This series follows a similar format to the first in that there are twelve episodes that all last around 10 minutes each. They do not waste any time at all but it seems that as soon as we get hooked on what is happening, it is over.
This was a very sweet read that had me smiling almost throughout the whole book. I loved the secondary characters especially Frank’s father and how he ‘approved’ of Ben before Frank even understood what his father was talking about.
“The plot was CUTE”???? and I enjoyed the way it played out. The only thing was it was too short 🙁 I felt like the ending was kind of abrupt and I just wished there had been more. Although that could be because I did love these characters.” West’s readers match the intellectualism of the plot.
Benjamin Balint’s “Kafka’s Last Trial” begins with Kafka’s last instruction to his closest friend, Max Brod to destroy all his remaining papers upon his death. However, when the time came in 1924, Brod could not bring himself to burn the unpublished works of the man he considered a literary genius. Instead, Brod devoted his life to championing Kafka’s writing and rescuing his legacy. By the time of Brod’s own death in Tel Aviv in 1968, Kafka’s major works had been published and Kafka had been transformed from a little-know writer into one of the mainstays of literary modernism. Nonetheless, Brod left a wealth of still-unpublished papers to his secretary, who sold some, held on to the rest, and then gave the most of them to her daughters, who in turn refused to release them. What followed was an international legal battle to determine which country could claim ownership of Kafka’s work: Israel, where Kafka dreamed of living but never entered, or Germany, where Kafka’s three sisters perished in the Holocaust. Benjamin Balint gives us quite an account of the controversial trial in Israeli courts. It was filled with legal, ethical, and political dilemmas that determined the fate of Kafka’s manuscripts. This is a brilliant biographical portrait of a literary genius, and the story of two countries whose national obsessions with overcoming the traumas of the past came to a head in a courtroom to determine the right to claim Kafka’s literary legacy. Balint explores some of the most challenging ethical problems of our time in this rich courtroom drama. The book combines reportage, biography, and literary criticism and brings to life the cast— principally Kafka and Brod in the past, and Eva Hoffe in the present.
The hunt for Kafka’s rightful ownership begins as a local dispute in an Israeli family court but then becomes “modernity’s most bitterly contentious cultural conundrum of who should inherit Franz Kafka. Perhaps the papers should go to the woman into whose hands his manuscripts fortuitously fell or to Germany, the nation that murdered his sisters but claims his spirit or to Israel, asserting a sovereign yet intimate ancestral right. “Questions of language, of personal bequest, of friendship, of biographical evidence, of national pride, of justice, of deceit and betrayal, even of metaphysical allegiances play a part in Kafka’s final standing before the law.”
“Kafka’s Last Trial” shines light not only on Kafka and the fate of his work, but also on the larger question of who owns art or has a right to claim guardianship of it.” We can see this as a “meditation on the nature of artistic genius and the proprietary claims any one individual or country has on the legacy of that genius.” We see what defines a Jewish writer by Balint’s dealing with Kafka’s Jewish identity and the struggle by Germany and Israel to claim his legacy.
But life wasn’t always like this. Scheer grew up in an abusive household before his placement in foster care and had all the odds stacked against him. Kicked out of his foster family’s home within weeks after turning eighteen—with a year left of high school to go—he had to resort to sleeping in his car and in public bathrooms. He suffered from drug addiction and battled with depression, never knowing when his next meal would be or where he would sleep at night. Through true perseverance, he was able to find his own path and fulfill his wildest dreams.
Scheer story gives us a glimpse into what it’s like to grow up in the foster care system as well as showing us the children who are often treated without dignity. This is both a call to action and a candid account of life in the foster care system. We also see that one person can make a difference.
He shares the heartbreaking circumstances of his upbringing and gives you gives us glimpses of the abuse, the neglect, and the shame he suffered. He has applied his experiences in state care to improve the system for the next generation of foster children. Both he and his husband Reece set out to improve the lives of the four foster children who would eventually complete their family. There are legal, bureaucratic, developmental and prejudicial challenges along the way, but their story proves that once you’ve been touched by the lives of children, it is impossible to look away.
We see what’s wrong foster care — it has to be all about the children, but it rarely is. “A Forever Family” brings us the meaning of family as a place of love, nurturing, and care and the meaning of a successful human being means giving back more than you have with the result of gaining more than you have dreamt of. Scheer’s book is raw, brutally honest and inspirational.
- Interview with director Rungano Nyoni
- Bonus Short Film – Mwansa the Great(Directed by Rungano Nyoni | UK/Zambia | 23 minutes | Nyanja with English subtitles ) – While trying to prove he is a hero, Mwansa does the unforgivable and accidentally breaks his big sister Shula’s special mud doll. He goes on a quest not only to fix it, but to finally prove he is Mwansa the Great.
Five Short Films:
1. The Best of the Roman Empire by Anthony Gronowicz
2. Mark Crispin Miller and His Battles with NYU
3. Michael Hudson College Tour Guide from Hell
4. Student Protest Election Night 2016
5. Mandy’s Story
Lawlessness in Honduras
Chris Valdés and Ted Griswold directed “Olancho”, a film about
the most lawless province of Honduras, the most murderous country on the planet. Here, the drug trade has taken its toll in human lives and economic damage. But to some musicians, the cartels provide an opportunity.
lives of their loved ones. But in a world where the cartels wield the most power, do the musicians have any other choice? “Olancho” has gorgeous photography and poignancy. This is a spin on the usual immigration story. The film is about Los Plebes de Olancho, a narco band from Olancho who find themselves on the black list for their music. In their songs they praise drug lords and they perform at narco parties. This means that either they flee or pay with their lives. “Enter if you want, leave if you can” says at the beginning what should show that you are on dangerous terrain, but that does not quite come over. We are introduced to the world of the musicians. Manuel, one of the singers who managed to escape to America, wants to return to Honduras and tells his story on the radio. The band members always have a weapon with them, as if they have to sleep with their eyes open. The musicians are sympathetic and have to deal with the usual problems within a group, we do not see the dangers but we hear about
them. We see how the musicians are persecuted, but what we do not see is how the musicians are hunted and have to fear for their lives. Perhaps it’s better that we do not see this. Valdes and Griswold are caught in contradictions, because the danger is so
great yet the musicians show their faces on film. This is something of a
fictional documentary. Despite the predictable moments, Olancho is nice to look at aside from the animal killings and corpses. The Central American state of Honduras has been a land of violence for
years, dominated by rival, merciless Narco clans. The drug barons can be celebrated in songs and glorified, even though they destroy their own land. The band “Los Plebes de Olancho” are such musicians who write songs for the narcos and perform at their parties. A dangerous game, because not infrequently, the musicians themselves are targeted by the drug gangs. “Olancho” does not show enough of the imminent danger that the musicians expose themselves to by their appearances in the cartels. The documentary is as urgent and potentially exciting as the subject matter is. It is a tension-free, anti-climactic and non-climactic work that cannot turn make the music of “Los Plebes de Olancho” into an equally interesting film. Unfortunately, “Olancho” falls behind its content.