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Review: Charlie vs. Goliath

— by BEV QUESTAD — “Being a Democrat in Wyoming is like being a burr under a saddle,” says Charlie Hardy. He ran for the US Senate against Mike Enzi, the Republican incumbent since 1997. A documentary was made of his campaign effort covering the whole of big sky country in 2014. Fake[...]

Review: The Challenge

— by BEV QUESTAD — On the plus side, the trailer for this film is phenomenal. Black-marked and wild, unleashed and regal, like a graceful long-legged dog, the sleek cat leads its owner into a black Lamborghini. Taking the passenger seat, the cheetah hears the sportscar roar onto the road[...]

Review: Second Nature

— by BEV QUESTAD — The lure of this irreverent independent film is that it involves a magic mirror dug up by Grandma and passed on to Granddaughter Amanda. The rules are that you only get one wish and you can reverse it within five days if you want. So, what might you do? Stop […][...]

Review: Year by the Sea

— by BEV QUESTAD — Life is a series of transcendent experiences. Like waves of a turbulent sea, as one trouble is ultimately overcome, another challenge slips in to cause a new reign of havoc. With a big literal nod to Erik Ericson, a renowned psychologist for his theory of eight psychos[...]

Review: The Fencer

— by BEV QUESTAD — A slim man with short dark hair agilely steps off a train in steamy cold Estonia, looking furtively at army officials hobnobbing outside the station. He puts up his collar to shield himself from the cold in a way that lets you know, he prefers not to be seen. He [&hell[...]

Review: The Last Dalai Lama?

— by BEV QUESTAD — The real shocker of this film comes from HH Dalai Lama’s response to the question on his own reincarnation and who the next Dalai Lama will be. But the other traditional questions, those we all want to know, are also answered. What is the purpose of life? What does t[...]

Interview: Filmmaker Robert Sickels

— by BEV QUESTAD — There is more to Robert Sickels and his work than immediately meets the eye, just like the little town he portrays. Five of his shorts, featured at the Northwest Film Center Aug. 2, were all shot in cozy, tree-lined Walla Walla, Wash., the complicated home of Walla Wal[...]

Interview: Nicholas Alexander, retired CIA

— by BEV QUESTAD — I’m becoming more interested not only in the content of a documentary, but in investigating its truth. This is why I interviewed a Sovietologist and retired CIA operations officer in the clandestine service of the CIA’s covert action section about Oliver Stone[...]

Review: The Horse’s Mouth

— by BEV QUESTAD — The most important thing an artist must convey, to be truly worthy, is thought. “Straight from the horse’s mouth. You have to know when you succeed and when you fail and why. Know thyself in fact. In short, you have to think,” says Gulley Jimson. “The Horse’s[...]

Review: Lost in Lebanon

— by BEV QUESTAD — “Lost in Lebanon” is a film dear to my heart because when I went to school there, the same frustrating problem that was happening with the Palestinians in 1969 to 1970 is happening now with the Syrians. I returned to Beirut last year to honor my dearest professor, [...]

Review: Black Code

— by BEV QUESTAD — “There is an obvious candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize and that’s Edward Snowden,” said Jon Karlung, CEO of Bahnhof, a Swedish Internet service provider in Stockholm that can monitor the monitors. Edward Snowden, a US citizen in exile in Russia, has alerted the[...]

Review: The Good Postman

— by BEV QUESTAD — The genius of this documentary, set in a tiny town in Bulgaria, is that it is a microcosm of the world. While the citizens of Great Dervent, Bulgaria, fear change, strangers, unemployment and loneliness, their major contentious issue in a recent election is what to do [...]

Review: Nowhere to Hide

— by BEV QUESTAD — America may be lacking moral leadership these days, but its vigilance and ethical spirit are stronger than ever. This year’s powerful 2017 Human Rights Watch Film Festival (HRWFF) in New York City features the most crucial issues of our time, opening with a candid do[...]

Review: Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe

— by BEV QUESTAD — “Farewell to Europe,” Austria’s official nominee for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, begins in an opulent diningroom in Brazil where five maids scurry to finish setting a gigantic table laden with exotic flowers. This was 1936, when coffee, rubb[...]