Friday, February 20, 2009


"The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own." -Benjamin Disraeli Great words to live by. Also a great description, I think, of what writing for children is about. At least in part. And here's something about something completely different. Me on a snowmobile. Mostly because it just looks so cool. And I'm rather pleased with myself, aren't I.

Monday, February 16, 2009

2009 oscar nominated documentary shorts

I was lucky enough to see a screening last night of the four documentary shorts nominated this year. They were each no more than approx 30 minutes long (they're shorts!) but every one of them packed a hugely powerful punch. Here are the nominees (wait, shouldn't I be in fact at this very moment wearing a fancy designer gown...?): SMILE PINKI Megan Mylan Pinki, a girl in rural India whose cleft lip has made her a social outcast, has a chance for a new life when she meets a dedicated social worker. THE FINAL INCH Irene Taylor Brodsky and Tom Grant Contributing to the global efforts to eradicate polio worldwide, dedicated individuals in India travel throughout the country urging parents to vaccinate their children against the disease. THE CONSCIENCE OF NHEM EN Steven Okazaki In the wake of Cambodia's takeover by the Khmer Rouge in 1975, a sixteen-year-old soldier named Nhem En was instructed to photograph the tens of thousands of citizens who passed through a processing center on the way to their execution. THE WITNESS - FROM THE BALCONY OF ROOM 306 Adam Pertofsky and Margaret Hyde The Reverend Samuel "Billy" Kyles, a witness to Martin Luther King's assassination, reflects on King's life and legacy as he recalls the events surrounding his murder. + + + + + + + + + After we saw them all, a friend and I were trying to work out which would win and which was our favorite. Mine after much umming and aahing (they were all good) is THE CONSCIENCE OF NHEM EN. It was the one that, to me, was the most unexpected, startling and thought-provoking. But see them all. It gives you a great admiration for the short documentary not only as an art form but as a powerful agent for change. In their different ways, all of the films, celebrate and honor the value and dignity of every single human life. And inspire you to hope. You see that you can have a part, however small, in changing the world.

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