THE SPARKS BROTHERS – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

For someone who is incredibly fond of clever puns, there was no way I could keep from buying the album Kimono My House in 1974. That was my initial introduction to the cultish art-pop group Sparks. The bombastic hit single from that LP was This Town Isn’t Big Enough for the Both of Us but my fave cut was Hasta Manana, Monsieur, which featured the kimono wordplay in its lyrics.

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IT’S NOT BURDEN – Review by Susan Granger

I think there are few jobs in the world that are as important as being an adult caring for a parent,” says Ilene Mitnick, who spent the first 18 years of her life in her parents’ home, and then her late father Howie spent most of his last 18 years living in hers. She’s just one of the nearly 42 million Americans who serve as unpaid caregivers for elderly relatives.

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A CRIME ON THE BAYOU – Review by Lois Alter Mark

Nancy Buirski’s must-see documentary focuses on an incident that happened in 1966 but is, infuriatingly, still timely and relevant and makes it clear that rallying together and acting as advocates for each other is the only way change will happen. It also makes it clear that the system is not broken; it’s working exactly the way it was intended to – and that’s the problem.

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RISE AGAIN: TULSA AND THE RED SUMMER – Review by Pamela Powell

Dawn Porter’s Rise Again, feeling as much like a mystery as an historical documentary, educates us and empowers us with awareness and understanding. History should not repeat itself and we must learn from it. Porter’s film is a pointed example of this perspective.

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THE GIRL WHO WORE FREEDOM – Review by Martha K Baker

On June 6, 1944, Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy to take back the region occupied by the Axis powers. Many, many works have described D-Day. The documentary, The Girl Who Wore Freedom, differs because it tells the story from the points of view of the citizens of Normandy.

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THE DARK HOBBY – Review by Lois Alter Mark

In case you didn’t have enough to worry about, you can now add the torturing of fish to your list. Paula Fouce’s powerful documentary, The Dark Hobby, literally goes below the surface to explore the world of aquarium collectors. If you haven’t heard of this before, you’re not alone, but once you’ve watched the movie, you’ll never look at a fish tank the same way again.

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THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RING – Review by Maitland McDonagh

Producer-director Jeremy Norrie’s documentary isn’t the last word on the history and reality of female wrestling and clearly isn’t meant to be: It’s primarily a portrait of four wrestlers, representing two generations and with very different histories and relationships with the hybrid theatrical/sporting enterprise. But yes, his subjects address the eternal question: Is it real?

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BAMBOO AND BARBED WIRE – Review by April Neale

The internment of Japanese Americans in Idaho and other states during World War II is a dark part of our American history. Bamboo and Barbed Wire, a 2019 documentary by Karen Day, is having a renaissance of interest at the 2021 Bentonville Film Festival in large part due to the concern over the spiking Asian hate crimes and the afterburner legacy of the Trump Muslim ban.

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