Some 17 years after "My Beautiful Laundrette", director Stephen Frears gives us another stunning cinematic portrait of London.

Frears’ 2002 film focuses on the usually unseen world of the capital’s illegal immigrants, the invisible people who keep its economy running smoothly.

Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Nigerian exile Okwe is one such person. By day he drives a minicab; at night he’s a porter in a hotel that’s home to some shady goings-on.

When Okwe stumbles upon the hotel’s dirty secret, he is placed in an impossible dilemma. A decent man, how can he do the right thing – given his precarious status – and still protect the people he cares about?

Interview with Frears:
When you make films about Britain, they’re always set among the working classes or, in this case, the under class. Why?

I just do scripts I like, it’s as simple as that. Although, I suppose I don’t find the idea of tea and cucumber sandwiches very interesting. That said, I was never asked to do “Four Weddings and a Funeral”, which I think is extremely good. I’ve never had to think about whether a film about the upper classes could be interesting.

You’ve discovered a brilliant new British leading man in Chiwetel Ejiofor. Would you take credit for that?

I was lucky. You think you’re going to get X and then you get 6X. But I wouldn’t want to be falsely innocent about it because I’ve done it quite a lot of times before. You just need to give people an opportunity. Daniel Day-Lewis knew, when he did “My Beautiful Laundrette”, that was what he’d been waiting for. That’s why he was so anxious to get the part. It was the same with Jack Black and “High Fidelity”.

You’ve said that the UK is being dragged, kicking and screaming, towards multiculturalism. Do you think we have become less accepting?

Parts of the UK are. I live in a multicultural part of London and it’s very interesting and I’m very pleased. I was politicised by Hanif Kureishi. My eyes were sort of opened for me when he wrote “My Beautiful Laundrette”. I was brought up in a completely white, middle class life. Since I opened up a little, it’s got much more interesting.

So why do you think some filmmakers seem reluctant to include ethnic characters in their work?

I don’t know, you’d have to ask them. I went to a lot of trouble to ethnically cleanse my film of all white people.


Serena wins, Venus out

Once again, Serena Williams is the last U.S. woman standing at a major. The eight-time Grand Slam champion briefly struggled late in the day against young Dutchwoman Michaella Krajicek, but powered through 6-3, 6-4 to enter the fourth round on Friday.

Serena’s older sister, Venus, was less fortunate, when fourth seed Jelena Jankovic knocked out the five-time Grand Slam winner 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 to race the fourth round. Australian Samantha Stosur was also sent packing by No. 6 seed Nicole Vaidisova 6-4, 6-4.


Serena strong at the start

In 30 appearances in Grand Slams, Serena Williams has never lost in the first round. “Touch wood that record continues,” commented the American former champion after defeating Bulgaria???s Tsvetana Pironkova yesterday. ???It might happen one day, but I???m really proud of that record.” The number eight seed???s earliest defeat in a Grand Slam came in her very first event, the Australian Open back in 1998.

French Open – Venus through

Former world number one Venus Williams overcame a stuttering start to beat teenaged French wildcard Alize Cornet 6-4 6-3 and reach the second round of the French Open in Paris on Monday.

The match was delayed by almost three hours because of rain and Williams looked out of sorts early on. The pair were locked at 4-4 before the American, seeded 26, reeled off eight of the next 11 games for victory.

More from the source

African Day against G-8 in Germany 2007/Berlin

At the moment various forums in Berlin are discussing the future of the African continent. One thing is quite clear ??? although Africa needs the support of the industrialised nations, the continent offers fantastic economic opportunities. Policy on Africa will thus be high on the agenda of the G8 Summit soon to be held under the German Presidency.

For over 500 years the relationship between the western powers and Africa has been the continues plundering and denigration of the African continent and its people by the westerners. A crucial aspect of labour, made the Europeans to storm Africa in search for labour force for the production of products like tobacco, sugar, cotton, coffee and gold. This was realised through the inhuman enslavement of Africans, the very first and indelible inhuman crime committed against the African people by the Europeans and Americans.

During this era, Africans were brutally caught, abducted and transported by Europeans under critical conditions that let to the lost of lives of millions. Those who successfully arrived Europe and America were forced to work in plantations and other life destroying sectors of the economy for very long hours without rest. This unforgettable human brutality led to the production of the above mentioned goods that were sold in Europe and America and the profits enormously contributed to the riches of these continents.

Another crime against the African people and their continent took place in 1884, in this event, the Europeans made the second strong waves of movement into Africa. These strong waves was branded colonisation. Europeans like priests, traders, farmers and administrators saw Africa as a spring board of charge to escape from the abject poverty churning Europe at the time in search of a better life. The decision to make these moves was reached in Germany in a conference known as The Berlin conference 1884.

Read all about it.

Angriff auf die Initiative in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh

In der Nacht zum Montag, den 14. Mai, wurden mehrere Geb??ude und Mahnmale in Dessau mit Hakenkreuzen und SS-Runen bespr??ht, unter anderem das Telecaf?? ??? Treffpunkt der Initiative in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh in Dessau ??? in der Friedrich-Naumann-Stra??e und eine Gedenkstelle, die an die Deportation der Dessauer Juden und die Zerst??rung der Synagoge erinnert. Das Telecaf?? war bis Februar 2006 im Besitz von Herrn Mouctar Bah, Freund des in einer Dessauer Polizeizelle lebendig verbrannten Afrikaners und bundesweiter Sprecher der internationalen Kampagne ???Initiative in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh???.