Most Recent Archive

A Star is Born

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October 19, 2018 Carmen Andres Media Matters

A Star is Born is a well-worn entry in film lexicons, with the fourth remake of the original 1937 film hitting theaters earlier this month. This latest version of the tragic love story—which Bradley Cooper produced, directed, shares screenwriting credit for and stars in—premiered to overwhelming critical acclaim and praise for everything from the performances and music to the screenplay and direction. Cooper’s A Star is Born is not only an outstanding remake worthy of its Oscar buzz, but also a thought-provoking exploration of the power of art, and revelation of self and truth through it. Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) […]

The war goes on

October 19, 2018 Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach Wider View

In 2015, Artur’s* family was forced to leave their home in Aleppo, Syria when their home was destroyed. Artur, who requires expensive medications and is unemployed, lives with his elderly parents, wife and two children. The family has received various forms of assistance from Mennonite Central Committee through a partner organization. The war in Syria has shifted into a new phase, focused in Idlib province. As the war winds down in other parts of the country, some have begun to focus on the need for reconstruction. Long-term rebuilding will be necessary for Syria to recover. But for many Syrians, such […]

Three Indie Gems to Watch For

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October 11, 2018 Vic Thiessen Media Matters

The 2018 Edmonton International Film Festival (EIFF) was not as good as last year but still featured a number of excellent indie films, including two from Canada (which understandably has many films in the festival, but rarely does so well). The big surprise for me was the extraordinary coincidence of having three of my favourite five films of the 2018 EIFF concerned with senior high school classes (I’m generally not a big fan of high school films), though they could hardly be more different. Here is a brief look, in the order in which I liked them.   The Silent […]

Making peace by advocating for education around the world

October 8, 2018 Third Way Stories of Peace

Making peace by advocating for education around the world Alliana Rempel has raised thousands of dollars to support inner-city shelters in Winnipeg, the Children’s Hospital, and the Malala fund. Most recently, she published her first book, the proceeds of which will support education around the world. Alliana, of Arborg, Manitoba, is also just 11 years old. Her book, One, which she illustrated and wrote, is about a young girl in a war-torn country and her magic school supplies that come to the rescue when her school is shut down by terrorists. She was inspired to write it after she read I Am […]

When pressure prevents life-saving aid

October 5, 2018 Charissa Zehr Wider View

Other stories have long since overshadowed the groundbreaking summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim Jung Un of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea). Sadly, it seems the United States government is dragging its heels in this critical process that could bring reconciliation to the Korean Peninsula and between decades-long adversaries. Despite the friendly handshake, photo op and effusive tweets, very little has changed in the frozen relations between the U.S. and North Korea. U.S.-imposed travel restrictions hinder most human interaction between the two nations. Financial sanctions and shipping constraints limit the import of almost every kind […]

Four documentaries by Errol Morris

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October 3, 2018 Jerry L. Holsopple Media Matters

Knowing what the truth is in a given situation seems to be particularly challenging, with news organizations being called false, and totally opposite narratives both being claimed as truth. I suggest a dosage of documentary films by Errol Morris for an antidote. He is fascinated by how we discover the truth. He believes there is an historical truth, even when it is hard to find. He suggests, “It is often said that seeing is believing. But we do not form our beliefs on the basis of what we see; rather, what we see is often determined by our beliefs. Believing is […]

Juliet, Naked

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September 27, 2018 Matthew Kauffman Smith Media Matters

Author Nick Hornby has made a nice living writing about male characters that seem to muddle through life with either a misguided purpose or little purpose at all. High Fidelity, About a Boy—and even Hornby’s memoir Fever Pitch—move along those thematic lines. All of those books became the basis of movies (Fever Pitch twice, in fact—one British and one American adaptation) where the protagonists fail to live up to others’ expectations of them. Juliet, Naked is Hornby’s latest story to hit the big screen. While it follows similar patterns of the other Hornby-based movies, Juliet differs in that the characters […]

Understanding perspectives on gun violence

September 21, 2018 Cherelle M. Dessus Wider View

Mass shootings are regularly highlighted in the media, and they prompt important conversations regarding U.S. gun policy and public safety. However, The American public  fails to acknowledge that the majority of gun deaths and injuries do not stem from mass shootings but are a result of homicides, suicides and accidents. It is crucial to pursue policies that prevent those daily occurrences as well as mass shootings. Furthermore, the controversy and over-generalizations surrounding gun violence have prevented us from exploring the issue in depth. One narrative suggests that strengthening gun policies will take away the freedom to carry a weapon that […]