free shyne

7.October.09

wtf. shyne JUST got out of jail, and now they are trying to deport him back to brazil!!!
i’m going to make free shyne  shirts. will anyone buy them?

shyne-quasi o.g.

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epic fail

7.October.09

i fail at keeping a blog. i guess when i started this blog about a year ago, i planned on updating it ALL THE TIME. well, that obviously didn’t happen. my excuste for the past few month has been studying for the LSAT. which i took two weeks ago (woo hoo!!), and I still have a couple of weeks to wait for the scores. I’m at work right now, I have tons of work to do…so I should probably get back to working. Oh well. I just created flickr page, so thats what got me back on the blog. oh yeah, i’ve also been on twitter a lot. not much on the facebook, i’m kind of over the facebook. but the just blocked twitter at my job, so that blows chunks. i dont know what to really do with my life, now that the LSAT is over. perhaps I will start posting more? perhaps. and i leave you with a cute puppy doggie:


rock the bellz

20.July.09

so yesterday was rock the bells 2009, at jones beach, in wantagh NY. Basically out on long island, kind of in the middle of nowhere. thing is, i was going by myself. which i’ve done before, gone to a concert by myself. but not a festival like this. so going by myself was mistake #1. also paying the amount I did for my ticket was mistake #2. And it took me 2.5 hours to drive there. THAT was the most painful. not the heat, or the boredome and awkwardness in between sets and walking around the venue by myself. it was the drive. i did get to see the end of tech n9ne, la coka nostra, common (w/talib kweli), wu-tang (rae, rza, meth, and some other people…i’m not a huge wu fan), and finally the roots. i left early b/c i wanted to avoid concert traffic. i hit traffic anyways, but at least it wasnt concert traffic on top of that. so i missed nas & damian marley. which i was willing to, in order to make my drive home less painful. traffic with a manual is not fun at all. good thing was i got home at a reasonable hour, and was able to get enough sleep. which is rare. here are some pics that i took with my phone:

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the roots

common my man

common my man


rest in peace

25.June.09

mid-week post

24.June.09

i know i said i would only post on Fridays. but i also said i was going to post again last Friday, and i definitely did not do that either.  i just wanted to post up a picture of my desk/shelves/tv in my small small studio.

enjoy

my beautiful work

my beautiful work


oh, hello there

19.June.09

Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeit. As Senator Davis and mulitple other characters from the hit HBO Series “The Wire'” would say.

It has been, oh, 2 months since i’ve updated. I could blame it on my apartment (which I am almost finished with, and it looks absolutely gahgous), or I could blame it on work, or some other lame excuse. But I’m not going to do that. I feel like when I post, it has to be so great and wonderful, that if I don’t do a great and wonderful post, then why even have a blog? So I don’t post because “I don’t have time”. I’m not a professional blogger. I have a full time job. But I would still like to write about post articles on topics that I feel are interesting/important.  Maybe I can make a commitment to post, let’s say, once a week. I know, that isn’t very often. But it is more than 1 time every 2 months. It will be a commitment like my new going to the gym 3x a week commitment (though I broke that for the first time today because I ate a huge burrito about an hour before working out and was not feeling so hot).

Once a week it is. I’ve seen my number of hits has gone way up. Which is a good thing. I think I will collect articles, etc. throughout the week and then post on them every Friday, starting today. It will be something I can look forward to at the end of my work week. I figure, since I have a link to this blog on my Twittter, and I can somehow find time to go on my Twitter at least once a day, I should at least try to update this thing.

A new post coming shortly. Thank you for your patience.


shine your light on the world

18.April.09

note: i began writing this post on 4/16

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spring will be here soon, I hope. that also means allergy season! yes.

I happen to be listening to umi says by mos def right now, at work. (hence the title of this post) It has been more that a week since my last post, so I thought it time to put some more stuff up. I have been collecting some articles that I have read online since I posted last. And I would like to share them with you now.

This article on Gay Iraqis from NYT is not suprising, but still disheartening. For the first time ever (or at least in many many years), a gaysubculture exists in certain cities of Iraq.  However, it is actually illegal to be homosexual and the police and local Shiite leaders have encouraged the “punishment” and killing of any gay or lesbian Iraqi.

Clerics in Sadr City have urged followers to help root out homosexuality in Iraqi society, and the police have begun their own crackdown on gay men.

“Homosexuality is against the law,” said Lt. Muthana Shaad, at a police station in the Karada district, a neighborhood that has become popular with gay men. “And it’s disgusting.”

For the past four months, he said, officers have been engaged in a “campaign to clean up the streets and get the beggars and homosexuals off them.”

Gay men, he said, can be arrested only if they are seen engaging in sex, but the police try to drive them away. “These people, we make sure they can’t get together in a coffee shop or walk together in the street — we make them break up,” he said.

Gay men and lesbians in Iraq have long been among the targets of both Shiite and Sunni death squads, but their murders have been overshadowed by the hundreds of overall weekly casualties during the height of sectarian violence in 2006 and 2007.

In 2005, the country’s most influential Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, issued a religious decree that said gay men and lesbians should be “punished, in fact, killed.” He added, “The people should be killed in the worst, most severe way of killing.” The language has since been removed from his Web site.

What is even more sad and disturbing, is the fact that many of these killings may be at the hands of their own families:

“Our investigation has found that these incidents are being committed by relatives of the gays — not just because of the militias,” he said. “They are killing them because it is a shame on the family.”

He said families typically refused to cooperate with the investigation or even to claim the bodies. No arrests have been made in the killings.

We think that here in the United States we are making progess with both Iowa and Vermont’s recent rulings on same-sex marriage, but homophobia is still EXTREMELY strong is most parts of the country and will not just disappear with a few court rulings. Many Americans’ mindset on homosexuality may not actually be far from some Iraqis, who are participating in this “cleansing”.

Another article that does not surprise me, as I am not a huge fan of the military, and this is one of the reasons. On Salon, there is an article on how the US military strongly encourages its psychologists to NOT diagnose veterans with PTSD. There happens to be an actual recording of a clinician telling a Sergeant, in secret, that he has been encouraged, along with other clinicians, to instead diagnose veterans with an anxiety disorder, instead of PTSD. Just another way for the military to screw its veterans over by not providing the medical care due to them for risking their lives, family, and often sanity, for their country.

For more than a year he’s been seeking treatment at Fort Carson for a brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, the signature injuries of the Iraq war. Sgt. X is also suffering through the Army’s confusing disability payment system, handled by something called a medical evaluation board. The process of negotiating the system has been made harder by his war-damaged memory. Sgt. X’s wife has to go with him to doctor’s appointments so he’ll remember what the doctor tells him.

But what Sgt. X wants to tell a reporter about is one doctor’s appointment at Fort Carson that his wife did not witness. When she couldn’t accompany him to an appointment with psychologist Douglas McNinch last June, Sgt. X tucked a recording device into his pocket and set it on voice-activation so it would capture what the doctor said. Sgt. X had no idea that the little machine in his pocket was about to capture recorded evidence of something wounded soldiers and their advocates have long suspected — that the military does not want Iraq veterans to be diagnosed with PTSD, a condition that obligates the military to provide expensive, intensive long-term care, including the possibility of lifetime disability payments. And, as Salon will explore in a second article Thursday, after the Army became aware of the tape, the Senate Armed Services Committee declined to investigate its implications, despite prodding from a senator who is not on the committee. The Army then conducted its own internal investigation — and cleared itself of any wrongdoing…..

“OK,” McNinch told Sgt. X. “I will tell you something confidentially that I would have to deny if it were ever public. Not only myself, but all the clinicians up here are being pressured to not diagnose PTSD and diagnose anxiety disorder NOS [instead].” McNinch told him that Army medical boards were “kick[ing] back” his diagnoses of PTSD, saying soldiers had not seen enough trauma to have “serious PTSD issues.”

“Unfortunately,” McNinch told Sgt. X, “yours has not been the only case … I and other [doctors] are under a lot of pressure to not diagnose PTSD. It’s not fair. I think it’s a horrible way to treat soldiers, but unfortunately, you know, now the V.A. is jumping on board, saying, ‘Well, these people don’t have PTSD,’ and stuff like that.”

Salon offers some other problems with recognizing mental health problems in vets:

Many publications, including Salon, and even some government agencies have documented other instances of reluctance to recognize mental wounds caused by war at bases across the country.

  • A recent weeklong series in Salon showed how apparent resistance to identifying combat stress ends up grinding down the lowest-ranking troops, sometimes with deadly results. Those articles included, for example, the story of Pvt. Adam Lieberman, who suffered with severe symptoms of PTSD. For two years, the Army blamed his problems on a personality disorder, anxiety disorder or alcohol abuse but resisted diagnosing him with PTSD until after his suicide attempt last October.
  • The Government Accountability Office, Congress’ investigative arm, last October questioned why 2,800 war veterans were labeled with personality disorder diagnoses, another cheap label the Army has been accused of plastering on soldiers instead of PTSD.
  • In November 2005 the Department of Veterans Affairs halted a review of 72,000 veterans who receive monthly disability payments for mental trauma from war. The department wanted to make sure the veterans were not faking their symptoms. Salon first exposed the review that August. Then Daniel L. Cooper, the V.A.’s undersecretary for benefits, told Salon at the time that, “We have a responsibility to preserve the integrity of the rating system and to ensure that hard-earned taxpayer dollars are going to those who deserve and have earned them.”  The department stopped the process a month after a Vietnam veteran in New Mexico, agitated over the review, shot himself to death in protest. .
  • In early 2005, Salon exposed a pattern of medical officials searching to pin soldiers’ problems on childhood trauma instead of combat stress at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

To listen to a clip of the recording that Sgt. X obtained, click here.

Michelle and her mother, Mrs. Robinson, in the May issue of ESSENCE

Michelle and her mother, Mrs. Robinson, in the May issue of ESSENCE

Countless articles and commentaries have been written about Michelle Obama, even before her husband became the 44th President of the United States of America. Whether about her clothes, her parenting, or her revealing biceps, everyone who is anyone has an opinion of the First Lady. I have tried reading the numerous posts on Michelle Obama (go to Michelle Obama Watch to get your fill), but I found one article from the Nation, written by the amazing Katha Pollitt , that wrapped up everything I think and feel about our first black first lady:

Someday we’ll get beyond obsessing about first ladies–and by “we” I mean the sort of journalists who use “we” to mean “the vast majority of Americans” when it is usually just themselves and their friends. Meanwhile, Michelle Obama is getting more bouquets from the media than any woman in public life since Mother Teresa. Her clothes, her looks, her height (six feet!), her curves, her delightful combination of warmth, simplicity, charm, dignity, humor and smarts. Gone are the days when National Review put her on the cover as “Mrs. Grievance,” when Maureen Dowd wondered aloud if Michelle’s wifely jokes about Barack’s foibles were “emasculating” and when Christopher Hitchens wrote in Slate that her undergraduate thesis, “Princeton Educated Blacks and the Black Community,” was not “written in any known language” and used it to tie her to Louis Farrakhan, a pair of African dictators and the Holocaust. Remember how Obama supporters fumed about that New Yorker cover cartoon of Barack as an Al Qaeda terrorist and Michelle as a rifle-toting Black Panther? People wouldn’t get that it was satire! Seems pretty silly now, doesn’t it? Yesterday’s fist-bumping radical is today’s mom in chief….

click here to read the rest of the article

Malikah

Malikah

As a self proclaimed hip-hop head, I am always interested in learning about hip-hop around the world, and how different cultures make hip-hop their own. The LA Times published an article on Middle Eastern rappers, what they rap about and the types of censorship they deal with. Like the “conscious” rappers in the US, many rap about politics and poverty. One of the rappers they wrote about is the female Lebanese hip-hopper, Lynn Fattouh, or “Malikah”:

“We’re struggling,” says Lynn Fattouh, also known as Malikah, a 23-year-old Lebanese rap star who is one of the most famous female artists in the Arab hip-hop world.

“We’re living a very hard life,” she says. “We’re witnessing war. We’re witnessing hunger. We’re living in countries where they don’t even follow human rights. All the pain and all the stuff happening around us pushes us to express ourselves.”

All eyes turn to Malikah as she hits the stage. Her taut frame, exuding toughness, sways hard back and forth, her fist curled tight around the microphone as she flows in Arabic:

I am talking to you woman to woman.

It’s time to face up

It’s time to plan.

Cry out for freedom . . .

Men have decided to manage your life and destiny.

Don’t live in despair.

Here is a video of one of her performances on MTV (MTV Lebanon?):

Many of the best rappers have moved abroad, especially those from the Palestinian territories. Hip-hop artists in the Middle East occasionally craft lighter rhymes about partying with their homies, acquiring Dolce & Gabbana clothes or about who’s the best rapper in town. But they return to themes of war, poverty and repression because often they’ve experienced little else.

“We don’t do it like any other culture does it,” Malikah says. “Not like they do it in the States or they do it France. When we rap, we use our language, our culture.”

pretty awesome, huh.

And to follow up on my previous post about the whole Madonna adopting black babies, I found this piece on Global Comment written by blogger and my twitter friend, Renee Martin. Renee has a way of articulating almost exactly my views on a number of issues. This time, she hit the nail right on the head with her piece on Madonna’s second (attempted) Malawian adoption:

Madonna has constructed herself as the loving earth mother gone abroad to save the African children from a life despair. Though she has invested in orphanages and has started a few programs, her desire to adopt children despite the express wishes of their famillies, evidences her colonialist positioning. In this second attempt to adopt a child, the family has also expressed a desire to block the adoption.

According to The Sun, “the girl’s gran Lucy Chekechiwa, 60, said she has been asked repeatedly by officials if Mercy could be adopted by an “unidentified foreign family” — but was firmly against it. Speaking from her village in Zomba District, Lucy said: “Twice I have told the adoption people that I do not want Mercy to go outside the country. But they keep on at us. Now they say that Mercy will be leaving us, but can return at age 18.”

Even with the express refusal of the families in question, Madonna continued with her adoption plans firm in the belief that her class privilege would offer David and now Mercy a better life. Though a life with Madonna would provide opportunities that would otherwise be denied to Mercy because of her poverty and our decided commitment to maintaining a hierarchy of bodies, these children will lose their cultural links by not being reared within their country. It will not suffice to surround the children with Western blacks as they will not be able to pass on the traditions that are unique to Malawian culture.

Since the first white man stepped foot on the African continent they have raped and ravaged both the land and the people. To justify this history of tyranny the white man’s burden has been employed as a defensive ideology. Africans have been constructed as backward and in need of rescue. Difference has been understood as a signification of a lack of advancement rather than a alternate form of living. By adopting these children, Madonna is only continuing a long tradition of western colonization based in the belief that whiteness is ultimately superior to that of bodies of color.

This was the type of piece I was looking for when I posted about Madonna and Mercy earlier.

Another twitter friend of mine, Sarah Haskins, with her weekly installment of Target Women on Current TV’s show InfoMania. There has been much talk about this commercial, and Sarah makes a funny of it:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

if you happen to have a hankering for some dope old school hip hop, makes sure to visit my new favorite website, The Meaning of Dope . I found this gem there:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

and lastly, I made a floor plan of my studio. Why? It helps me figure out what size rugs and “furniture” i can possible fit…check it out here


where have you been

5.April.09

Where have I been for the last month or so? You know, here and there. I just moved into my own studio apartment last weekend, so that and work have been taking up most of my time. I realize I didn’t complete my film reviews from the Berlinale. And I don’t think I am going to, mostly because my notebook from the trip is buried in a box somewhere that I have yet to unpack. I’m not sure why I keep this blog, or what I should write. Sometimes I actually don’t want to read my news or political blogs, mostly because almost all of what I read is too damn depressing. So I will visit my celebrity gossip and hip-hop blogs, purely for their entertainment. I think I just need to find a good balance of the two. See, now that I am writing, I have thought of some links to post. Excuse me, I’m a little rusty…

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If you haven’t heard about this yet, you need to crawl out of the cave you’ve been hiding in. I was very surprised that a state in the Midwest struck down a state law prohibiting same-sex marriages. I admit I don’t know much about Iowa as a state. Only that it borders the northern Missouri border. I guess I just assumed it was as conservative as other states in the Midwest. But apparently, Iowa has a long history of being ahead of other sates when it comes to human and civil rights.

large_madonna-adoption-rejected-mercy-malawi

Why did I literally laugh out loud when I found out about Madonna’s rejection to adopt another black orphan baby from Malawi? Probably because it’s about damn time someone puts a stop to the adoption of black/brown/asian babies to use as fashion accessories. Of course Michael K keeps it real and tells it like it is. That is one of the reasons I love Dlisted. And Carmen from Racialicious posted a nice article on antiracistparent.com about how important the issue of race in adoption is.

I think there were more links I wanted to post, but I need to give my full attention to this program I am watching right now.

Oh yeah, and you can also follow me on twitter

aaand this hilarious/cute Kia commercial to leave you with:


my Berlinale 2009 experience

26.February.09

where do i start?

why did I go to Berlin for a week for the 59th Berlinale International Film Festival?

basically because i had a dream one night that i went to Germany. So the next day I looked online to see how much tickets cost, just for the fun of it, and the were extremely cheap. Less than half of what I paid to fly to Berlin in the summer of 2006 (true it was the summer and the world cup was in Germany that year..). I knew that some big event was going on in Berlin in February, but I could not remember what. Then i found out that the Berlinale was happening, and I looked up hostel rates, and decided I would go.

I was fortunate enough to have a family member with a large number of saved up airline miles that I did not have to pay for my airline ticket. Which meant I only had to pay for food, hostel, and film screening tickets.

The programme for the festival came out on January 27th (I think…I can’t remember), and I set up a schedule with what films I would see on what days. Unfortunately, I would be missing the first 3 days of the festival because I did not want to take more than 5 days off of work. The tickets went on sale beginning February 2nd, for most films the tickets were on sale 3-4 days at 10 am German time before the actual screening. Which meant the week before I left, I was waking up at 3:50 am to purchase my tickets at 4:00 am EST. I was able to purchase a good number of tickets before I arrived in Germany.

I had planned on seeing 3 screenings the same day I arrived in Germany. Big mistake. Because of the jet lag, I slept through all of the screenings. It was ok. Only 3 films wasted.

Monday, February 9th

I missed the first film I had planned to see that day, because I did not estimate how much time it would take to pick up my internet purchased tickets. There was a bit of a line at the pick-up counter, so I unfortunately missed the screening of Mammoth, which is am American film, so I will be able to see it here in the U.S. soon.

The first film of the festival I watched was Gigante, a film by director Adrián Biniez.  This was a very cute movie. I’m not a huge fan of categorizing films into drama, thriller, etc. This film was simple, about a man who was a overnight security guard at a grocery store.

Horacio Camandule as Jara

Horacio Camandule as Jara

Here is what I wrote in my notebook about this film:

Ok, before I start reviewing, I have to say that I am beyond exhausted right now. I walked in a circle in Potsdamer Platz today, but its ok b/c I got to see the Philharmonie and the Staatsbibliothek. Why am I walking around Berlin taking pictures of things that I could tag people I know on Facebook? So so sad. So I finally made it to Urania [the theater in which Gigante played]. After wandering around Charolttenburg b/c I got on the wrong U-Bahn to visit Savignyplatz. I went to the store where I bought my wallet [in Summer of 2006]. And I did not like anything they had! Which was very dissapointing.l So I got back on the train and went to the screening of Gigante. The young woman sitting next to me was writing something in english, so I asked her in deutsch, if she speaks english and she said yes. She works for a Publisher in Munich and they are publishing a bunch of books. My hand is starting to hurt from writing. NOT GOOD! Anyway, she was very nice. The movie was cute-funny. I slept through a good portion of it. Hey, I’m still jetlagging. And off to see another film. AND the subtitles were in German. But I pretty much understood everything. I really liked the heavy metal theme. We don’t see that anymore. Heavy metal is very 80s – early 90s.

The second film I saw on Monday was Berlin is in Germany, which was shown as a part of the  10 Years of Panorama Audience Award section of the festival. In 2001, this film won the Panorama Audience Award. I really really enjoyed this film. It was based on a true story, of a man who was arrested and imprisoned 4 months before the Berlin wall came down, and was released in the year 2001.  The Berlin that he once knew was gone, and there were many things that he was not accustomed to (people texting and calling on cell phones, the beaurocracy of Germany today, etc.).  Also, when he was arrested, his wife was pregnant with their son, so he had not yet met his now 11 year old son. The movie of course took place all in Berlin, and it kind of reminded me of the theme in Goodbye, Lenin. Except he was thrown into the new Berlin at the beginning of the film, whereas the mother in Goodbye, Lenin only discovered the new Berlin at the end of the film.

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Here is what I wrote in my notebook about this film:

Ok, so I’m sitting at Alexanderplatz waiting for the U-Bahn. I have a serious headache, I have to pee, I’m starving, and oh yeah extremely sleep deprived. But I just saw an amazing film. It won the 1st prize of public viewers choice in the Panorama section of the 2001 Berlinale. It is about a man who just got out of jail in 2001, and he went in in July 1989. Basically he knew nothing of  ‘Nach der Wende’. Such a great film. The director and one of the actors spoke with the audience after the screening, which was a huge treat. I pretty much ❤ all movies made in Berlin. I will always feel a connection to this city, altough I am an American who has lived in Berlin for a mere 6 wochen, I really do love this city. It’s fresh history, culture, population, everything. Could I live here? I don’t know. I don’t know what I would do to make al iving. But I do love this city. I feel like the director made the audience really feel for the main character. Not feel sorry for him or pity him, but feel what he was felling when first returning to the new berlin and the fact that his son never met his father. Or that he almost got locked up again b/c of his prior “murder” charges. I feel like some of the East German police tactics were similar to some of the tactics the U.S. government has (and probably still does) use against its citizens and also against perceived terrorists.

Tuesday, February 10th

The first film of Tuesday was Alle Anderen, a Competition section film, and the first of many that I saw at Friedrichstadtpalast. I was a little late to this screening (I had to get there by 9:30 am). This was a great film. The actress who played Gitti, Birgit Minichmayr, I had also seen play a small role in Der Untergang. The one thing that bugged me about this film was the complicated relationship dynamics that it brought to light, that I am sure many people go through in their intimate relationships. It did remind me of some of the bad parts about my most previous relationship, so for this reason only it left a bad taste in my mouth.

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Here is what I wrote in my notebook about this film:

I am writing this late tuesday night. I am pretty tired, so I’ll make it short and sweet. First, I arrived late. Friedrichstadtpalast is indeed a beautiful theater. I did not see the inside when it was lit, though. But that’s ok because i have many more films to see there. The main actress was also in the film Der Untergang, though she had a smaller role in that film. I guess why I found the film to be disturbing is because it hit too close to home. The disfuntionality of the relationship, the way the male character put down his girlfriend, really reminded me of some of the men i nmy life. It was a very intimate film, though. Something I find german filmmakers to excel in. Kind of reminded me of Sie Haben Knut, with Cat Stevens, instead of Nick Drake.

The next film I saw this day was a Forum film, All Fall Down, an experimental documentary by Canadian director Philip Hoffman. I didn’t really understand much of the film. It was the only film that I did not reallyl ike, and that I walked out of. Mostly because I was just napping throughout the entire film, and I could have spent my time somewhere else. I guess that I do not know enough about film (I only took 2 film courses in college) to entirely appreciate this film.

Here is what I wrote in my notebook about this film:

I don’t have much to say about these films. Maybe I didn’t give them enough of a chance. They were in the Forum expanded category. I don’t feel like getting into them. Too boring/confusing. I was napping during the whole thing, so I left early. Also because the guy sitting next to me left. I thought it would be interesting because the description said it was something about exploring Canadian land rights, and Native Americans trying to reclaim their land. But I had a hard time piecing the different parts of the movie together.

The last film I saw this day, Chan di chummi (Kiss the Moon) by Khalid Gill, was a fantastic documentary about the Khusra communities in large cities in Pakistan. Kushras are what we in the west would identify has transgender women, although the subjects in the film would say that they were girl/boy, or  in between genders. This was the premiere of the film, and director Khalid Gill was there to answer questions after the show. My review pretty much explains everything i loved about this film.

a picture i took of the film poster

a picture i took of the film poster

Here is what I wrote in my notebook about this film:

Now THIS was an amazing documentary. It was the premiere, a documentary on the Khusras, or the transgender community in Lahore, Pakistan (although in most large cities in Pakistan, Khusra communities exist; the larger the city, the larger the khusra community). It took the director over a year to build close relationships with the women to let him interview them with a camera and film them. There were a group of them that were interviewed, all were muslim except for one. When they are children almost all of them knew they were Khusra. For money, they dance at weddings and celebrations for newborns, and on the streets. What I found very fascinating was there there is a very long history of Khusras. It reminded me of some of the hisory of gay, lesbian, and trans (or in-between or both gendered) people that I learned about in my Gay & Lesbian history course ( I don’t think that was the name of the course, but oh well). The christian Khusra interviewed a Khusra that was 110 years old, which was very cool. She said that Khusras were treated with more respect back then and now because of television, people discriminate, judge, and call them names on the street. The community that was formed very much reminded me of the drag queens in Paris is Burning. These women created their own families, with mothers and fathers and daughters. The elder Khusra also spoke of how the Khusras now are not very skilled and dancing, and that they just dance a little and already want money. Also, the main subject of the film (the Christian Khusra) had a man that she was involved with, whome she only found out was married when she saw his daughter. He brings his daughter over to her house and she takes care of her, call herself “mom” to the child. During the Q & A session with the director, a women in the audience asked if there were women who dressed as men. Which i knew the answer to already be a no. It seems many more traditional cultures are more accepting of men to women as women to men, most likely because women have more power if they dress/act as men. And the Khusras also had a direct connection with Allah, as if God put them there on earth for a purpose. Some of them would adopt children. Many had breasts and the director said most Khusras are unaware that sex reassingment surgery even exists. And the hormones that they do take are given to them by quacks (people pretending to be doctors) as experiments. The director hopes to take the film all around the world, and one day hopefully to Pakistan.

That is all for now. I have 8 more film reviews to post…but this is a work in progress. More to come soon!!

p.s. feel free to check out my shutterfly page to see all of the pictures from my trip


schnelle Update

15.February.09

hallo!! i am at the frankfurt airport, heading back to Newark, NJ. The Berlinale was great. I saw some awesome films. I missed some too…and didn’t party at all, but hey i’m an old lady and i was tired. I will be doing a post with my own little reviews of each film i saw (all 13 of them). So fear not! And i know i promised I would post earlier, and I lied. Sorry. Shit happens? ok, bis dann. Tschau!