‘Birth of a Nation’ offers lots to talk about

"Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever." --Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson wrote these words in Paris in 1785, in his only full-length book, Notes on the State of Virginia. These same words are on the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., and they open Nate Parker's first film as a director and writer, "The Birth of a Nation."This film -- which won an Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival in January and which Fox … [Read more...]

Four films worth seeing: Belle, Chef, Million Dollar Arm, Fed Up

"Belle" -- This film is based on the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a British sea captain (Matthew Goode) in the 18th century. Belle grows up with a cousin in the mansion of her uncle, Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson), the chief justice of England, and his wife (Emily Watson). It is a story about the power of cultural mores and the law when England was beginning to challenge the legitimacy of the slave trade. Belle influences her uncle … [Read more...]