Danny Boyle’s Trance tells the story of a heist in order to perform one, taking advantage of moviegoers’ suggestible state of mind. When the story comes to an end, we find ourselves wondering what happened and to what degree we are responsible. The message we thought we were getting has vanished and a more troubling one has taken its place. (More…)

There was a time, in the 1970s and 1980s, when Germany was a welcome destination for many asylum seekers, because of the relative generosity of its Basic Law and the eagerness of its citizenry to demonstrate a break with the nation’s intolerant recent history. But that changed in the wake of reunification and the establishment of the Euro Zone. (More…)

As a composer in the post-dub era, Jerusalem-born and New York-raised Raz Mesinai has spent the past 25 years burrowing under the surface realms of genre and song format to find a reverberant sonic space of his own. With Tunnel Vision (Tzadik), his filmmaking debut, Mesinai takes that burrowing to another level by tying together the praxes of tunneling, sound composition and non-linear narrative. (More…)

Few continents have been as lost on the left as Africa. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been openings, however. From the anti-Apartheid movement of the 1980s, to the Arab Spring, there have been plenty of opinions on offer. But, the idea of Africa, as a site of political struggle, between the West, and its inhabitants, is relatively new. That is, to post-Cold War progressive politics. (More…)

From a distance, it looks like the sort of thing you’d see on a dusty highway in those parts of the world where “development” is still regarded as progress, a testament to the ingenuity of people who have learned to make do with less. But then you remember: I’m sitting outside a branch of Chase Bank, across a strip-mall parking lot from Trader Joe’s. (More…)

The Gatekeepers is like a history lesson. It’s subject is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 1967 war. The instructors are the five former heads of the Shin Bet: Israel’s General Security Service (GSS): Avraham Shalom (who headed the Shabak between 1980-1986;) Yaakov Peri (1988-1994;) Carmi Gilon (1995-1996; Ami Ayalon (1996-2000;) Avi Dichter (2000-2005;) and Yuval Diskin (2005-2011.) (More…)

This poster couldn’t be more timely. In the wake of President Obama’s trip last week, in which he went through the motions of declaring the United States’ unwavering support for Israel, despite suggesting parallels between Palestinians and African-Americans, frustration at the intransigence of Israeli leaders is at an all-time high and calls for a boycott are spreading. (More…)

Their calling cards are umbrellas, tissue packets, and flowers. Hustling tourists at historic sites, or hawking their wares at stoplights, dark-skinned migrants, from Africa and South Asia, are a common sight in contemporary Italy. Little do visitors to the country know what these Italian-speaking foreigners signify about the country’s economy. (More…)

No TAV. Even if you live in faraway Berlin, for most Europeans, the slogan (and graffiti) is inescapable. The acronym for a high-speed train line between Lyon and Turin, the project has become a cause celebre for the Italian left, and, increasingly, European critics of a continent-wide high speed rail network. (More…)

Americans spend an inordinate amount of time on the road. In places like the Los Angeles, Houston and the Washington D.C. metropolitan areas, commuters may spend more time studying the cars ahead of them during stop-and-go traffic than they do their own spouses and children upon finally arriving home. That’s why bumper stickers are such an effective means of declaring one’s allegiances. (More…)

It may not have produced any results. However, few electoral races were as predicted to be as inconsequential as those held in Italy two weeks ago. Left or right victory, the results would be the same, Italians feared. That is, unless you cast your vote for the so-called ‘populist’ party, the 5 Star Movement, led by ex-TV comedian Beppe Grillo. (More…)

While leftists in Germany today often focus on the plight of immigrants, particularly from the Middle East and North Africa — and the corollary concerns in the homelands of those immigrants — attention is also directed at the self-righteous superpower whose long shadow still falls over Europe: the United States of America. (More…)