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“The most fundamental law is a belief in the oneness of humanity,” Mr. Simmons declares.
The Russell Simmons Guide to Success Through Spirituality – New York Times


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Or as my friend said after our elevator incident, “The best way to bite back is with charm.” If that takes too much effort, a simple “I don’t get it” may work, too. Sometimes the best way to deal with a fool is to play one yourself.
racial comments-etiquette-Imus – New York Times

How to deal with racial comments.

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Finally …

Blogged with Flock

Film Review: "Water"

7 May 2006, 03:10

My wife and I haven’t been out to the movies for a long time, in part because it’s cheaper, more comfortable, and more convenient to see them at home. But when we found ourselves at a theater last night just as the film “Water” was starting, and decided to see it. The film is about widows in 1930’s India.

Although we had not done most of the research we’re used to doing when we watch films at home, I remembered I had read a review of the film in the New York Times this week. The review centered on the incredible controversy the film has generated, especially among Hindu fundamentalists:

In January 2000 Ms. Mehta was forced to shut down production of “Water” in Varanasi, one of India’s holy cities on the banks of the Ganges, after Hindu nationalists protested that the film was anti-Hindu. Some 500 demonstrators took to the streets, ransacked the set and burned Ms. Mehta in effigy.

Film Ignites the Wrath of Hindu Fundamentalists – New York Times

Without giving away much of the plot, I feel very strongly that films like “Water” are the best use of the medium of film. Although set 70 years ago, the themes of equality of women and men, faith, independent thought vs. religious fanaticism, and moral decay speak directly to issues we see confronting us today. The cast is incredible, with one highlight being the 8-year-old actor, Sarala, who is utterly convincing in the role of a child responding to sudden hardship, much as were the other non-professional child actors in “Whale Rider” or “Rabbit-Proof Fence” (two favorite films).

If there’s anything negative to be said about “Water”, it’s that there are moments which feel slightly formulaic or romanticized. But these are far outweighed by the beautiful cinematography and a few unexpected moments. If you prefer to see movies of consequence, which widen your view of the world and give you something to talk about afterwards, then see “Water”.