Flicks and Reads 2017

Every year I collect flicks (films) and reads (books) that stay in my mind's eye. They stick around for various reasons, some of which I share with you here. Each year, I am grateful to be introduced to and stumble upon these works. Thank you to the artists and writers who pushed past fears, self-doubt, and critics to create and put forth their works of art. Below are the flicks and reads of 2017 that...

Changed my perspective

My brother, who lives in LA, told me to watch Gook. A raw and intimate story of friendship between Koreans and African Americans during the 1992 LA riots. I lived in LA three years after the riots. White vs black tension was apparent but I was oblivious to the racial tensions between the people of colour that shaped the LA I knew then. 

During my last quarter of grad school, in a sadomasochistic moment, decided to take Seth Godin's AltMBA program. The Art of Possibility was one of the gifts he sent his students. The grandest of all takeaways? Forget about being good enough. Wake up each morning and think of How can I be a Contribution? 

I saw Queen of Katwe on the smallest of screens, on a flight from LA to Austin. It didn't matter. The film's heart filled the expanse of the sky I flew. Robert Katende, the teacher who taught chessmaster Phiona Mutesi, showed me that one person can make a difference. One person affecting another person can eventually lead to a whole village. We don't need to start with the village. Just start with one.

taught me something new

Cloth Lullaby is a wondrous story of the artist Louise Bourgeois, The words and illustrations weave around each other in a poetic dance, bringing the artist, her dreams and her pain to life. I learnt a spider is more than an arachnid. A spider is a weaver, a mender of broken things. A spider embodies the resilience of life itself.

Ambelin Kwaymullina is my literary heroine. She is an Aboriginal writer and academic who comes from the Palyku people of Australia. Her Tribe trilogy portrays the interwoven lives of three girls. Kwaymullina  integrated indigenous traditions, beliefs and culture seamlessly into a story of hope, resilience, and kindness to the earth and each other. 

Children's books hold such wonderful surprises. This book was one of those gifts. The best teachings often come from the simplest books...and the simplest question: What do you do with an Idea? by Kobi Yamada. The answer applies to those age 1 to 99. It involves encouragement and care, patience and love.

Brought me closer to my emotions

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a fairytale for all ages by one of my favourite children's book authors, Kate DiCamillo. It tells a tale of the unexpected life of a precious porcelain bunny and how it learnt about love.

Kimi No Na Wa" (Your Name) by Makoto Shinkai is magical realism at its best. About two souls destined to cross time and space, changing and shifting their lives in the process.

Perusing a little comic bookshop in London, the title "A City Inside" called to me. Here is a young artist, Tillie Walden, who bares her soul in such a nuanced and glorious way. Her brave exploration and expression of self stirs the soul.

Titania Veda