AGORA
: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.


CRITICAL WOMEN HEADLINES

10/19/13

The Fifth Estate: Disney/ABC Media Empire David And Goliath Demonization Of Assange



It would seem unusual to label a dramatic feature a biopic, when the content is based solely on the accusations of an admitted adversary with a vendetta against the subject in question. But once again, The Fifth Estate, an unabashed demonization of the sinister state secrets whistleblowing website Wikileaks and its head hacker extraordinaire Julian Assange, is all about what Hollywood does best - the one side to every story school of moviemaking. Or is it?

CONTINUE TO READ REVIEW HERE

Features of Arts Express: Expression In The Arts are hosted by Prairie Miller, and air nationally on the Pacifica National Radio Network and WBAI/Affiliate Stations, including WPRR Public Reality Radio. And if you'd like to Express yourself too, you can write to: ArtsExpressradio@gmail.com 

10/13/13

Mediastan Movie Review: Ferreting Out The Presstitutes


By Prairie Miller

Sometimes it can be said that a documentary is exemplary for not accomplishing what is set out to do. And the Julian Assange Wikileaks production Mediastan may have succeeded in not doing just that. As those Wikileaks foot soldiers fail in their mission to find remote and presumably uncorrupted media organizations courageous enough to publish the damning cables leaked by far more courageous whistleblowers than these press outlets prove to be.

Increasingly doomed to extinction on the endangered list, so to speak, is mainstream journalism. The victim of a tug of war between the corporations gobbling up the pitiful remains, and incestuously connected powerful political interests - too often one and the same - journalism has given rise in the wake of this fate to its deplorable mutation - presstitutes.

CONTINUE TO READ REVIEW HERE

Features of Arts Express: Expression In The Arts are hosted by Prairie Miller, and air nationally on the Pacifica National Radio Network and WBAI/Affiliate Stations, including WPRR Public Reality Radio. And if you'd like to Express yourself too, you can write to: ArtsExpressradio@gmail.com

10/12/13

Mother Of George: Exquisitely Drawn Film Portrait Of Female Identity Theft Disappeared By Marriage


By Jan Aaron 

Simply telling the story of Andrew Dosunmus' enticing feature Mother of George, doesn't convey the movie's extraordinary visual power. The film's poetic impact begins with preparations for a colorful Yoruba wedding in Brooklyn, with close-ups of the wedding parties of Ike (Danai Gurira), the newly arrived Nigerian bride, and Ayo (Isaach de Bankole), her groom. 

Ayo works with his younger brother Biyi (Tony Okunghowa) at a restaurant overseen by their mother, (Bukky Ajayi). After the ceremonies, the women gather around the bride, giving her child rearing tips. While the men counsel the groom on how to hide his infidelities.
         
Thus, director Nigerian Dosunmu and screenwriter Daniel Picoult carefully begin to document the friction that ensues when the rigid gender expectations of Nigerian tradition clash with more liberal opportunities that Ike's new home offers. And when after eighteen months, Ike hasn't become pregnant, Ayo becomes enraged when she offers to get a job to pay for a fertility specialist. He refuses to even go to the doctor, fearing it will reveal that he's infertile.
         
By this time, Ma Ayo (Bukky Ajay), who holds on to old fashioned ideas, believes her own  happiness lies in having a grandchild. Even if it means that Ike must provide one with another partner. Thus she enlists Ayo's big brother Biyi - who has been keeping secret his affair with Ayo's best friend Sade (Yaya Alafia), fearing that her Western values will offend his family. 

One of the film's greatest achievements it to present exotic characters with a familial dilemma that crosses international borders and cultures. A further delight of this drama, is the way filmmaker Dosunmu and Bradford Young's gorgeous cinematography highlight Ike in colorful Nigerian dresses. Which make her seem like some distant goddess on congested Brooklyn streets. 

Ike is also shot in close-up, so that we see the world from her narrow perspective. As she stands out from the crowd, like a marvelous exotic addition to Brooklyn's landscape.

Jan Aaron writes for Education Update, and is a member of the Women Film Critics Circle.