Eye for film review - 4 STARS

Anton Bitel 29th October

One of the best, and most satisfyingly contradictory, weapons available to the sceptic is the argument that demolishes itself along with the view that it aims to undermine. Back in ancient times, hard-line sceptics would use the metaphor of the ladder that must be pushed away once it has been climbed, or of the purgative remedy that flushes itself away along with the diseased contents of a patient's stomach, to describe a peculiar kind of deconstructive approach that lives (and dies) in a parasitic relationship with the position to which it is opposed.

This is, more or less, the methodology adopted by Chris Atkins in Starsuckers, his follow-up to the Blair-busting documentary Taking Liberties (2007). For while Starsuckers is concerned with the powers of the media to manipulate, misrepresent and manufacture reality to their own end, to make this case it self-consciously appropriates the very strategies of the media that it is criticising, so that accepting Atkins' arguments in their proper spirit should also involve radically questioning them. In short, it is a film that makes sceptics of us all, shaking us from brainwashed passivity into a state of awareness that makes resistance possible. 

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