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Wormwood

A fascinating piece of filmmaking that challenges the form in new ways as it recalls themes its director has been interested in his entire career.

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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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A shooting in Harsh Park

When I was a graduate student at the University of Chicago, I must have driven past the little park a few times. Hyde Park, where the University is located, is a neighborhood including fraternity houses, foundation headquarters, school department offices, even President Obama's family home. Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House can be found there, and Henry Moore's chilling death's-sculpture marking the place where scientists first split the atom.

The park is named Harsh Park. It is a mile or so away from the Obama home. On Jan. 29, a young woman and her friends took cover from the rain under one of the park's canopies like you can see above. A gang member jumped from a car and started firing on her group.

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A bullet in her back ended the life of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old senior honor student a King College Prep High. She had just finished taking her final exams. One week earlier, she and a group from her school performed at the Obama Inauguration ceremonies. Police speculated that her group was considered to be poaching on another gang's turf.

I knew when I began this would be the shortest blog entry I have ever written. I simply wanted to put down what happened.

I'm all out of arguments. I have noting to say about the Second Amendment. Nothing about the Founding Fathers. All out. No discussion about Chicago as a murder capitol, or where the guns come, or why. Finished with those. The day of Hadiya's death was a cold, wet day. A sad day What could we as a society have done to prevent it from happening?

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