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12 July 2005

Tuesday 12 July 2005 21:30-22:15 (Radio 3)

Susan Hitch encounters the unashamedly iconoclastic, independent American film director John Sayles and talks to him about Silver City. It's a film that is equal parts scathing political lampoon post the 2004 election and a neo-noir detective story. Is this the reinvention of satirical films about politics? Or a mixing of genres too far?


45 minutes

Programme Details

For twenty years, artist and leading plastic surgeon Ala Bashir lived and worked within Saddam Hussein's inner circle in Baghdad. Dr Bashir rose to prominence treating over 20,000 injured Iraqi troops during the Iran-Iraq war, and was soon summoned to be the dictator's personal physician. In this evening's Night Waves, Susan Hitch talks to Ala Bashir about his new book The Insider, in which he describes his experiences as a reluctant 'Saddam favourite', observing Saddam Hussein and his regime from close quarters over a twenty-year period.

Susan also meets the American director John Sayles, who has a reputation as a fiercely independent film-maker, and who bankrolls his own projects by working as a script doctor on other films. His own films, including Lone Star, Sunshine State, and his latest - Silver City - tend to deal with social concerns and be politically aware.

Celebrations for London's successful 2012 Olympics bid were brutally short-lived in the wake of the bombings in the capital on Thursday, but tonight in the studio, Jude Kelly - Chair of the Arts, Culture and Education Advisory Committee for the London 2012 Olympic Games - will be outlining the arts and culture programmes that will form an integral part of the Games in 7 years' time.

And there will be a first-night review of a new play Shoreditch Madonna by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, who won the Critics' Circle Awards for the Most Promising Newcomer with her play at the National Theatre last year. Will it prove to be another critical success?

Night Waves, live at 9.30pm, here on BBC Radio 3.

Presenter: Susan Hitch
Producer: Jerome Weatherald

Additional Information:
1) The Insider by Dr Ala Bashir is published by Abacus
2) For further details on London 2012 Olympics, visit http://www.london2012.org/en
3) SilverCity opens across the country on Friday July 22, cert 15
4) ShoreditchMadonna is at the Soho Theatre, London, until August 6

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