International Reads (and Views) for a Lockdown

Much of the world is locked down as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, and normal routines have been dramatically changed. I’m finding it hard to concentrate on things I usually love, which include watching films (preferably at the cinema) and reading voraciously. Here are a few thematic ideas for books and films that might […]

Review no 59: Capernaum, film by Nadine Labaki (Lebanon)

NORTH AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA This is a beautifully realised but harrowing 2018 film, directed and co-written by Nadine Labaki, and nominated in the category of Best Foreign Language Film in the 91st Academy Awards. The film made the shortlist, although it eventually lost out to Mexican film Roma. According to Wikipedia, Capernaum (a […]

Review no 42: Little Women, film by Greta Gerwig (USA)

AMERICAS AND THE CARIBBEAN I read Louisa M. Alcott’s Little Women as a kid, and having put myself through that, I didn’t really fancy the film. As a kid I remember being agog that the reader was expected to believe that such perfect and selfless people could exist in the world. Teenagers who would give […]

Review no 39: A Girl Made of Dust, Nathalie abi-Ezzi (Lebanon)

NORTH AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA I recently joined the Shelterbox Book Club, which for a donation of £10 a month sends me a regular book for discussion as part on an online book club, and also helps to provide emergency shelter and resources for families affected by disaster worldwide. The most recent book […]

Review no 32: The Chambermaid, film by Lila Avilés (Mexico)

AMERICAS AND THE CARIBBEAN The Chambermaid (La Camarista), released in 2019, came up as a special offer, “film of the day” rental on the excellent Curzon home cinema app (a recent discovery), and I decided to give it a watch. My original plan had been to watch Roma (2018) as my Mexican film. With its […]

Review no 29: Jide Odukoya – “Turn it Up: On Paradoxes” exhibition (Nigeria)

AFRICA till 21st June 2020 @ Horniman Museum, London The art world remains hugely Eurocentric, and even living in London it can be really tricky to find shows of work by artists and photographers from outside Europe. The wonderful, slightly eccentric Horniman Museum in south London is currently hosting a small exhibition of work by […]

Review no 26: Tété-Michel Kpomassie, An African in Greenland (Togo)

“Unbelievable!” he exclaimed. “How can a man fall off a sled? It’s not possible, yet you, you managed to do it. I saw you rolling down like a seal’s bladder, and I couldn’t believe my eyes!”