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Bending the Arc–Towards Justice and the Right to Health

Bending the Arc is the 2017 Netflix documentary of the renowned public health advocate and physician, Paul Farmer.  We see, first hand, Farmer  taking on the medical establishment in his fierce and heroic fight to treat poor people suffering from curable but  deadly diseases.  Known as “the man who could cure the world, ” according to the Pulitzer-prize winning author, Tracy Kidder in his biography of Farmer, “Mountains Beyond Mountains.” Bending the Arc can be considered the visual companion to Kidder’s moving homage to Dr. Farmer. Dr. Farmer began...

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Women Talking–In the Name of Religion

Directed by Sarah Polley, based on the titular novel by Miriam Toews, Women Talking is inspired by a true story of horrific mass rapes in a small Mennonite community.  Intentionally ambiguous with regard to time and place, the religious colony in Women Talking is cut off from the modern world:  any place in America full of barns, overalls and horse-drawn-carts will do. Women Talking  explores the wide-ranging  challenges and obstacles faced by women when their bodies and dignity have been ravaged. Co-produced  by Frances McDormand (“Macbeth”....

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Death on the Nile–No Lifesaver Needed

Death on the Nile,   a 2022 remake of Agatha Christie’s 1937 classic novel, is directed by and stars Kenneth Branagh. Cinematic adaptations from books, especially from beloved authors like Agatha Christie are only for the intrepid.  And Branagh is on a path to making a series of Christie screen adaptations, starting with his first film, “Murder on the Orient Express (2017).”  In the opening scene the young Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, devises a brilliant strategy to defeat the German forces in the  trenches of World War One. Seriously wounded, his face scarred, his fiancée...

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The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart– Planting Seeds of Power

This  seven-episode mini-series, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, is based upon Holly Ringland’s novel of the same name. Little Alice Hart (Alyla Brown), a nine-year old girl, suffers a very violent set of family circumstances living in the outback of Australia.  Her father is abusive , especially  when Alice wants to feel somewhat safe around him.  Always guarded, the mother she adores is almost an angel for the child’s  living hell.  When her parents die in a horrific fire, Alice finds her life changing dramatically when she is sent to live with her grandmother, June Hart (Sigourney...

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Full Circle–Around and Around

The title, Full Circle,   represents  a belief in Guyana ritual and magic to break a family curse.   Savitri Mahabir (CCH Pounder), a Guyana racketeer,  has had a curse placed on her family, resulting in the murder of her  beloved brother-in-law.  Intent on breaking the curse, Mahabir creates a circle of vengeance–what comes around, goes around.  Literally, she orders a retaliatory murder in Washington Square Park, in  New York City.  To break the curse Guyana traditions must be followed, requiring  a circle for the crime to be  drawn...

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Paradise–Time is Money?

In Paradise, a  German dystopian sci-fi thriller,  Aeon has become a multi-billion dollar big-pharma conglomerate, founded by Olivia Theissen (Iris Berben) and her team of scientists. The biotech corporation has developed a revolutionary genetic tool that can  reverse the aging process and presumably delay death.  Donors of DNA, who are compatible with wealthy recipients, exchange  years of their lives for money–lots of it.     Time is the  currency. And only the very rich can benefit from this age-defying technology.  In...

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