15/12/2011 World News Today


15/12/2011

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This is BBC World News Today, with me Zeinab Badawi. Mission ended,

:00:11.:00:15.

but is it mission accomplished? A formal ceremony in Baghdad marks

:00:15.:00:21.

the withdrawal of US combat troops from Iraq - were there any gains?

:00:21.:00:28.

This is a time for Iraq to look forward. This is an opportunity for

:00:28.:00:35.

Iraq to forge ahead on the path to security and prosperity. Disgraced,

:00:35.:00:38.

but not in prison - France's Jacques Chirac is found guilty of

:00:38.:00:42.

corruption gets a suspended jail term. Putin faces his public during

:00:42.:00:45.

his annual phone-in he says he's pleased young people protested over

:00:45.:00:50.

the election results. Also coming up in the programme: the small

:00:50.:00:53.

piece of writing by a teenager that's fetched more than a million

:00:53.:00:57.

dollars at auction. A manuscript, written by British author Charlotte

:00:57.:01:03.

Bronte when she was just 14 is sold to a French museum. And taking

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Hollywood by storm - the silent era film The Artist tops the list of

:01:06.:01:16.
:01:16.:01:23.

contenders for the Golden Globes Hello and welcome. Nearly nine

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years of United States military involvement in Iraq is over. At a

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symbolic ceremony in Baghdad the American military standard was

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lowered, formally marking the end of a hugely controversial conflict.

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The US Defence Secretary, Leon Panetta, said it was mission

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accomplished, and worth the enormous cost, in both dollars and

:01:37.:01:47.
:01:47.:01:53.

lives. Our World Affairs Editor, John Simpson, reports from Baghdad.

:01:53.:01:58.

A quiet, down beat ceremony marks the end of an occupation which

:01:58.:02:06.

lasted 1 hundred months, cost the lives of 4,500 Americans and of an

:02:06.:02:12.

unknown number of Iraqis. This is a time for Iraq to look forward. This

:02:12.:02:20.

is an opportunity for Iraq to forge ahead on the path to security and

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prosperity. Welcome to Sadr City, a sprawling working class Shi'ite

:02:25.:02:30.

suburb of Baghdad. The occupiers are going, says the poster, thanks

:02:30.:02:36.

to our Government. But things have changed here out of all recognition.

:02:36.:02:42.

The last time I was here in Sadr City was about three years ago and

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I have to say I was nervous. Kidnapping was rife and there were

:02:47.:02:53.

bombs here justy day. Now, well, you can see for yourself how

:02:53.:02:59.

relaxed everything is. But not everything is necessarily better.

:02:59.:03:06.

There are power Kuti day here and in every where in reek. -- power

:03:06.:03:13.

cuts. -- in Iraq, the Americans never fixed the electricity supply.

:03:14.:03:18.

They put in water supplies, but that has been forgotten. Instead,

:03:18.:03:23.

people remember the American atabs on the city. This man keeps the

:03:23.:03:28.

pictures on his mobile. -- American attacks. These are pictures from

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the internet and that is American laughter. At the meat market, you

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don't find any love for the United States. The butchers of Baghdad are

:03:40.:03:47.

happy to see the back of the Americans. The chicken seller sairs

:03:47.:03:54.

they brought poverty and killed our children. According to the man who

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sells cow hearts, they destroyed our country. And the Searl of

:04:01.:04:06.

sheeps' heads thinks things were better under Saddam. But the United

:04:06.:04:10.

States has done a good job of training the security forces here.

:04:10.:04:15.

These check points are every where and are the front line of the civil

:04:15.:04:22.

war. There are attacks ony day. There were 79 bomb attacks last

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month. This one targeted the Prime Minister. Still in 2007, there were

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1,000 bombs a month. The suffering doesn't stop, but the insurgency is

:04:35.:04:40.

vizibly winding down. For 40 years not just the eight of the American

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occupation, Iraq has known little more than dictatorship, war and

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isolation. Now, people are daring to hope that their luck may finally

:04:52.:05:02.
:05:02.:05:04.

be changing. We hope to have more thon that ceremony in Iraq later.

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Now claims of fraud, protests and calls for him to step down have

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made one of the more testing months of Vladimir Putin's political

:05:15.:05:23.

career. Today he was giving his annual televised phone in. It

:05:23.:05:27.

lasted more than four hours, and he accepted that the demonstration a

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that have been taken place in Russia were lawful, but he accused

:05:31.:05:37.

the organisers of trying to weaken the country at the behest of

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western powers. Here is our Moscow correspondent. Vladimir Putin holds

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a live question and answer session on television each year. This year

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after the protests in Moscow, everyone was looking for signs of

:05:54.:06:00.

weakness to the -- or concessions, but there are not any. He entered

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the studio as confident as ever. He was Russian ya's president for

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eight years and had been Prime Minister for four. But now he is

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facing his biggest crisis. In the first few questions he dealt with

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the Parliamentary election results. TRANSLATION: I have no doubt that

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the result reflects the real balance of power in the country.

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Five days ago thousands of people took to the streets of Moscow to

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protest against those results. He said he was glad is many young

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people had become politically active, but suggested that some of

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the opposition were being paid by foreign powers. TRANSLATION: There

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are of course people with passports of the Russian confederation but

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are working for the foreign powers. We will try to win those people

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over. It made me furious... Evidence that the election was

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rigged is aCombe lating. This man was a about an observe ein a

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polling station, but the result he witnessed was changed when it was

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entered into the national data banks. The number of votes given to

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the ruling party was double the original counts. Blen you see it

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:07:33.:07:33.

with your own eyes so play Tantly and... -- blatantly and

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unsophisticatedly done, I felt betrayed, I felt infuriated. I felt

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very angry at the people who did it to me and who did it to people like

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me. That story is far from unique. We have been sent examples from

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across the Russian Federation, where the number of votes received

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by United Russia went up from the initial certified results to the

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results entered in the official computer. But all that was swept

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aside as Vladimir Putin gave a bravura performance lasting over

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four and a half hours. He head no - - made no concession that there was

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cheating. He said that is what opposition parties claim every

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where in the world. And he also attacked the west. He said he would

:08:25.:08:31.

like to be an ally of America, but that sometimes it seemed to me him

:08:31.:08:41.
:08:41.:08:48.

that America isn't looking for allies. Now a look at some of the

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days other news. A US-based rights group has named Syrian military

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commanders whom it accuses of ordering soldiers to shoot-to-kill

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during the anti-government protests. Human Rights Watch says 74 senior

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government officials and military officers are directly involved in

:08:58.:09:01.

crimes against humanity. The findings are based on testimony

:09:01.:09:03.

from Syrian army defectors. At least 140 people have died, after

:09:03.:09:09.

drinking contaminated alcohol in India. The district hospital near

:09:09.:09:12.

Calcutta where most of the patients are being treated is said to be

:09:12.:09:14.

full to capacity. The illegally- made cheap liquor contained toxic

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methanol and was sold in a village shop. Seven people have been

:09:17.:09:27.

arrested. The Governor of the Bank of France said the British debt

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should be downgraded before French debt. He said Britain was in a

:09:33.:09:39.

weaker position than France. The police in South Africa are

:09:39.:09:41.

investigating allegations that illegal filming took place outside

:09:41.:09:44.

Nelson Mandela's home. The former president, who is 93, has now

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retired from public life and lives in the Eastern Cape region. One of

:09:48.:09:50.

two international news agencies being investigated has denied

:09:50.:09:56.

spying on the former president. The country singer, Billie Jo Spears,

:09:56.:10:00.

has died at her home in Texas. She was 73. Her hits included Mr Walker,

:10:00.:10:04.

It's All Over, What I've Got in Mind and Misty Blue. But she'll be

:10:04.:10:06.

best remembered for her song Blanket on the Ground, which was

:10:06.:10:16.
:10:16.:10:23.

number one in the country charts in the US in 1975. The former French

:10:24.:10:26.

president, Jacques Chirac, has been convicted on corruption charges and

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given a two-year suspended sentence, after being found guilty of

:10:29.:10:31.

creating fictitious jobs for members of his party when he was

:10:31.:10:35.

mayor of Paris. Mr Chirac is the first former French head of state

:10:35.:10:37.

to be convicted since the wartime collaborationist leader, Marshall

:10:37.:10:40.

Petain. He says he won't appeal, because he no longer has the

:10:40.:10:50.
:10:50.:10:51.

strength to fight. From Paris, Christian Fraser reports. It is the

:10:51.:10:57.

only time since Marshal Petain and before him Louis 16th that the

:10:57.:11:01.

highest office in is in land has faced justice. Jacques Chirac was

:11:01.:11:06.

convicted and sentenced as a common criminal. The 79-year-old was found

:11:06.:11:12.

guilty of paying friends and allies with public funds between 1977 and

:11:12.:11:17.

1995 while the mayor of Paris. In effect he used the civic payroll to

:11:17.:11:22.

support his campaigns. The collusion, embezzlement and abuse

:11:22.:11:28.

of power, he was handed a two-year suspended sentence. Escaping jail,

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but shamed nonetheless. TRANSLATION: For the family it's

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very painful, but we must accept it. I think the decision is much too

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severe for him. At no point in the trial did Jacques Chirac give

:11:41.:11:47.

evidence. He is suffering from a condition linked to Alzheimer's

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triggered by a mini-stroke. Generally, opinions were divided on

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whether the former president should have faced trial. There is still

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affection for a man whose values are seen as very French. He is more

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popular than the man who replaced him A two year sentence may appear

:12:10.:12:16.

lenient. But the real punishment is the verdict. It an unfortunate foot

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note to 12 years in power and one that sheer sheer fought to avoid. -

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- sheer sheer fought to avoid. -- Jacques Chirac fought to avoid.

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Agnes Poirier is a French journalist living in London. She's

:12:34.:12:38.

been following the Chirac case and joins me now. A lenient sentence I

:12:38.:12:42.

think most people are thinking. But that was no surprise? Actually it

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was a surprise. Nobody thought that he would ever get convicted.

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Because the first French president since Marshal Petain I think, which

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is a long time ago, to be convicted for abuse of trust. And illegal

:13:01.:13:07.

conflict of interest. Nobody thought he was going to be found

:13:07.:13:13.

guilty in France? Well no, yes, not, because I mean, it is a long case.

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He was the mayor of Paris between 1977 and 1995. That is almost 20

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years. And this took place for a long time. He did reimburse all the

:13:26.:13:31.

fake salaries, or the real salaries for the fake jobs and the town hall

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was actually not pressing any charges. But the fact, the fact he

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has been found guilty now, but he has got a sentence, what do you

:13:40.:13:47.

think people make of that? He is a very old man and he is frail. A lot

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of people rejuice at the sentence, because it proves that justice can

:13:54.:13:58.

be independent. -- rejoice. And a president can be found guilty. On

:13:58.:14:05.

the other hand, a lot of people say it comes too late. Why, perhaps we

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should scrap that immunity that French presidentsen joy. What is

:14:09.:14:14.

what he cited as he was serving as a president? Yes, it could have

:14:14.:14:21.

happened just a shortly after he left power. Now, he is a frail man.

:14:21.:14:27.

So ewe rejoice without rejoicing. Is it a big stain on his legacy.

:14:27.:14:32.

There are no other political implications? Yes it is a stain. In

:14:32.:14:37.

a way Jacques Chirac serve Foard long time and he was a minister --

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served for a long time and he was a minister ten years before I was

:14:41.:14:49.

born. He had a long and career and he was he was very appreciated on

:14:49.:14:56.

the world stage. He said no to the war in Iraq. He did achieve many

:14:56.:15:03.

things. He was also the man the French left loved to hate. But

:15:03.:15:08.

nobody hates him any more. And this has brought the curtain down in an

:15:08.:15:18.
:15:18.:15:21.

Back to the top storey of the end of US involvement in Iraq. Joining

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us from New York is Matthew Sherman, a former State Department official

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-- official who spent three years working in Iraq. Was it all worth

:15:29.:15:38.

it in terms of dollars and the lives lost? I still think it is too

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early to tell. What today does mark is an important milestone in the

:15:43.:15:48.

evolving relationship. With the US military gone, the politics of Iraq

:15:48.:15:53.

changes because they played such an important role and now you have an

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opportunity for the Iraqi political environment to stabilise which

:15:56.:16:00.

means it will be a different US and Iraq relationship and the type of

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political relationship in Iraq but also a different relationship with

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how Iraq used itself in the region and on the world stage. -- views

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itself. While the military mission is at an end there is a challenging

:16:13.:16:20.

diplomatic mission ahead. Under lot of people are saying that the irony

:16:20.:16:24.

of the mission to go into Iraq is that it has delivered one of

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America's big enemies in the region, Iran, a much stronger hand because

:16:28.:16:34.

it has a lot of influence now in post Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

:16:34.:16:40.

would have to disagree with that slyly. What is important for us to

:16:40.:16:43.

remember is the strength of Iraqi nationalism. I don't think Iraq

:16:43.:16:50.

wants to be a client state for anyone, beat the international

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community, Iran -- be it the international community, Iran, any

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country. It will be important for us to see how Iraqi nationalism

:17:03.:17:06.

involves the -- have also the next coming months and years. That will

:17:06.:17:10.

be the true test inside the country. But you cannot discount what the

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critics say when they say Iran does have influence in Iraq. The Prime

:17:16.:17:21.

Minister himself has spent time in Iran. They are co-religionists in

:17:21.:17:29.

the sense that they are all Shia Muslims. But now the mission has

:17:29.:17:34.

transformed Iraq into a Shia Muslim majority country run by a Shia

:17:34.:17:39.

Muslim government. Again, I would have to say that you need to take

:17:39.:17:43.

into mind something that brings together all Iraqis, and that is

:17:43.:17:47.

nationalism. It is also important not to forget the history Iraq has

:17:47.:17:52.

with Iran. Having been there for so many years and having engaged with

:17:52.:17:59.

these leaders on many issues, it is that nationalism that runs through

:17:59.:18:04.

Iraq and even in the government while Iran it will play a role

:18:04.:18:11.

within Iraq, Iraq also has to deal diplomatically with its neighbours.

:18:11.:18:15.

We have to be mindful of that as we move forward in the months and

:18:15.:18:19.

years to come. Briefly, from the American perspective, a lot of

:18:20.:18:23.

people will be glad to see this chapter closed. It was a war which

:18:24.:18:33.

Barack Obama as a senator said was a dumb war. It is bad to categorise

:18:34.:18:37.

any of these things with simple statements such as that. This is a

:18:37.:18:43.

very complex type of situation. It has been complex for the nine and a

:18:43.:18:46.

half years we have been there and complex for the soldiers and

:18:46.:18:50.

statesman on the ground. But what we need to look as well is to the

:18:50.:18:54.

future and be able to look at how we can utilise the remaining

:18:54.:18:58.

strategic influence to help stabilise Iraq to be independent of

:18:58.:19:02.

Iran which means helping diplomatic relations with in the region and

:19:02.:19:07.

also being able to help Baghdad become a stronger player on the

:19:07.:19:10.

international stage. Matthew Sherman, thank you for joining us

:19:10.:19:20.
:19:20.:19:26.

from New York. It's half the size of a credit card, has 19 pages and

:19:26.:19:29.

4,000 words, and today it sold for nearly �700,000. This tiny

:19:29.:19:31.

manuscript was written in 1830 by the British author, Charlotte

:19:31.:19:34.

Bronte, who wrote Jane Eyre and Emma amongst other great novels. To

:19:34.:19:37.

the disappointment of British collectors, it's on its way to a

:19:37.:19:41.

museum in France, as Ed Thomas reports. So small you need a

:19:41.:19:46.

magnifying glass to read it, but every page is crafted with short

:19:46.:19:50.

stories. It details an imaginary world written by Charlotte Bronte

:19:50.:19:53.

for her brother's toy soldiers. It has not been seen in public for

:19:54.:19:58.

over 60 years until its owners, a German family, sold it at auction

:19:58.:20:06.

today. Its new home will be a museum in France, a disappointment

:20:06.:20:10.

for many when you consider how important this tiny manuscript

:20:10.:20:15.

eased to English literature. This is the first time it has been seen

:20:15.:20:20.

in living memory. It has not been known about. Modern scholarship has

:20:20.:20:25.

not seen it, so it's an exciting opportunity. That significance is

:20:25.:20:28.

not lost here in the village where the Bronte sisters grew up. The

:20:28.:20:33.

family home is now a museum and the trustees were outbid at auction.

:20:33.:20:38.

They wanted it to complete the set, because all six of the many

:20:38.:20:42.

manuscripts were written here. And it was in this room that Charlotte

:20:42.:20:47.

Bronte would talk about her story ideas with her sisters and with a

:20:47.:20:53.

brother. And it is on this table that her classics were written like

:20:53.:20:58.

Jane Eyre. He said that every now and then they glided from his eyes

:20:58.:21:02.

to his brain where a immense fire was burning. And when you listen to

:21:02.:21:06.

Charlotte Bronte A's words of the manuscript you might recognise

:21:06.:21:11.

similar passages in Jane Eyre. For many this goes some way to explain

:21:11.:21:16.

how her genius developed. It is significant because this teenager

:21:16.:21:19.

became one of the greatest novelists in the English language.

:21:19.:21:23.

And it is because -- significant because this particular book has

:21:23.:21:29.

the seeds of Charlotte's greatest work, Jane Eyre. The manuscript may

:21:29.:21:34.

not be coming home, but there is one edition missing, and with it,

:21:34.:21:39.

more Bronte story has yet to be told. -- Bronte stories yet to be

:21:39.:21:46.

told. The Golden Globe nominations have been announced and this year's

:21:46.:21:49.

leading contender is "The Artist" which tells the story of the demise

:21:49.:21:52.

of the silent era in Hollywood. Other films in the running include

:21:52.:21:54.

George Clooney's film "The Descendants"; "The Help" about

:21:54.:21:56.

African-American maids in 1960s Mississippi, and Stephen

:21:56.:22:02.

Spielberg's "War Horse". In a moment, I'll be discussing all of

:22:03.:22:05.

this with film critic Jason Solomons, first let's take at look

:22:05.:22:15.
:22:15.:22:32.

If Jason, you either love it or hate it. I think it has six

:22:32.:22:35.

nominations at the Golden Globes, so obviously somebody loves it.

:22:36.:22:40.

What about you? I think every one that sees it loves it. Seeing a

:22:40.:22:45.

small club does not do justice -- justice. Anyone seeing it

:22:45.:22:48.

surrendered to its beauty and daring and the swooning love story

:22:48.:22:51.

and a very fact it is a silent movie. You have to know what you're

:22:51.:22:57.

doing. It will be the first French may be to win Best Picture at the

:22:57.:23:01.

Oscars and the first silent-movie for 80 years. Why is this old

:23:01.:23:04.

fashioned thing taking people by storm? Because it is really good.

:23:04.:23:10.

It is brilliantly done, it is lovely and I suppose it is about

:23:10.:23:15.

storytelling and tells you that you are away from the pyrotechnics of

:23:15.:23:25.
:23:25.:23:31.

these days to what we like about The actress her name is peppy

:23:31.:23:36.

Mellor, and it is a peppy film. Clearly you like it, and I haven't

:23:36.:23:41.

seen it. Tate it for me it is good. J son, you're usually right. What

:23:41.:23:47.

about The Help, set in the 1960s in Mississippi? Before we talk about

:23:47.:23:54.

it here is a clip. Hold on. She looks like the winning horse at the

:23:54.:24:02.

Kentucky Derby. That has paprika on. Forgive me Lord, but I don't have

:24:02.:24:10.

to kill that woman. Now she's dead put some marks on the toilet paper.

:24:10.:24:14.

But I carried the papering from my own damn house. So that is

:24:14.:24:21.

basically about African American maids working in a White House told.

:24:21.:24:28.

The maids are meant to confess in the -- made to confess her horrors

:24:28.:24:33.

of their lives. This film was very popular in America, but I think

:24:33.:24:37.

that has this many nominations is terrible. I found that film

:24:37.:24:40.

extremely problematic. Just backlit, watching the old stereotypes being

:24:41.:24:44.

reinforced, and I know with the distance of age, but we are looking

:24:44.:24:49.

black characters playing rolling eyes maids in the back of the

:24:49.:24:56.

kitchen. I don't think we have progressed any further. This film

:24:56.:24:59.

is a hugely retrograde step. Whereas The Artist is a forward

:24:59.:25:03.

step even though it is going back into nostalgia, but this film is

:25:04.:25:09.

not really changed. It is not told from the black standpoint. For me

:25:09.:25:11.

this film is a sort of embarrassment and not the sort of

:25:12.:25:19.

film I would expect Hollywood to be lauding. I don't think it will make

:25:19.:25:24.

it through to the Oscars. But it might do. The actress does have

:25:24.:25:27.

extreme dignity in the role, but I find the film uncomfortable to

:25:27.:25:32.

watch from the off. What about some of the films that have not made the

:25:32.:25:38.

list? Some highly acclaimed films like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

:25:38.:25:42.

I was very upset to see the film shut-out. It has a fantastic cast

:25:42.:25:45.

and a brave performance by Gary Oldman and looks fantastic. Colin

:25:45.:25:50.

Firth is in it. A great British cast. It seems that film, which has

:25:50.:25:54.

been popular in Britain, has not quite translated to America. I am

:25:54.:25:58.

worried it will be shut out of the awards and I think it is one of the

:25:58.:26:00.

most clever and stylish and interesting works of film of the

:26:00.:26:06.

year. It may get their revenge with BAFTA claiming the back. But

:26:06.:26:12.

somehow the Americans, so far, seem to be shunning it. And also the

:26:12.:26:18.

Tree of Life, Terence Malik, that has been shunned. It won the Cannes

:26:18.:26:22.

Film Festival award. It has been completely shut out by the Golden

:26:22.:26:28.

Globes. They don't want any of that hippy nonsense! But The Artist,

:26:28.:26:33.

given their props, a good choice. You don't sound a happy man really,

:26:33.:26:40.

apart from The Artist. Thank you for that. After almost nine years

:26:40.:26:43.

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