On my way to work this morning, I saw what I thought was a picket line, a demonstration with people holding up
signs with messages on placards.
I approached and asked questions. As it turned out, it was an appropriation of a legitimate vehicle for protest in order to promote a play. I felt a little cheated.
As a consolation prize, they gave me this memo pad.
I think I might use this.
Day 9 at TIFF and this is the one that brought me to tears. The most beautiful, poignant and powerful documentary. Hope to see it again and share with others.
Land of Mine (2015, Denmark) directed and written by Martin Zandvliet is about a young group of German POWs who were conscripted to dig up land mines with their bare hands.
The film demonstrated how dangerous land mines are. The film also contrasted the drama of defusing dangerous bombs with the confrontation of defusing human rage and its need for revenge.
This blog is not to put a spoiler on the film but to talk about memories raised by this film.
Some years ago, I invited members of the Canadian military for a presentation to 1,000 school children on land mines at a World Food Day event held at Metro Hall in Toronto. Land mines are a food security issue as food producers cannot venture to work in the fields. As an example, the presence of unexploded and abandoned artillery from World War Two (WWII) in the Pacific Islands region continues to endanger lives and hinder development 70 years after the conclusion of hostilities. Yet land mines continue to be produced, and used, continue to maim and kill, and some countries continue to refuse to agree to ban land mines.
The biggest land mine that needs to be defused is the human rage that continues to declare war and build fences. “Land of mine” is like a play of words, contrasting that dangerous weapon with that dangerous selfishness that means only to exclude the other.
On Friday, 9 May 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at Carnegie Hall, James Conlon conducted the May Festival Chorus and Cincinnati Symphony in the fourth and final instalment of the Spring for Music festival. Keeping with the festival’s concept of presenting uncommon works, the program features two 20th-Century American choral works including John Adams’ Harmonium and Robert Nathaniel Dett’s The Ordering of Moses, an oratorio that received its world premiere at the 1937 Cincinnati May Festival – then also performed by the May Festival Chorus and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. James Conlon celebrates his 35th year as Music Director of the Cincinnati May Festival in 2014.
James discussed the Carnegie Hall program in his recent interview with Tavis Smiley on PBS [Season 11, Episode 89] where he highlighted how this piece fits his work of Recovered Voices, http://www.jamesconlon.com/media/video_detail/recovered_voices_operas_suppressed_by_the_nazis. The concert brought clips at the beginning from the original 1937 national broadcast, along with the original interruption that abruptly ended the broadcast, now believed due to angry phone calls received at the station that were motivated by racism.
Cincinnati is the home of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened in 2004 to “teach, convene and inspire.”
The New York concert can be heard live at http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/cincinnati-symphony-plays-john-adams-and-dett-oratorio/.
This concert, which played earlier that week at Music Hall in Cincinnati on Wednesday, 7 May, will be broadcast on WGUC-FM, http://www.wguc.org/, on 19 October 2014 at 8pm.
Looking forward to a year that all 3-year-olds around the world can look forward to. [image is detail of “Fruit Bowl,” an unfinished painting by Ma.C.Conlon]
I recently joined my husband at his 50th high school reunion. It was a pleasure to watch him rejoin the friends of his youth, like these colourful balloons joyfully bobbing together. He happily reconnected both with those who he remembered and those who remembered him. Like these balloons, they may fly away, pop, or simply lose what made them fly, but that joyful moment of reconnection was sheer beauty.
We All Become Stories
This is an invitation to a conversation about aging.