In January 2014, Tipping Point North South received a major donation in memory of a wonderful man who had been an early supporter and advocate of Tipping Point Film Fund – Harry Levinson. Harry, who passed away January 2011 aged 76, was an artist, film-maker, physicist and Francophile. Born in Glasgow, Harry took a degree in mathematics and physics at Glasgow University. In 1965 his paper on the origin of relativity theory was published in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
Harry then changed direction and embarked on the BBC’s television production training course. He went on to direct many educational programmes, ranging from science and technology to crafts and management. He made science programmes for the BBC2 series Horizon, followed by documentaries on a wide range of subjects including modern dance and religion.
He then changed direction again – this time training in the decorative arts. He taught trompe l’oeil and other techniques at his studio in old stables near his home in Highgate, and he also wrote a book, The Pleasures of Home: Paint and Paper, which was published in 1998.
In his last years, he changed direction yet again: this time into film editing. After taking a short course in digital film, he set up Highgate Digital Arts and began teaching.
TPNS co-founder Deborah Burton first met Harry through a colleague – Nigel Varndell – at Christian Aid, where Harry, a secular Jew, was part of discussions on Israel/Palestine. An opponent of Israeli foreign policy, he joined Peace Now UK and made a short film about the organisation’s project ‘Settlement Watch’, which monitors the growth of settlements in the occupied territories and abuses at checkpoints. Despite some nasty encounters with Israeli security and nearly losing his film, he went on to edit his material which was widely circulated and later shown at the House of Commons.
Harry was a big documentary film supporter and was always keen to discuss TPFF projects; he would have loved Bethlehem Unwrapped and he would be 100% supportive of our new Five Per Cent Campaign on global military spending. So we are very proud that, in his memory, this donation will enable us to continue our work on these issues.
Harry was a dear friend to us – a great mind and a great conversationalist. We all miss his warmth, his irony, his wisdom and, most of all, his humour