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By Celeste Liddle in The Saturday Paper

Jess Hill’s documentary See What You Made Me Do, based on her best-selling book, is a tough but illuminating look at a scourge of Australian society.

CREDIT: Courtesy SBS

Content warning: This review contains discussion and descriptions of violence and sexual violence.

A much-quoted statistic is that one woman a week is murdered in Australia by a current or former partner. Yet so often the deaths we see gaining media coverage are those perceived as so heinous…

By Bri Lee in The Monthly

Artwork by Sarah Goffman

I start, as I always do, with a simple slide that says, “Here’s what you need to know about me, and here’s what I know about you.” It’s always a good icebreaker, but on this particular Wednesday in March I’m presenting to more than 200 students, so it’s critical I establish the right mix of authority and relatability immediately. “I’m 29, cisgender and in a long-term heterosexual relationship, sexually active, admitted to the legal profession and a researcher, and a survivor of a sex crime.” The survivor part usually delivers the intended “hush” effect…

By Hugh White in The Saturday Paper

Chinese President Xi Jinping

It is now a year since Australia’s relations with China began their plunge from distinctly chilly to overtly hostile. Beijing punishes Australia for what it sees as numerous affronts by blocking a wide range of major Australian exports. Canberra responds by looking for new opportunities to affront Beijing, with Chinese management of the Darwin port next in the firing line. And now our government has begun, with disconcerting nonchalance, to talk of war.

And yet our government seems to have no idea how serious, and dangerous, our situation has become, and has no…

By Shaad D'Souza in The Saturday Paper

As with her earlier work, Amy Shark’s new album, Cry Forever, trades on her struggles to succeed — but she’s no longer an underdog.

Pop’s best moments tend to arise from a distinct, idiosyncratic aim. Beyoncé’s most striking records came from a drive to convey her experiences of marriage and Black motherhood; Ariana Grande’s are rooted in a need to reckon with tragedy and sudden fame at the same time. Justin Bieber’s commercial and creative peak succeeded due to his attempt to reconcile new-found faith with cutting-edge, bone-rattling electronic music trends. …

By Rick Morton in The Saturday Paper

As the pandemic rages overseas, scores of major film and TV projects are moving production to Australia. But will this gold rush bring any lasting benefits to the local industry?

Actor Chris Hemsworth and director Taika Waititi in Australia.

Chris Hemsworth has been forced to film at a Gold Coast convention centre, such is the demand for sound stages in Australia. Next month, the Thor actor’s adopted home in Byron Bay will be invaded by Netflix’s Byron Baes, the streaming giant’s first Australian reality TV series, which has stirred controversy with locals and made headlines around the world. All around the country…

Words and photography by Andrew Quilty in The Monthly

Left: Bismillah (age unknown) / Right: Ferozha (age 70)

The village of Surkh-Murghab, in southern Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province, was one of the regular hunting grounds of the Special Operations Task Group, the collective special forces component of the Australian Defence Force presence, first deployed in 2001–02, then 2005–06 and again from 2007 to 2013.

Mohibullah, better known as Lalai, a farmer, who is around 35 now, was at home making tea when he first heard the sound of their helicopters approaching the village.

“When you hear one,” he says, “you can’t be sure how many there are.” By 2012, locals…

By Paddy Manning in The Saturday Paper

With his move back to Sydney, Rupert Murdoch’s successor has sparked intrigue. But his plans are far more ambitious than the rumours suggest.

CREDIT: Getty Images

For weeks, speculation has swirled around Lachlan Murdoch’s return to Australia. Plans to launch Fox News here have been breathlessly reported, linked to the local launch of a news streaming service.

Other stories have considered whether the Fox co-chair and chief executive, and son of founder Rupert, may have ceded effective control of the company to in-house counsel Viet Dinh, a former assistant attorney-general in the Bush administration and godfather…

By Anwen Crawford in The Monthly

Two young musicians spark the old double standard of judging female artists who demonstrate their pain.

Arlo Parks. Photograph by Alex Kurunis

English singer-songwriter Arlo Parks released her first EP, Super Sad Generation, in 2019, when she was 18 years old. As the title indicates, it’s a downbeat record, a snapshot of late-adolescent lassitude, the kind streaked with recklessness. “When did we get so skinny? / Start doing ketamine on weekends / Getting wasted at the station / And tryna keep our friends from death,” Parks sings, on the title track. She is from London, but this vignette could be…

By Rick Morton in The Saturday Paper

A comprehensive study of more than 230,000 people by Oxford University researchers has linked neurological disorders, such as stroke and dementia, to Covid-19.

A woman undergoes brain mapping to study the neurological effects of Covid-19. CREDIT: ARLETTE LOPEZ / SHUTTERSTOCK

The largest study of Covid-19 sufferers and the long-term effects of the virus offers some good news: it doesn’t appear linked to an increased incidence of Parkinson’s disease or Guillain-Barré syndrome. But the novel coronavirus is causing significant neurological symptoms, Oxford University professor of psychiatry Paul Harrison says.

“There is no doubt that the [Covid-19] virus is detectable in the brain,” he tells me from England. “It probably spreads through…

By Shane Danielsen in The Monthly

Image courtesy of Warner Bros.

William O’Neal was a petty criminal in Chicago during the late 1960s, with a particular penchant for boosting cars. To facilitate these heists — and perhaps to juice the act for himself — he often used a fake FBI badge, reasoning that few of his targets, working-class young black men like himself, would be scared by the sight of a gun. A badge, though, was something else. It meant authority, institutions, the weight of numbers. “Like you got the whole damn army behind you.”

One of the best recent-historical dramas in some time, Shaka…

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Publisher of The Saturday Paper and The Monthly. We publish intelligent news and current affairs that breaks the 24-hour news cycle.

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