April 21, 2017

In the early 1900s, an estimated 1.5 million Armenians lived within the borders of the dying Ottoman Empire, led by what is now modern Turkey. The Ottomans had annexed a large portion of Armenia as far back as 1555 but allowed the people to generally govern themselves, until political entanglements within the empire and European complexities and alliances of World War I led to untold tragedy. In 1915, when the Ottomans perceived that the ethnic Armenians within their borders supported… Read more

April 20, 2017

Six-year-old Mary Adler (Mckenna Grace) doesn’t want to go to school, but her uncle, Frank (Chris Evans), insists. Their neighbor Roberta (Octavia Spencer) scolds Frank when he returns from taking his niece to school. She’s afraid that something might go wrong for Mary, who has never gone to school before. The reason is that Mary is a prodigy in mathematics, as was her mother, who committed suicide when her daughter was only a baby. In class, Mary cannot resist showing… Read more

April 10, 2017

Writer-director Stephen Ives’ three-part, six-hour documentary on how President Woodrow Wilson got the United States into the war “for which he was born” is indeed a master class on World War I history and how it paved the way for America today. Narrated by Oliver Platt and other notable voices, including Campbell Scott and Blythe Danner, “The Great War” begins with America’s pseudo neutrality that permitted U.S. corporations to provide food, supplies and munitions only to ally nations. It delves… Read more

April 7, 2017

Note: there are spoilers but I am assuming you are older than seven if you are reading this and won’t mind or care. Besides if I can’t write about the whole movie this would be a really, really short review. If the spoilers really matter to you, please stop reading now. Everything is going well in Smurf Village, where the all-male, blue Smurfkind folk live together in harmony in a village under the leadership of the overprotective Papa Smurf (Mandy… Read more

April 3, 2017

From Margaret Lyons over at the NYTimes “Watching” ‘Newtown’ When to watch: 9 p.m., on PBS (check local listings). Prepare to be emotionally ruined by this unfussy, devastating documentary about the Sandy Hook school shooting, in which Adam Lanza murdered 20 children and 6 adults after also murdering his mother. The doc captures a grief and despair so massive that there’s no getting over it or getting through it; the parents and children and teachers and rescue workers will just… Read more

April 1, 2017

This latest film from director Niki Caro (Whalerider) is perhaps one of the most unknown historical dramas that took place during World War II and forms part of the canon of Holocaust films. The film opens not long before Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Antonina (Jessica Chastain) Żabiński and her husband Jan (Johan Heldenbergh) and live with their son Ryszard (Tim Radford & Val Maloku) in a villa at the Warsaw Zoo. Jan is the head of the… Read more

March 25, 2017

“Silence” is a recent film adaptation by Martin Scorsese of Japanese author Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel. The film tells the story of two young Portuguese Jesuit priests who travel to Japan in the 17th century to find their mentor, Fr. Ferreira (Liam Neeson) who is reported to have apostatized. It is a long journey from Portugal to Rome, Goa, Macau and finally Japan, where Christianity is outlawed. But this journey is nothing compared to the long spiritual journey of Fr…. Read more

March 21, 2017

  The following is a guest post asking us to reflect on the current refugee situation, indeed crisis, and our response as believers in view of the release of “The Zookeeper’s Wife” film on March 31, 2017.   Our Call to Provide Sanctuary Co-authored by: Lori Margaret, Christian Interfaith Activist Sue Obedi, Hollywood Bureau Director, Muslim Public Affairs Council Rabbi Sarah Bassin, Reform Rabbi   The Zookeeper’s Wife tells the story of Antonina Żabiński, a working wife and mother who… Read more

March 13, 2017

The opening scene of Cries from Syria is of a two-year old baby laying dead on the sea shore, the rippled waves washing over him, because the boat bringing him to Europe capsized. This new HBO Documentary film (it premiered at Sundance in January) by Oscar and Emmy nominated director Evgeny Afineevsky premieres tomorrow night on television. The tragedy of the Al-Assad regime’s oppression and genocide is guaranteed to shock even an audience habituated to graphic war violence on television,… Read more

March 9, 2017

I’ll be seeing the film next week; this information is from the publicist. The couple saved at least 300 Jews from death during World War II. Here’s a description of the book from Wikipedia: The Zookeeper’s Wife THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE – Synopsis In 1939 Poland, Antonina Żabińska (portrayed by two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh, a European Film Award nominee for the Academy Award-nominated The Broken Circle Breakdown), have the Warsaw Zoo flourishing… Read more




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