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An Israeli soap opera draws me in, despite its religious setting

I’ve been binge-watching a 2008 Israeli soap opera called “Srugim,” and it’s sparking some thoughts about religion.The title, “Srugim” [“suh-roo-geem”] is a Hebrew word that refers to a segment of strict-Orthodox Israeli Jews who are identifiable by the knitted kipa [yarmulke] worn by its male adherents. The series follows a group of 30-ish unmarried men…

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Eye In the Sky: The moral choices of drone warfare

“Eye in the Sky,” is not your typical war movie. Director Gavin Hood has created a military thriller without firefights, bombs, ear-shattering explosions or mud-and-blood spattered soldiers. Unlike most war movies, this one is not about boots-on-the-ground battles. The battle in “Eye in the Sky” is waged behind-the-scenes, at military bases thousands of miles away,…

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“Where to Invade Next:” Michael Moore’s film makes its points, annoyingly

Michael Moore’s new film has a coy title, “Where to Invade Next.” And that’s where the trouble begins. Based on the title, you might think that the movie is going to be a wry protest against America’s misguided adventures in the Middle East and elsewhere. But it’s not. It purports to satirize America’s unenlightened policies…

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“Grandma” offers a refreshing, accepting view of abortion

“Grandma” is a trifle of a movie with the socially redeeming characteristic of portraying an accepting attitude toward  abortions. Unlike most Hollywood films, broadcast-TV dramas and even many independent productions aimed at a mainstream audience, this movie normalizes abortion—portraying it as the legal medical procedure that it has been since 1973. That’s different, because in…

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Takeaways from “Selma”

Can I speak honestly about the new movie, “Selma?” No doubt, it’s going to get a lot of support for an Oscar. Critics have raved about it, calling it a “must-see.” I agree—it’s definitely worth seeing. A lot of people are going to buy tickets because the subject matter is important—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s…

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Socio-political messages from an unlikely place: “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”

I’ve just spent two hours I’ll never get back watching “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.” We had intended to go to a showing of another movie set in the 1980s—“American Hustle”—but I misread the schedule—a dimwitted move worthy of the Ron Burgundy character– and settled for something we had no intention of ever paying for.…