April 10, 2013 |
Anila Rubiku grew up in a country that no longer exists, at least not the isolated, repressed and paranoid state that was Albania before Eastern Europe's anti-Communist revolutions. The Balkan country that broke away from its iron-fisted mentors in Moscow, Beijing and Belgrade to pursue an even more Stalinist path has changed dramatically in the two decades since democracy began making inroads. But the scars of despotism remain visible on the landscape and in the mentality of Albanians, tens of thousands of them having endured unimaginable brutality in “re-education camps” during the long post-World War II dictatorship of Enver Hoxha . Hoxha sowed fear among the 3 million inhabitants of his remote Adriatic Sea enclave with constant warnings of imminent invasion by Albania's real and imagined enemies.
March 14, 2013 |
BUENOS AIRES - The man who is now Pope Francis was a young Jesuit leader, not long out of seminary, when Argentina's military junta unleashed a reign of terror that became known as the "dirty war. " That was more than 30 years ago, but the reaction to the naming of the first Argentine pope shows that the wounds have not yet healed. Many Argentines were still stunned Thursday that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, had become the first pope from the Americas.
January 23, 2013 |
The sex lives of modern cities - Berlin in the 1920s, New York or San Francisco in the 1970s - tend to be characterized in terms of underground cabarets and over-the-top discos, of fast times fueled by carefree hedonism. But the sex life of the Belarusian capital of Minsk, as conceived by the Belarus Free Theatre, is about something less flashy and more fundamental. Human identity and freedom, as seen through the prism of sexuality, are the central concerns of "Minsk, 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker," which will play Thursday through Saturday as part of the Off Center Festival of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
June 17, 2012 |
Many films are adapted from popular books, but few actually capture the tactile, emotional activities of writing and reading. In "Bonsái," the second feature from Chilean writer-director Cristián Jiménez, love, literature, memory and a bit of botany intertwine to form a tender, bittersweet romance based on the novel by Alejandro Zambra. "Bonsái," which recently opened in limited release in Los Angeles, begins as a young literature student named Julio (Diego Noguera) embarks on a romance with Emilia (Natalia Galgani)
January 5, 2012 |
Vera Paiva has spent four decades trying to find out what happened to her father after he was arrested in 1971 during Brazil's military dictatorship. Rubens Paiva, a former congressman, is one of the country's most famous desaparecidos, or "disappeared ones," whose cases finally will be investigated by the government. "The last time we heard of anyone seeing him, he was inside the jail and had been barbarically tortured," Vera Paiva said, sitting in her house in Sao Paulo and going through details she has told journalists and officials hundreds of times.
September 13, 2011 |
A struggle between secular politicians and Islamists seeking to define the character of the new Libya burst into the open Tuesday, highlighting the challenge authorities face with reconciling demands repressed for decades by Moammar Kadafi that are now suddenly coming to the surface. Even as the Transitional National Council tries to establish itself in the capital, restore Libya's oil industry and public order, and crush remaining pockets of support for Kadafi, Islamists have focused their ire on Mahmoud Jibril, a U.S.-educated political scientist who is serving as de facto prime minister.