Movie Reviews From a Spiritual Perspective

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GUN HILL ROAD

Posted by Jean Jessup on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, In : Drama 


GUN HILL ROAD by Rashad Ernesto Green

This skillfully produced and emotionally rich film set in the Bronx was shot in 15 days for $200,000.  It looks like much more time and money was put into it.  The film tells the story of a father who, after three years in prison, comes home to discover his 16-year-old son is trans-gender.  The father has to deal with his issues about being sexually molested in prison which are reflected back to him by his son.  I real...
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Arivaca Film Festival

Posted by Jean Jessup on Saturday, April 23, 2011, In : Shorts 

ON LOCATION at ARIVACA

I wasn't able to attend the Arivaca portion of the fest this year, but I was able to find some trailers for the shorts program.  Links to reviews of the films I have seen are below.

I wasn't able to attend the Arivaca portion of the fest this year, but I was able to find some trailers for the shorts program.  Links to reviews of the fil...
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abUSed:The Postville Raid

Posted by Jean Jessup on Saturday, April 23, 2011, In : Documentaries 


abUSed - The Postville Raid by Luis Argueta, USA

This was an engrossing documentary about the largest, most expensive immigration raid in U.S. history, which took place in Postville, Iowa at Agriproscessors, a Kosher slaughter house and meat packing plant.  I was especially interested because I read the book, Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America and I have lived in southeastern Iowa off and on for 20 years. 

The film consisted of ...
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Pancho Goes to College

Posted by Jean Jessup on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, In : Comedy 


PANCHO GOES TO COLLEGE by Ruben Reyes, Tucson

This Tucson-produced comedy feature tells the story of a young man named, Pancho, who comes from California to attend college in Tucson.  He encounters lots of wild local characters - not to mention his rowdy, colorful roommates.  His roomates challenge his focus on his studies and also his cultural identity.  Pancho perseveres, juggling his studies with work and parties.  He holds fast to his philosophy of let...
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El Andalon & Ex-Voto and Catalina High School Student Shorts

Posted by Jean Jessup on Saturday, April 16, 2011, In : Documentaries 


EL ANDALON, (The Healer) by Consuelo Alba, USA

A heartwarming and fascinating documentary about Don Sergio Castro, a humanitarian that has been volunteering to help the indigenous communities of Chiapas for 46 years.  He started in 1970 as an agronomist, facilitating various agricultural projects and in the process got deeply involved in each community.  He learned and became fluent in their seven different languages.  There are 4.5 million people ...
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Gift of the Magi & Night of the Fish

Posted by Jean Jessup on Saturday, April 16, 2011, In : Drama 

This stop-motion animated short faithfully retells O'Henry's story of the Gift of the Magi.  This classic story is about a very poor couple.  The wife has beautiful long hair and the husband has a gold watch. The husband sells his gold watch for a beautiful accessory for her hair and she sells her hair for a nice chain for his watch.

I loved the detail on the animated set pieces.  But I found the animation at times choppy or non-existent and at other times very ...
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RUN TO THE EAST

Posted by Jean Jessup on Friday, April 15, 2011, In : Documentaries 

RUN TO THE EAST by Henry Lu, USA

This documentary follows three Native American high school students who are cross-country runners.  We see them successfully focus on their training in spite of the numerous obstacles they face in their culture.  Such obstacles include, meth abuse and alcoholism, lack of transportation, lack of money, lack of emotional support, and lack of opportunity on the reservation.  Their goal is to get running scholarships in order t...
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INDIE FAMILY FILMS

Posted by Jean Jessup on Friday, April 15, 2011, In : Shorts 
INDIE FAMILY FILMS - 4/9/11  Families with their kids were in attendance.  Mia Schnaible gave a great intro appropriate for kids.  She included that it was OK for family members to read subtitles to kids who can't read yet.  It made for a nice relaxed, organic viewing experience. 

Homeless Conductor
by Yen-Ting Chaing, Taiwan

This skillfully animated 3-D short is about a homeless girl who envisions an orchestra made out of inanimate objects playing a ...
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HAPPY - A Profound Documentary

Posted by Jean Jessup on Friday, April 15, 2011, In : Documentaries 

HAPPY - A documentary by Roko Belic

I wasn't interested in seeing a smiley-face film.  But since I was trying to review every film I can in the festival, I had to see it.  When I arrived, the theater was almost packed.  The director made a short presentation before the film and a Q&A.  The film was quite profound and well-researched.  I learned a lot.  Scientists, psychologists, statisticians, to name a few were interviewed about happiness.  The place wher...
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