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Monday, June 29
"The early life of author Astrid Ericsson Lindgren is explored in this Swedish biographical drama. While her childhood was a happy and carefree one, Astrid Ericsson yearned for independence and adventure. At the age of sixteen her life begins to expand beyond her conservative family when she interns with the local newspaper editor Blomberg. When Astrid discovers she is pregnant with his child she voyages to Denmark to give birth to her son in secrecy. After refusing Blomberg’s marriage proposal, Astrid begins a years-long quest to be reunited with her son, who has been left in foster care. While doing so, this extraordinary woman finds courage, resourcefulness, and tenacity to move her life forward. These trying experiences serve her well as she becomes a successful author of many works including her classic Pippy Longstocking. Highly recommended!"
 


Monday, June 22
"This short but sweet documentary looks back at the ever-popular Fred "Mister" Rogers and the show he created and starred in for 33 years. Hosted by Michael Keaton, who appeared on the show (and worked on the set behind the scenes as well), it tells the story of Mister Rogers and his Neighborhood through interviews with celebrities whose lives were touched by him. What was so endearing and universally loved about Mister Rogers was his ability to make you feel as if he were speaking directly to you, as well as his playfulness and ability to put together thoughtful, useful, and educational entertainment for children. I enjoyed the walk down memory lane with such icons as Yo-Yo Ma, Tony Bennett and others, who shared their stories and experiences. It also includes many scenes from the show over the years. It  I would recommend this documentary to anyone who recalls feeling loved and personally seen by Mister Rogers, beloved to so many children and people everywhere."


Monday, June 15
"It's about a woman, Florence Cathcart, who is a hoax exposer. She visits a boarding school to explain sightings of a ghost child. Everything she believes in begins unraveling as she finds herself part of the ghost child. This film is a must see for those who like creepy and scary movies. A great Halloween movie."


Monday, June 8
"This was a very interesting, approachable, well-put-together and not too heavy documentary about Siddhartha Gautama, who later became "The Buddha." The film follows a group of pilgrims taking a train trip across India to visit five historic places significant to the Buddha's journey to enlightenment, while telling the Buddha's life story. Stops include his birthplace, a few of the areas he visited along the way, the place where he attained enlightenment, and his final resting place. The documentary is informative but also sets a spiritual and cultural mood, using sacred chant and classic Indian music, as well as footage of the country and its people. We also get the perspective of one particular pilgrim and follow his reactions to his experiences along the way. I would recommend this film to anyone interested in the Buddha, yoga, spirituality or history in general. The piece also serves as a spiritual lesson in its own right, by recounting the Buddha's teachings and their meaning."


Monday, June 1
"Parts of this movie are indeed “fantastical” in an over-the-top kind of way. A family of hippies, including six children, live in the forest somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. During this current pandemic, their lifestyle doesn’t seem so far-fetched -- they're totally self-sufficient, “off-the-grid,” growing and hunting their own food, physically fit, incredibly educated via home-schooling and adept at all manner of survival skills. While some may totally embrace “power to the people” and “stick it to the man” as concepts (I do!), this movie does make one think about societal norms and “how far is too far?” when advocating for one’s beliefs and values."


Monday, May 25
"Set in the 1930s, it's a film about the Holocaust. A thought provoking and troubling drama of the relationship between a German and his Jewish friend as the power of the Nazis rises. An interesting example of the dangers and the consequences of naivety in our recent past. Well acted (Viggo Mortensen) and well written."


Monday, May 18
"Amy is an Oscar-winning look at the turbulent life of the talented, modern jazz singer Amy Winehouse. Through a collection of candid personal videos and laced throughout with her music, Amy weaves an engaging and personal look into her life and career. The documentary details her early life in London, told in family videos and interviews with her friends. We are then taken on a back-stage look at the rise of her career with early recording sessions. Her difficulties with fame and addiction are presented in a sensitive and respectful way. Her unique voice is highlighted with footage of performances, and often gives us the inspirations behind her lyrics. In all, Amy offers an in-depth into her personality, her relationships, her career and her downfall. I would recommend Amy to anyone who enjoys music, especially jazz, as well as to those who are interested in what made her tick."


Monday, May 4
"This award winning independent film is a true story of a man, Zanis Lipke, a blue collar worker who was honored as one of the "Righteous Among the Nations" for his heroic deeds during WWII. He saved thousands of local Jews from Nazi persecution and certain death. Powerful and suspenseful!"


Monday, April 27
"I knew this was a classic but I had never seen it. I was prepared to cry (heads up from my daughter!) but I didn't know why; and yes, I did! Such a true tale of small town life with all its challenges and quirky characters and the love of family, not to mention an incredibly young Leonardo DiCaprio!!"