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A quick note to applaud Will Smith’s “Amend: The Fight for America” now on Netflix.  A very well done six episode look at the Fourteenth Amendment, passed in July, 1868 and subverted ever since. Clever graphics, straight talk and historic photos lift it beyond standard political documentaries.  Very watchable.   Along with 13th, Ava DuVernay’s fine documentary, we may finally begin to understand our Constitution  – and the scurrilous work the so called originalists are trying to pull off


Toni Morrison reads Beloved in her distinctive husky, emotional voice.  If you’ve never read Beloved, or can’t remember more than it is an American classic, this is a marvelous way to immerse yourself. 

On Audible, and other sources. Try your library.


A French Village is a seven season long French series of a small village in occupied France from 1940 to past liberation .  Situated right across the border from Vichy (“Free” ) France, it is a crucible of danger, betrayal, second guessing, collaboration (in varying degrees,) and resistance.  Desire regularly subverts the lives of all –Gestapo, Vichy and Resistance fighters.  The writers and directors must have done years of story collecting to put the series together.  Not one of the “improbable” encounters or events seems so. War upends everything. Characters are consistently drawn in shades of color. No unit or group of people are monolithic. Any certainties we might have as arm-chair “good-guys” fall away as real decisions–with incomplete information– have to be made: who to save, who to leave behind; who to trust, who to distrust and yet have to deal with, anyway; who to sacrifice in order to save.  

It’s a terrific series.

French, with subtitles. 

See justwatch.com to find a streaming source.