A working party in Tuscany

I’ve just returned to London after three weeks in Italy. Loved every bit of it. The highlight, though, was a gathering at an eco-farm in Tuscany, organized by Pio, a renowned Italian journalist. I had met him when he interviewed me after my memoir was published in Italy. Some six weeks ago, when Pio invited… Continue reading A working party in Tuscany

Pordenone film festival

Greetings from Pordenone, which is a small but sweet town just north of Venice. (There are many such lovely places across the country.) I am here for a film festival. It kicked off yesterday and a fabulous documentary Ascension by American-Chinese director Jessica Kingdom was screened in the evening. Right after the screening, a panel… Continue reading Pordenone film festival

Putin documentary

I’ve just watched the BBC documentary Putin: the New Tsar, which charts the dictator’s unstoppable rise to power. I am impressed by the extraordinary collection of participants, which includes Garry Kasparov, the chess grandmaster turned political opponent, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an oligarch, Sergei Pugachev, a former member of Putin’s inner circle, Mikheil Saakashvili the former president… Continue reading Putin documentary

Chinese media and the invasion

China Media Coverage of Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine “The first casualty of war is truth.” How true! I’ve been following China’s coverage with fascination and disgust. Although China claims to be neutral on the matter and even offers itself as a peace maker, its media coverage has more or less been following the Russian line.… Continue reading Chinese media and the invasion

My oped on wives trafficking in China

Recently, a viral video shocked, fascinated and enraged China. In the clip, the woman, looking dazed, had a metal chain – the type used to chain dogs – tied around her neck and she lived in a shabby hut without a door in a village in Xuzhou, wearing thin clothing in freezing temperatures. It emerged… Continue reading My oped on wives trafficking in China

My oped – why I support China’s hosting of the Olympics

https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3163282/why-china-deserves-host-2022-winter-olympics In a few weeks, China will be hosting the 24th Winter Olympics in Beijing. Here’s my rationale why I support it. I know many of my friends and acquaintances may raise their eyebrows, but I think the Olympic Games are all about sports and people. If the Chinese people want it, then I am… Continue reading My oped – why I support China’s hosting of the Olympics

My review of movie The Tragedy of Macbeth

It can’t go too wrong with Macbeth. With its intriguing plot line, it has all the essential ingredients to make a good story/film, power, murder, treachery, witches and prophecies. There have been quite a few of Macbeth film already. I’ve seen Polanski’s 1971 version and Kurosawa’s 1957 loose adaptation Throne of Blood, which shifts the… Continue reading My review of movie The Tragedy of Macbeth