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 documentary film maker, founding Berwick Universal Pictures in London in 1980. He has made more than 30 films on six continents, specialising in feature documentaries, 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.).
Following work as a photojournalist 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), an award-winning collaboration withAndy Harries 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 first of half a dozen documentaries he filmed in Peru over the next two decades.
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. 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.
Over the years Yule's film work has ranged from polemical essays through observational documentary and biography to drama. He is also an accomplished teacher. The subject matter of his films have generally addressed the relationships between history, religion, politics and society - including the arts, culture and sport. Along the way he has collaborated with several writers, including withNicholas 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 andPaul 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 at The University of Cape Town. As a lecturer he has 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. Yule has also been involved in the re-launch of CTV, Cape Town's community television station.
He 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)