Archive

Battle of the Sexes

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October 20, 2017 Michelle D. Sinclair

Battle of the Sexes is an island of fist-pumping inspiration in the usual seasonal deluge of October horror movies. The film tells the story of Billie Jean King, the push for equal pay in women’s tennis, and the cultural undercurrents surrounding the 1973 tennis match between King and Tennis Hall of Famer Bobby Riggs. Billie Jean insists multiple times throughout the film that she’s not trying to say that women are better than men, just that women deserve the same respect as men. It’s the early 1970s, and women’s tennis players are struggling for equal pay and respect. Tennis star […]

Counting calories in Gaza

October 20, 2017 Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach

Counting calories in Gaza By Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach October 16 marked World Food Day. In Gaza, a small slice of land home to two million Palestinians, 80 percent of people rely on international humanitarian assistance. Nearly 1 in 2 do not have enough to eat on a regular basis. Gaza’s humanitarian crisis is due primarily to the blockade that has been imposed by Israel. For centuries the residents of Gaza have relied on the sea as a source of food and income. But Israeli restrictions prevent Gazan fishing boats from traveling more than six nautical miles from shore, and often […]

Blade Runner 2049

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October 13, 2017 Jerry L. Holsopple

The original Blade Runner is a hard act to follow. It has been studied and written about and re-edited so many times that I always have to check which version is being referred to. Blade Runner 2049 partially answers the questions we have argued over for years, while leaving more unanswered. Is Deckard (Harrison Ford) a replicant, as is hinted several times in the original? 2049 continues the questions from Blade Runner and raises the stakes by asking what it means to reproduce. Can’t tell you. We do discover at least a sketch of what happened after he and Rachael […]

Three Film Gems to Watch For: The Florida Project, Loveless, A Fantastic Woman

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October 6, 2017 Vic Thiessen

Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to attend the annual Edmonton International Film Festival (EIFF), now among the 50 most prestigious film festivals in North America and generally featuring the best independent and foreign films of the year. I have watched 14 excellent films over the past six days (seven more films to go), three of which stand out as almost flawless gems that are not to be missed (if you enjoy independent and foreign films). They are reviewed below, in the order in which I liked them. This is profound independent filmmaking at its very best. […]

Reflecting the humanity of migrants

October 6, 2017 Charissa Zehr

Reflecting the humanity of migrants By Charissa Zehr Sacrifice, bravery, survivor—these words kept running through my mind as I sat in migrant shelters in Mexico City and Tapachula, near Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala. Hearing the litany of dangers people faced as they crossed highways, forests, deserts and borders to find safety and security, I was struck most by their courage. I was reminded by our hosts at Voces Mesoamericanas, an MCC partner in southern Mexico, that most people don’t migrate because they want to–they are resigned to it because they see no other option. At each shelter, we listened […]

When coffee replaces swords

October 1, 2017 Thirdway

When coffee replaces swords By Ryan Jantzi Catholic, Lutheran and Mennonite are the three stripes of the Christian church in the small town where I pastor. While our journey certainly isn’t faultless, these three congregations have a history of working together. We have hosted celebration dinners at the opening of one another’s new church buildings. We team up annually for a village-wide Vacation Bible School program. We also try to get together for coffee as pastors. Five hundred years ago, our spiritual ancestors were on the cusp of an extended bloodbath of religious violence. In marked contrast, recently I enjoyed […]

Brad’s Status

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September 29, 2017 Matthew Kauffman Smith

When Facebook ceased becoming a college phenomenon and branched out to include older folks, people found long-lost friends, acquaintances, or someone they nodded to every day in the hall. This allowed people to reconnect with blasts from their pasts, but it also inevitably led to comparison of lives. What was their occupation? Did they have kids? Were they more successful than me? One of the problems with Brad’s Status is that there is too much Brad. Clement, Fischer, Sheen, and Wilson form a great cast, but they’re all underused. Of course, success is all relative and depends on what each […]

Examine motivations

September 29, 2017 Celeste Kennel-Shank

It all began with a squash plant, a Pennsylvania Dutch crookneck, to be exact. Like all winter squash, it needs room to grow and many weeks to mature. Too late, I realized I had only ever grown winter squash in patches, and I couldn’t have told you where each plant started and stopped. Knowing the truth about ourselves begins with being honest about our innermost thoughts and motivations. Foolishly, I thought if we only planted one we’d have room in our small garden. The plant took over our entire lawn, producing 50 pounds of squash we harvested and ate all […]

The right to safety

September 29, 2017 Cherelle M. Dessus

The right to safety Cherelle M. Dessus A shooting at a Washington state high school upended the lives of families and the community in the small town of Rockford when a 15-year-old shot four students as a response to bullying. The student had obtained a pistol and an assault rifle from his father’s safe and transported the weapons to his school in a duffle bag. In an attempt to stop the shooting, one other student was shot and killed. The shooter had shown signs of mental instability during his meetings with a school counselor. The student was reportedly obsessed with […]

First They Killed My Father

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September 22, 2017 Michelle D. Sinclair

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers is a biopic directed by Angelina Jolie and released in theaters and on Netflix simultaneously. Based on the eponymous memoir, the story follows the memories of a woman, Loung Ung, who was five years old when the Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia. The father’s quiet endurance and the risks he takes for his family under this deadly cloud speak powerfully of his love and courage. The film begins with a brief but stark history lesson: Cambodia had been a neutral country since 1954, but in the early 1970s […]