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August 29, 2004 Edition

Burn the Floor


A high-energy, sexy latin/ballroom dance extravaganza! From the opening waltzes to the modern dance finale, no-one seems to ever stop moving in this extraordinary show. Filmed at the show’s world premiere, forty-four of the world’s top ballroom dancing pairs from 16 countries show off beautiful costumes and fancy steps - this is ballroom dancing at its best!

The Fog of War


Robert S. McNamara, former secretary of defense under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, discusses some of the seminal events in contemporary American history in this award-winning documentary. As a Washington insider, he brings a remarkably candid and human perspective to many situations and decisions that took place mid-century, such as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War. Viewers will gain an appreciation for the complexities of war and diplomacy.

Muslims


The Islamic religion is deeply imbedded in the cultures of many countries, and each country has given the religion a different interpretation. Here is a two-hour special on what it means to be a Muslim in the 21st century for those who want to go beyond the often incomplete or incorrect information offered up in American popular media. Filmed in Egypt, Malaysia, Iran, Turkey, Nigeria, and the United States, it aims to give a more complete picture of how Islam influences life and politics throughout the world today.

The Human Face


John Cleese is back, using his talents as comedian and interviewer to produce a film that is by turns funny and fascinating. Can beauty really be broken down into mathematics? And does being gorgeous have any downsides? (Pierce Brosnan and Candice Bergen think so.) Can you tell by looking at their face if someone is lying? And what does it do to your life if you can’t smile? Follow along as Cleese and a host of guests and experts examine the ways in which our faces affect the way we treat each other and deal with the world around us.

The Color of Paradise


This moving Iranian import about a young blind boy and his family will stay with you for a long time. Mohammad is home to spend his summer break with his beloved sisters, his doting grandmother, and his self-pitying father, who is anxious to find another home for his son. Oblivious to his father’s plans, Mohammad and his sisters have a grand time together, though we catch glimpses of the boy’s inner life in his conversations with a neighbor, also blind, with whom his father hopes to settle him. In Farsi with English subtitles.

Pieces of April


April has offered her estranged family an olive branch: Thanksgiving dinner in her tiny New York apartment. Her family is wary of April’s cooking and her former drug habits, but her mother is dying of cancer, and so they accept the invitation and pile in the car to go to the city. Their fears seem well-founded: April’s oven has stopped working and she is desperately going door-to-door in her apartment complex, looking for someone who’ll let her use theirs. Will their pessimism be rewarded? A movie about traditions and family, and what they both mean.

The Triplets of Belleville


If you missed this when it came through the Nickelodeon earlier this year, now’s your chance to catch one of the quirkiest new offerings in animation. Though it is French, there’s no need to fear language or subtitles - the creators relied on outstanding visuals and accompanied them with fantastic jazz to tell the story of a young boy whose only happiness is his bicycle. His grandmother takes on the job of training him and by the time he is grown, he is a competitive racer. When he is kidnapped during a race, it is up to his grandmother and his dog Bruno to find him, which they do with the aid of three aging nightclub singers. Not anime, not Disney, and definitely not average, this is in a class of its own - mostly funny, at times disturbing, and always amazing.

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