Most Recent Archive

First Reformed

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July 13, 2018 Vic Thiessen Media Matters

When I was growing up, many of the films I watched made some reference to faith or the church because both played a central, or at least regular, role in the lives of most Americans. But for decades now, films about faith, the church, or both have been few and far between, and when faith is portrayed, it is often viewed negatively, or at best is portrayed as naive. So when a critically acclaimed film comes along that not only takes faith seriously but portrays both its positive and negative aspects, I take special notice. It’s not surprising that such […]

When children can’t go to school

July 12, 2018 Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach Wider View

Before we know it, summer routines will end and children will return to school. But for more than 500,000 Palestinian children throughout the Middle East, schools may not be able to open in the fall. It has been five months since the U.S. announced it would be withholding most of its funding from the U.N. agency that provides services to Palestinian refugees. In addition to operating nearly 700 schools, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) provides food assistance, health care and other services to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. It is unclear […]

Incredibles 2

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July 6, 2018 Carmen Andres Media Matters

When The Incredibles came out, our daughter was five years old and our son had just been born. The film instantly became a family favorite, and the DVD was one of our most viewed. Fifteen years later, with a daughter home from college and a teenage son now in high school, Incredibles 2 was designated a must-happen family event—and we weren’t disappointed. Incredibles 2 picks up right where the first one left off, in the middle of the battle between the superheroes and Underminer, who gets away and leaves Metroville with a lot of collateral damage—something the politicians and media […]

World Cup Soccer

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June 29, 2018 Matthew Kauffman Smith Media Matters

Everyone loves a good event now and again. That’s why people who don’t even know where Ireland is dress in green every March 17. That’s why people go to Super Bowl parties even if they don’t know which teams are playing. And that’s why I pretend I know how to cook international cuisine when it’s time for the World Cup. For whatever reason, I like themes. Back in college, I held countdowns on the campus radio station featuring, for instance, the top 31 songs about vegetation and foliage. Now, as the main cook in the household, I also like theme cooking. It’s […]

The Expanse

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June 22, 2018 Michelle D. Sinclair Media Matters

Unlike many far-future shows or movies, The Expanse is believable to a harrowing degree. There are no Vulcans, or lightsabers, or even aliens with strange protrusions from their heads. Instead, you have a premise and a plot that seem ripped straight from our past tendencies, projected into a future landscape as fascinating as it is terrible. Based on a series of novels by James S. A. Corey and set in the 23rd century, the series presents a future where humanity has colonized the inner part of the solar system, with stations located as far out as Jupiter’s moons. Even some […]

The scoop on the summit

June 22, 2018 Charissa Zehr Wider View

While much ink has already been spilled on the U.S.-North Korea summit of last week, it bears taking a closer look. First, let’s look at what is in the agreement between the U.S. and North Korea: A commitment to new relations between the U.S. and DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or North Korea) because the people of the two countries desire peace and prosperity; Joint efforts to build a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula; A commitment by DPRK to work towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula; and A pledge from both countries to recover POW/MIA remains […]

Disobedience

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June 15, 2018 Vic Thiessen Media Matters

Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio recently won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for A Fantastic Woman, the story of a transgender woman in Chile. It was one of my favorite films of 2017. Disobedience, which Lelio directed and cowrote, is Lelio’s first English-language film. It feels very different from A Fantastic Woman, though it also showcases Lelio’s ability to elicit masterful performances from his actors, allowing the characters to speak as loudly with their expressions as with their words. Disobedience tells the story of Ronit (Rachel Weisz), Esti (Rachel McAdams), and Dovid (Alessandro Nivola), the closest of friends […]

Criminal justice on celebrity platforms

June 8, 2018 Cherelle M. Dessus Wider View

By: Cherelle M. Dessus In recent years, many celebrities have used their platforms to highlight flaws in the criminal justice system. The light shed on these important issues has encouraged others to pay more attention to and advocate for legislation that focuses on sentencing and reentry reforms within the criminal justice system. Celebrities have historically played a large role in highlighting injustice, including during the civil rights movement. Performers such as Ray Charles and the Beatles refused to perform in front of segregated audiences. Tommie Smith and John Carlos used a human rights salute during the 1968 Olympics to draw attention […]