Law & Culture

Law and CultureIn our Law & Culture column, you will find original works of fiction, reviews of a wide range of publications — not just conventional legal texts — as well as broader cultural forms such as films, TV shows, CDs, DVDs, art exhibitions and so on. The column links in with the Alternative Law Journal’s focus on law for the disadvantaged, human rights law and law reform.

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Zombies and the Law — no, seriously!

Darren Peter Parker

LawCulture-Parker-Zombies-150Arrrrrgghhhhhh – who doesn’t like zombies? I certainly do! I mean I don’t ‘like’ like them. I certainly wouldn’t want to become one nor, I suspect, would you either, but I absolutely love the allegorical undercurrents of a good read about zombies (and not just a well-constructed one). Case in point, the graphic novel series The Walking Dead. Recently, I returned to read my Hardcover Deluxe volumes of The Walking Dead (yes, I am ‘one of those people’ who are of a certain age that still read comics; unashamedly so). Of late, thankfully, there has been academic movement around ‘law and comics’ which has given the medium some [cough] credibility. But, I suspect that the genuineness of that credibility is dependent upon who you are speaking to. If you ask any comic-nut (and I certainly put myself in that category) about the credibility of comics, be very careful how you ask, because ‘them there’s fighting words’ (not that comic-readers are inherently violent, but just saying). When you can spend a couple of hundred bucks on comics in a week (not every week but nonetheless) and not think anything of it, you qualify as a comic-nut (though I don’t think that there is any real ‘hurdle’ as such, just a love of comics will suffice).

(2014) 39(2) AltLJ 146

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WADJDA

Jess Naylor

wadjda-posterDirector/writer: Haifaa Al Mansour; starring Reem Abdullah, Waad Mohammed; eOne/Hopscotch film distributors, 2012; 98 mins. Available on DVD, July 2014.

The star of Haifaa Al Mansour’s groundbreaking new film could be any other teenager. Wadjda blasts indie music in her room when her parents are talking to her and argues constantly with her mother, she talks about boys with her friends at school and hides electric blue nail polish from her teachers. However, it is the simple concepts of time and place that force both the film and Wadjda’s life into a territory that is worlds apart from any other teen movie.

(2014) 39(2) AltLJ 145

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The Conservative Revolution

Mitchell Landrigan

the-conservative-revolution-bernardi-coverCory Bernardi; Connor Court Publishing; 164 pp; $29.95 (paperback). Also available on Kindle.

This is a spirited defence of conservative values by Senator Cory Bernardi, built on four foundations: faith, family, flag and free enterprise. Bernardi also examines the themes of freedom and future. Railing against what he sees as erosions to Australia’s moral traditions, the author urges a return to core social values – the cornerstone of which is Christian faith — in order to reclaim ‘sanity and reason’. According to Bernardi, only a return to conservative values — via a conservative revolution — will result in people leading fulfilled lives.

(2014) 39(2) AltLJ 144

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China And The Environment: The Green Revolution

Evan Hamman

china-and-the-environment150Sam Geall (Ed); Zed Books, 2013; 256 pages; $135.95 (hardback)

The Green Revolution is a collection of five essays on how law, media and civil society can influence environmental outcomes in China. Despite the grassroots success stories described in the book, it is hard to believe there has been a green ‘revolution’ in China, let alone the ‘green shoots’ of one. Dominant power still resides very much with the State and its relentless pursuit of economic growth, often at the expense of the natural environment. If there was one overriding criticism of Geall’s book then, it would be that it lacks a convincing argument tying the separate essays together. Without this, the title might better be served by posing a question rather than a conclusion: China and the Environment: A Green Revolution? But semantics aside, there are several fascinating and highly topical issues that Geall invites us to consider and he should be commended for that.

(2014) 39(2) AltLJ 144

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American Hustle

Finian McGrath

American-Hustle-smDirector: David O Russell; starring: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams; Roadshow 2013; 138 mins, available on DVD $25.00

The release of American Hustle just prior to Christmas bucked the general trend that end-of-year film releases lack substance.

Director/co-writer David O Russell returns to the almost classical roots of ‘caper’ movies through his intricately constructed plot and brilliantly devised schemes. Conman Irving Rosenfeld and his seductively charming partner in crime Sydney Prosser provide the genius behind the twisted yet comical theme of political entrapment, as they are thrown into the corrupt New Jersey underworld by unstable FBI agent Richie DiMaso.

(2014) 39(1) AltLJ 68

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