observer.


September 18, 2013

The Afghanistan Debate

By Dan Tookey The Frontline Club abandoned familiar digs in Paddington on Tuesday 17 September in favour of the packed Shaw Theatre on the Euston Road. In partnership with BBC World Service for Afghanistan, they brought together five leading experts on Afghanistan to discuss the country’s recent past and near future.


September 17, 2013

Out of the Shadow

By Dan Tookey In the Shadow of a Man was shown to a packed audience at the Frontline Club on Monday 16th September. The documentary explores the lives and opinions of four very different Egyptian women in their fight for women’s rights. The film cuts across class and geography but finds similar threads of resistance […]


September 16, 2013

Five short films from Syria

By Laura Hughes While the world watches the unfolding crisis in Syria, on Friday 13 September the Frontline Club hosted a special series of short films made in and around the conflict zone. Through the lens of each filmmaker, the selection of five short documentaries explored the different ways in which the choices they make, […]


September 12, 2013

How can Mexico live without drug money?

By Sally Ashley-Cound From over five years of interviews with members of the main cartels in Mexico, ex-policemen, army generals and officials in the government, journalist Anabel Hernández‘s book Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and Their God Fathers investigates the corruption and compliancy of the official governmental system and the drug cartels in her home […]


September 5, 2013

Intervening in Syria: Not Another Iraq or Afghanistan

By Jim Treadway “It’s a town hall style meeting – we quickly come to you,” BBC 4‘s Paddy O’Connell told a sold-out First Wednesday audience at the Frontline Club yesterday evening.  The topic was intervention in Syria, and with four experts by his side, O’Connell led a lively back-and-forth with the night’s attendees. “Here we […]


September 4, 2013

Physical Nostalgia: Rewind This! + Q&A

By George Symonds VHS or Betamax? Is video rental a good idea? Should the public even be allowed to have physical access to films? On Tuesday 3 September, these were some of the era-defining issues raised at the Frontline Club’s screening of Rewind This! Directed by Josh Johnson, Rewind This! beamed the audience into a […]


August 28, 2013

Screening: Google and the World Brain

By Pete Ford Google and the World Brain, co-produced by the BBC and initially broadcasted as part of their Storyville strand in 2013. Played to a typically crowded Frontline Club on Tuesday 27th August, as part of this summer’s season exploring how technological changes shape the way we view and document the world. Setting out at Christmas […]


August 21, 2013

Exploring Jan Gehl’s Humanist City Spaces

By Jim Treadway “Jan Gehl might be the most famous architect that you’ve never heard of,” filmmaker Andreas Dalsgaard told a sold-out Frontline Club audience Tuesday evening 20 August, where he screened his latest project: The Human Scale. The movie explores Gehl’s innovation in architecture and city planning over the last several decades, from his native […]


August 13, 2013

Where next for a post-Morsi Egypt?

By Daniel Alan Kennedy The 2011 revolution in Egypt raised hopes that democratic institutions would replace Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorship.  The recent removal of President Morsi by the Egyptian military and the violence on the streets that followed has instead left Egypt facing an uncertain future. Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East Editor and renowned Egyptian journalist Yosri Fouda met […]


August 2, 2013

Will 2013 see the end of Mugabe’s 33-year rule?

By Dan Tookey After a tense five year coalition between Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF and Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Zimbabwe is back at the ballot box. On the eve of the polls closing on 31 July, the Frontline Club hosted a debate with four experts to discuss what this election will mean for […]


July 22, 2013

Syria Conflict: Developments on the ground and on the international stage

By Dan Tookey The month of Ramadan is usually a time for festivities and celebration but in Syria there is little to rejoice about.  The United Nations has estimated around 93,000 Syrians have died since the civil war began in 2011 and the number of refugees fleeing the country recently exceeded 1.5 million. On Wednesday […]


July 22, 2013

Shorts at the Frontline Club: The Different Faces of Documentary Filmmaking

By Daniel Alan Kennedy While many people often have a conception of what a documentary “should be” in terms of length, style, content or subject, the Frontline Club’s July 19 screening of four short documentary films demonstrated the breath of different choices available to filmmakers. Ranging from 8 to 25 minutes, the films covered subjects […]


July 16, 2013

Egypt’s New Roadmap

By Dan Tookey Following Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s removal from power by the Egyptian military on the 3 July, the Frontline Club hosted a debate, ten days later, exploring what has happened and asking what these events mean for Egypt’s future.


July 10, 2013

In Surveillance We Trust?

By Jim Treadway The world is coming to grips with the depth and scale of government surveillance following revelations, released by whistleblower Edward Snowden, about the US’s National Security Agency (NSA) Prism program. On 9 July a panel of experts convened at the Frontline Club to debate the balance between personal privacy and national security.


July 4, 2013

Talking to the Taliban

by Sally Ashley-Cound The Taliban have made steps towards wanting to be seen as a legitimate political force, by setting up an operations office in Qatar on 18 June this year. The First Wednesday discussion chaired by Paddy O’Connell at the Frontline Club on 3 July asked: Is talking to the Taliban a solution? John D McHugh, […]


July 3, 2013

‘You don’t have to be hit by a bullet to be a victim of war’: Reflections of Gino Strada, war surgeon

By Helena Williams “You don’t have to be hit by a bullet or step on landmine to be a victim of war.”


July 2, 2013

Alex Gibney’s We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks divides the Frontline audience

By Alex Glynn On Friday 28 June there was a palpable sense of anticipation among the Frontline Club audience, ahead of the preview screening of Alex Gibney’s most recent documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks. The film chronicles the history of WikiLeaks and looks at the roles Bradley Manning and Julian Assange played in what was referred to as […]


July 1, 2013

The Act of Killing: Holding up a Dark Mirror to Society

By Ratha Lehall The second Between the Lines Festival follow-up event took place at the ICA on 29 June, and was a showing of the director’s cut of the Act of Killing followed by a Q&A with director Joshua Oppenheimer. This remarkable film provides a look at the 1965-66 anti-Communist mass killings in Indonesia from the perspective of the former members […]