Author: Ann Firestone Ungar


Schooled by Lisa Lewis is a drama about Claire, a young woman in mourning for her father. She’s a student in a New York City film school with a screenplay to which she is wedded. It’s good, says her professor, Andrew, but the two-page voiceover at the beginning has got to go. It’s good, says her boyfriend, Jake, also a film student (who Claire likens to Aaron Sorkin), but not as good as mine even though you’re brilliant. Both men have a stake in their relationship with Claire, and both men lose her because her stake, her deep hunger, is to pay tribute to her deceased father with her film.

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In the space of one swift hour the skilled dramatist and actress Rohina Malik portrays five Muslim women. Their personal stories vividly and movingly tell their experiences as they wear the hijab of their faith, encountering racism and islamophobic hate crimes, and yet surviving and thriving despite this ugly onslaught.

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In the twenty-first century, because of omnipresent media, we’re more aware than ever before in history of politics at home and abroad. The globe’s turmoil finds its way into our living rooms and cellphones. If we’re lucky, it’s turmoil on TV. If we’re not, it’s turmoil outside our windows, or, in the extreme, within our own four walls.

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