What to read, What to watch — a new year’s list

The film Foxtrot is riveting– here is the trailer. It needs to be, it’s longer than average.  A feature film from Israel which gives a very different slant on the “most moral army in the world” the Israeli Defence Forces.  As most of you know, I’m for Palestinian human rights, and for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel for its brutal colonial control over Palestinians and their land. Some people say this film is about the neurosis of a people (the Israeli Jews) who have been making war with Palestinians since 1948 and before. Others (like me) think it’s more like a “woe is me” tale — but it moves along and shocked me along the way! Worth seeing. foxtrot

Drum Roll please… 

For the best book of 2018cintioyou must read  Marcello di Cintio’s brilliant book Pay No Heed to the Rockets. Di Cintio is from Calgary.  An established and talented writer, Di Cintio made a number of trips to Palestine where interviewed scores of Palestinian authors, playwrights and poets– male, female and queer, of a variety of ages and backgrounds. This is quite simply the best book I’ve ever read on the Occupation and Palestine. The best.  He meets with writers in East Jerusalem, in the West Bank, in Gaza and Israeli Arabs in the Galilee.   They discuss politics, literature, freedom, and culture. For any of us who know nothing of Palestinian culture, heritage, and literature, this book is an amazing resource.  I read this as an e-book from the Halifax Public Library but I had to renew it because I wanted to read it slowly –so it would not end.  The title comes from a prose poem by Palestine’s national poet Mahmoud Darwish.  The poem is called Memory for Forgetfulness and it’s about how to make coffee — but in the middle of the poem he writes: “Turn off the heat, and pay no heed to the rockets.” I cannot speak highly enough about Di Cintio’s book.   Independent Jewish Voices- Canada in Halifax are planning to bring Di Cintio to speak and promote his book in Halifax in mid-Feb. so stay tuned!!

Joan Williams’ White Working Class is a very good read.  A law professor in California, Williams does not take herself too seriously, but she is very serious when she discusses the lives of white working class Americans, who are now often made fun of, are ridiculed and demonized as pro-trump toadies.  This book whitelooks at how the class has fallen from grace — from the post World War II years to today.  Front a left wing perspective she analyses why so many did vote for Trump, and so many refuse to act in their own political and economic interests.  Fascinating read, and you can listen to a fascinating interview with her on NPR’s podcast Hidden Brain –– where I first heard about her and her book.  The book is in the Halifax library.

 

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