Watch the FULL EPISODE online at PBS beginning October 15, 2009 through December 10, 2009:

Die neue Elite vom Prenzlauer Berg

Online in der ARD-Mediathek bis 08.09.2009:

Wie kein anderes Viertel in Deutschland wurde der Prenzlauer Berg in den vergangenen 20 Jahren umgekrempelt. Aus dem ehemaligen Arbeiterviertel im Berliner Osten ist ein boomender Kiez geworden. Nach der Wende wurde der Prenzlauer Berg zu Europas größtem Sanierungsgebiet: verfallene Altbauten wurden mit massiven Steuergeldern in wenigen Jahren in schick renovierte Fassaden verwandelt. Nirgendwo verlief der Aufbau Ost schneller und drastischer. Innerhalb weniger Jahre wurde die Bevölkerung fast komplett ausgetauscht. Junge Studenten aus dem Westen verdrängten die alten Bewohner, seitdem ist es schick hier zu wohnen. Doch das hat seinen Preis: mit der Sanierung stiegen die Mieten, es folgten teure Läden und zahllose Straßencafés für die neue Schickeria.

[Quelle: RB]

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Saw this very interesting PBS documentary on TV. You can watch this online and read interviews with some top rank politicians involved in the Iraq disaster.

In the first weeks after the statue of Saddam Hussein fell, a group of young American bureaucrats led by Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III set off to establish democracy in Iraq. “We had an ambitious goal,” Bremer tells FRONTLINE, “to try to bring better government to Iraq and help them rebuild their economy [and] their country.” One year later, as Bremer made a secret exit to evade insurgent attacks, the group left behind a thriving insurgency, economic collapse and much of its idealism. “Our grand initiative there [was] to bring democracy to Iraq,” says Rajiv Chandrasekaran, former Baghdad bureau chief for The Washington Post. Instead, says Chandrasekaran, “we were leaving with our tail between our legs.”

“The Iraqi people were, if not the enthusiastic, liberated populace that some of us had anticipated, were at least open-minded, and, on balance, prepared to work with the United States,” says James Dobbins, the administration’s former special envoy to Afghanistan and adviser to the Defense Department. “And that has largely been lost, and was largely lost over that first year.”

X-mas time is movie time, right? I’ve watched a big one, “Out of Africa” by Sydney Pollack. Used to bore me, these kind of movies, but everything has its time…

Out of AfricaSo, the whole drama is about love and freedom, if and how they fit together in a relationship. Redford’s character stands for freedom above all things, and that’s why Meryl Streep loves him. He says, “I’m with you because I choose to be with you. I don’t want to live someone else’s idea of how to live.” But that’s not enough for two people to stay together, she feels lonely and neglected at times: “Why is your freedom more important than mine?” she asks. “It isn’t. And I’ve never interfered with your freedom.” “No. I’m not allowed to need you. Or rely on you, or expect anything from you. I’m free to leave.”

While they are trying to keep the real world outside, apart from their love, the magic gets lost along the way. Redford’s idea of freedom and “the best kind” of love, “the kind we wouldn’t have to prove,” is not working for her and them on a long term. And he? Must admit that she’s right in the end; with his ‘unique’ declaration of love: “You’ve ruined it for me, you know.” “Ruined what?” “Being alone.”