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Paul Harris Yule is a photographer and film maker.
Born in South Africa his family emigrated to England when he was 8 years old. After studying at Aldenham School and Oxford University he became a photojournalist and film maker, founding Berwick Universal Pictures in London in 1980. He has made more than 30 films on six continents, often on controversial political and social themes, several of which have won major awards (International Emmy, Royal Television Society, Edward Morrow Prize, Amnesty International Prize, etc.). Over the years Yule's film work has evolved from observational documentary and biography, through polemical "essays", to drama. He is also an accomplished teacher.
He found an early outlet through journalism for his photography while at Oxford, studying PPE at Worcester College, and documented a lot of the early work of Rowan Atkinson, Richard Curtis and others of that generation. After leaving university he became a freelance photojournalist and, following work in Peru from 1979 onwards, a book of his photographs titled "The New Incas" was published by The New Pyramid Press in 1983. Photography became the subject of his first documentary film, 'Martin Chambi and the Heirs of the Incas' (1986) for the BBC's Arena strand, which depicts the life, times, and contemporary relevance of that great Peruvian photographer of the early 20th century. This was the start of an award-winning collaboration with the Producer Andy Harries, and the first of half a dozen documentaries Yule made in Peru over the next two decades. Other Producers he has worked with over the years include Jonathan Stack, Roy Ackerman, George Carey, Samir Shah and Markus Davies.
In 1990 Yule made "Trains That Passed In The Night", a lyrical documentary about another photographer, the American O. Winston Link, a subject whose life story he was to return to and re-assess fifteen years later in "The Photographer, His Wife, Her Lover" (2005).
In 1991-92 Yule's Emmy Award-winning Channel 4 documentary "Damned In The USA", a film about censorship and the arts in the United States which features Rev. Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association, became embroiled in a landmark legal dispute. Though the film had already won the International Emmy, Wildmon and the AFA sued Yule, his co-producer Jonathan Stack, and Channel 4 for $8 million in an attempt to stop the distribution of the film, describing it as "blasphemous and obscene". Yule and his co-defendants fought the lawsuit in court in Mississippi and won the legal right to freely exhibit the film. Lou Reed re-wrote the lyrics to his classic Walk On The Wild Side in support of the case.
The subject matter of Yule's films have generally addressed the relationships between history and society - including religion, politics, the arts and sport. Along the way he has collaborated with several writers, including with Nicholas Shakespeare on films about Bruce Chatwin and Mario Vargas Llosa; with Peter Oborne on exposés of Robert Mugabe and the conspiracy surrounding the cricketer Basil D'Oliveira; as well as with Darcus Howe, Miranda Sawyer and Paul Morley. He has also made a number of films in war zones - notably "Babitski's War" (2000, in Chechnya), "The House of War" (2002, in Afghanistan), Mugabe's Secret Famine" (2003, in Zimbabwe), and "Here's One We Invaded Earlier" (2003, in Afghanistan).
In 2008 Yule returned to South Africa to complete a three-film 60-year history of apartheid and its consequences ("White Lies" 1994 - about the International Defence and Aid Fund; "The Basil D'Oliveira Conspiracy" 2004; and "The Captain and the Bookmaker" 2008 - the latter two of which focus on the political history of South Africa as seen through the prism of cricket, including the downfall of Hansie Cronje).
In 2011 he was invited to teach for a year at The University of Cape Town. He originated "The Big Picture", an intensive, hands-on film production course aimed at training a new generation of filmmakers and technicians to make fresh, socially relevant, local programming. In conjunction with this, Yule was strategically involved in the re-launch of Cape Town's community television station, CTV. In 2013 he made a 13-part documentary reality series about education in South Africa, titled "Dream School SA". He is currently working on a number of drama projects.
Paul Yule is married to the cartoonist Denise Dorrance.
- 'Martin Chambi and the Heirs of the Incas' (1986)
- 'Our God the Condor' (1987)
- 'Iquitos' (1988)
- 'Mario Vargas Llosa: The Story of the Novelist Who Would Be President' (1990)
- 'O Winston Link: Trains that Passed in the Night' (1990)
- 'Damned in the USA' (1991)
- 'As American as Apple Pie' (1992)
- 'Good Morning Mr Hitler!' (1993)
- 'White Lies' (1994)
- 'Return to the Sacred Ice' (1994)
- 'Geiger Sweet Geiger Sour' (1995)
- 'Elgar's Tenth Muse' (1996)
- 'Lone Star Hate' (1997)
- 'In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin' (1999)
- 'Welcome to Armageddon' (1999)
- 'Babitsky's War' (2000)
- 'Battle for the Holocaust' (2001)
- 'Marquis de Sade — Pornographer or Prophet?' (2001)
- 'The House of War' (2002)
- 'Mugabe's Secret Famine' (2003)
- 'Afghanistan — Here's One We Invaded Earlier' (2003)
- 'Not Cricket: The Basil D'Oliveira Conspiracy' (2004)
- 'The Last Waterloo Cup' (2005)
- 'The Photographer, His Wife, Her Lover' (2005)
- 'Is This My Country?' (2006)
- 'A Matter of Life and Death' (2007)
- 'Not Cricket 2: The Captain and The Bookmaker' (2008)
- 'Black Star — An African Football Odyssey' (2008)
- 'How To Be A Composer' (2009)
- 'God Don't Live Here Anymore?' (2010)
- 'Derek Parker - A Life in Architecture' (2011)
- 'Dream School SA' (2013)
- 22 June 1956, Johannesburg
- Damned In The USA - Berwick Universal Pictures 1990
- a) The House of War, Berwick Universal Pictures 2002 and b) Not Cricket - The Basil D'Oliveira Conspiracy 2004
- The House of War, 2002
- Babitsky's War, 2000
- "'Damned in the USA'". Washingtonpost.com. 1993-01-29. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
- "African Activist Archive". Africanactivist.msu.edu. 1966-03-18. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
- Broadcast on M-Net and sponsored by MySchool and Woolworths
- Paul Yule's website
- Paul Yule at the Internet Movie Database
- film reviews
- 4 on Damned In The USA