BALLETS RUSSES – Review by Marilyn Ferdinand

Although it was developed during the Italian Renaissance of the 15th century, ballet found its footing worldwide during the 20th century starting when the Ballets Russes premiered its first piece. Ballets Russes provides incredible detail and context to the historical dance footage that is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, not to mention wonderful interviews with so many iconic members of the company over the years. Many thanks to directors Daniel Geller and Dayna Goldfine for creating this invaluable record of an invaluable cultural organization.

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AS I OPEN MY EYES — Review by Marilyn Ferdinand

I have occasionally observed that some people live up to their names, such as a man I met named Seaborn who was an oceanographer. It appears that Tunisian director/screenwriter Leyla Bouzid’s name also was her destiny. Her first feature film, As I Open My Eyes (2015), takes place in 2010, the year her country experienced the Sidi Bouzid Revolt, named for the city where protests began. By mid-January 2011, the repressive regime of longtime Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was history, and revolts in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and Bahrain—collectively comprising the Arab Spring—soon commenced.

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