David Attenborough's brilliant programmes on the natural world are making sense of climate change – belatedly.
The BBC's Panorama is making sense of Britain's secret support of jihadism in Syria – belatedly.
But why is Trump setting fire to the Middle East? Why is the West edging closer to war with Russia and China?
Mark the words of the narrator in Peter Watkins' The War Game: "On almost the entire subject of nuclear weapons, there is now practically total silence in the press, and on TV. There is hope in any unresolved or unpredictable situation. But is there real hope to be found in this silence?"
In 2017, that silence has returned.
It is not news that the safeguards on nuclear weapons have been quietly removed and that the United States is now spending $46 million per hour on nuclear weapons: that's $46 million every hour, 24 hours a day, every day. Who knows that?
The Coming War on China, which I completed last year, has been broadcast in the UK but not in the United States – where 90 per cent of the population cannot name or locate the capital of North Korea or explain why Trump wants to destroy it. China is next door to North Korea.
According to one "progressive" film distributor in the US, the American people are interested only in what she calls "character-driven" documentaries.
This is code for a "look at me" consumerist cult that now consumes and intimidates and exploits so much of our popular culture, while turning away film-makers from a subject as urgent as any in modern times.
"When the truth is replaced by silence," wrote the Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, "the silence is a lie."
Whenever young documentary film-makers ask me how they can "make a difference", I reply that it is really quite simple. They need to break the silence.
This is an edited version of an address John Pilger gave at the British Library on 9 December as part of a retrospective festival, 'The Power of the Documentary',held to mark the Library's acquisition of Pilger's written archive.
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