Insight News

Tuesday
Sep 30th

DVD sequel features profiles of prominent African-Americans

DVD sequel features profiles of prominent African-AmericansThe Black List, Volume 2

Film critic Elvis Mitchell and director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders collaborated on another series of fascinating interviews with a mix of African-American artists, activists, academics and athletes. Many are instantly-recognizable icons who need no introduction, such as Tyler Perry, Laurence Fishburne, Melvin Van Peebles, Bishop T.D. Jakes and Angela Davis.

Others are a little less known, like Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, comedienne Maya Rudolph, country singer Charlie Pride, gangsta’ rapper RZA, painter Kara Walker, clothes designer Patrick Robinson and Oscar-nominated scriptwriter Suzanne De Passe. And then there are those who have met with success away from the limelight, including Episcopal Bishop Barbara C. Harris, community organizer Mahora Carter and Dean of Meharry School of Medicine Dr. Valerie Montgomery-Rice.
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DVD seeks to answer question: Does Anti-Semitism still exist?

DVD seeks to answer question: Does Anti-Semitism still exist?Defamation
(Hashmatsa)

Being a Jew raised in Israel, Yoav Shamir had never personally experienced any anti-Semitism. Although his people were decimated by Hitler during the Holocaust, he nonetheless wondered whether the allegations he often heard of the persistence of discrimination against his people were even warranted.

The upshot of his inquiry is Defamation, as controversial and as thought-provoking a piece of investigative journalism on the subject as you’re ever likely to find. For Mr. Shamir masks his true motivations with an innocuous, nebbishy persona, in order to ingratiate himself with his subjects, mostly fellow Jews, who have no idea he is very suspicious of their claims of mistreatment on account of their religion.
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Documentary highlights how Harlem Charter School offers hope for salvation

Documentary highlights how Harlem Charter School offers hope for salvation The Lottery

For most young folks from the ghetto, getting a good education has a lot to do with whether or not they ever make it in life. That’s why a kid’s name has to be picked out of a hat in order to gain entry to Harlem Success Academy, a charter school whose students are beating the odds. So many parents in the community have become painfully aware that their offspring’s prospects are likely to improve dramatically upon admission to this college-oriented institution that 5,000 of them pack a local armory annually to see who wins the lottery allocating the coveted spots opening up for the coming year.

The elementary school was founded by Dr. Eva Moskowitz on the guiding principle that “children are capable of achieving an incredible amount.” And those high expectations have paid off with 90% of her pupils performing at or above their grade level, as compared to the 35% average in the district, consequently the universal desire to matriculate there.
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DVD examines evangelical Christianity's radical fringe

DVD examines evangelical Christianity's radical fringe  Waiting for Armageddon

In America, there are about 50-million fundamentalist Christians whose literal interpretation of the Bible leads them to believe that the Second Coming of Jesus is imminent. These devout Evangelicals refer to that eagerly-anticipated reunion as The Rapture, the fateful day on which the faithful will allegedly rise into the sky with their Savior while the rest of humanity is left behind to suffer for another seven years.

Directed by Kate Davis and David Heilbroner, Waiting for Armageddon is an amusing expose’ which takes an eye-opening look at the worldview of members of the Evangelical community, focusing particularly on their passionate support of Israel. They say politics makes strange bedfellows, and none might be stranger than the unlikely alliance of Jews and the Religious Right.


For, if I follow what this documentary is suggesting, these Christian Zionists’ uncritical backing of Israel emanates not out of a sense of kinship or brotherhood, but is rather based on an eagerness to see World War III erupt in the Middle East region. Still, as unsettling as that philosophy sounds, the couples and ministers profiled in the picture seem likable enough, provided they’re not reciting or referring to scriptures, which is rare.

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A Heart-to-heart with America’s first Black billionairess

A Heart-to-heart with America’s first Black billionairessSheila Johnson

“The Other City” Interview with Kam Williams

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Sheila Crump Johnson is the only African-American female to enjoy ownership in three professional sports teams: the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the NHL’s Washington Capitals. Furthermore, as CEO of Salamander Hospitality, a company she founded in 2005, Ms. Johnson oversees a growing portfolio of luxury properties, including Woodlands Inn, in Summerville, SC, which is one of only a handful of properties to receive both a prestigious Forbes Five Star rating and a AAA Five Diamond rating for lodging and dining.
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Disappointing Scorcese mindbender due on DVD

Disappointing Scorcese mindbender due on DVDShutter Island

Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorcese’s latest collaboration fails to measure up to The Departed, for it simply peters out after establishing a very promising premise. The movie was adapted from the best seller of the same name by Dennis Lehane, a psychological thriller set in 1954 off the coast of Massachusetts at Ashecliffe Mental Hospital for the Criminally-Insane.

As the film unfolds, we’re introduced to Federal Marshals Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) as they head by ferry to the high-security facility to help handle a crisis situation. This deliberately-paced opening tableau is rather evocative of the Gothic horror genre, atmospherically, as the boat slowly breaks through a thick mist to reveal the eerie specter of an imposing edifice sitting high atop the tiny isle, ala the fog-shrouded mansion or castle of so many classic haunted house flicks.
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Immigration drama recounts abandoned mom’s real-life struggle to survive in U.S.

Immigration drama recounts abandoned mom’s real-life struggle to survive in U.S.Entre Nos

Mariana (Paola Mendoza) had every reason to be optimistic when she arrived in New York City from Colombia with her 6 year-old daughter (Laura Montana Cortez) and 10 year-old son (Sebastian Villada Lopez) in tow. After all, she was rejoining her husband who had immigrated to the U.S. ahead of the rest of the family in order to get a solid foothold in the land of opportunity.

However, the sweet reunion proves to be short lived, after Antonio (Andres Munar) comes home very late from work one night with some good news and some bad news. The good news is that he’s just got a better job in Miami. The bad news is that his wife and children can’t relocate there with him, although he does promise to support them the interim until he’s sufficiently settled for them to move down, too.

But the creep simply skips town, and never bothers to send a penny or even offer any explanation. And by the time that the truth finally sinks in that Antonio has ostensibly abandoned her for a mistress, Mariana only has about $50 left to her name with rent due and mouths to feed. Since she barely speaks English, the desperate woman starts selling meat patties on the streets of Queens to keep a roof over their heads. When that proves disastrous, she and the kids have to resort to dumpster diving for recyclable cans and bottles to redeem.
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