Dementia doesn't stop at UK borders and stigma is still rife in parts of the world. In some countries, people with dementia are locked away or seen as being "mad". I've heard about people losing relationships, jobs and friends because of misconceptions that exist around the condition. I've raged on my sofa at comedy panel shows and TV sitcoms that have reduced a person with dementia to a poorly drawn caricature or the butt of a lazy joke. At the moment, there's not nearly enough awareness around dementia and as a global society we have a duty to change that.
The film Suffragette opening later in October has a Who's Who of a cast list. Meryl Streep as Emmeline Pankhurst; Helena Bonham Carter; and Carey Mulligan as the foot soldier at the heart of the story. Buried a long way down the list (above the uncredited Jujitsu Lady and Lower Class Boy, but below Epsom Groundsman and Mrs Pankhurst's bodyguard) comes Ray Burnet as 'Churchill, Cabinet Minister'. Winston Churchill, that would be...
Abandoned half-built buildings, abandoned half-destroyed buildings and slums form the bulk of the cityscape of Goma, on the border with Rwanda. Nothing works. Corruption, power outages, and impassable roads - and the palpable threat of chaos - are part of daily life. One in six children born today in the Democratic Republic of Congo won't live to see their fifth birthday. Since the outbreak of fighting in 1998 almost three million children have died here. Within these dire conditions I saw the extraordinary work of War Child and met children who, despite every element working against them, astonished me with their warmth, intelligence, determination and desire to learn and build a better life.
Adaptations are the mac 'n' cheese of modern Hollywood. The marketing executive dangles a shiny bestseller before the film consumer like a matador's capote; powerless to resist its allure, he dives for knowing it's probably a mirage of brilliance - and that he won't even get to gore the guy behind it.