CIFF: MY Final Four

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While the rest of the country was watching the Final Four of basketball, I watched my Final Four of the festival. Three years in prison changed a lot of things. Enrique comes home to find that his wife of 17 years is pregnant with another man’s child and his teenage transgender son no longer shares […]

CIFF: Pelotero to Cape Spin

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For young boys in the Dominican Republic, baseball may be their only chance to raise their family and themselves out of poverty. There are lots of reasons to dislike Major League Baseball, and chief among them, for me at least, is the way in which the organization and its agents take advantage of these future […]

CIFF: Of Two Minds about . . .

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Suppose you’re 11 years old and you find out that the man who raised you is not your “real” father. What feelings emerge? Surprise, anger, confusion? For Kattaka, it’s a terrible shock—enough to make her storm out of the room, slam the door, and wish her parents were dead. In “Winter’s Daughter,” Kattaka learns that […]

From the Sublime to . . .

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I began the second day with two friends and “Corpo Celeste”—a coming-of-age story set in Calabria, Italy. Marta is the 13-year-old protagonist, who has just moved to town with her overworked mother and her mostly critical older sister. Shy Marta is sent to catechism class to make friends. She doesn’t. Instead, Marta questions the hypocrisy […]

Favorite Film So Far: Caris’ Peace

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Favorite So Far—Caris’ Peace What an amazing day it was! I began my journey in Bavaria where times are tough. The glassworks, which had been the town’s major source of employment, has closed. Maria, Lena, and Waltraud, unable to repay their bank loan, are about to lose their small grocery store. But Maria stumbles on […]

What’s a Film Forum?

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I had the most interesting morning. Dan Moulthrop, co-host of Civic Commons Radio (yes, we are related), invited me to sit in on the taping of next Tuesday’s show, in the recording studio at John Carroll University. The topic: the FilmForums for the 36th Cleveland International Film Festival Dan had also invited Bill Guentzler, CIFF’s […]