Thursday, March 31, 2016

French Film Festival Highlights

This year, I went to 7 of what seems to be over 40 films on show during the Sydney Alliance Francaise French Film Festival. The brochure this year notes
'The Alliance Francaise French Film Festival was first launched in 1989 by the Alliance Francaise in Sydney and has since become a major annual event for all 6 capital Alliances Francaises in Australia: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra and Adelaide.Each year, the festival provides a unique opportunity for cinema aficionados to embark upon a thrilling voyage which showcases the best contemporary French Films. With each festival season, Australian audiences have displayed a continually deepening interest in our screening programme, which also contributes to the strengthening of cultural ties between our two countries."
It's true, every year I get to some of the screenings, and the cinema's are filling up. I'm also frequently surprised at the number of french speaking patrons that surround me in the cinema. It's truly a thoroughly enjoyable event in my year, when I trawl through the program with certain criteria, and different friends in mind, to finally come up with my selection of possible outings in the month.

This year I decided on a possible of 14 films I would like to see, and a schedule that meant I could possible see 11 - and in reality I saw 7.
  1. Rosalie Blum - directed by Julien Rappeneau - Actress Noemie Lvovsky - Drama Comedy - Based on the award winning series of graphic novels by Camille Jourdy - This enchanting directorial is a warm, witty and impeccably performed drama comedy about a random encounter that has u unexpected and far reaching consequences.
  2. Taj Mahal - directed by Nicolas Saada - actress Stacy Martin - Drama - Nicolas Saada's excellent film takes a sober look at the plight of a family caught up in an invasion by fundamentalist extremists'.
  3. The Measure of a Man/ La Loi du Marche - directed by Stephane Brize - Actor Vincent Lindon - Drama - This film is a testament to human resilience and decency.. a moving social drama that scoped Best Actor Award at the Cannes International Film Festival 2015.
  4. Dheepan - directed by Jacques Audiard - Actor Antonyhasan Jesuthasan - Drama - This immigrant drama unfolds in solidly involving, carefully observed fashion. Winner of Palme d'Or at the Cannes International Film Festival ... blistering slice of realism... with a unique presentation of the asylum seeker experience that will move audiences profoundly.
  5. Macadam Stories /Asphalte - directed by Samuel Benchertrit - Actress Isabelle Huppert - Drama - Comedy - A quirky and endearing urban dramedy
  6. Blind Date/ Un Peu, Beaucoup, Aveuglement - directed by Clovis Cornillac- Actress Melanie Bernier - Comedy Romance - Unexpected and refreshing....Opposites attract not just each other, but also hilarious and surprising complications in this delightful and laugh filled movie.
  7. Boomerang - directed by Francois Facrat - Actor Laurent Lafitte and Actress Melanie Laurent - Drama - A well-run thriller with a deliciously suspenseful Hitchcockian Atmosphere....
I don't think I chose any dudds this year - and I can hardly pick a favourite because they were all so different, and left me with such different experiences. Blind Date was definitely the funniest I saw, Dheepan was very moving for me personally, Boomerang did have me engaged in the mystery right up to the end, and Taj Mahal was almost too terrifying and surreal.....  

Let me know if you have any favourite french films this year..... 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter

New Day
Freshness of Dawn
Golden colour of Hope
Stillness of Calm
Aroma of Life 

How lucky am I? 

Happy Easter

Monday, March 7, 2016

International Women's Day

 These women live in Thiruchuli, 
a small rural village in 
TamilNadu, Southern India. 

 These women welcomed me into their community 
And shared their lives with me...

I learnt so much from them

 This is Seroja
She took care of me during one of my visits
She, like many women in this village, 
Works very hard. 

 Each woman has her own life experienes
Her own dreams
And her own fears......

 These girls (below), have many dreams and hopes
And I believe the world is changing for them
They are the first generation of girls in their family to go to school
They are happy in their hostel
And the NGO works hard to make sure they are safe

These women are my sisters, my children, and my friends. I support because they support this community of women.

International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world on March 8th. (

Violence against women and girls is a serious problem, is entirely preventable and we all have a role to play to end violence at home and around the world.

The facts:

  • Around the world, 1 in 3 women will experience violence in her lifetime.
  • In the Pacific, as many as 2 in 3 women will experience violence in their lifetimes.
  • In the highlands of Papua New Guinea, as many as 100% of women report experiencing sexual or physical violence.
Around the globe tomorrow many women, men and communities will honour women in many different ways. I plan to raise awareness to the power of education for girls. I believe that in being educated, girls will gain strength to make informed decisions about health, family, economics and safety. Thats why i support ODAM. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Ethical consumption

So many of us have made the transition from consumption to considered living that it seems weird to come across people who dont know what ethical consumption is. I've challenged myself to start a Masters degree (my second), & I'm starting with  corporate social responsibility. This weeks lecture was about comsumption, and the lecturere asked us to talk in small groups about consumerism and global sustainability. There are alot of international students in my class, and I was surprised at some of the reactions the the question. 

We had to read articles about consumer choices and marketing. Again I was surprised these articles were dated 2010, and yet as a society we have progressed our thinking and awareness of consumer power, but in my course I'm looking at reserach nearly 10 yrs  old. To be honest i was pleasantly surprised in myself. I could teach this subject with my eyes closed!  I dont think all my subjects will be this easy, but I'm enjoying the thinking time I'm getting, and the challenge of reading things I wouldn't normally do. 

Last week I handed in my first assignment on DuPont and the teflon crisis, corporate social responsibility and moral agency. I really enjoyed learning more about the case study, the legal case, and thinking about what I would've liked DuPont to have done differently.  Im currently thinking through the idea that for a company to have moral agency they need to have an internal decision making framework that supports rational and moral thinking. I'm pondering the idea that a company can be moral if its executive and internal decision making structure has access to the right peop,e and right information. But at the same time I acknowledge there are many forces that weigh on an executives power to make ethical and moral decisions. I'm fascinated by these power plays, and wonder how an individual can influence a company's decision making from inside? And then how can consumers influence from outside? 

I strongly believe in citizen action, and that as individuals we can influence companies to make different decisions. I think its useful to know what information to gather when thinking about how to influence different companies. 

Simple living, ethical and considered consumption, power of individuals to
 Influence.... all at the front of my mind... mingling with outdated theories and economic thinking.... what comes to mind for you?