Resource of the Week: Central Station

A heartbreaking, moving tale, Central Station tells the story of two unlikely companions: Dora, a retired schoolteacher who writes letters for pay in Rio de Janeiro’s Central Station, and a young boy named Josue – the child of one of Dora’s recently deceased customers. The pair set off on a journey that will take them across Brazil, from the big city to the dusty wilderness, from grief to healing, and from loneliness to family, as they search for Josue’s father. Central Station is a beautiful film, full of emotion and depth, and certainly worth watching.

Review written by Alexander Criswell

Resource of the Week: A Class Apart

A Class Apart is a fascinating documentary concerning the case Hernadez v. Texas. The case at first was fairly simple – the murder trial of one Pedro Hernandez. After an altercation in a Texas cantina, Pedro shot and killed his employer. However, Pedro’s lawyers made the argument that he could not receive a fair trial from a white judge and jury – that in a legal system written around black and white citizens, Mexican Americans were a class apart. The case made its way to the Supreme Court, and became a landmark case in the area of Mexican American rights. A Class Apart is captivating and thought provoking, and I highly recommend it.

Review written by Alexander Criswell

Resource of the Week: Frozen

Not the Frozen you’re thinking of. A heartbreaking tale from the Chinese avant-garde counterculture, Frozen – literal translation from its original title: Extreme Cold – is the story of a young artist who decides to make an artistic statement out of his own suicide by freezing himself in a public place in a large block of ice. He calls his challenge against the coldness of Chinese society “Funeral on Ice.”  The film, based on a true story, sparked debate on the right to die, was banned in China, and was so controversial that the creator of the film has not revealed who he is, and is credited under the pseudonym Wu Ming (No Name).

Review written by Alexander Criswell

Resource of the Week: Soul Kitchen

A recipe for laughter! Soul Kitchen tells the story of one hapless Hamburg restaurant owner, Zinos. After changing chefs – and in consequence losing his entire customer base, his girlfriend Nadine moving to China, his lawless brother on parole, and the health inspector on his case, Zinos throws caution to the wind. He buys a plane ticket to Shanghai and leaves his malcontent of a brother in charge of the restaurant. Predictably – and hilariously – everything goes terribly wrong. Soul Kitchen is a funny film with a fantastic soundtrack, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a laugh.

Review written by Alexander Criswell

Resource of the Week: The Joy Luck Club

The Joy Luck Club is an emotional look at the lives and relationships of Chinese-American women. Told in flashbacks, the film is the story of four mother-daughter pairs throughout the mothers’ lives in China and their daughters’ lives in America. Theirs is a story of love and heartbreak, perseverance and adversity, hope and loss. The Joy Luck club is critically acclaimed and I highly recommend it.

Review written by Alexander Criswell