! Critic Judy Stone
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on film beyond film what they said selected reviews



Not Quite a Memoir

Table of Contents

A Hot War Here /A Cold War There

"I'll at ease in the tyranny/I'll at ease in the Republic." Author Czeslaw Milosz

"I longed to be free of the heavy spell which Russia and her past had cast upon my life." Author Olga Carlisle

"Godard would ask me to do the most incredible things." Filmmaker Pascal Aubier

"People caught up in history" Author E.L. Doctorow

"Jews were an even more unknown people than Aborigines." Author Thomas Keneally

"What happened in the past can happen today" Director Lajos Koltai

"I'm here to sell my fish." Producer Joe Levine

"'Tis sweet and fitting to die for one's country."  Director Gillies MacKinnon

"Let's not forget that Mussolini and Hitler were elected."  Director Menno Meyjes


One Land/ Many Voices

"The biggest crisis that Jews face with Israel is that it is not a Utopia." Director Amos Gitai

"It's time for us to stop acting stupid." Author Amos Oz

"I wanted to understand how life changes when you have an appointment with death." Director Hany Abu-Assad

"The story of Israel's foreign workers is very important." Director Dan Wolman

"If we don't think things will improve what reason is there to live?" Director Michal Aviad

"The Orthodox implementation of Judaism in Israel is cult worship." Author Meyer Levin

"There is no life without tradition." Director Dover Kosashvili

"The people I found it impossible to understand were the fanatics — Arabs and Jews." Director Ali Nasser

"If it rains on the West Bank, it falls on Israel too." Director Elia Suleiman


Eastern Lights

"I was indoctrinated to crave for something bigger than myself." Actress/Director Joan Chen

"I still think the Chinese culture had the most devout, profound, and rich wisdom of the world." Director Ann Hu

"I believe that the Korean culture must be revived." Director Im Kwon Taek

"I learned that Chinese fathers do NOT have to have the power of life and death" Author Gus Lee

"Everyone wonders if they could have a second chance." Director Edward Yang

"He marches to a different taiko." Director Hirokazu Kore-Eda

"Don't make it rosy!" Director Joris Ivens

"I approve of Kurosawa, but Ozu's work is closer to my heart." Author Donald Richie

"I believe that in Chinese society today there are moments when what's going on is a show." Director Jia Zhangke

"An ambiguous reaction to sexual slavery." Author Geling Yan

The hunger of that year in Jiangsu haunts her. Author Yuan-tsung Chen


"People have said that I'm hateful and bitter." LeRoi Jones

She gave up her own bitterness in 1965 Writer Maya Angelou

"She dreamed of being Snow White" Actress Donyale Luna

"My father is in the Gullah tradition, my mother from the mountains and very proud she is not Geechee." Director Julie Dash


What are Dissidents Good For?

"All our societies are velvet prisons." Author Miklos Haraszti

"Legends about Orwell accrete like barnacles to a boat." Authors Abrahams & Stansky

"Every political movement which puts aside ethics and morals carries within it seeds of its own destruction." Author Vladimir Dedijer

"Cossacks come in all different shapes and sizes. They don't have to be on horseback." Author Norma Barzman

"The idea that women exist to please men is almost relentlessly my subject." Author Kathy Acker

Beating the blacklisters Author John Henry Faulk

"It's not because the Panthers are black that I'm at their disposal." Author Jean Genet

It takes a certain chutzpah to tackle Joyce, Miller and Genet Director Joseph Strick

"We wondered why we were so committed to the Palestinians that we weren't looking at struggles at home." Director Anne-Marie Mieville

The script asks why a beautiful, clever woman wanted to plant a bomb. Why? Scriptwriter Krystof Piesewicz


European or Asian?

"Looking at Turkey through a telephoto lens" Author Alev Lytle Croutier

"I'm anti-fundamentalist. That's the main danger here now." Author Orhan Pamuk


G_d forbid that we should use His Name

"How could our people have killed six million Jews?" Playwright Rolf Hochhuth

"One must not love oneself so much as to avoid getting involved in the risks of life" Director John Duigan

The Hurons were more Christian than the Christians. Author Brian Moore

"Do you believe in God?" Author Michael Tolkin

"I can't stand the part of Catholicism that says sex is sin." Director Franco Brusati

"Sex is very limited in a Catholic marriage." Director Nino Manfredi

Rebellion against hypocrisy in his Jesuit school. Director Francis Girod


Means & Ends

"Sometimes the means for justifiable ends are so corrupt that the ends are no longer worth achieving." Directors Terry George, Jim Sheridan, Thaddeus O'Sullivan and Neil Jordan

"The Irish people have been through every stage that colonialism can produce." Author Gerald Hanley

Most upsetting were the Irish-Americans who came up with easy solutions to the Northern problem. Author David Hanly

"An undiplomatic diplomat" Author Conor Cruise O'Brien


Latin Beat

"It was always my objective to change the literary language of Spain." Juan Goytisolo

"We wanted to escape the clich of Latin American cinema showing miserable situations and miserable people." Director Juan Jose Campanella

"It is absurd for a country with such a history of horrors that Argentina has no horror films" Director Lucrecia Martel

"Argentina was the worst military dictatorship in the Western Hemisphere." Actor/director Federico Luppi

"In Portugal, I didn't think we had heroes and we do!" Actress/director Maria de Medeiros

"Goya is part of the past, present and future." Director Carlos Saura

"A perfect match to do a ghost story in the middle of a much larger ghost story, the Spanish Civil War." Director Guillermo del Torro

"Art, I always understood was convulsive, never nice or lovely." Director Arturo Ripstein

"My life is about ups and downs, great joys and great losses." Author Isabel Allende

"Does God's light guide us or blind us?" Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

"If you stay you'll be killed." Author Manuel Puig

"Perhaps 'Frida' might change the way people see Mexico and the Mexican people" Actress Salma Hayek and director Julie Taymor

"Che said what he thought and acted according accordingly. That kind of integrity is very rare." Director Walter Salles

"To analyze a film from the point of view of being sexist in today's world is as dogmatic as to analyze it from a Marxist view." Director Eliseo Subiela

"I was inspired by human beings fighting against nature and humans trying to survive by themselves." Director Andrucha Waddington

Asking Subcomandante Marcos the tough question. Director Nettie Wild


The Veiled Society

"Literary discussions opened a window to life in Iran." Author Azar Nafisi

"Many ideologies wanted to get rid of the Shah and have a democratic system and it ended up with the Islamic Republic." Director Tamineh Milani

"I wanted to draw on the contradictions and absurdities of modern life." Director Babak Payami

"The Afghan people understood that the U.S. supported the Taliban when they first came to power because of oil interests." Director Siddiq Barmak

"We have to accept responsibility for what we create." Director/Writer/Producer Abbas Kiarostami

"I cannot be indifferent when writers and poets aren't published and directors don't get a chance to make films." Director Bahman Farmanara

"I thought of prison as a microcosm of society." Director Manijeh Hekmat

"I am criticizing part of our own culture which forgets that a mother is first of all a woman." Director Rakhshan Bani-Etemad

A metaphor for the loss of identity. Director Mariam Shahriar

"I wanted to present a real look at the Kurds." Director Bahman Ghobadi

"Reality is worse than what I show in the film" Director Dariush Mehrjui

Haunted by the Afghan plight. Director Majid Majidi

Pessimistic about the fate of Afghanistan, her perenially wartorn native land. Actress Nelofer Pazira

"In New York, I could see all the art and films I never saw before. How can you create something in Iran when you have nothing to see there?" Director Samira Makhmalbaf


All in the Family

"I perfectly understand I am symbolically committing a symbolic murder of the father." Director Jacob Berger

"My father told me stories about India and the way he and his family were treated by the British" Author Hanif Kureishi

An excuse to imagine a marriage. Director Todd Field

"The big thing in my life is that I met the right man." Author Christina Stead

"Everything I did was motivated by my grandfather." Director Liev Schreiber

"Adoptive parents can't give you a culture that's not their own." Director Chris Eyre

Musical families in exile. Director Heddy Honigmann

"What fascinated me about La Dolce Vita, L'Aventura and 8 1/2 is that nobody ever has any children." Author Doris Lessing

Ideas live. Ideas vibrate. Playwright Jon Robin Baitz

Not a loaded question. Actors Jeremy Irons & Sinead Cusack

What would you like engraved on your tombstone? Director Alfred Hitchcock

Toujour l'Amour Author Diane Johnson

"If we protect nature, it will be better for education, for the children." Director/Producer/Actor Jacques Perrin

Balkan Bombshell

"We worked like Charlie Chaplin with humor and tragedy." Director Ademir Kenovich

"In the Balkan mentality the people are very obsessive." Director Goran Paskaljevic

That bomb "is a metaphor for any country. Even the world today." Director Danis Tanovic


Middle East

"The Arab world is infinitely large in terms of space, and infinitely small in its vision" Author Etel Adnan

"It was important to show something intimate from the Arab culture to French and other Occidental audiences." Director Karim Dridi

"As an artist, fundamentalism interests me because of its obvious effect on anybody creative." Director Atef Hetata


Another Way of Life

Windows to another world. Director Aktan Abdykalykov

An ancient Inuit legend Director Zacharias Kunuk

"Films about homosexuality are too positive, too romantic, too sentimental" Director Patrice Chereau

A human link among the losers Director Alexander Payne

"Personally I don't think the world is going to end." Director Don McKellar

Life's quixotic turns Director Patrice Leconte

Humanity,quiet,dignity, tolerance Director Eric Valli

"My first love is music" Director Satyajit Ray

Challenges in a rootless existence Director Ivan Fila

"Dracula" energy without grace and love without consequence Author Leonard Wolf

"I'm probably an outsider in the gay community." Gus van Sant



After Afghanistan was bombed, international filmmakers have flashbacks to horrors in their own lands. Memories of Cairo

He saw an American and he detested what he saw. Encounter in Montenegro