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  • Nordic Crime Drama ‘The Bridge’ Returns to the BBC September 21, 2020
    “The Bridge” is coming back to the Beeb. Germany’s ZDF Enterprises has licensed award-winning Nordic crime drama “The Bridge” to U.K. broadcaster BBC. All four seasons of the show will air simultaneously on BBC Four and BBC iPlayer. This is the second time that “The Bridge” has been licensed to the BBC. It originally showed […]
    Naman Ramachandran
  • ‘Tiger King,’ ‘For Sama,’ David Olusoga Among 2020 Grierson Nominees September 21, 2020
    Nominations for the 48th annual British Documentary Awards, known as the Griersons, include episode two of Netflix docuseries “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts’ Oscar-nominated and BAFTA-winning “For Sama,” and a best presenter nod for David Olusoga for “The Unwanted: The Secret Windrush Files.” The awards are given by […]
    Naman Ramachandran
  • ‘Yakari’ Sells to Multiple Territories, Performs Well at French B.O. for Bac Films (EXCLUSIVE) September 21, 2020
    Paris-based Bac Films has closed multiple territories across Europe and Africa as well as Canada on family adventure “Yakari,” an animated feature reboot of the cult 1970’s franchise. Based on the French-Belgian comic strip first published in 1969 and created by Job, Derib and Dominique, “Yakari” has also been adapted into two popular TV series, […] […]
    elskes
  • Israel, Abu Dhabi Forge Film Ties Following Normalization Agreement September 21, 2020
    The recent U.S.-brokered agreement under which Israel established diplomatic relations with two Arab states has rapidly prompted formal film industry ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Abu Dhabi Film Commission, the Israel Film Fund and Jerusalem’s Sam Spiegel Film & Television School (pictured) on Monday announced a wide-ranging […]
    nvivarelli
  • San Sebastian Looks Forward with Nest Student Short Film Sidebar September 21, 2020
    San Sebastian’s Nest program for student short films seeks out filmmakers from schools around the world, inviting them to screen their films in a dedicated competition at the Spanish festival. Students are also invited to participate in discussions and masterclasses given by industry professionals. Each year, the section jury, together with the students, cho […]
    Jamie Lang
  • Double San Sebastian Winner Isaki Lacuesta Boards Víctor Iriarte’s ‘Rewriting’ (EXCLUSIVE) September 21, 2020
    A double San Sebastian Golden Shell winner with “The Double Steps” (2011) and “Between Two Waters” (2018), Isaki Lacuesta is teaming with Tamara Iglesias’ Atekaleun and Víctor Iriarte’s Cajaconcosasdentro to co-produce “Reescritura” (“Rewriting”), Iriarte’s fiction feature debut. Lacuesta will co-produce out of his label La Termita Films. Catalan auteur Lacu […]
    John Hopewell
  • Beta Film Sells ‘The Turncoat’ to Buyers in U.S., Multiple Territories (EXCLUSIVE) September 21, 2020
    Beta Film’s drama “The Turncoat,” which was just honored as best TV movie at the Seoul Intl. Drama Awards, has scored a series of territory deals, including the U.S. The German miniseries, based on the bestseller by Siegfried Lenz and directed by Florian Gallenberger, winner of the Oscar for best live-action short, was sold around […]
    Leo Barraclough
  • Warner Bros. Cuts Village Roadshow Theatrical Ties in Australia, New Zealand September 21, 2020
    Warner Bros. is to end its decades-old film distribution relationship in Australia and New Zealand with Roadshow Films. The studio has notified the Australian distributor that its current contract to handle the theatrical releases of Warner titles will not be renewed beyond its expiry at the end of December. Other sources report that theatrical distribution […]
    Patrick Frater
  • New Industry Collective Alia Outlines Strategy for Spanish Growth at San Sebastian Panel September 21, 2020
    In April, 39 companies in Spain joined together to create Alia, the Alliance for the Audiovisual Industry, a non-profit advocacy group including public and private institutions intended to negotiate and improve Spain’s production pipeline while presenting a unified front when dealing with governmental economic bodies. “Alia was an idea that we started on qui […]
    Jamie Lang
  • Producers José Manuel Lorenzo, Domingo Corral on Movistar Plus Super Series ‘Tell Me Who I Am’ September 21, 2020
    One of Spanish pay TV Movistar Plus’ most ambitious pushes into original, international TV yet, the 20th Century-spanning period drama “Tell Me Who I Am,” will headline Monday evening’s Movistar Gala at the San Sebastian Film Festival, screening episodes out of competition. Director Eduard Cortés will be joined on the red carpet by lead actors […] […]
    Jamie Lang

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  • Beta to unleash days of flooding rainfall, pounding surf from Texas to Louisiana September 20, 2020
    Forecasters say Beta could become the ninth-named storm to make landfall in the United States this season as it unleashes days of flooding downpours along the Gulf coast. Beta wrote a new page in the record books for becoming the earliest 23rd-named tropical storm in the Atlantic, replacing Alpha from 2005, which formed on Oct....
  • AccuWeather meteorologists increase forecast for record-breaking 2020 hurricane season September 16, 2020
    AccuWeather meteorologists upped the number of tropical storms anticipated in the record-setting 2020 Atlantic hurricane season this week, as the last name on the list designated for the season, Wilfred, has been exhausted as of midday Friday. Forecasters, led by veteran hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski, now expect a total of 28 storms, which would tie...
  • Hurricane Teddy to bear down on Canada after brushing Bermuda September 20, 2020
    After passing to the east of Bermuda through Monday, powerful Hurricane Teddy will set its sights on Atlantic Canada for the middle of the week. Teddy first developed in the central Atlantic on Saturday, Sept. 12. On Friday night, Teddy strengthened into a Category 4 major hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Laura is the...
  • Significant rainfall may be double-edged sword for northwestern US this week September 21, 2020
    A multi-day rain event is just what the northwestern United States needs to help put out the dozens of active wildfires, and forecasters say that is in the offing later this week. But could there be too much of a good thing? From last Friday into the weekend, the region received some relief from the...
  • Northwestern storm system to bring relief for some, danger for others September 19, 2020
    As wildfires continue to rage across the West and smoke travels thousands of miles from its point of origin, residents and firefighters alike are desperately waiting for Mother Nature to lend a helping hand. Fortunately for some, relief is on the way later this week, while for others, the danger will remain high. Over 3.9...
  • Wilfred weakening in the open Atlantic September 18, 2020
    A disturbance AccuWeather meteorologists have been monitoring since it cruised across Africa last week became Tropical Storm Wilfred on Friday. Satellite photos from Thursday night indicated a substantial uptick in thunderstorm activity on the eastern side of the system with a trademark high cloud shield overtop of the system. The system continued to show si […]
  • Teddy may approach New England, Atlantic Canada as hurricane after blowing past Bermuda September 17, 2020
    Less than one week after feeling the full force of Hurricane Paulette, residents of Bermuda are preparing for impacts from powerful Hurricane Teddy, which unlike Paulette, may take a path that could eventually bring impacts to Atlantic Canada and perhaps the northeastern United States.  Paulette brought a wind gust of 117 mph to Bermuda and...
  • Noul turns deadly while making landfall in Vietnam September 18, 2020
    Noul made landfall as a tropical storm in central Vietnam on Friday leading to at least one death, as reported by the Bangkok Post. VnExpress stated that Noul prompted the closure of several airports in central Vietnam on Friday, including Da Nang’s airport, which led to several dozen cancellations and delays. Noul produced 310 mm...
  • Tropical Storm Beta to spend days pounding Gulf Coast September 17, 2020
    After churning out Tropical Storm Wilfred and Subtropical Storm Alpha, the hyperactive Atlantic continues to generate more named storms with the formation of Tropical Storm Beta. This new storm has claimed the second letter in the Greek alphabet. Once the last name on the season’s designated list is exhausted, Greek letters are used to identify...
  • Death toll rises in aftermath of powerful Hurricane Sally September 17, 2020
    Hurricane Sally gave residents a harsh history lesson on Wednesday morning. By Friday, the scope of the damage across multiples states was coming into focus and the death toll had climbed to three. Two of the fatalities occurred in Georgia as Sally worked its way inland, as one man was killed on Wednesday night after...

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  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 1933–2020
    She entered the law at a time when men wielded virtually all political and economic power, women were barely taken seriously in the legal profession or by the law itself, and the statute books were shot through with sex-based laws. She used her skills to elevate the status of women in the United States forever. The world she has left behind was transformed by her work. But at every turn, she pursued change methodically, with care and attention to her own imperative that one must always seek to bring others along.
  • Deportation Nation
    The deportation system held sway over immigrant communities long before Trump became president, but under his direction it has become even more far-reaching, arbitrary, and cruel. Immigrants have regularly been arrested at home and work, sometimes as “collateral” when ICE has come looking for someone else. They’ve been handed off to ICE after being arrested by local police, often for minor offenses. They’ve been picked up from county jails and courthouses and detained at highway checkpoints. Some were abruptly deported after appearing at ICE offices for routine check-ins. At times these enforcement actions made news, as when ICE swept into chicken-processing plants in Mississippi on August 7, 2019, in a blitz that yielded 680 arrests. But in general, they have attracted little attention.
  • The Desk and the Daring
    Vivian Gornick has long enjoyed an audience of literary depressives and feminists. Now, a late-career revival is expanding her readership. In 2020 four Gornick titles have given occasion for a backward glance. The timing of their publication could be chalked up to the return of American socialism, or to the tendency to rediscover women artists in old age. But the lasting value of her work lies in her commitment to the question of what it means to feel “expressive”: to experience the feeling that tells a person “not approximately, but precisely” who they are.
  • ‘Electric, Like Time Travel’: An Interview with Chantal Joffe
    Imogen Greenhalgh: Aspects of lockdown behaved a bit like art does, in that they altered our sense of time and our attention to what is right in front of us. Chantal Joffe: I’ve been painting my own mum a lot during lockdown, pictures of her now and when she was young. I love thinking that all of that isn’t lost—her youth, us little. It’s still present. You can hold on to the person she was. When I was painting it, I was there, in the picture: it was electric, like time travel.
  • In Place of Police: The Oregon Experiment
    Well before this summer’s historic protests against police brutality, the CAHOOTS program of crisis response teams had been advising similar projects and pilot programs in cities such as Denver, Oakland, Portland, and Olympia, Washington, which voted to create an unarmed Crisis Response Unit in 2017. But the experiences of CAHOOTS and its spinoffs have gained a new instructive pertinency as municipalities nationwide look to divest parts of their public safety apparatus from police departments. The idea is that armed police officers are simply called to address too many situations, often ones in which trained mental health or social workers would be more effective and more humane.
  • The Big Smoke
    The beach, a scintillating embodiment of the California Dream just hours earlier, now looked more like the landing pad for Charon, the ferryman of Hades, with wisps of yellow smoke hovering above leaden waves and pebbles. It is hard not to think of California’s wildfire plight as a metaphor for America’s decline. “Just come to the state of California,” Governor Newsom said. “This is a climate damn emergency. This is real.” When the president finally visited the state, for a mere two hours this past Monday, he told its suffocating residents to be patient: “It’ll start getting cooler. You just watch.” It felt like an inverted déjà vu of what Trump had said about the coronavirus in February, when he told Americans to wait till “when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.”
  • A Poetry Manual
    a poem
  • Dems Must Play Offense
    To the Editors: Joseph O’Neill’s two excellent essays on contemporary American politics should be essential reading by every Democratic candidate as well as the advisers and organizers behind them. My concern, however, is that many may interpret his prescriptions in “Brand New Dems?” too literally.
  • Conquest and Agency
    To the Editors: I applaud both Jeffrey Ostler’s fine book Surviving Genocide and Peter Nabokov’s insightful review of it. Framing Ostler’s work as reflective of contemporary interest in settler colonial studies and genocide studies is apt. But missing in that framework is some recognition of the connection these two viewpoints share with the “new” Indian history of the past generation.
  • Dream
    a poem
  • Simulating Democracy
    Jill Lepore is a brilliant and prolific historian with an eye for unusual and revealing stories, and her new book If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future is a remarkable saga, sometimes comical, sometimes ominous: a “shadow history of the 1960s,” as she writes, because Simulmatics stumbled through the decade as a bit player, onstage for the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, the Great Society, the riots and protests. It began with grand ambitions to invent a new kind of predictive behavioral science, in a research environment increasingly tied to a rising defense establishment amid the anxiety of the cold war. It ended ignominiously, in embarrassment and bankruptcy.
  • Confinement and Contagion
    The coronavirus has made those in women’s prisons still more vulnerable. “The world at large has forgotten us,” one woman wrote from Texas. “We are the most disempowered and despised population,” another wrote from Arizona. A woman in Kansas reported that within weeks of the declaration of a pandemic, ten body bags were delivered to the prison: “Guess we will not be going to the hospital if it comes here.”
  • An ‘Invaluable’ Source
    To the Editors: Zadie Smith’s interesting review of the artwork of Kara Walker contains a large section on the life and diaries of Thomas Thistlewood, a slave owner in Jamaica between 1750 and 1786. It is clear to me, however, from the details in her review, that her information about Thistlewood is derived from my 2004 book, Mastery, Tyranny and Desire.
  • America’s Eviction Epidemic
    Renters who enjoyed some measure of protection are now at risk of eviction since the moratoriums on eviction are coming to an end at both federal and local levels. In the coming months, up to 28 million people could be thrown out of their homes, according to a researcher with the Eviction Lab. “While eviction is a threat for people with resources, the risk of homelessness is much bigger for people at the bottom of the ladder,” the journalist Brian Goldstone told me. “For low-income people of color, the scale and scope and magnitude of the crisis in this country in the coming months is likely to be something we’ve never seen before.”
  • This Soldier’s Witness to the Iraq War Lie
    There at the Baghdad hospital, I joined an FBI agent in questioning the bedridden Ahmed al-Ani about his time in the Czech Republic. A diminutive man with a grizzled face creased by bouts of pain, he epitomized the type of drab regime functionary I’d come to know in Iraq all too well. Al-Ani had never met the 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta or even heard of him until he saw news reports after September 11. It is a cruel irony that this Iraqi man was first used as a prop for an American invasion and then subjected to disfiguring violence by soldiers who had carried out that invasion. But his story weighs on me in other ways.
  • Sharmila, the Chaiwalla, and Me
    When I first moved to America, I had been aware of the Basti, or slum, as it’s known in English, just behind my parents’ home. No more than a five-minute walk. But I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere near. Not even to pass through in a car. Now, I would venture into this no-mans-land that my family all knew of but never discussed. I started taking pictures along these walks—of broken windows and dilapidated houses and barber shops. Soon, the local boys would run up to me, parents holding their little ones in their arms, a shopkeeper hugging his one precious belonging—a broken blender—“Didi, Didi,” Sister, Sister, “One photo, please.”
  • Maine’s Sublime Canvas of Contradictions
    Every August, the public library in my hometown of Blue Hill, Maine holds a wet paint auction. Local artists, some seasoned, some aspiring, go out in the early morning to find their subjects: the dawn on the mudflats; blue islands slouching across the horizon; the nostalgic white pentagon of the post office. The landscape of Maine—glacially gouged, furred with pines—precludes other muses, offering up endless variations on its theme with every change of the light, season, and tide. It is relentlessly consumed, reproduced, and sold, albeit in a less extractive way than the mining and lumber industries once used it.
  • Our Most Vulnerable Election
    The United States has had fifty-eight presidential elections since George Washington won a unanimous electoral vote in 1788–1789. Few of them have been as obviously consequential as the election of 2020. That would be true even if it were only about the issues: how America will handle Covid-19, racial inequality, immigration, climate change, foreign relations, economic policy, and judicial appointments depends on whom we choose to lead us next. On each of these questions, there are sharp differences between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. But although we have had many critical elections, none of them since the end of Reconstruction has occurred under anything like the cloud hanging over this quadriennial choosing.
  • ‘Zohar Studios’: An Invented Artist’s Lively Inventions
    Two decades in the making, Stephen Berkman’s huge new book, Predicting the Past: Zohar Studios the Lost Years invents, creates, and explicates an artistic oeuvre—in this case, one that purportedly belonging to a nineteenth-century studio photographer named Shimmel Zohar. According to Berkman’s introductory narrative, Shimmel Zohar immigrated to New York City from Lithuania in the mid-nineteenth century and briefly established a photography studio on the Lower East Side before vanishing from history.
  • Mourning in Place
    It’s hard to figure out how to mourn during a pandemic. Our mourning rituals have all been disrupted or taken away.
  • When Monuments Fall
    There is nothing wrong in principle in removing statues: icons are created, icons are torn down—this has happened throughout history. Moral complexity may be an argument against unthinking iconoclasm. It is not, however, an argument for never taking down statues. Statues are rarely about history as such; they are about memory. That is, they are part of the process of shaping perceptions of history. That is why they have long been sites of contestation, and not just in the present.
  • Bramleys, Not Grenadiers
    a poem
  • All Souls
    a poem
  • The Hunger Strikers of Pine Prairie Protesting Indefinite Detention by ICE
    Over the last couple of years, Louisiana has become a national hub of immigrant detention, with eleven facilities that hold more than 15 percent of the total population in ICE custody. Normally, an average stay for an asylum-seeker held at Pine Prairie would be forty-five days, but the detentions of many of the African immigrants seeking refugee status now range from eleven months to two years. To protest these extraordinarily prolonged detentions, forty-eight African detainees began refusing food on August 10. “We are like slaves, and the master is ICE,” one detainee told me. “We are begging you to help us in here. We are dying, for real.”
  • Finding a Path Through the Odyssey
    The phrase “find a way” allowed me, first of all, to understand retroactively the nature of the creative and spiritual crisis I had undergone after finishing my previous book. I was suffering from what the Greeks called aporia: a helpless, immobilized confusion, a lack of resources to find one’s way out of a problem. The literal meaning of aporia is “a lack of a path,” or “no-way.” I hadn’t been able to leave my apartment; I couldn’t think of a new project. I was, in the Greek way of thinking, pathless.
  • Trumps on the Couch
    When it comes to Donald Trump, even the few new stories and bits of perspective his niece Mary’s book can provide add little—it’s not that she doesn’t know him well, it’s that anyone who has followed him with a mild interest already knows him too well to be surprised by revelations of kind or of degree, or to be particularly enlightened by expert opinions on his well-documented traits and tendencies.
  • David Graeber, 1961–2020
    David Graeber, the anthropologist and activist, died aged fifty-nine on September 2, 2020. The New York Review, to which he began contributing last year, is collecting tributes from his friends and colleagues.
  • Making Order of the Breakdown
    Elena Ferrante’s novels, whatever else they’re about, are always describing the distance between two points: working-class Naples and the putatively better neighborhoods and cities and social worlds in which her narrators now move. It’s not simply that Ferrante has written about Naples, but that over the course of her work—now eight novels—she has so often sent her characters back and forth along the route between the impoverished old neighborhood and the new life that we know the landmarks well: the raucous and violent family of birth, the childhood wish for a way out, the scholarships, the flight, the studied assumption of middle-class manners.
  • A Very American Zombie Virus in ‘Blood Quantum’
    Blood Quantum is an old-school zombie film, as opposed to the recent onslaught of AMC Walking Dead wannabes. Like George Romero’s 1968 classic, Night of the Living Dead, the blood and guts add up to a social critique. What makes Blood Quantum a credit to its genre is the way it honors indigenous filmmaking, in particular the work of Alanis Obomsawin, the renowned eighty-eight-year-old Abenaki filmmaker who has, in more than fifty films, chronicled the modern liberal governments of the US and Canada laying siege to North American indigenous communities.
  • The Revolutionary Thoreau
    Generations of critics and readers have chosen to emphasize the spiritual communion with Nature described by Thoreau and, of course, this was important to him. But Walden begins with trenchant critique of “progress.” He was attempting to extract himself from a society that he found deeply troubling. The idea of our own private Walden is less a desire to be “in nature” than a desperate longing to get out of this awful place. Read in this way, Walden is not primarily a record of the so-called “natural” world but a social commentary. Enter John Brown.
  • The Wages of Whiteness
    “White privilege” is a protean concept that has found its way into conversations about political power, material prosperity, social status, and even cognition.
  • What Ails America
    Our system of commercial medicine, dominated by private insurance, regional groups of private hospitals, and other powerful interests, looks more and more like a numbers racket. We would like to think we have health care that incidentally involves some wealth transfer; what we actually have is wealth transfer that incidentally involves some health care. In America today, malady is physical illness and the political evil that surrounds it. We are ill in a way that costs us freedom, and unfree in a way that costs us health.
  • A Second Chance
    In an afterword to The Journalist and the Murderer (1990), I wrote about Jeffrey Masson’s lawsuit, taking a very high tone. I put myself above the fray; I looked at things from a glacial distance. My aim wasn’t to persuade anyone of my innocence. It was to show off what a good writer I was. Reading the piece now, I am full of admiration for its irony and detachment—and appalled by the stupidity of the approach.
  • Failures of Diplomacy
    To the Editors: Steve Coll’s well-informed and insightful review of Samantha Power’s The Education of an Idealist gives, rightly, large play to the Obama administration’s decisions about Libya and Syria, and how Power’s own views about “idealism” and “realism” align with those decisions. But more attention should have been paid, I believe, to the decision to abandon the non-Arab people of Darfur.
  • Appropriate Appropriation?
    To the Editors: I was grateful for Esther Allen’s review of my novel The Gringa, which raises a number of ethical questions that were major concerns of mine in writing the book. That she comes to different conclusions is, of course, her prerogative, but her propensity for smears-by-association undermines the important discussions her review might otherwise have raised.
  • How Covid-19 Amplifies the Failures of Family Court
    Knowing that courts and law enforcement are understaffed and scrambling during the pandemic, many abusers are emboldened, social workers, mental health counselors, and lawyers report, to violate orders of protection and harass or abuse their ex-partners and children—both physically and virtually. Failures of the courts to deal swiftly and appropriately with domestic violence pre-dates the pandemic, but the coronavirus has revealed how systemic shortfalls can further endanger survivors and their families.
  • My Eighty-Six Jobs
    My father worked as a pipe fitter in the local paper mill for over forty years without complaint. Hard work pays off, my parents always said. The cash in the pocket of my Jordache jeans proved it. And, as far as I knew, hard work was the only way up and out of working at the mill, where my parents, my grandparents, and my great-grandparents had all worked. But as the 1986 mill strike taught me, those simple rules of work hard, don’t be late, you earn what you deserve mean little today, if they ever meant anything at all.
  • ‘A Dictatorship Is Being Created’: An Interview with Lech Wałęsa
    Michał Matlak: How do you account for the Law and Justice leader Jarosław Kaczyński’s political effectiveness? Lech Wałęsa: Jarosław Kaczyński wants to liquidate what does not suit him. And after he takes care of the courts, for example, then he notices that not everything is perfect, and that something else does not suit him, so he must conquer other institutions. That way, a dictatorship is being created. As a colleague, he could be useful. As a leader, Kaczyński is dangerous.
  • The Jim Crow South in Faulkner’s Fiction
    There is a deep congruity between the movements of Faulkner’s mind, with its sense of an inescapable family trauma, and the history and culture of his region, so deep that it hardly seems possible to distinguish between them. So many of the ills he describes are with us still. He was born into an understanding of the way white supremacy works, and a part of him never stopped believing in the racial hierarchy that shaped his boyhood, even as the writer grew increasingly critical of it. He told inconvenient truths, and even some of his relatives saw him as writing “dirty books for Yankees.”
  • Ball Don’t Lie
    For its non-Black, liberal fans, basketball exists in a sort of triple consciousness. They love basketball in part because it allows them access to Blackness. This, however, comes with guilt and discomfort, which gets processed into a monolithic and easily accessible politics of what these days is called “allyship,” which then needs to be codified and rubberstamped by the esteemed white men who know the players the best. Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr serve as models for white allies. Underlying all this is a pressing need to understand Black people.
  • Night and Day
    The grammar of American presidential elections is, for obvious reasons, Christian. The other party’s candidate is mired in sin and error; ours will bring redemption and salvation. But not this time. Joe Biden is a devout Catholic, yet the shape of his speech accepting the Democratic Party’s nomination at its virtual convention was based on the cosmogony of one of Christianity’s great early rivals, Manichaeanism.
  • ‘Hansel and Gretel’ in LA County
    Over the last five years, I’ve studied all of the child fatalities in Los Angeles County with open Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) investigations. To some, this research might seem grim, but I’ve found comfort in unpacking these redacted files. If I can find a match with enough details from corroborating sources, I feel I have put the child back in the story. Their stories remind me of fairy tales from another dark time.
  • Missed Steps
    Ancient and regal, Martha Graham glided into the Art Deco Palmer Auditorium, her wheelchair a throne. Her hands, arthritic and beautiful, gestured imperiously, as though she was still directing her dancers. Hadn’t she essentially invented modern dance? I tried to get Graham technique right. But my hips were unyielding. No turnout. No give. I went to extra classes in the evenings, sitting on the floor, pushing down my knees as far as they would go. One night, the teacher, taking pity on me, chided the women in the class for not trying hard enough. “Look at him,” she said, pointing at me. “His hips are so tight, but look how hard he’s trying.”
  • To Recover Mother
    In my brooding, it occurred to me that much of the knowledge I’d lost of my mother had nothing to do with any particular excursion we’d had or pastime we’d shared. Instead, it was exactly those myriad daily interactions, all of them physical, many preverbal, that I was missing. The feel of her hands, the scent of her skin, the sound of her laughter were sensations I’d absorbed without words, and they were buried in my body. And so I decided to try to unearth what I could of its secret knowledge.
  • ‘History Is Corrected’: An Interview with Jerry Mitchell
    Claudia Dreifus: Do you think the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination was part of the Klan’s portfolio? Jerry Mitchell: It’s a good question. The evidence obviously appears to point to James Earl Ray. A number of people believe he was set up. Who knows? There’s plenty of evidence that Ray pulled the trigger. He may have killed with the belief that the Klan or others would reward him. I wouldn’t doubt there was some kind of conspiracy to kill King.

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