Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, John Helmer, Stephen Campanelli, Christina Nikolic February 8th, 2018

The downing of a Russian warplane over Syria is further proof, if any were still needed, that news of the end of the protracted war there is premature. It also underscores the changing nature of the conflict, and its turn in a dangerous new direction.

It’s been confirmed, Major Roman Filipov’s Su-25 fighter was brought down by a MANPAD, or portable anti-aircraft missile system, reportedly fired by members of Jabhat al-Nusra. It’s a sophisticated piece of equipment not easily gotten, so just where it came from, and how al-Nusra ended up with it are the burning questions of the moment.

John Helmer is a long-time, Moscow-based journalist, author, and essayist whose website, Dances with Bears is the only Russian-based news bureau “independent of single national or commercial ties.” He’s also a former political science professor who’s served as an advisor to governments on three continents, and regularly lectures on Russian topics. Helmer’s book titles include: ‘Uncovering Russia,’ ‘Urbanman: The Psychology of Urban Survival,’ ‘Bringing the War Home: The American Soldier in Vietnam and After,’ and ‘Drugs and Minority Oppression’, among others.

John Helmer in the first half.

And; the Victoria Film Festival continues this week through Sunday, when it will feature Canadian director, Stephen Campanelli’s ‘Indian Horse’. The full-length feature recently took the Calgary Film Festival’s Audience Award for Narrative Feature, and was named the People’s Choice winner at last year’s Vancouver International Film Festival. It’s an adaptation of the Richard Wagamese’s widely acclaimed novel about Ojibway boy, Saul Indian Horse’s abduction into Canada’s residential school system.

Campanelli is a long-time Hollywood camera operator, working within legendary actor/director and producer, Clint Eastwood’s rarefied filmmaking circle. Among others, he’s collaborated with Eastwood on the films: ‘Million Dollar Baby’. ‘Gran Torino’, ‘Sully’, and their latest, and 21st collaboration, ’15:17 to Paris’. Indian Horse is his second film in the director’s chair, following 2015’s ‘Momentum’.

Stephen Campanelli and breaking the tormented silence of Canada’s residential school survivors.

And; Victoria-based greentrepreneur and horticulturalist extraordinaire, Christina Nikolic will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin bringing us up to speed with some of the good things going on in and around our town in the coming week.

But first, John Helmer and the deadly consequences of America’s anti-Russia campaigns.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/