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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 […][...]

Review: Leonard Bernstein: Larger Than Life

— by BEV QUESTAD — A documentary on Leonard Bernstein, a passionate musical genius, could cover an examination of his politics, social life, psychology, family and music career. But to do justice to any of these aspects would mean at least a five-hour film. So this one-hour doc focuses o[...]

Review: The Kamagasaki Cauldron War

— by BEV QUESTAD — A tour guide tells his group that the big flower planters have been strategically placed in Kamagasaki to make it impossible for indigents to sleep on the sidewalks. Then an indigent, who is also a crack pick-pocket, passes by and steals his money. The pickpocket needs[...]

Review: The Public

— by BEV QUESTAD — The Cincinnati Ohio Library is being sued for $750,000 by a frequent patron who was told he must leave the building because of his smell. He claims discrimination. The humble librarian, Stuart Goodson (Emilio Estevez), who was pressured by annoyed patrons to ask the od[...]

Review: The Brink

— by BEV QUESTAD — Alison Klayman, a progressive Jewish granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, consented to produce/direct a film on a man with whose ideas she does not agree. As a filmmaker and journalist, she has won recognition for her work on the Chinese artist and activist, Ai Weiwei[...]

Trailer: Sir

— by BEV QUESTAD — I loved every minute of this delicate story of a young village woman who was widowed at 19. She leaves her husband’s family and becomes a servant in Mumbai with dreams to educate herself as a dress designer. Her employer is in despair as his dreams have been dashed. [...]

Trailer: Acid Forest (aka Rugstus miskas)

— by BEV QUESTAD — A forest in Lithuania has a long wooden staircase leading to a viewing platform. Visitors from all over the world come to this spot. Lithuanian director Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė records visitor conversations on the platform and lets these voices tell the story of the co[...]

Review: Amateurs (aka Amatörer)

— by BEV QUESTAD — A younger generation has taken over the 2019 Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) with the theme: Empathy has no Ethnicity. “Amateurs” was their brave choice to open the festival. Filmed liked a documentary about two sets of filmmakers making a marketing fil[...]

Trailer: What is Democracy?

— by BEV QUESTAD — “…until political power and wisdom unite… there can be no rest from troubles” (Plato, The Republic, Book V). From the brave art of Ambrogio Lorenzetti in 1338 to the always insightful challenges of Cornel West, Astra Taylor investigates ideas of democracy. What[...]

Review: Auggie

— by BEV QUESTAD — Well, I’m going to tell you one thing — Richard Kind, the star of “Auggie,” is going to be teased unmercifully about his role in this film. What will his good friend (and best man at his wedding), George Clooney, have to say about it? In “Auggie,” the n[...]