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Review: The Sweet Requiem

— by BEV QUESTAD — This is a deeply moving story, inspired by a true account, shot alternately in the desolate high Ladakh region of the Himalayan Mountains and in the Tibetan exile warren of Delhi. Award-wining Tibetan exile filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, associated with Richa[...]

Review: PHΦL (aka PHIL)

— by BEV QUESTAD — In the dark of night, middle-aged Phil awkwardly climbs over a fence and up onto the base of a Portland Bridge lamppost. To jump or not to jump? Suddenly, we see his gorgeous vertical descent into the cold river below. Bubbles boil around his straight body as if he wer[...]

Review: The Quiet One

— by BEV QUESTAD — While “Paint it Black” whips on in the background, Bill Wyman says, “If you do the right thing, you don’t get noticed. And that’s the way I play. It’s quite simple.” Wyman, bass player for the Rolling Stones from 1962 to 1993, was a quiet man who followed[...]

Review: Wild Rose

— by BEV QUESTAD — The prison door closes and young, redheaded Rose, shackled to an ankle monitor, is free to pursue her dream. Despite living poor in Glasgow, Scotland and speaking with an often-indecipherable brogue, Rose wants to become a Nashville singing star. But her first spontane[...]

Review: We Believe in Dinosaurs

— by BEV QUESTAD — In 2016, a $120 million dollar replica of Noah’s ark was built in northern Kentucky. It’s a gorgeous creation reminiscent of an exhibit in a Disney theme park, with a series of realistic scenes lining the walkway inside the boat. There is the sinful sybaritic lifes[...]

Review: Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins

— by BEV QUESTAD — For Molly Ivins, there were two sides to the political spectrum, not the Left or the Right, but the Top to the Bottom. The American Film Institute (AFI) is closing their 2019 Doc Fest this year with “Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins.” An acerbic politi[...]

Review: Buddy

— by BEV QUESTAD — At age 13, Edith was blinded from the impact of a German bomb in the Netherlands. Undaunted, she learned to gallop on a horse while her guide dog scampered beside, trying to keep up the pace. What a great life for several dogs, all who lived and died under Edith’s [&[...]

Review: Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes

— by BEV QUESTAD — The only way to write an honest reflection on a Blue Note Records documentary is from a dark inner city bar where James T is on stage and the audience only stops their chatter to clap between performance pauses. James tells me it’s that chatter that gives the musicia[...]

Review: Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

— by BEV QUESTAD — “If there is life on Mars, they are reading Toni Morrison to find what it means to be human,” matter-of-factly says Farah Griffin, a professor at Columbia University. My first exposure to Morrison was through “Beloved.” A group of 10 teachers and I had intended[...]

Review: The Wild

— by BEV QUESTAD — When my Norwegian grandpa, father and I went out fishing in and around the cold Seattle waters, we felt exhilaratingly free. Out in a small boat or in waders in the middle of a busy stream, in misty rain or cloud-dappled sun, we were adventurers reveling in self-suffic[...]

Review: Walking on Water

— by BEV QUESTAD — The medieval town of Brescia, known for its food, wine, and architecture, lays at the foot of the Alps on Lake Iseo in northern Italy. In 2016, it was the hub of crisis for Christo’s second environmental work since the death of his partner and wife, Jeanne Claude. Th[...]

Review: The Silence of Others

— by BEV QUESTAD — Ironically, “The Silence of Others” is actually about those who are speaking out. A bent-over, raspy-voiced, white-haired woman with a walker whispers, “I was 6 years old when they came for my mother.” A growing list of Spanish nationals testify to an Argentini[...]

Review: Sprinter

— by BEV QUESTAD — Executive produced by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, “Sprinter” is an exhilarating inspirational story of immigration conflicts, family, perseverance and love. Akeem Sharp (played by Dale Elliott) lives with his father and brother in Jamaica. He achieves somewhat rel[...]

Review: Mine 9

— by BEV QUESTAD — We see a silent coal black screen for 40 seconds and then, in small white print, the Coal Miner’s Prayer by W. Calvert: “Each day as we rise/ Lord we know all too well/ We face only one thing – a pit filled with Hell./To scratch out a living the […][...]