Author Archives: Amos

“WOKE: Season One”— A Muslim in France

“Woke: Season One”

A Muslim in France

Amos Lassen

In Season One of “Woke” we meet Hicham (Mehdi Meskar)  who has run away from home to look for Thibaut (Eric Pucheu), a young guy who tried to kiss him years earlier. Thibaut is one of the activists who work at the ‘Point G’ LGBT Center in Lyon. Even though he is apprehensive at first, Hicham is soon drawn into a new world. As he begins a journey toward discovering his own identity, he starts to learn that Thibaut isn’t exactly who he appears to be. “Woke” is a story about the struggles of a Muslim young man in France as he searches for sexual awareness and his self-chosen subjectivity beyond gender, religious, political labels.

Hicham Alaoui, 22, suddenly decides to run away to from home and go to Lyon, France and leave behind his family who has no idea about his sexuality. In fact the only gay person he knows is Thibaut Giaccherini, a 28 years old  activist for LGBT rights.  As Hicham searches for intimate, political and sexual identity, he finds a reference in Thibaut. Hicham admires his fights and is fascinated by his commitment. He wants the strength and self-assertion that Thibaut has but as he gets to know him better, Hicham more and more sees his flaws and contradictions. For Hicham to  find who he is, he will have to find his own path .

Thibaut is in full battle with a local politician and this fascinates Hicham. Thibaut can lift his head against the injustices of the world, and Hicham is so impressed that he joins the G-spot, the militant gay association of which Thibaut is a part. Then opens a new world for Hachim and it is a world filled with contradictions, inspirations and more or less fragile people who try their best to face life.

Cut in ten-minute episodes, the series follows Hicham who will have to learn, little by little, to detach himself from Thibaut and take the reins of his own life. Hicham is vulnerable and soft and he and Thibaut carry the series and one can only attach themselves to their characters without too much bruises to the soul and the body.

The episodes are about homophobic attacks, inappropriate comments and loneliness, the malaise of youth, the problem of being part of a political ideology of which we do not necessarily share. There are 10parts to the web series consisting of 10-minutes episodes. Despite the light-hearted approach, contradictions and power struggles along the episodes, the dialogues are salty and filled with great one-liners and reflections, “Activism is like trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon (but even so…)”. The whole 10-part story is less. Than  100 minutes long and as a serial it can be more focused on Hachim’s self-awakening journey, which is reflected in the titles of the episodes like “Running Away” / “Gathering Together” /  “Kissing Each Other” / “Emancipating”, etc.

“Woke” looks at LGBT activism, self-discovery, freedom and much more. Mehdi Meskar gives a very subtle and touching performance as Hicham Alaoui and we can’t help but  fall in love with the city of Lyon.

“THE DATE”— Alienation

“THE DATE”

Alienation

Amos Lassen

Alessio Cappelleti’s “The Date” is a drama/thriller that looks at modern alienation and how intimate acts brings two outsiders together. That doesn’t say much and unfortunately because of the way the film is constructed. I can’t say much more. What I can say is that a man and a woman meet in a restaurant. Where the film goes from this point is what I can’t say. For eight minutes this film will own you completely and it will probably hold you for a bit longer after it is over.

Directed by Alessio Cappelletti aided by Chris Esper and written by Kris Salvi we meet  Michael Gonza a software engineer as he sits in a café looking nervous and we get the impression that he is waiting for someone.  We see him as awkward and unsure of himself. Marybeth Paul is the someone he is waiting for and she is quite the looker causing Gonza to remark on her beauty. We see just how shy he is. My first thought was we are watching the beginning of an assignation but I wasn’t sure. It turns out to be something quite clever that asks many questions and makes us think.

There is not a lot of action with everything happening at the table but without making us feel confined. We don’t really realize what has happened in the film until it is over and if you watch it a second time (it’s only 8 minutes long), you realize what a wonderful performance Marybeth Paul gives. She is the total opposite of Gonza and she… well, you have to see the film. I will say that while Gonza is unsure and awkward, Paul is confident and determined. I realize that I have not said very much but that is because to do so would ruin the viewer’s pleasure and enjoyment.

 

“How a Gay Boy Became a Straight Man: My Story” by David Robinson— Garbage

Robinson, David. “How a Gay Boy Became a Straight Man: My Story”. Independently Published, 2018.

Garbage

Amos Lassen

I received a tip today that Amazon was still carrying anti-LGBT books and this was one if the titles. I immediately went to Amazon to see this book and found this notice:

“Effective July 2, 2018, this book has been rewritten, updated, and re-titled. Its new title is Orientation and Choice: One Man’s Sexual Journey.” However the remarks and reviews were still on the book’s Amazon page and the notice that the book is available exclusively on Amazon as is this plea: “Please buy the new title. Type the new title in the Search box. Thank you.”

Author-lawyer David Robinson, is now 66-years-old and admits that he had homosexual urges from ages 14 to 16. At 16 he had to choose: date girls or boys. He chose girls. It wasn’t always easy for him. Eventually he married a woman and is very happy with her.  Then we have these questions: “Did his sexual orientation change from gay to straight? Or did he deceive himself? Does it matter? Is it possible to satisfy homosexual urges with heterosexual behavior? What, exactly, is the difference between homosexual and heterosexual urge?” This book is  (as he says) and a look inside his sexual mind every step of the way from age 14 (1967) to today. He says, “that religion had nothing to do with it.” He tells about his college years (B.A. 1974, George Washington University) and law school years (J.D. 1977, Washington University in St. Louis). And then he says, “many people say sexual orientation isn’t a “choice.” But everyone must make a choice: date a male or female. David discusses laws banning conversion therapy. He tells about an impromptu conversion therapy session he experienced in a gym locker room when he was 15 or 16. Did the therapy work? Read his book and decide for yourself. It is a lively, true memoir. If you want to contact David, his email address is davidr225@comcast.net.” And he dares to give his email.

David A. Robinson is a lawyer in Connecticut. He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1953. and practiced law in Springfield from 1977 to 2008. He was a general practitioner from 1977 to 1991. From 1992 to 2008, he practiced exclusively in the area of labor and employment law, usually on the side of the employer. In 2002 he became a resident of Connecticut. In 2006 he was admitted to the Connecticut Bar. He gradually closed his Massachusetts law practice and now practices in Connecticut. He was an adjunct professor at Western New England University (WNEU) School of Law from 1979 to 1982, WNEU School of Business from 2001-2005, and the University of New Haven (UNH) School of Business from 2005 to 2014. At UNH he taught business law, business ethics, human resource management, criminal justice procedure, and law of communications. He lives in the New Haven area with his wife. 

Amazon tells authors, “The Author Page is your chance to tell readers something interesting about yourself.” Here are two interesting–not very interesting, but somewhat interesting–things about David. He is one of a small handful of people, and probably the youngest, alive today who attended a Beatles concert, an Elvis Presley concert, and a Frank Sinatra concert. A number of people alive today saw one or two of those legendary musical acts. David saw all three. He attended a Beatles concert in Boston in 1966, when he was 13 years old; a Sinatra concert in Washington, D.C. (actually, Landover, Maryland, a D.C. suburb) in 1974; and an Elvis concert in Springfield, Mass., in 1976. The other interesting thing about David is he is probably the youngest lawyer alive today whose name appears as counsel in published appellate cases (e.g., N.E.2d, F.3d) in each of five decades: 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s.

All that is fine but what about his claims? Why did he feel he had to pull his book back, rewrite it and rename it. Let’s hear from his readers:

David Robinson’s views are very much a product of their time. But like many products of their time, they are perishable and have since rotted.”
“When I read the description, I was fully expecting to read about the author’s struggles with homosexual urges throughout his life and his attempts to rid himself of them or deal with them. Instead, the concept is glossed over, downplayed, and not even linked. Spoiler alert, homosexual urges don’t play an active part of his life per the lack of mention in his book. Instead, his book has focused on his views on the LGBT community. Actually, in his young adult and adult lives, he seems to be more afflicted by pornography (Playboy skewing his perception of women to the point of him breaking off relationships with women because they didn’t look a certain way) and his issues relating to the “chase” of women (At one point claiming that he wanted what he couldn’t have and didn’t want once he had). If anything, that whole part of the book felt completely unnecessary, and offensive, to his point about conversion therapy.” Are you able to follow this?

“Going back to that idea of being a product of its time, Robinson’s overall attitude toward the LGBT community is misguided and detestable. “Homosexual urges” are compared to drinking, smoking and overeating and are labelled as “vices.” Though Robinson points out that he doesn’t want to call them “evil” (He “doesn’t know if he would”) but still uses a word that has a negative connotation to it (Since semantics is another theme). At certain points, such as in the first few pages (Accessible through the preview), he repeats the same talking points about homosexuality being linked to HIV/AIDS, religious disparity, unnatural reproduction (Remember, if your mother had a c-section, she had you or that particular child unnaturally) which support conversion therapy. The problem is his understanding of conversion therapy in the book, stating that an impromptu encounter with, presumably (Because he doesn’t remember), an authority figure reminds him of where his erect penis is supposed to go. Even though this doesn’t even compare actual conversion therapy as a pseudoscientific construct, Robinson uses it as a means to qualify him to discuss conversion therapy. His argument falls apart, though, when he highlights more so about the language of the law and that it would prevent teaching heteronormative sex education. Jumping between that, comparing homosexuality to vices such as smoking (And then linking his smoking habit to homosexual urges), and his idea that he’s pointing out some conspiracy (Though not directly labelled as such), we have a dangerous ignorance on LGBT people and their struggles regarding different sexualities (And gender identity. Though, this book doesn’t discuss transgender people or gender identity).”

“As for the writing itself, it leaves much to be desired and Robinson spends much time talking about a combination of his love life in his early years, his stance on conversion therapy, and the fact that this is just his opinion and that he’s not an expert, but it’s how he sees it. And that’s what ends up diluting the writing with him reminding his readers that he isn’t qualified to talk about this short of anecdotal evidence and pulling hairs on semantics. He tries to reduce people to semantics, to simplify an argument that is as complicated as it is, and then plays it off as it just being an opinion or that he isn’t qualified, while speaking with authority on the subject. There’s a reason why conversion therapy support tends to be anecdotal, because there is nothing to back it up. Bonus points for giving an unattributed quote to an unnamed therapist who practices as well as citing old law dictionaries to define sexual intercourse (Which gets debunked by simple search on Merriam-Webster’s Online dictionary which provides two definitions so as to include non-vaginal intercourse), or using Freud, who has been debunked and is viewed as somewhat laughable in terms of sexual development, to back his notion up. Other than that, it’s really easy to get lost in the constant use of short sentences and clarification. It’s a written conversation with someone obsessed with his own voice.

Robinson’s sexuality then and now is something I am personally not concerned with, nor should his readers be concerned with. It’s his dangerous ignorance that is echoed by many others who support conversion therapy that is problematic. Though he doesn’t directly say it (And he doesn’t have to), his claims strongly suggest a fear of the LGBT community and attitudes related to that. The fear is unfounded as the community wants to create an environment for his hypothetical 15 year old boy to actually think about what is going on in his head rather than being told point blank about what is “natural” and him thinking there is something dearly wrong with him. After submitting this review, I’ll have put the book on my shelf to collect dust, maybe pulling it off the shelf to remind me that this way of thinking is still prevalent, and that ignorance isn’t necessarily religious bound either (Though it’s evoked a couple times in Robinson’s book). Personally, if you’re someone struggling with your sexuality, this book is not the answer. It’s not even a response. There are much better resources to peruse and people to hear from.”

“ Robinson claims he experienced same-gender attraction as a teenager and is now in a happy opposite-gender marriage. That’s great, I am, too! It’s called being bisexual – and by some accounts half the LGBTQ+ community identifies as bi. Robinson has every right to share his own personal experiences. However, he is a lawyer – not a psychologist, therapist or social worker – and when he starts to use his experience to justify conversion “therapy” of any kind he is advocating hate. This book is showing up in my queer and queer-friendly friends’ Facebook feeds as a sponsored post. I shudder to think that it may be appearing in gay and questioning teens feeds, too. Any message to queer youth that is not based in acceptance, pride and love is morally and ethically wrong.”

“This book makes it seem as if a person’s orientation or attraction can be changed, however, it is a matter of semantics. One would think a lawyer would know better. This is a man who is attracted to men and women and has found happiness in a monogamous marriage with a woman. How is that any different than a person attracted to many women who makes a monogamous commitment to one woman? Yes- that is a choice in behavior- not attraction or orientation. If someone is attracted to men and women, one could certainly choose to identify as straight rather than bisexual. But this entire book is clickbait for the idea that it is a choice over attraction and orientation (identity). If this man had only experienced attraction to men and had zero attraction to his wife, would he have lived a full happy life with his choices?”

“Possibly the most ridiculous and harmful thing I’ve ever read.”

“The title of the book and synopsis on its Facebook ad leads you to believe that this book might have some psychosocial/research backing in its nature/nurture claims, but it does not. It’s merely a first person account. I find the title and the marketing misleading.”

“This author has no credentials to write about this subject other than his own anecdotal evidence of denying his own sexuality. This is irresponsible and dangerous garbage. Amazon should not be giving this author a platform to spread his bigotry. Conversion therapy is nothing short of mental and emotional abuse against children, and David Robinson is promoting it.”

“Shame on Amazon for selling this book. Shame on David Robinson for continuing this abuse.”

“What a fantastic piece of garbage!”

“…feels less autobiographical and more like propaganda. The author writes as if he was still trying to prove he is a happy heterosexual. Don’t bother.”

 

“Disgusting that you are selling this bigoted garbage.”

“This is a dangerous book for people that have questions about their sexuality. Furthermore, this is not based in accepted science. Based on the description, the author has to force himself to be intimate with a woman to this day. Imagine if your mate had to force themselves to be intimate with you. It sure would ruin the mood, if you ask me.
I am sad this author has made the decision to not live his best life and will never experience TRUE love.”

“Irresponsible, dishonest garbage. It isn’t worthy of even one star.”

“This is a bunch of trite. How our ‘parts fit together’ is not a measure of anything. The same faulty logic could be used to justify bestiality, cause ‘ hey it fits’, It would fit in a honey dew mellow too David.”
“barely deserves one star for the graphic masturbation sequences.”

I can’t believe I wasted my time dealing with this.

“In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy” by Frederic Martel— Now It Is Documented

Martel, Frederich. “In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy”, translated by Shaun Whiteside,  Bloomsbury Continuum , 2019.

Now It Is Documented

Amos Lassen

We have suspected it for years and now we have documentation on the state of homosexuality and the Catholic Church. I am stunned that there are those who do not believe what is going on in the Church and this lets us know how powerful and destructive brainwashing can be. It is indeed fascinating that the Church survives after all we know about its being involved in pedophilia. Even the known sale of indulgences way back when did not rock the  foundations of “Mother Church” but we should expect it to be shaken by a priest having sex with underage boys yet not giving its lay followers a chance at acceptance.

“In the Closet of the Vatican” is being published to coincide with the opening day of a conference at the Vatican on sexual abuse and it claims that 4 out of 5 Vatican priests are gay.

French journalist and author Frédéric Martel wrote 570 pages about his findings. He is a former adviser to the French government and conducted 1,500 interviews while researching the book, including with 41 cardinals, 52 bishops and monsignors, 45 papal ambassadors or diplomatic officials, 11 Swiss guards and more than 200 priests and seminarians. Many spoke of an unspoken code of the “closet, with one rule of thumb being that the more homophobic a cleric was, the more likely he was to be gay.”

Published by Bloomsbury, the press maintains that it  exposes “the rot at the heart of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church today.” The book “is based on four years’ authoritative research, including extensive interviews with those in power. The celibacy of priests, the condemnation of the use of contraceptives, countless cases of sexual abuse, the resignation of Benedict XVI, misogyny among the clergy, the dramatic fall in Europe of the number of vocations to the priesthood, the plotting against Pope Francis –are issues  that are clouded in mystery and secrecy.”

Bloomsbury adds: “In the Closet of the Vatican is a book that  There is a system founded on a clerical culture of secrecy which starts in junior seminaries and continues right up to the Vatican itself. It is based on the double lives of priests and on extreme homophobia. The resulting schizophrenia in the Church is hard to understand. But the more a prelate is homophobic, the more likely it is that he is himself gay.”

“Martel alleges that one Colombian cardinal, the late Alfonso López Trujillo, who held a senior Vatican position, was an arch-defender of church teaching on homosexuality and contraception while using male prostitutes. The author found that some gay priests accepted their sexuality and a few maintained discreet relationships, but others sought high-risk casual encounters. Some were in denial about their sexuality.”

Many senior Vatican priests who attack LGBTI causes are themselves gay, according to a book to be published next week. Allegedly 80% of priests working at the Vatican are gay, though not all are sexually active.

Martel’s book is a “startling account of corruption and hypocrisy at the heart of the Vatican”, Bloomsbury says. Previously, Martel denounced the Vatican’s stance on homosexuality in a 2014 interview in Huffington Post. Then Martel said: ‘In short, the more you are gay in private, the more you will be homophobic in public. This is the Vatican’s secret.’ ‘The [Vatican’s] refusal to acknowledge gay rights is based on hypocrisy since many people within the Vatican are gay. As a result ‘they show an excessing anti-gay behavior.

The book is set for a 21 February release and on the same day more than 100 bishops will gather in Vatican City to hold a four-day summit discussing sexual abuse allegations. Martel’s research found a secretive culture among priests created conditions in which abuse remains un-confronted.

“No one can claim to really understand the Catholic Church today until they have read this book. It reveals a truth that is extraordinary and disturbing.”

“MARQUISE”— A Liberated Women

“MARQUISE”

A Liberated Women

Amos Lassen

Véra Belmont’s “Marquise” is a lavish costume dramedy set in 17th century France. It has been remastered and  is now presented in a new 2K digital restoration, Film Movement Classics on Blu Ray. Marquise (Sophie Marceau) is a beautiful street dancer who was both famous and notorious with seventeenth century aristocratic elite under the stage name Mademoiselle Du Parc. When the playwright Molière (Bernard Giraudeau) and his theatre troupe come to town, Marquise mesmerizes the men, and joins the troupe. She marries Gros René (Patrick Timsit) and becomes a favorite of King Louis XIV, but it is not until Marquise becomes the mistress of rival playwright Racine that she finally realizes her ambition to become a great actress.

 As Marquise, Sophie Marceau dazzles and captivates. She is both a coquette and a delicate beauty. She is not the only one; the entire cast is excellent. Marquise was born into poverty and is a promiscuous young woman who uses her beauty and dancing to earn a living. She mesmerizes  men and especially Moliere’s lead actor, nicknamed Gros René, (Patrick Timsit), who falls in love with her and asks for her hand in marriage. She agrees to marry him on the  condition that she join the group to become an actress. Gros René is deeply in love with her and even accepts her on-going infidelities, until she meets Jean Racine (Lambert Wilson) while his company is performing for King Louis XIV and his court. Even though she is flirtatious in manner, Marquise has honor and integrity in her heart. Following Racine’s coaching, Marquise’s acting talents improve dramatically, and she is at last able to perform as the leading dramatic role in his play Andromaque.

The screenplay is witty and intelligent and the sets are gorgeous. The film catches the sprit of the 17th century with all of its lustiness, passion and frivolity. Marquise is casual morally but virtuous in spirit. She is a femme fatale and an enchantress. Patrick Timsit is excellent as Gros René, Marquise’s loyal and faithful husband. He is a true sad clown and Lambert Wilson is enigmatic as Racine. The entire cast is top notch, the production design excellent and the cinematography beguiling. The cinematography is excellent and fun, especially  the intriguing shot of naked female ‘derrières’ poised for action in a dingy latrine. Vera Belmont invests passion and energy in this fun film which delicately balances comedy and tragedy.

“Marquise is a masterful entertainment on a grand scale, an intelligent and fascinating insight into 17th century French society, a period of aristocratic excesses, coupled with the development of French theatre.” It was the era of Moliere and Racine, a time when the monarchy was at its peak; the French Revolution was a hundred years away.

 BONUS FEATURES include an interview with director Véra Belmont and a new essay by author and professor Laurence Marie

“CUBAN FOOD STORIES”— Keeping Traditions

“Cuban Food Stories”

Keeping Traditions

Amos Lassen

Asori Soto’s film “Cuban Food Stories” is about the director returning to Cuba and finding the remnants of Cuba’s culinary history in light of the Castro regime. Soto remembers and longs for the time when Cuba was an exciting destination for tourism and specifically fine dining. After  his immigration to the United States, he learned that Cuban food became watered down when it fused with American influences and American ingredients. In Cuba, the Castros almost completely obliterated its cultural heritage by allowing only the most basic ingredients to be distributed to its people, such as rice and beans or overly regulating the source of food to Havana restaurants, thereby limiting a menu. This limited amount of distribution made passing on family recipes and traditions almost impossible.

With the doors to Cuban tourism slightly opening now, Soto takes us on a culinary tour of Cuba and shows the struggle of its people to maintain traditions in some areas and the victories is others. He has divided his film into  nine chapters that explore specific regions of Cuba showing us that Cubans have struggled to keep their traditions strong and one of those traditions is their food. Some of the locations are so physically remote that they are only accessible by boat, raft, horseback, or swimming making it all the more interesting. Director Soto explains in the more oppressed rural areas that many staples we take for granted here are not there and have to be substituted. For example, beef is often replaced with soy and cooking oil is replaced by water.

In Juragua, the site of what would have been Cuba’s first nuclear power plant run by the Russians, the locals relied on that plant for employment. With Cuba banning boats (in fear of mass defections), poverty reigned, and on-shore fishing limited the amount of fish that could be caught to sustain the town’s economy. Yet, the human spirit remains resourceful. Every region has its own culinary challenges and the people of Cuba have somehow manage to overcome them. Soto’s documentary is half travel guide and half culinary guide and we see that despite its economic struggles and limited resources, Cuba still remains a beautiful country. The resurgence of Cuban culture is strong and beckoning us to consider Cuba as a place to visit.

The film is a gorgeous love letter to the people and country of Cuba. Since the focus is on food, United States/Cuban politics are presented as historical facts and not as commentary. We take a road trip around Cuba and hear the stories behind the distinctive (and sometimes disappearing) tastes of regional cuisines.

Soto has an archivist’s heart and a gourmand’s soul and it is not good to watch this if you are hungry. Soto, captures his native Cuba at a time of transition and smartly probes the relationship between culinary traditions and cultural heritage. The film has something for everyone and opens our eyes to Cuban food. We begin with an introductory voiceover with filmmaker Asori Soto confronting some glaring political and social contradictions about his native country but he ultimately falls prey to a tourist’s version of simplistic nostalgia. 

Having grown up during Cuba’s “Special Period” in the 1990s, a time of great economic and cultural hardship that forced people to use whatever ingredients were available, Soto’s memories of food are quite vague. After spending years studying in America, he decides to return home so he can better understand the culinary traditions of his native land. This film is the result of that and we so lucky to have it.

“Berlin to Bern” by Pierce Smith— Entrapped

Smith, Pierce. “Berlin to Bern”, ADC, 2019.

Entrapped

Amos Lassen

If you like steamy fiction. Then Pierce Smith’s “Berlin to Bern” is for you. Robin hurriedly boarded a train to go to his first ever job interview but he had no ticket. Rascal, the ticket inspector, offered him a place in a hidden compartment.  Rascal came for him when the other passengers on the train were asleep and then when Robin was sleeping in the embrace of Rascal there was a knock at the door.  Robin had no idea this night would never end while learning the true art of submission.

This is a contemporary gay romance with strong BDSM activities including bondage and discipline, dominance and submission  and sadism & masochism themes and it is very sexually explicit.  What began as a simple train ride became an excessively sexual adventure. “Berlin to Bern” is based on a real life experience and Pierce Smith has been able to capture a true BDSM experience for his readers that includes various types of kink including some that may shock the reader.

We see that Robin is curious about being dominated and when he says no, his body is says yes. By the time Robin leaves the train he’s had a good start with a new life he wants.
This was a very well written, surprising story and very erotic. Robin knew what he wanted— to be dominated. In this story he gets just that and we see that he wants more.  and loves and craves more.

The book is short but with a well-developed set of characters and plot line that could easily be developed into a full length novel. Smith has no trouble writing about BDSM and his ideas are clear and clever.

“The Hidden Worlds”— A Look at Shamanism

Ingerman, Sandra and Kathleen Wood. “The Hidden Worlds”, Moon Books,  2018.

A Look at Shamanism

Amos Lassen

Don’t ever let anyone say that dreams have no meaning. We know that dreams do mean something but are not sure what that something is. In this young reader’s novel we meet Isaiah who one night has quite a dream in which some of his classmates took part. Popular soccer star Magda was there as was George, who Isaiah had never heard speak because he always left classes to go to special services. Rose, the Chinese girl who was always in trouble for fighting was also in his dream and even weirder were dead birds and fish everywhere. The following day when the four students see each other sitting by the same pond that was  in each of their dreams, they see that they did indeed share a dream and that the dead birds and fish were actually covering the ground. Here is the beginning of a real adventure that they get to share as well as more dreams and the discovery of a toxic waste plant that is getting rid of poisons illegally.

The four were not real friends but as they begin to be together and to work together, love enters their lives. Children do not usually get a chance to experience a shamanic occurrence. Because the children of today will be the adults of tomorrow, it is important that they be open to new experiences and the cinematic approach is certainly a good one. Whenever I think of cinema as a teaching tool, I am reminded of the tremendous impact that DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” had on all of us and that according to surveys taken, the film is indirectly responsible for the growth of faith wherever it was screened.

“The Hidden Worlds” was written for middle school students and it brings together reading, adventure, puberty, shamanism and academics. There is also something for adults here since they can answer the questions that the young people have. As I read this I was reminded that we had nothing like this when I was growing up. It gives us an excellent introduction to the ways of shamanism. The authors cleverly bring together good reading, middle school adventure, puberty, and shamanism.

The book starts with the teenage angst that we  are all aware of and it draws us into the story. Our four main characters have all struggled to fit in and this is another important theme  to deal with. The Shamanic content is accessible, inspiring and uplifting. We see how relationships with spirit can translate to practical day to day guidance and support. We also get a bit about awareness of our environment and how to care for it.

Even though the characters in this book are in the 7th grade, the story is both convincing and enthralling for adults. The characters are well drawn and believable, and the plot is well thought out. The story gives hope to teens who want to connect with others and help to make the world a better place.

Revry Coming Soon to Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Fundraising Campaign Ending Shortly

Revry Coming Soon to Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Fundraising Campaign Ending Shortly

First global LGBTQ+ streaming network, Revry, announced a deal with Comcast that will soon bring its service to Comcast’s Xfinity X1. (See televised announcement HERE on Cheddar.com)
With Revry’s authentically diverse mix of films, series, music, podcasts and originals, the forthcoming launch on Xfinity X1 is part of Revry’s plans to continue to expand its reach. One of several partnerships the streaming network expects to announce this year, Revry’s availability on X1 bolsters Revry’s cumulative reach to over 50 million viewers across platforms.
At launch, Xfinity X1 customers will be able to subscribe to the service and access it over the Internet by saying “Revry” into their X1 Voice Remote. Additionally, they can simply say “Pride” or “LGBTQ” to access Xfinity X1’s broader LGBTQ Film and TV on demand destination, the first diverse, community endorsed LGBTQ entertainment experience in the home that features one of the most complete libraries of LGBTQ entertainment, soon to include Revry available anywhere. X1 customers will be able to sign up for Revry directly on X1, and add it to their service for $6.99 per month.
“Launching on X1 will be a game changer and allow Revry to bring more authentic LGBTQ+ stories and content to millions more homes in the US,” states Revry CEO Damian Pelliccione. “Our dream of becoming easily accessible to people who need to hear these stories from around the world is one step closer to becoming a reality!”
“We’re excited Xfinity X1 customers will soon be able to enjoy Revry Originals like Room To Grow and Queens of Kings starring Drag Race Winner Aquaria, plus movies, shorts, music and podcasts all within the ease of the X1 experience,” said Jean-Claire Fitschen, Executive Director, Multicultural Consumer Services, Comcast Cable. “Revry’s expansive offering includes stories of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender experience that our customers will love and greatly complement our current collection of programming for this audience.”
Revry is a source for authentic queer representation with fresh, innovative LGBTQ content from all around the world. Committed to inclusion and creating a space for all voices in the LGBTQ+ community to be seen and heard, Revry is making investing in the queer community a family affair with its equity crowdfunding campaign on SeedInvest (https://www.seedinvest.com/revry/seed) which is closing shortly. Anybody, regardless of income, can invest in the private company and share in the company’s future growth.

About Revry
Revry is the first queer global streaming network, available in over 50 million homes in over 100 countries, with a uniquely curated selection of LGBTQ+ film, series, and originals along with the world’s largest queer libraries of groundbreaking podcasts, albums and music videos. Revry is available worldwide. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Revry is led by an inclusive team of queer, multi-ethnic and allied partners who bring decades of experience in the fields of tech, digital media, and LGBTQ+ advocacy. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @REVRYTV. Go Online to: https://revry.tv.
Revry is offering securities under Regulation CF and Rule 506(c) of Regulation D through SI Securities, LLC (“SI Securities”). The Company has filed a Form C with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with its offering, a copy of which may be obtained at: https://www.seedinvest.com/revry/seed It is advised that you consult a tax professional to fully understand any potential tax implications of receiving investor perks before making an investment. The individuals above were not compensated in exchange for their testimonials. In addition, their testimonials should not be construed as and/or considered investment advice.
About SeedInvest
SeedInvest is a leading equity crowdfunding platform that provides individual investors with access to pre-vetted startup investment opportunities and has only accepted 1% of those companies to feature on the platform. For more information, visit www.seedinvest.com.