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Introduction: Harold Pinter: Art, Truth, and Politics (02:55)

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In late 2005 Harold Pinter videotaped a lecture on the occasion of the award to him of one of the most distinguished of honors, the Nobel Prize for Literature. His speech, delivered directly to the camera, is a complex reflection on his own writing and an excoriating attack on the foreign policy of a “brutal, ruthless and scornful” United States. He reflects on the genesis of his plays The Homecoming and Old Times; on the problems of political theatre; on the tragedy of American actions in Nicaragua; on the invasion of Iraq and on other crimes by the United States in the past half-century. In this introductory segment, David Hare explains how John Osborne and Harold Pinter inspire others to become playwrights.

Exploration of Reality Through Art (07:30)

A figure can be both true and false simultaneously. The search for truth in drama is compulsive. Pinter explains his creative process of writing "The Homecoming" and "Old Times."

Politically Motivated Theater (02:53)

One cannot sermonize and the author has to be objective. Characters need to have the freedom of expression. Pinter cites examples from "The Birthday Party," "Ashes to Ashes," and "Mountain Language."

Political Language (04:30)

Politicians are not interested in truth but in how to maintain power and keep their citizens ignorant. Pinter asserts that the United States prefers low-intensity conflict, where thousands of people die over time and the remainder are subdued.

Central American Example (08:36)

Pinter asserts how the United States ignored pleas to stop aiding the Contras. He continues how the Sandinista government was good for the people of Nicaragua. An Atlacatl Regiment, trained at Fort Benning assassinates six distinguished Jesuits in San Salvador.

Foreign Policy (03:55)

The US has supported and engendered every right-wing military dictatorship since World War II. Pinter cites Indonesia, Greece, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Haiti, Turkey, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador, Chile as examples. America masquerades as a force for universal good while manipulating for more power.

Moral Sensibilities (07:44)

Pinter compares Great Britain to a bleating little lamb and calls for Tony Blair and George Bush to be tried at the International Criminal Court of Justice. America no longer cares about the United Nations and commits atrocities at the Guantanamo Bay.

"I'm Explaining a Few Things" (02:45)

The Pablo Neruda poem is a powerful, visceral, description of the bombing of civilians.

America's Political Philosophy (04:43)

US foreign policy is now defined as "full spectrum dominance" and threatens nuclear war when attack. Pinter describes a speech he would write for President George Bush.

"Death" (03:29)

A writer makes a choice and is stuck with it. Pinter closes his speech with a poem he wrote. The dignity of man can only be restored if human beings examine the real truth of our lives with fierce intellectual determination.

Credits: Harold Pinter: Art, Truth, and Politics (00:14)

Credits: Harold Pinter: Art, Truth, and Politics

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Harold Pinter: Art, Truth and Politics


DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95

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Description

In late 2005 Harold Pinter videotaped a lecture on the occasion of the award to him of one of the most distinguished of honors, the Nobel Prize for Literature. His speech, delivered directly to the camera, is a complex reflection on his own writing and an excoriating attack on the foreign policy of a “brutal, ruthless and scornful” United States. Harold Pinter reflects on the genesis of his plays The Homecoming and Old Times; on the problems of political theatre; on the tragedy of American actions in Nicaragua; on the invasion of Iraq and on other crimes by the United States in the past half-century. Art, Truth & Politics is a speech that made headlines around the world. It is an urgent and compelling appeal for us all as citizens to seek out and honor truth.

Length: 50 minutes

Item#: BVL194795

ISBN: 978-1-64867-421-1

Copyright date: ©2006

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

“[A] passionate and astonishing speech, which mixed moral vigour with forensic detail… This was a man delivering an attack on American foreign policy, and Britain’s subscription to it, with a controlled anger and a deadly irony. And, paradoxically, it reminded us why Pinter is such a formidable dramatist. He used every weapon in his theatrical technique to reinforce his message. And, by the end, it was as if Pinter himself had been physically recharged by the moral duty to express his innermost feelings.” –Michael Billington, The Guardian “Pinter’s plays speak volumes between the lines – but bluntly stating his position as he does here, he speaks even more loudly with them. His speech is not just a major contribution to revealing the lies we’re living under, but also an important new part towards understanding the man.” –The Stage Online

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