Samson and Delilah
Australian Aboriginal filmmaker Warwick Thornton talks about his new film.
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2010 08:38 GMT

In the words of Australian Aboriginal filmmaker Warwick Thornton, "everybody owns a reason for being".

And in the tradition of his ancestors, Thornton believes his reason is to tell stories.

With his debut feature, Samson and Delilah, which has won several awards, including the Camera d'Or for best first feature at the Cannes Film Festival, Thornton's focus is on the largely unexplored story of life in contemporary Aboriginal communities in central Australia. 

After a bleak series of events, teens Samson and Delilah are forced out of their isolated home town and thrown together on a road trip, during which their fight against poverty, exploitation and solvent abuse teaches them how to care for each other. 

Extraordinarily, Thornton's unconventional love story is ultimately one of hope and second chances that is deservedly considered to be one of the finest Australian films of the decade.

Thornton joins Amanda Palmer, Al Jazeera's head of entertainment, and the FPS audience for an occasionally confrontational Q&A session.

Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan

Hailed as India's biggest export, superstar actor Amitabh Bachchan first burst on to Indian screens in the early 1970s.

At a time when the country craved a hero, his roles tapped into the national zeitgeist.

The daring young star dazzled audiences with his fearless abandon.

Whether through sheer luck or raw talent, Bachchan held India spellbound.

The young man could do no wrong, and soon applied his popularity to politics.

This ill-fated move cost him dearly, and when he became involved in the Bofors political corruption scandal that rocked India, the nation saw its golden child tarnished for the first time. This and a series of film flops put him in the Bollywood shadows for a few years. 

But beginning in 2000, hosting India's Who Wants to be a Millionaire reignited his waning status, and the nation's hero was back on top.

The past decade has seen Bachchan tackle ever more engaging and barrier-breaking roles in Indian cinema.

In an exclusive interview with FPS reporter Lama Matta, Bachchan reveals the secret of his success - and why western cinema is more even fantasised than Bollywood.

Son of Babylon

Son of Babylon

Iraqi director Mohamed al-Daradji first appeared on The Fabulous Picture Show back in 2007, when we screened his first feature, Ahlaam, about three psychiatric patients in chaotic post-Saddam Baghdad.

It was one of the first films to be shot in Iraq after the American invasion began, and conditions could hardly have been more harrowing - the production team literally dodged bullets, and Mohamed was even kidnapped twice.

Mohamed's latest feature, Son of Babylon, is also set just after the fall of Saddam in 2003. It follows a Kurdish boy, Ahmed, and his grandmother on a macabre road-trip as they search for Ahmed's father, a soldier missing since the first Gulf war.

Their quest leads them to some of the mass graves where thousands of bodies have been discovered, and continue to be found - chilling evidence of Saddam's bloody legacy.

Mohammed has used the film to help launch the 'Iraq's Missing' campaign, which aims to identify the countless bodies still lying in mass graves.

He talks to FPS about the cast's profound emotional journey while filming Son of Babylon, and the importance of forgiveness in Iraq today.

This episode of The Fabulous Picture Show can be seen from Thursday, April 29, at the following times GMT: Thursday: 0600; Friday: 0030, 0830; Saturday: 2330; Sunday: 0630, 2130; Monday: 1430; Tuesday: 0530, 1230; Wednesday: 0300; Thursday 0030.

Al Jazeera
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