Author Archive

Review: My Darling Vivian

— by BEV QUESTAD — This is a documentary about Vivian, the first wife of Johnny Cash, created by her children. “My Darling Vivian” rounds out the nature of Cash, first depicted in “Walk the Line,” as a world-famous singer with regrets over the family he betrayed. A masterful docu[...]

Review: Born to Be

— by BEV QUESTAD — We hear a sonorous double bass. The deep sounds come in a tremulous, low awe switching to multi-faceted activity and diversity. As the film continues, we learn that the Julliard musician has another practice that parallels his daily music regimen perfecting the Bach su[...]

Review: A La Calle

— by BEV QUESTAD — Filming this documentary was as dangerous as being a subject in what was being filmed. Bullets had to be dodged and raw footage had to be periodically smuggled back to the US. Just to be named in the credits earns exile if not prison and brutal retaliation. This is the[...]

Review: Duty Free

— by BEV QUESTAD — It’s Boston and Rebecca is the head housekeeper for an inn facing hard times. Her one-bedroom apartment, where she has raised two boys, is above the inn and part of an employment package arranged around 50 years ago. At 75 years of age, she has spunk, energy and driv[...]

Review: Wine and War

— by BEV QUESTAD — I drank my first Lebanese wine, a 1968 Ksara red, in 1970 during the early days of the Lebanese Civil War. I still have the wine labels, pressed and mounted. It was a smooth, hardy wine that was cheaper than beer – maybe $1.50 a bottle. Now, there is a […][...]

Review: Kingdom of Silence

— by BEV QUESTAD — The film begins with a view from an open window, a white curtain gently fluttering in the breeze, and a view of tightly connected rooftops. But all is not as gentle nor innocent as it seems. Welcome to the Middle East, and, most especially, Saudi Arabia and the story o[...]

Review: Pearl

— by BEV QUESTAD — At the outset, we hear self-assured, talented, silky-haired Pearl announce at a private high school admissions interview, “I want to control my destiny.” Just hours later, blood sprays out on a window in her living room and she is screaming. Concurrently, across to[...]

Review: Healing From Hate

— by BEV QUESTAD — Domestic extremists are the people moderator Chris Wallace asked Donald Trump to repudiate at the Sept. 29 presidential debate. Trump responded, “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.” In the last 30 years, “The vast majority of the deadly terrorist attacks occurr[...]

Review: The Black Emperor of Broadway

— by BEV QUESTAD — “I grew up learning to revere and honor Eugene O’Neill as the father of American Theater – until I learned about Charles Gilpin,” reports Arthur Egeli, director and producer of the masterful film, “The Black Emperor of Broadway.” With just a little research[...]

Review: We Are Many

— by BEV QUESTAD — One Night For Peace is set for Sept. 21, 2020. It’s the UN International Day for Peace and a commemoration of the largest peace march in the history of the world. Beginning at sunrise on Feb. 15, 2003 in New Zealand, the world’s largest protest began and followed t[...]

Review: Epicentro

— by BEV QUESTAD — Decaying, dilapidated, dark Havana are the first shots we get from Hubert Sauper, documentary filmmaker extraordinaire. But as the film moves on, with uninhibited scenes of sensuality and crashing surf, he ends up in a children’s ballet class. A little girl heading u[...]

Review: The Andorra Hustle

— by BEV QUESTAD — Andorra, the setting for this revealing film, is a miniature picturesque country with ski resorts and duty-free shopping tucked between Spain and France in the Pyrenees Mountains. But the embedded details of banking corruption, money laundering and back-stabbing juxtap[...]

Review: Desert One

— by BEV QUESTAD — Back in 1979, nine years after I had naively masqueraded as a Shi’ite Muslim woman in Iran in order to gain sight-seeing access to exquisitely tiled mosques, 52 Americans at the American Embassy in Tehran were taken hostage. America had become their enemy because we [...]

Review: The 11th Green

— by BEV QUESTAD — Dwight Eisenhower meets Barack Obama in this ambitious historical fiction “What-if” drama beset with a secret so big the presidents have to ask, “Should we let the public know?” This is a good Republican president talking with a good Democrat president amidst a[...]