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Review: 20 Days in Mariupol

— by BEV QUESTAD — The city is still and quiet. Not a tree leaf moves, as if trying not to call attention to itself. At the border, a two-pronged attack, though denied, is methodically being organized. One will come from the north into Kyiv and the other, here, 35 miles from Russia in th[...]

Review: Rustin

— by BEV QUESTAD — Diversity, inspiration, compassion, and transformation are the guiding principles of Higher Ground (HG), the Obamas’ production company. Michelle Obama says, “I always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the w[...]

Review: Yellow

— by BEV QUESTAD — In a sea of blue burqas, only a cat runs free, scampering freely from rooftop to rooftop high above the fettered women below. This 12-minute exceptional documentary short was nominated for a British Academy Film Award (BAFTA) for best short doc. It begins by showing th[...]

Review: Beyond Utopia

— by BEV QUESTAD — Fording rivers, climbing mountains, circling in a jungle, and hiking in the dark to evade capture, this long circuitous odyssey from North Korea through China to South Korea is what lucky North Koreans can expect to endure. For the unlucky it is betrayal by the broker,[...]

Review: Four Daughters

— by BEV QUESTAD — It was 2015 when Barack Obama approved the bombing of an Islamic terrorist center in Libya. Here, Noureddine Chouchane, a militant commander connected to two deadly attacks in neighboring Tunisia, was killed. Surviving were his wife and his wife’s sister. “Four Dau[...]

Review: Barbie

— by BEV QUESTAD — Why hasn’t “Barbie” been more of an awards winner? Nominations in abundance in many annual awards categories and victory at the box office hasn’t transferred to winning. The Oscars left out “Barbie” from Best Actress and Best Director. Why? I’[...]

Review: Nimona

— by BEV QUESTAD — Who’s bad, who’s good, and what’s the truth? These are life’s questions. But, as this film says, “If you want a happily ever after you are going to have to wait, because the monsters are always out there.” Isn’t that the truth? “Nimona” is an animatio[...]

Review: American Symphony

— by BEV QUESTAD — This raw, intimate documentary reveals the most creative, versatile and eclectic musician of our time, Jon Batiste. From exposure to his personality on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” I was expecting a laid-back, fun, light-hearted guy. But his story runs mor[...]

27TH OFCS Awards: Nominees & Winners

— by BEV QUESTAD — The Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), representing nearly 300 continually vetted online film journalists, historians and scholars worldwide, with one-third based outside the US, has announced the winners of its 2023 film awards. Founded in 1997, members of the OFCS e[...]

Review: Oppenheimer

— by BEV QUESTAD — Historically, tides of American freedom and then its reversal have flooded and ebbed with crashing force. Lives can be lifted or ruined. For me, this is the foundational story behind Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer.” Why it surfaces now is an apt cautionary tale[...]

Review: 32 Sounds

— by BEV QUESTAD — Since sound is vibration and moves out like tiny ripples, then, if I understood correctly, all sounds ever occurring are all still out there moving in perpetuity: my mother’s voice and piano playing, my father’s laugh, my son’s first cry and the first big bang. T[...]

Review: Bobi Wine: The People’s President

— by BEV QUESTAD — Little Richard meets Nelson Mandela – that’s Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, popularly known as Bobi Wine. With his energetic band, courageous Wine exposes injustice and corruption in Uganda as a musical sensation and political revolutionary. This pits him dangerously [...]

Review: The Boy and the Heron

— by BEV QUESTAD — At age 82, Hayao Miyazaki, the world’s greatest animator, has created another film of exceptional artistic presentation. Ten years ago, “The Wind Rises,” thought to be his last film, was nominated for an Oscar, but lost to Disney’s “Frozen.” Now, “The Boy[...]

Review: The Mission

— by BEV QUESTAD — Oh troubling waters of misguided humans and good intentions, how and when can we distinguish between the calling of God and the Sirens of Titan? In a classic modern tragedy, John Chau found himself drawn inexorably to proclaim the gospel to the last isolated tribe on e[...]