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12 Strong

“Understated” isn’t a word you’d ordinarily use to describe a Jerry Bruckheimer production, but that’s surprisingly what 12 Strong ends up being.

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A documentary about the final year of foreign policy during the Obama administration, and incidentally about the grim surprises that life sometimes has in store…

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Going too far

From: Ernest West, Berkshire, MA

Your observations on the anger concerning "Brokeback Mountain" not winning the Best Picture Oscar are right on target. Well prior to the Oscars I had heard gay and lesbian activists posturing about how voting against "Brokeback" meant you hated gay people. It was also a keen observation that as a result of his work, "Munich," Spielberg was accused of being anti-Semitic.

I rmember when Spike Lee's "Malcolm X" was making its debut, the Imamu Amiri Baraka (formerly LeRoi Jones) complained about Lee's treatment of the Black leader. Spike's response was "You don't like my version? Make your own." (I personally did not think "Malcolm X" was a very well-made film, but I don't think that means I hate Black people). When films have something to say politically, they often stir up activists on all sides. That is mostly a good thing, but sometimes can be taken too far.

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