Talk and Screening: Anybody Here Been Raped and Speaks English? FULLY BOOKED

Talk Tuesday 20th May, 2008

Among those taking part will be broadcaster John Simpson (BBC), journalist Marie Colvin (The Sunday Times), journalist Christopher Dickey (Newsweek), film director Roman Polanski (taped), journalist Olivier Todd (former BBC Paris Correspondent), literary agent Ed Victor (taped), documentary maker Jeffrey Lee (former BBC Correspondent producer) journalist Jonathan Randal (former Washington Post correspondent), Richard Mayne and film producer Jeremy Thomas (The Last Emperor – taped).
The evening will be chaired by film-maker Anthony Geffen who worked with Edward Behr on several documentary projects including the acclaimed and controversial film Hirohito: Behind The Myth.

Born in 1926, Edward Behr was one of the most distinguished foreign correspondents of his generation. He wrote for the most important news outlets of the day: Reuters, Time-Life, Time and Newsweek. He covered the world’s hot-spots, from Africa to China and Vietnam, from Cuba to Prague and Paris. He interviewed Chairman Mao about the Cultural Revolution, learnt to tango from Fidel Castro, and in 1968 alone covered Saigon during the Tet Offensive from Saigon, the Spring Uprising in Prague and the student riots in Paris.

Inspired by Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop, Edward went on to write his best-selling memoirs, which became the foreign correspondents’ primer, Anybody Here Been Raped And Speaks English? The title was inspired by a request from a BBC camera crew he allegedly overheard whilst covering fighting in the Congo in 1961.

Edward’s work has been admired by fellow correspondents and a generation of subsequent journalists. The British journalist James Cameron described him as ‘One of the most experienced foreign correspondents of his and my generation’; author Simon Winchester called him ‘One of the best, surely no correspondent’s life was ever as ever as hilarious and bizarre’. Marie Colvin credited her decision to become a foreign correspondent to reading Behr’s book.

Edward was extraordinarily prolific. He wrote some nineteen successful and very varied books ranging from the authoritative to the entertaining. Among them were The Algerian Problem, Kiss The Hand You Cannot Bite: The Rise and Fall of the Ceausescus, Hirohito: Behind The Myth, The Last Emperor (winner of the Gutenberg prize which accompanied Bertolucci’s film of that name) Les Miserables: History In The Making and The Story of Miss Saigon.  He even wrote a novel, Getting Even, based on his experience as a foreign correspondent.

Edward’s work also included a wide range of award-winning television documentaries ranging from Ceausescu: Behind The Myth to The American Way of Death as well as films on Prohibition, Bombay, and the Kennedy Family. Drawing on his expertise on the Far East, he collaborated on the hit musicals Les Miserables and Miss Saigon.