united states – Will To Exist http://willtoexist.com/ Fri, 01 Apr 2022 14:36:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://willtoexist.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-6-120x120.png united states – Will To Exist http://willtoexist.com/ 32 32 Christianity and psychiatry https://willtoexist.com/christianity-and-psychiatry/ Fri, 18 Mar 2022 18:06:03 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/christianity-and-psychiatry/ This new work examines faith and tradition versus medical and scientific knowledge in the psychiatry-Christianity equation. BOOK REVIEW Christianity and psychiatry Edited by John R. Peteet, MD; H. Steven Moffic, MD; Ahmed Hankir, MBChB, MRCPsych; and Harold G. Koenig, MD Springer, 2021 311 pages; $119 (paperback) Christianity and psychiatry is the third in a series […]]]>

This new work examines faith and tradition versus medical and scientific knowledge in the psychiatry-Christianity equation.

BOOK REVIEW

Christianity and psychiatry

Edited by John R. Peteet, MD; H. Steven Moffic, MD; Ahmed Hankir, MBChB, MRCPsych; and Harold G. Koenig, MD

Springer, 2021

311 pages; $119 (paperback)

Christianity and psychiatry is the third in a series of books focusing on several angles of the religion-psychiatry equation, published over the past 3 years and edited, virtually, by the same team of researchers. These characteristics confer a high academic quality and a homogeneous set of perspectives on the subject of Christianity and its many links with psychiatry throughout the centuries. The previous 2 volumes dealt with Islamophobia and anti-Semitism as human/behavioural/emotional attitudes. Christianity may not engender a similar breadth of negative responses, but, perhaps for the same reason, its ties to psychiatry present a wider variety of fronts.

This is the goal that the 4 editors – from Harvard Medical School, Medical College of Wisconsin, Duke Medical Center and King’s College London – have pursued by asking a total of 31 authors (23 from the United States , 3 from Canada, 3 from the UK, and 1 each from Scotland and 1 from the Netherlands) to contribute 21 chapters. As the foreword and introduction indicate, the book addresses different levels of faith and tradition in relation to medical and scientific knowledge, their antagonisms and controversies, and their integration and reciprocity.

A panoramic and detailed analysis of the content of the book led this reviewer to formulate a catalog of 5 areas explored over the chapters, areas sometimes clearly delimited, and other times inevitably mixed because of their complexity. It is not an isolating compartmentalization because the connections emerge almost spontaneously; nevertheless, I will describe and explore them as neatly as possible in an attempt to systematize the impressive wealth of reading material. The first 3 areas are history, clinical practice and education, while the last 2 examine implicit contradictions (not of or between the authors, but belonging to the subjects themselves) and certain conceptual or formal absences, but not necessarily formidable.

Story

The historical emphasis touches many chapters with authority. Some readers may think the first, titled “The Heavy History of Psychiatry and Christianity,” would suffice with its impressive deployment of information from biblical sources to lucid insights into the Middle Ages and the accomplishments of legendary figures like Augustine d ‘Hippone, Baxter, Tuke, Brigham, Charcot, Janet and William James over the past 6 centuries.

The questioning of the divinely inspired behaviors of the heroes of the Old Testament as possible psychiatric syndromes also began a long time ago (chapter 3). It seems that the stigma of mental disorders (including self-stigma) has always existed (Chapters 2 and 14). We learn of the Christian origins of Alcoholics Anonymous (chapter 11) and the inclusion of “soul care” envisioned and clearly enunciated by Christian Reil (the originator of the name “psychiatry” for our field) in 1808 (chapter 16).

The controversies between conservative Christians (predominantly Protestant) and liberal Christians generated anger and confusion, but also channeled the first elements of the contemporary concept of liberation theology (chapter 19). Equally important, we learn about the protective attitude of the Prophet Muhammad towards Christians (chapter 19) and we consider the history of ideological and temperamental controversies between Freud (who could be described as an atheist Jew) and some of his early Christian disciples. notables (i.e. Jung), who occupy a crucial place in the doctrinal history of psychiatry and psychoanalysis (chapters 18 and 19).

Clinical practice

Clinical practice encompasses diagnostic and treatment/care actions, all reflecting well-defined goals and positively oriented pragmatism. The historical detection of stigma, primarily among Christian (“charismatic”, authoritarian) communities and churches from ancient times, paved the way for the materialization of faith-inspired healing (Chapter 2). In turn, religion and God have become a source of resilience and adaptability, especially among young people (chapter 5). The distinction between psychotic symptoms and spiritual phenomena led to early conceptualizations of clinical processes later named spectra, an important contemporary nosological term that anticipated the great potential of mutually understanding collaboration among clinicians (Chapter 3). In the therapeutic realm, the progressive Christian view enabled the acceptance of “folk healing”, a strongly culturally-based approach to treatment that undoubtedly used elements of support, empathy, encouragement and inspiration in non-Christian or nominally Christian patients (Chapters 1, 18, and 19).

The above reiterates the hermeneutic closeness to “faith as treatment” (Chapter 5), which is also part of the spectrum of therapeutic resources that today’s well-trained and competent mental health professionals are learning to utilize. Spiritual care has a place in the list of therapeutic approaches to a variety of clinical conditions (Chapters 10-13 and 17). This is another way of saying that psychotherapy, as one of the most powerful resources for helping the mentally ill, follows an inclusive trajectory – a complete sequence in which the spiritual crowns a bio-psycho-socio-cultural path towards healing (chapters 8, 12, 14 and 16).

Education

Medical/psychiatric education and training issues are an essential component of this volume. Virtually every chapter conveys valuable notions, ideas and themes that could or should—be incorporated into undergraduate and postgraduate curricula. Quite interesting angles are offered by the Christian evaluation of explanatory medical models of psychopathology (Chapters 2 and 4); comprehensive management of trauma (chapter 6) and psychoses (chapter 13); ‘integration debates’ as group educational activities (Chapter 12); characteristics of Christian psychiatric care delivery and clergy-clinician collaborations (Chapters 14 and 15); and the study of the results vis-à-vis different Christian psychotherapeutic interventions (chapter 18). Didactic principles are often conveyed through valuable biblical quotations (chapters 8 and 10). old terms such as acedia (or spiritual apathy; chapter 4) and theodicy (or human attempts to understand why God allows suffering; chapter 9) takes on renewed meaning and relevance.

It goes without saying that several of the ideas and concepts discussed so far, strongly reinforced by Christian perspectives, occupy a legitimate place in the educational arsenal provided by the book: resilience, stigmatization, “moral damage” helping to understand modern entities such as burnout (chapter 7), loneliness as a pathogen (“magnifying susceptibility to spiritual collapse”; chapter 16), etc. And, at the top, we can only mention, among many others, 3 vigorous contributions of Christian psychiatry:

1) His celebration of reconciliation as the driving force of emotional recovery and of life as a search for existential meaning – all of this predating the existentialism and logotherapy of Viktor Frankl (chapter 4)

2) Shared decision-making and values-based practice (Fulford’s legacy) that confers on psychiatry the role of a “normative practice approach” compatible with a community approach in social philosophy and ethics – the latter in the way of principles such as beneficence, mercy, charity, selflessness, hope and trust (chapter 12)

3) The study of relational phenomena which, beyond “leveling” and contextualization, relate to intersubjectivity and the existence of the “third party” outside the exclusively dyadic perspectives doctor-patient and teacher-public (chapter 16) – a wise anticipation of the “phenomenon of otherness that is so deeply relevant in today’s psychiatry and psychotherapy

Contradictions

A book of this nature must also examine ancient and current contradictions in the field of so-called Christian psychiatry to assert truth and objectivity. The controversies between Freudian discourses on religion in general – and Christianity and its churches, in particular – are repeatedly evoked, personalizing it in a way in their exchanges and Freud’s final break with Jung. Beyond that, the Christian vision reflects the numerous confrontations of yesterday and today between psychology and psychiatry (chapter 12). Differing interpretations of the same clinical phenomena, a frequent reality among clinicians, also occur among theologians discussing the religious/spiritual significance of psychopathological behaviors (Chapter 4). Last but not least, the contradictions are recognized and discussed within and between the Christian churches in their consideration of psychiatric symptoms, syndromes and illnesses, and – perhaps more profoundly – between the Jews (the first Christians in history) and black Christians (chapters 14 and 19).

Absences

Finally, a critic must point out the absences, omissions, or even excesses in the work read, of quasi-criticisms which may be quite personal or debatable. A broad and panoramic view of the religious/spiritual perspective as a strong component of ancient and contemporary cultural psychiatry seems to be lacking; some may say that the whole book is a sort of treatise on the subject, but an ontological clarification in the form of a brief chapter might have helped. The role of the family is mentioned many times, but lacks clear direction and meaning, again from a cultural (not just Christian) point of view. Theoretical speculation was sometimes unavoidable, and simplistic explanations (e.g., slow breathing triggering autonomic nervous system activation) were perhaps so likely due to space reasons.

Final Thoughts

In short, this volume is a fascinating foray into a field that everyone talks about, but few delve into. It offers excellent historical reviews, valuable clinical experiences, selected didactic pearls and, in its last 3 chapters, significant autobiographies of psychiatrists of different religious denominations sharing a common work rich in essentially human ingredients: psychiatry. As the final paragraphs point out, this perspective helps patients of all religious beliefs and viewpoints, encouraging them and their psychiatrists to integrate faith into the rest of their lives. This book will also help psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to “stay aware of (their) blind spots and their needs for both God and science”, reaching, in turn, “a grounded view of truth evidence-based, clinically relevant and informed”. by the wisdom of Christianity and its sister traditions.

Dr. Alarcon is emeritus professor emeritus of psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota; Honorio Delgado Chair at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru; and member of the editorial board of Psychiatric timeMT.

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Why our hearts are with Ukraine | human interest https://willtoexist.com/why-our-hearts-are-with-ukraine-human-interest/ Sun, 06 Mar 2022 01:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/why-our-hearts-are-with-ukraine-human-interest/ The war in Ukraine dominated the news in America and broke our collective hearts. Driven by images of women and children boarding trains to escape bombardment, we imagine our mothers and sisters; in the faces of young men and women taking up arms to defend their homeland, we see our sons and daughters. Why did […]]]>

The war in Ukraine dominated the news in America and broke our collective hearts.

Driven by images of women and children boarding trains to escape bombardment, we imagine our mothers and sisters; in the faces of young men and women taking up arms to defend their homeland, we see our sons and daughters.

Why did the Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine so deeply affect so many of us?

Some — including television reporters — have suggested our hearts are with Ukrainians because they “look like us” — an implication that seems to exclude African, Asian and Latin Americans.






A woman and a little girl react as they cannot immediately board a train bound for Poland on Friday at the main train station in Lviv, Ukraine.




It’s more complex than that, says Tim Horgan, executive director of the New Hampshire Global Affairs Council.

Part of that has to do with our history of Cold War conflict with the former Soviet Union, he said.

And part of that may be the connection that many Americans feel with Europe.

“Europe feels closer than, say, the military junta taking control of Myanmar,” he said. “More people have visited Europe than maybe some of the regions where these conflicts are happening, and so it feels more real.”

Then there are the historical links to the world wars, he continued.

“We haven’t seen a major country invade a European country since World War II, so I think there’s a lot of fear around World War III,” he said.

“You don’t see a lot of countries invading each other and trying to decapitate their government,” he said. “What you see most are civil wars or repressions by authoritarians.”

The fact that the media has had wide access to what is happening in Ukraine also makes it more immediate, Horgan said.

“It’s so unfair”

Eva Castillo, director of the Manchester-based New Hampshire Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees, said the Russian invasion of Ukraine is “such a tragedy and it’s so unfair.”

“I cried several times while watching television,” she said.

Part of that is down to the courage and tenacity of the Ukrainian people to resist the Russian invaders, Castillo said. “These are people who are not even trained. It’s like a David versus Goliath,” she said.

“It’s so sad to see how they face this giant who could really step on them and crush them, but they’re holding their own and they’ve decided to stay behind and defend their nation, which is such a beautiful thing to do,” Castillo says.

The Association of Arab and Middle East Journalists (AMEJA) recently condemned the way some correspondents have reported on the war in Ukraine, appearing to elevate the tragedy and its victims above those in other places, such as the Middle East or Africa.







Dartmouth College students rally in support of Ukraine

Dartmouth College students recently held a rally in support of the Ukrainian people in the face of a devastating Russian invasion.




“AMEJA stands in full solidarity with all civilians under military assault in any part of the world, and we deplore the difference in media coverage of people in one country versus another,” the organization said in a statement. a statement.

Yet there is an uncomfortable truth that many Americans have been affected by the crisis because they are connected to Ukrainians.

“They see themselves reflected, so it hits them hard,” Castillo said. “I think it has a lot to do with it, subconsciously or consciously. I think it’s mostly unconscious.

Last week, Castillo was attending an Interfaith Network meeting in Washington, DC, where it was part of the conversation.

“We were talking about how paradoxical it is that the United States has responded with such force and compassion – and rightly so – but at the same time there are so many comparable issues elsewhere that haven’t really sparked the same reaction,” she said.

What we have in common

The sense that the Ukrainian people are like us goes beyond race, said James McKim Jr., president of the Manchester chapter of the NAACP.

The Russian attacks shown on television took place in modern urban areas that have the same kind of amenities that we are used to in our own country, he said.

“The thought that people who are in a society like ours might face this existential threat from a neighboring country, that’s compelling,” he said.

Yuliya Komska, associate professor of German studies at Dartmouth College, agreed that’s part of why we can’t look away. “A country that did nothing was attacked by the third largest army in the world,” she said.

The idea that Ukrainians are engaged in a just “fight for freedom” resonates with many Americans, she said. “Ukrainians speak very good English and made their opinions heard everywhere very quickly, so there is no doubt,” she said.

There may be generational differences in how Americans view the war in Ukraine.

McKim of the NAACP said young people may not have the same sense of the history of the former Soviet Union and the Cold War with Russia, “but older people remember it. “, did he declare.

Indeed, for those who remember hiding under their school desks during Cold War exercises, Putin’s “nuclear saber sound” was unsettling, said Horgan of the World Affairs Council. “That, I’m sure, for people who lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis, really brings up a lot of scary memories.”

Komska has relatives in Russia and Ukraine. An American citizen, she came here from Lviv, in western Ukraine, to which many refugees have fled. Her parents, who live in Germany, have not been in contact with relatives in Russia because of the war, she said.

For many Americans, what’s happening in Ukraine tapped into old fears about communism or anarchism associated with Russia and the Soviet Union long before the Cold War, Komska said.

But she said: “Part of the problem is that Americans only look at Ukraine when it is in flames.

“I find that really disturbing,” she said. “If Americans paid attention to countries that need help and help and support in peace, or when people are just starting to protest for something worth changing, that would be ideal. “, she said. “Before they start to burn.”







Pro-Ukrainian demonstration in Concord

New Hampshire residents gathered at the State House in Concord last week to support Ukraine and condemn the Russian invasion.



How far will Putin go

A critical question, Horgan said, is whether Putin will stop at Ukraine’s borders. “He showed since 2008 with his invasion of Georgia that he was interested in expanding the territory under the control of the Russian Federation, and he said that the fall of the Soviet Union was the biggest catastrophe that the 20th century has ever known,” he said. . “And so you can see how there is a real concern that it won’t stop with Ukraine unless the West responds strongly.”

Horgan was recently invited by the Strafford County Regional Planning Commission to speak about what the Russian sanctions will mean for the local economy. It is an indication of how a distant international conflict has spilled over to local concerns.

The price of natural gas, oil and wheat will likely rise due to war and global sanctions other nations are imposing on Russia, Horgan said. “These are globalized systems, these are globalized economies,” he said.

“We are always going to be affected by the actions Russia takes because they are blowing up ports, blowing up port cities, blowing up roads, blowing up bridges. You just won’t be able to physically get these products to market, and that will affect everything. »

The war has already damaged Russia, Horgan said.

“It’s already a bit of this quagmire,” he said. “Even if they manage to take over the whole country and install their own pro-Russian government, isn’t their military might in question a bit now?

“Everyone thought it would be over in two days, and here we are on day 8 and they’ve taken a city,” he said last week. “To me, it shows the weakness of the Russian military, of the Russian state, that they were apparently so scared of Ukraine that they felt they had to take this step.”

Komska also thinks Putin miscalculated. “He entered Ukraine to protect what he calls the Russian world,” she said.

However, “they don’t want his help; they don’t need his help. And at the same time, he is compromising and endangering the people of his own country and he is going to cause them enormous economic damage in the long and short term.







REFUGEES IN HUNGARY

On Friday, Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion of their country wait at a train station in Zahony, Hungary. Humanitarian organizations estimate that a million Ukrainians have left the country since the beginning of the Russian invasion.




How can we help you

So what can Americans who care about Ukraine do?

For starters, it’s important to follow war stories, Horgan said. After that he said, “You can then take the next step and go to the leadership of your Congress and say, ‘That’s the action I want the United States to take on this,’ whatever that action is.”

Komska said those who want to help the Ukrainian people can do so through organizations such as razonforukraine.org and the Institute of International Education (www.iie.org).

Castillo, who has worked with immigrants and refugees for many years, urged those concerned to seek out reputable charities and donate to help refugees fleeing Ukraine. “They’re going to need clothes, food and shelter,” she said.

But those needs will go beyond material goods, she said. “You leave your family and you also leave your social capital,” she said. “You’re nobody in a new place and you have to start from minus zero.”

Castillo said she was encouraged by the response she saw in New Hampshire, the prayer vigils and demonstrations of support.

“It feels so good to me that in the midst of all these divisions that we have as a nation, people have found a common bond to provide support, from a distance perhaps, to these people who are going through such an ordeal. tough times,” she said.

“It gives me hope to see that we can connect with another community, regardless of the differences.”

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Who died in a Wednesday shooting in Yakima? Police identify victim https://willtoexist.com/who-died-in-a-wednesday-shooting-in-yakima-police-identify-victim/ Fri, 18 Feb 2022 18:57:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/who-died-in-a-wednesday-shooting-in-yakima-police-identify-victim/ Yakima police, investigating the murder of a 71-year-old man who was shot outside his home in the 1000 block of South 8th Street on Wednesday, identified the victim as Gerald Moore of Yakima. Police say Gerald Moore was shot by someone who knew him Captain Jay Seely says they believe Moore was the target of […]]]>

Yakima police, investigating the murder of a 71-year-old man who was shot outside his home in the 1000 block of South 8th Street on Wednesday, identified the victim as Gerald Moore of Yakima.

Police say Gerald Moore was shot by someone who knew him

Captain Jay Seely says they believe Moore was the target of the shooting which left him with multiple gunshot wounds to his stomach. He died in the driveway of his home Wednesday night. There is no word from authorities on what led to the shooting or if Moore was involved in any illegal activity.
Detectives from the Yakima Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit are now looking for neighborhood security video to identify the shooter. According to police, the suspect pulled into Moore’s driveway and Moore came out of his home to speak to the person. This is where Moore was shot.

Detectives are looking for a suspect driving a colored car

The suspect, driving a dark colored vehicle, fled the scene after the shooting. Police arrived moments later after receiving calls about several shots being fired in the area. Officers at the scene found Moore in his driveway. They tried to save him with the help of doctors, but Moore died in the driveway outside his home in Yakima.
The police know someone knows something about the crime and they are hoping for tips on how to make an arrest.

You can anonymously call your advice to Crimestoppers

Anyone with information that may be relevant to this case is asked to contact the Yakima Police Department at 509-575-6200 or by calling 9-1-1. Tipping can also be reported to Yakima County Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or on the organization’s website at www.crimestoppersyakco.org.

KEEP READING: Scroll to see what the headlines were the year you were born

WATCH: Milestones in women’s history from the year you were born

Women have left their mark on everything from entertainment and music to space exploration, athletics and technology. Each passing year and each new milestone makes it clear how recent this history is compared to the rest of the country, as well as how far we still have to go. The resulting timeline shows women consistently making history worthy of best-selling biographies and textbooks; someone just needs to write about them.

Scroll to find out when women in the United States and around the world won rights, the names of women who broke the glass ceiling, and which country’s women banded together to end a civil war.

KEEP READING: See notable new words that were coined the year you were born

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Payday Loans Maine offers you financial assistance without credit checks or other formalities – https://willtoexist.com/payday-loans-maine-offers-you-financial-assistance-without-credit-checks-or-other-formalities/ Fri, 11 Feb 2022 05:14:08 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/payday-loans-maine-offers-you-financial-assistance-without-credit-checks-or-other-formalities/

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KGVO speaks with Governor Gianforte on Canada, masks and mandates https://willtoexist.com/kgvo-speaks-with-governor-gianforte-on-canada-masks-and-mandates/ Wed, 09 Feb 2022 20:41:15 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/kgvo-speaks-with-governor-gianforte-on-canada-masks-and-mandates/ Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte called KGVO Montana Morning News on Wednesday to provide an update on his first full year in office and also answered questions from listeners. Gianforte addressed the protest of Canadian truckers against mandatory vaccination mandates for all truck drivers, something the Montana legislature has already banned. “I am in fairly regular […]]]>

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte called KGVO Montana Morning News on Wednesday to provide an update on his first full year in office and also answered questions from listeners.

Gianforte addressed the protest of Canadian truckers against mandatory vaccination mandates for all truck drivers, something the Montana legislature has already banned.

“I am in fairly regular dialogue with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney,” Governor Gianforte said. “I had a chance to sit down with him face to face last week, and we talked specifically about that, and how we could put pressure on both the Biden administration and the administration. Trudeau. I then contacted a number of other regional governors here in the region, and we discussed next steps.

Gianforte said Canadian authorities, like those in this country, must have a comprehensive shift in COVID policies.

“Really, we just need to change the policy,” he said. “I’ve been very clear. I think Montana residents and Canadians know how best to protect themselves. These warrants don’t work. We should rely on personal liability. And a trucker sitting alone in a cab doesn’t is not a threat to himself or anyone.

Here in Montana, Gianforte watched as his administration eliminated mandates.

“Our freedoms are threatened by these warrants, and we feel it here,” he said. “I’ve spent a good chunk of the last year rolling out warrants that I inherited, like getting rid of the mass warrant. We pushed back against this OSHA rule proposal. I’m glad we won before the United States Supreme Court and that OSHA could not compel large employers to vaccinate the elderly.

Gianforte said he was working with the medical community to find a way to provide loopholes in the CMS mandate.

“We’ve been very clear we have a CMS deadline for Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries, our hospitals, that DPHHS last week at our direction released a very simple religious exemption form and we communicated with the hospitals that in fact, they should rely on employee self-testing if they have a religious belief that does not permit vaccination, and I am currently communicating with hospitals about this. We have to be vigilant because these freedoms that we have are very fragile.

Gianforte also released the following statement after the Certification Standards and Practices Advisory Council (CSPAC) revised the Montana Professional Educator Code of Ethics to embed equity in Montana schools:

“This morning’s CSPAC decision places an extreme political agenda before students in Montana. As we have seen across the country, the promotion of equity in education, or the idea that all students end up in the same place with equal results, undermines educational opportunities students. Instead, schools in Montana should promote equality in education, the idea that every student should have equal opportunity to learn, grow, and reach their full potential. The CSPAC’s decision undermines equal opportunities for students. “Furthermore, the CSPAC, an advisory council, does not have the legal power to establish policies.

“I call on the Montana Board of Public Education to right this politically motivated wrong and put Montana students first.”

KEEP READING: See notable new words that were coined the year you were born

KEEP READING: Scroll to see what the headlines were the year you were born

20 Awesome Features of Missoula’s New and Improved Airport

Missoula’s new airport will feature large windows for loved ones to watch planes take off and arrive, and the only escalator this side of Montana! Plus, a keggerator system for the Coldsmoke Tavern.

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NANNY, Immigrant Horror Enhanced With Compelling Performances https://willtoexist.com/nanny-immigrant-horror-enhanced-with-compelling-performances/ Sat, 29 Jan 2022 02:15:09 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/nanny-immigrant-horror-enhanced-with-compelling-performances/ NannyWriter-director Nikyatu Jusu’s debut feature with awe-inspiring imagination and awe-inspiring conception, brilliantly explores an aspect of the 21st-century immigrant experience that is too often overlooked or under-examined in film, television and cable. Packed inside expertly executed supernatural/horror genre tropes with a West African twist, Nanny equally important centers on the domestic workers who leave lives […]]]>

NannyWriter-director Nikyatu Jusu’s debut feature with awe-inspiring imagination and awe-inspiring conception, brilliantly explores an aspect of the 21st-century immigrant experience that is too often overlooked or under-examined in film, television and cable.

Packed inside expertly executed supernatural/horror genre tropes with a West African twist, Nanny equally important centers on the domestic workers who leave lives and families behind in their home countries, to ironically become the equivalent of surrogate parents for the Caucasian children they often raise, nurture and love as their. Without surprise, Nanny has just received the Grand Jury Prize 2022 from the Sundance Film Festival.

When we meet Aisha (Anna Diop, dc titans), a relatively new Senegalese immigrant to the United States, she is about to start her job as the do-everything nanny for a wealthy family of three in the Upper East. Wife, mother, and career professional (and head of household), Amy hires Aisha to help Amy raise her pre-teen daughter, Rose (Rose Decker).

With a college education and French on her resume, Aisha easily settles into the role of teacher, cook, and non-biological secondary mother figure to Rose. Although Aisha literally dreams of bringing her own pre-teen son, Lamine (Jahleel Kamara), from Senegal to join her in the United States, she does not allow any of her frustrations with Amy’s control and obsession or its own inability to raise funds. necessary to bring Lamine to the States influence his relationship with Rose.

Even when Amy turns out to be a master manipulator (convincing Aisha to stay the night on short notice) and an occasional gaslighter (trying to short-circuit Aisha financially) – a reminder of the exploitable power imbalance between the two women – Aisha continues to take care of Rose forward-and-centre. Lamine’s dreams and her fears, worries, and anxieties about her well-being, however, continue to creep into Aisha’s life, causing her no emotional and mental distress.

A modern woman rejecting superstitions and a schoolteacher by trade, Aisha repeatedly dismisses the increasingly disturbing intrusion of seemingly supernatural characters from West African folklore, including Anansi, a trickster figure, and Mami Wata, a spirit of the mermaid-like water in her dream. and everyday life.

Aisha sees the appearances of Anansi and Mami Wata first as minor annoyances, then later as figurative threats, but never as literal threats. In the most intriguing plot Jusu introduces in the story, Aisha seeks advice from Kathleen (Leslie Uggams), the grandmother of Aisha’s romantic partner-in-waiting, Malik (Sinqua Walls), who is American.

Well-versed in West African traditions and spiritual insight, Kathleen suggests an entirely different and far less clear purpose for the lingering supernatural presence in Aisha’s life. Ultimately, it’s up to Aisha to interpret their ambiguous intent and act (or not act) accordingly. Whether she acts or not determines not only her individual fate, but perhaps the fate of those in her immediate orbit.

Although Jusu leans into his supernatural elements in the second half, Nanny contains few real scares or shocks, relying more on all-too-familiar visualizations of Aisha’s destabilizing and destabilizing sanity (e.g. crawling beasts, mirror doppelgangers, unwanted bed partners). Even during the romantic interlude/subplot involving Aisha and Malik’s developing relationship, the feeling of existential dread never goes away.

It’s just put aside temporarily, leaving Aisha suspicious and waiting to wade through her conflicting and often contradictory experiences (i.e. the life and son she left behind, the vibrant new life that ‘she builds in the United States), all deftly captured by Anna Diop’s captivating performance, a performance that deliberately hides more than it reveals, but a performance that nonetheless never feels less than grounded, never less than believable.

Nanny premiering Saturday, January 22 at the Sundance Film Festival.

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American idealism did not cause the Ukrainian crisis https://willtoexist.com/american-idealism-did-not-cause-the-ukrainian-crisis/ Mon, 24 Jan 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/american-idealism-did-not-cause-the-ukrainian-crisis/ In his latest article, FP columnist Stephen Walt traces the roots of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis to a single cause: American arrogance. The conflict would not have occurred, he wrote, “if the United States and its European allies had not succumbed to hubris, wishful thinking, and liberal idealism.” By overplaying its game, the United States has […]]]>

In his latest article, FP columnist Stephen Walt traces the roots of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis to a single cause: American arrogance. The conflict would not have occurred, he wrote, “if the United States and its European allies had not succumbed to hubris, wishful thinking, and liberal idealism.” By overplaying its game, the United States has now placed Russia in a position where it has no choice but to defend its interests.

Realists are sometimes criticized for ignoring the agency of weaker states, but Walt takes the argument to its absurd conclusion by denying the agency of everyone but American policymakers. It is American officials who make the choices that matter – the wrong ones – while the rest of the world, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, merely enacts the eternal laws of history.

This is not just an academic dispute over isms. It’s about how Russia and the United States got into this situation and how to fix it. During the Cold War, debates raged over who was to blame for sparking the conflict between the superpowers. To simplify a complex set of arguments, the responses fell into three categories: traditionalists, who blamed the Soviet Union; the revisionists, who blamed the United States; and the post-revisionists, who blamed not the actions of any one party in particular, but the uncertainty and mutual suspicion created by the anarchy of international politics.

In his latest article, FP columnist Stephen Walt traces the roots of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis to a single cause: American arrogance. The conflict would not have occurred, he wrote, “if the United States and its European allies had not succumbed to hubris, wishful thinking, and liberal idealism.” By overplaying its game, the United States has now placed Russia in a position where it has no choice but to defend its interests.

Realists are sometimes criticized for ignoring the agency of weaker states, but Walt takes the argument to its absurd conclusion by denying the agency of everyone but American policymakers. It is American officials who make the choices that matter – the wrong ones – while the rest of the world, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, merely enacts the eternal laws of history.

This is not just an academic dispute over isms. It’s about how Russia and the United States got into this situation and how to fix it. During the Cold War, debates raged over who was to blame for sparking the conflict between the superpowers. To simplify a complex set of arguments, the responses fell into three categories: traditionalists, who blamed the Soviet Union; the revisionists, who blamed the United States; and the post-revisionists, who blamed not the actions of any one party in particular, but the uncertainty and mutual suspicion created by the anarchy of international politics.

Policymakers are now resurrecting those debates, but instead of asking who started the Cold War, the question has become who reignited it. Walt takes the equivalent of the revisionist side – America did it, period. It makes sense as a counter-argument to the conventional wisdom of Washington – that Putin did it, period. This view—while refusing to treat the United States as anything other than a force for good—has contributed to foreign policy mistakes in Afghanistan and Iraq, so it’s understandable that Walt takes issue with it. It would be nice to have more voices within the foreign policy establishment doing the same. But by blaming a state, Walt deprived his argument of the strategic context that the realists themselves are rightly fond of pointing out.

As a result, focusing on the United States not only ignores the role played by others, but contradicts Walt’s own theory. Realists argue that regional powers always seek primacy in their neighborhood. By this logic, a recovering Russia would seek to restore regional hegemony regardless of US actions. Western accommodation would have only speeded up the process. It is inconsistent for Walt to claim that liberal illusions caused the Russian crisis while asserting that regional powers naturally seek to control their neighborhood. Rising tensions would be expected unless Washington abandons interest in the region.

This inconsistency extends to the explanation of Putin’s motives. A key realistic principle is that states should not go to war unless it serves their national interests. This is why realists have admirably opposed American adventurism in Vietnam, Iraq and elsewhere, noting that none of these places have ever posed a threat to the United States. If you want to invade, you better have a good reason.

But such high standards for triggering conflict disappear when applied to other regimes. According to the realists, what national interest is Putin serving by intensifying this crisis? What is the existential threat he faces that justifies war and tens of thousands of casualties? Even if NATO is a concern, it is difficult to portray it credibly as an immediate danger, especially since Russia’s concerns focus on an expansion that has not happened and does not seem likely to occur. If you argue that Putin is merely reacting to Western pressure and that his reaction is understandable and expected, you are also arguing that his decision to go to war is justified on realistic grounds. Which is, sorry to say, a questionable way to explain a war of choice, fabricated and continued for unknown reasons.

A better realistic story might look like this. Great powers always seek to establish regional primacy, be it the United States or anyone else. When the Soviet Union collapsed, its successor state lost its regional primacy and the West was able to take hold. The United States sought a global sphere of influence and called it the liberal order. But it was unsustainable, and now Russia is trying to regain its regional primacy. History suggests that trying to stop this process can lead to conflict, especially between great powers. Russia cares more about primacy in its immediate region than the United States, and it will fight for it. The West should therefore not intervene.

Instead, Walt blames liberal American policymakers for a resurgence of Russian regional primacy, which his own theory predicts should happen. And the American behavior he denounces – the ruthless expansion into the sphere of influence of a former rival – is actually more in line with the tenets of offensive realism than the liberal internationalism he condemns.

A parallel to Russian foreign policy that realists may find useful is Russian, and then Soviet, foreign policy in the faltering years of 1917-1924. Around this time, a sudden collapse and loss of regional primacy created new states along the imperial periphery of Russia. As in 1991, Western observers misinterpreted the movements emerging from this imperial collapse as democratic revolutions rather than national liberation movements. The result in 1917 and 1991 was high hopes placed in the new democracies, followed by swift disappointment. And in both cases, as the center rebounded, Russia increasingly sought to reclaim its regional sphere of influence by bringing new states back into its fold, by force if necessary.

Are the regional spheres of influence that marked Russia’s recovery after 1917 and much of Europe’s history still necessary to maintain peace between the great powers? This is the question, often unacknowledged, that lurks in many debates about US foreign policy toward Russia and China.

Note the uncomfortable trade-offs involved here. To treat spheres of influence as inevitable or conducive to peace is to condone what the great powers do there. This has already been the case for the United States, which has had a free hand to influence or overthrow regimes without provoking great power conflict. But the same is not true for Russia. So the morally honest position of Walt’s opponents, the warmongering anti-Russians who dominate Washington, is to say, “I am willing to risk great power conflict, even devastating war, because oppression is inexcusable and the aggression must be deterred.

Likewise, the morally honest position for a realist like Walt is to say, “I am willing to risk the conquest and oppression of small states because war between great powers is worse and brings much more suffering.” It’s not a statement that everyone will agree with, but it’s a more defensible claim than pointing fingers.

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Is Bernard-Henri Lévy a hero, an egocentric or both? – The Front https://willtoexist.com/is-bernard-henri-levy-a-hero-an-egocentric-or-both-the-front/ Wed, 19 Jan 2022 16:04:39 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/is-bernard-henri-levy-a-hero-an-egocentric-or-both-the-front/ One of the sweetest privileges of living in the United States of America is the ability to go decades without knowing what a “Bernard-Henri Lévy” is. My own honeymoon of ignorance ended a few years ago, when Roman Polanski’s latest storm swept the internet and I learned that someone with the initials BHL had taken […]]]>

One of the sweetest privileges of living in the United States of America is the ability to go decades without knowing what a “Bernard-Henri Lévy” is. My own honeymoon of ignorance ended a few years ago, when Roman Polanski’s latest storm swept the internet and I learned that someone with the initials BHL had taken up the cause of the old rapist. children.

Forgetting in my nausea that France has different rules for celebrity three-letter acronyms, I jumped to the conclusion that this guy must be a politician or an actor. Shortly after, when I read that he had defended another rapist, Dominique Strauss-Kahn (i.e. DSK), I learned that he was a philosopher, never particularly liked but d somehow impossible to eliminate – an NPH or JGL of the French intelligentsia, if you will.

BHL is so easy to dislike that after a while you may begin to feel an involuntary twinge of affection, much like victims of sensory deprivation begin to hallucinate strange sounds and sights to fill the void. He sometimes seems to get involved in ennobling causes just for the purpose of making himself dastardly once again.

In 1993, he made a high-profile visit to Bosnia to raise awareness about ethnic cleansing. The Serbian fire made it almost impossible to leave the country, which created an international crisis: BHL had to travel to the south of France to marry his fiancée, film star Arielle Dombasle. The crisis was averted when he succeeded in asking the French president to send a jet plane. “What was I supposed to do?” Not get married? he said later. “I did so much for the French government, on behalf of the French government, that it was really the least they could do to help me fly there.” The episode earned him another three-letter nickname: DHS, for “Two Hours in Sarajevo.”

BHL’s career is full of this stuff. He has a Franzenian penchant for saying the perfectly wrong thing at the wrong time. The difference is that Jonathan Franzen is worth perhaps $10 million, all self-earned, while BHL is worth somewhere around $215 million, most of it inherited from his lumber magnate father; looked a lot like Timothée Chalamet; and is still, at 73, fully capable of wearing a pristine white shirt (he also has a full head of thick, wavy hair, salt and pepper, of course he does). At this point, he’s completely immune to hate, which makes it all the more tempting to hate him, which makes it all the more scary to think he might be one of the less detestable intellectual-celebrities that France currently has.

Is it possible to love the world’s most ubiquitous Jewish intellectual as much as he loves himself?

Before being a famous intellectual, he was an ordinary intellectual – one of several dozen self-proclaimed New Philosophers. Like the French New Wave of the 1960s and the French New Extremism of the 2000s, the New Philosophers of the 1970s defined themselves primarily by what they rejected: Marxism; Maoism; Existentialism, and the other grandiose left-wing isms that they believed had paved the way for political tyranny. While BHL’s distrust of the left hasn’t changed much in the past 50 years, the left certainly has: in the 1970s, when an example was needed from the rotten fringe, the Khmer Rouge and the Soviet Union were always at your disposal. Twenty-first century skeptics had to settle for the corpse of Fidel Castro and some students.

BHL insists (with a touch of nostalgia, perhaps?) on the fact that the contemporary left appears harmless: his contempt for universals like the brotherhood of man will be the death of all of us, unless his disregard for Islamofascism gets the job done first. Today’s radicals, he argued in “Left in Dark Times” in 2008, hate US imperialism more than they love peace, hate Israel more than they love Palestine , hate racism more than they love people of color, hate oppression more than they love the oppressed, etc. The psychology is not unreasonable, however – as with so many recent liberal attacks on the left – there is a sense of a Fortune 500 company that thinks its profits are under threat from the local family store.

Because I have never met BHL and never will, I have no way of knowing for sure what he thinks of his fellow man. Judging strictly by “The Will To See,” the latest of several globe-trotting documentaries he’s made over the past decade, he loves the oppressed peoples of the world an order of magnitude less than he does. he loves the sound of his own voice.

Presented as a tour to raise awareness of the humanitarian crises of the 21st century, the film is in reality the idealized self-portrait of a man whose head is matched only by his heart, who will gladly discuss with a group of imprisoned teenagers dawn every time he has to fly to the next place. He travels to Nigeria, Kurdistan, Somalia, Bangladesh, Ukraine, Libya and Afghanistan to address soldiers, students, freedom fighters and protesters, his storytelling seeping on everything like tar. hot, his famous face turning the camera away from the unknown. The pace is so fast and the realization so boring that almost nothing remains in memory except the great philosopher himself.

Is it possible to love the world’s most ubiquitous Jewish intellectual as much as he loves himself?

“The Will To See” is so forgettable that at times I was afraid I was the problem – i.e. the reason I had trouble keeping people and places from mixing is because I’m a spoiled westerner. You can imagine my relief when I heard BHL admit, near the end of his documentary, that he, too, had trouble keeping his destinations clear: walking around Kabul, he whispers, “Sometimes I wonder if I’m really in Kabul or Karachi” – apparently the two cities have “very similar streets”.

The walk reminds BHL of its quest to find out what happened to Daniel Pearl, the American journalist who was murdered in Karachi in 2002. The product of this quest, the book “Who Killed Daniel Pearl”, speculated that Pearl was dead because he had tripped. on evidence of a link between Pakistani intelligence and Osama bin Laden. This theory was quickly torn to shreds by Pearl’s family, journalists, intelligence operatives, Pakistan historians and terrorism experts, more than a couple of whom were puzzled by the number of times BHL described the entire nation of Pakistan as “the devil’s own house”. ”

Every brave and noble thing BHL does reminds him of something brave and noble he has done before; he’s like a continental counterpart to Norman Mailer – another prolific Jewish literary celebrity who excelled at doing it all on his own (although Mailer would have imagined a more interesting comparison between Kabul and Karachi).

A belated visit to Bangladesh recalls one BHL made in 1971, when, at age 22, he joined a volunteer brigade of artists and intellectuals sworn to defend Bengal against the Pakistani army. The reunion would probably be quite touching – he hugs old friends and comrades, some of whom he hasn’t seen in half a century – if the camera weren’t rubbing our faces in the ‘WELCOME BACK’ banner bearing his name , although that’s nothing compared to the previous scene in which he explicitly compares himself to Lord Byron, who died in battle during the Greek War of Independence.

And yet: for all of his current preenings and poses and cautious frowns, BHL has truly risked his life to support Bangladeshi independence. Moreover, he risked his life instead of staying at the École Normale Supérieure, where half of his classmates applauded the Cultural Revolution and the other half regurgitated Jean-Paul Sartre – who, it turns out, also applauded the Cultural Revolution, along with the Soviet purges.

There are a lot of infuriating things about “The Will To See,” but nothing fundamentally wrong; negligent execution should not distract from the fact that other famous intellectuals could, without too much difficulty, travel to distant corners of the world and draw Western attention to the poverty and violence there. Might, but probably not anytime soon. For now, if I had to choose between an egocentric multi-millionaire and a man who supported Mao and Stalin, I would take the egoist.

Is it possible to love the world’s most ubiquitous Jewish intellectual as much as he loves himself?

“The Will To See”, directed by Bernard-Henri Lévy and Marc Roussel, was screened at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

Jackson Arn is the Forward’s contributing art critic.

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Best Pedro Almodóvar movies, ranked https://willtoexist.com/best-pedro-almodovar-movies-ranked/ Mon, 17 Jan 2022 17:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/best-pedro-almodovar-movies-ranked/ A good way for newcomers to Pedro Almodóvarthe filmography of to get a quick glimpse of his unique and visionary style is to watch his short film in english The human voice with Tilda Swinton. It was shot during the COVID-19 pandemic and benefits from multiple viewings to fully appreciate the acting, writing, and directing. […]]]>

A good way for newcomers to Pedro Almodóvarthe filmography of to get a quick glimpse of his unique and visionary style is to watch his short film in english The human voice with Tilda Swinton. It was shot during the COVID-19 pandemic and benefits from multiple viewings to fully appreciate the acting, writing, and directing. Almodóvar’s Spanish traits are, however, necessary to fully recognize the Oscar-winning actor’s talent. It also has a vast exhibition presented at Hollywood’s Academy Museum.

Almodóvar is also a former actor, but his work behind the camera over the years has been impactful and groundbreaking. His films are marked by melodrama, irreverent humor, bright colors, brilliant sets, quotes from popular culture and complex narratives. Desire, passion, family and identity are among his most present subjects in his films. He is known for his collaborations with Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz, who both became international movie stars thanks to these many joint efforts. Almodóvar rose to prominence as a director and screenwriter during the cultural renaissance that followed the end of Franco’s Spain.

One of Spain’s most internationally acclaimed filmmakers, Almodóvar and his films have garnered global interest and developed a cult following. He has won two Oscars and in January 2017 he was named President of the Jury of the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. In 2019 he was awarded the Golden Lion of Honor at the 76th Venice International Film Festival. It was recently revealed that Cate Blanchett to star in Almodóvar’s first English language feature. As we await its release amid the awards buzz that Parallel mothers attracts, let’s take a look back at Almodóvar’s best films to date, narrowed down to the top five.

Related: 5 Best Bong Joon-Ho Movies, Ranked

5 Fly (2006)


Cruz_Volver_2006_WB_2
Through Warner Bros.

After her “death”, a mother returns to her hometown in order to settle the situations that she has not been able to solve during her life. To return to is just one of many unique Cruz-Almodóvar collaborations not to be missed. “I love the fear I felt on the set of this movie, the terror of knowing the responsibility I had and how challenging it was going to be every minute of every day,” Cruz said. FilmWeb in 2006. “Pedro said he needed someone who could have a bit of those opposites in him. He chose me because he knows that I can be very strong at certain things and very vulnerable at others. He knows that I cry a lot, and that I can also be extremely strong if I need to. He knows me very well and he knew that I was going to understand all aspects of Raimunda.

Revolving around an eccentric family of women from a windswept region south of Madrid, Cruz stars as Raimunda, a working-class woman forced to go to great lengths to protect her 14-year-old daughter, Paula. To crown the family crisis, his mother Irene returns from the dead to settle the final details. To return to premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, where it competed for the Palme d’Or. It received critical acclaim and eventually won two awards at the festival, Best Actress and Best Screenplay for Almodóvar.

4 All About My Mother (1999)


San_Juan_All_About_My_Mother_1999_Pathé
Via Pathe

Another Cruz-Almodóvar collaboration, all about my mother begins about a young man named Esteban who wants to be a writer – and also discovers the identity of his second mother, a trans woman carefully hidden by her mother Manuela. From there, the story has plenty of twists and turns that we shouldn’t spoil here, for those who haven’t seen this layered story on screen. It’s packed with award-winning performances, from Cecilia Roth playing Manuela, Esteban’s loving mother, to Cruz later appearing as Sister Rosa, who befriends Manuela throughout her journey as a true protagonist of the film. There’s also Antonia San Juan as a sex worker named Agrado, who enters Manuela’s life by chance. And finally, Marisa Paredes plays an iconic actress, who is adored by young Esteban and also enters Manuela’s journey by chance.

Everything will make sense in the end, that’s why all about my mother makes our top five list here. You’ll laugh, cry and cheer on the heroes on screen as the film deals with complex issues such as AIDS, homosexuality, faith and existentialism. The film effectively blurs the divisions between birth and adoptive parenthood, cis and transgender identity. It’s no surprise that it won the Oscar and Golden Globe that year for Best Foreign Language Film, along with many other accolades.

3 Talk to Him (2002)


Grandinetti_Talk_To_Her_2002_Warner_Sogefilms
Via Warner Sogefilms

After a chance meeting in a theater, two men, Benigno and Marco, find themselves in a private clinic where Benigno works. Lydia, Marco’s girlfriend and bullfighter by profession, has been gored and is in a coma. Benigno happens to be caring for another woman in a coma, Alicia, a young ballet student. The lives of the four characters will flow in all directions, past, present and future, leading them all towards an unsuspected destiny.

Talk to him was a critical and commercial success, winning the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, while Almodóvar won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. It is now generally considered one of the best films of the 2000s.

“I intended not only to do something different from what I’ve done before, but also to do something different from the reality that inspired it,” Almodóvar told IndieWire when the movie comes out. “If you think about the story, it’s a story about hospitals and women in comas, a subject that can be really scary, but I wanted to deal with it in a completely different way. I wanted it to be a love story that had a completely opposite tone to the subject one would expect to be dealing with. I didn’t want to deal with pain, and I didn’t want to portray the hospital as a place where pain rules.


2 Bad Education (2004)


Bernal_Bad_Education_2004_Warner_Sogefilms
Via Warner Sogefilms

Not to be confused with HBO’s 2019 hit Almodóvar’s Bad Education is an examination of the effect of Franco-era religious teaching and sexual abuse on the lives of two longtime friends. At the beginning of the 1960s, two boys discover love, cinema and fear in a Christian school. The school priest, also director and professor of literature, witnesses their discoveries, and the three characters meet twice, at the end of the 1970s and in 1980. These meetings will change the life and death of some of them. them.

Besides metafiction, sexual abuse by Catholic priests, gender fluidity, and drug use are also important plot themes and devices. The film received an NC-17 rating in the United States for the depiction of gay sex. During this time, it received critical acclaim and was seen as a return to Almodóvar’s dark scene.

Related: Best LGBTQ+ Movies of the 2010s

1 Parallel Mothers (2021)


Smit_Cruz_Parallel_Mothers_2021_Sony
Via Sony Pictures

Parallel mothers is in theaters now, this latest Almodóvar-Cruz collaboration centering on two mothers who give birth on the same day. They coincide in a hospital room, finding similarities in that they are both single and got pregnant by accident. One is middle-aged and unapologetic (played by Cruz), while the other, a teenager, is scared and traumatized (played by Milena Smit). The two women form a strong bond with each other as they both face motherhood. In its world premiere on its opening night, the the film received a nine-minute standing ovation spectators of the Venice Film Festival in the Sala Grande. Rightly so, as it is arguably Almodóvar’s finest work to date and deserves this top spot on our list.


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James Gunn Is Jealous Of His Own Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special Storyline

It’s strange for a writer to be jealous of their own work, but with the Guardians Holiday Special held up, that’s exactly how James Gunn feels.

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South Korean Netflix series shoots for the moon https://willtoexist.com/south-korean-netflix-series-shoots-for-the-moon/ Thu, 13 Jan 2022 14:27:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/south-korean-netflix-series-shoots-for-the-moon/ These people think they are safe. They are inside, where the air is shared and mixed. Tiny airborne particles travel through the vents, traveling through the ducts in gaseous silence before reaching an enclosed space where groups of people unknowingly breathe them in. Disease traveling in invisible droplets doesn’t reveal itself until it’s too late, […]]]>

These people think they are safe. They are inside, where the air is shared and mixed. Tiny airborne particles travel through the vents, traveling through the ducts in gaseous silence before reaching an enclosed space where groups of people unknowingly breathe them in. Disease traveling in invisible droplets doesn’t reveal itself until it’s too late, at which point all people can do is hope for the best but expect the worst.

Watching this simple sequence of events becomes even more eerily terrifying thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and its years of anxiety over mask-wearing, apnea and hand sanitizing; when it is represented in The silent sea, the public reaction is obviously grim. There are several similar reference points, but that’s the problem with the new Netflix show – people have seen this story and events unfold before, and yet they take on a dark new meaning in 2022.

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Freak Out in a Moonage Daydream

The South Korean sci-fi drama taps into a variety of existential anxieties that have consumed the culture of late. The silent sea doesn’t reinvent the wheel (or the moonbase), but it draws on so many prevalent elements of contemporary fears that it spins the wheel and sends it over a jagged edge. Distrust of government, climate-related catastrophe, corporate misdeeds, social inequality, invisible diseases and panicked conspiracies – all of this nightmarish fuel has been fueling humanity’s engines of collective anxiety for a few years now and driving this Korean drama through a relevant trip of white joint tension.


The Silent Sea cast hold flashlights and guns as the doors open
netflix

As mentioned, the eight-episode first season of The silent sea piggybacks on many classic sci-fi tropes, but does so in a fresh and uplifting way. There is the assembly of an elite team sent into space during a disastrous time for the planet; the group (of predictable archetypal characters) are tasked by the government to recover something valuable left over from an unresponsive space base, but lies and secrecy shroud their mission. Of course, the mission is emotionally personal for the protagonists who get the most screen time, and obviously everything starts to go wrong, with the astronaut crew encountering something that kills them one by one.

Still, this new series has a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score from critics for good reason, having become something more than the sum of its simple, referential parts. It opens with an immediate sense of danger and chaos, with the spacecraft crashing shortly after the Balhae lunar research station it was supposed to reach. The characters greet the audience in a state of confused shock and painful nervousness, a perfect introduction for a series that then follows them in ever-increasing anxiety over a very short period of time.

Related: We’re All Dead: Everything We Know About Netflix’s Upcoming Korean Series

Although the contemporary action is strictly lunar, the series returns before the mission in each episode, slowly revealing the characters’ motivations and narrative mysteries. The situation in The silent sea is dark and presumptuous, detailing an overheated world where resources (especially water) are running out and citizens depend on sociopolitical and economic status to survive in the manner of credit card-like transactions. Elite superiors carry coveted gold cards, ensuring the tap is always on for them, but most aren’t so lucky with the flow of their water supply.

Song sung in silence


The cast sits around a high-tech table in the silent sea
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Astrobiologist Dr. Song Ji-an is one such figure, but not for the same reasons as government officials and the business elite. Doctor Song’s sister died in the “accident” on the Balhae moon base, and the government expressed condolences with a shiny gold card. Song thinks there’s more to the story than just a “radiation leak”, thanks to encrypted and secret documents from his sister. Clearly there are deeply personal and possibly political (as if the two could ever be separated) reasons for the astrobiologist to undertake this treacherous journey, but Song is playing his cards very close to the chest. She doesn’t let her fellow space travelers understand much about her, and she does the same with the public.


Related: Train to Busan Director Considers Trilogy, Shares Vision for Third Movie

Song is a fascinating character, starting the show already in a depression and carrying a silent but heavy burden with her wherever she goes. Doona Bae plays the role perfectly, proving why she is one of the best South Korean actresses working today. She was loved by Bong Joon-ho, who helped her create wonderful performances in Barking dogs never bite and The host, and was a favorite of the Wachowski sisters, who tapped into her particular brand of cool (first expressed as a hip anarchist in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance) with their projects Sense8, Jupiter’s Ascendancy, and cloud atlas (where she perfectly plays five roles). She brings her impassive freshness to The silent sea as well but infuses it with a deeper melancholy and grief than usual, and the result is captivating.


Another excellent performance came from Yoo Gong, who became a talented and reliable presence on South Korean television in the 2000s before breaking into the international scene with gripping and totally committed performances in Train to Busan and squid game. He is one of many South Korean actors who are currently getting a lot of attention in North America, a sign of a new trend that is seeing Western culture embracing Korean drama. While the non-English films of Park Chan-wook and the aforementioned Bong Joon-ho have certainly received critical acclaim from Western critics over the past two decades, this developing trend didn’t completely take off until quite recently.


Gong Yoo looks like a handsome astronaut in The Silent Sea
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Just west of South Korea

Credit it, maybe, with Parasite not only winning the Oscars for Best International Feature Film and Best Director in 2020, but also Best Picture, becoming the first non-English language film to do so in the awards’ 92-year history at the time. This prompted Hollywood producer Janet Yang to tell TIME magazine, “It’s a huge break in a psychological barrier. This wall that we built, in which non-English language films were limited not only in release or box office, but in people’s minds, is being cracked. Since then, Youn Yuh-jung has become the first Korean actor to win an Oscar, for Best Picture nominated. Minari. Her acceptance speech went viral and was nothing short of joyful.


Then, of course, there is squid game, perhaps the most talked-about TV series of the last couple of years, though it’s certainly not the only one garnering a ton of ratings and acclaim in the United States. From Kingdom eagerly awaited we are all dead, Korean Zombie TV Becomes Extremely Popular; Korean romantic television is flourishing, with Bachelor’s Hell becoming the first South Korean show to make it into Netflix’s top ten most-watched series worldwide. Hell, sweet home, My name, and the next Money theft are all talking about them. With Netflix providing dubbed versions of these shows in a variety of languages, and the same language variation with subtitles, it seems like the line between “international” and “domestic” is blurring. With the disappearance of these lines of demarcation, a fascinating cultural dialogue takes place between the American and Korean media.

The silent sea quietly entered the conversation, perhaps overshadowed by larger, adjacent releases like the popular fantasy adaptation the witcher or an airy romance Emily in Paris, but stands out with its perfect Rotten Tomatoes score and rave reviews. The initial episode is arguably the worst of the eight, which is a shame; it’s not exactly bad, but it doesn’t prepare the audience for the quality of the series. The CGI and visual effects actually seem to improve, going from looking like a mid-2000s video game in the first and second episodes to actually realistic and often incredibly impressive visuals. Halfway through the third episode, in what would become infamous as the “water vomit” stage name, audiences may realize they’ve been hooked, caught up in this new thing about old things. , infected by his contagious drama.


Space to breathe (but not)

Creator and Director Choi Hang-Yong Makes a Bold Choice to Shoot His 2014 Short Film The Sea of ​​Tranquility (referring to the lunar “Mare Tranquillitatis”, the very first off-planet location humanity ever landed on) in a full television series. Going from 37 minutes to around seven hours is a big step up and is often unwarranted at the start of the show, with more sequences walking down the halls than an Aaron Sorkin drama. However, it proves to be a wise choice over time, leaving room for the characters to come into their own and for the tension to skyrocket. What begins as a chillingly fast-paced mystery becomes a full-on thriller halfway through, and hardly lets anything go. Viewers may find themselves involuntarily holding their breath, the way characters sometimes have to avoid infection.

Well played, often beautifully shot, with extremely tense music and disturbingly relevant themes, The silent sea worth watching after its first episode to catch a glimpse of sci-fi realizing some of its full potential. Instead of being worn down by its well-known tropes and familiar plot mechanics, the series uses these elements to craft something urgent, dramatic, and timely, slowly perfecting the standard stories in the process. This is an excellent series for a fascinating cultural moment, a moment in which people both stay home and away from the silent onslaught of disease, but also somehow engage in productive cultural dialogue with nations and peoples around the world. The silent sea continues the dialogue and deserves to be heard.


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