WHAT THE OPIOID CRISIS REVEALS ABOUT—US
COMMUNITIES CAN RESPOND—Have you been following the latest headlines? Law enforcement agencies nationwide are zeroing in on legal and illegal producers of opioids—but the nationwide rate of addiction and overdose continues at an alarming rate. News this past week about a suburban Eagle Scout who ran a deadly online opioid ring is a reminder that this is truly our problem wherever we live. In fact, the crisis is now more acute in rural areas than in urban centers.
Please, read our Cover Story this week—an interview with Timothy McMahan King, author of the new memoir and manifesto: Addiction Nation—What the Opioid Crisis Reveals about Us. This is an important book for community and congregation discussions this fall and winter. SPECIAL NOTE—This Cover Story even has a newsy, fact-filled section you can print out and share with friends to spark interest in a discussion.
BOOK SALES ARE RISING—but the capacity of the publishing industry hits a major backlog during the holiday shopping-season. This has happened during November-December for a couple of years. So, this week, Editor David Crumm reports on the forces causing these slowdowns—and issues a reminder to make your readers happy by shopping early!
HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS
Celebrating the 19th Amendment’s Centennial
THE YEAR IS STARTING—We already are in “the centennial year” of observances and projects planned to mark the August 26, 1920, ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving American women the right to vote. That’s a milestone in human rights that will be marked in many ways: exhibitions, books, documentaries, magazines and events. In this week’s Front Edge Publishing column, Editor David Crumm describes the media excitement about the centennial and suggests ways you can be part of it.
AUTUMN IS COMING
EQUINOX & MABON—Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton has the story about the change of seasons—and how many pagans continue to mark the occasion as Mabon.
MESKEL—Later in September, Ethiopian Orthodox Christian and Eritrean Orthodox Christian communities will stage processions and light bonfires to recall an ancient story involving the “true cross.” Stephanie Fenton has the story.
MICHAELMAS—Search for an aster blossom, make a blackberry crumble or bake a bannock today: It’s Michaelmas, the Christian feast for St. Michael the Archangel.
NAVARATRI—At the end of September, this year, Hindus begin the nine-night religious festival known as Sharad Navaratri, an ancient festival that emphasizes the motherhood of the divine and femininity.
Jewish High Holy Days
ROSH HASHANAH—Before September ends, the Jewish High Holy Days begin with the New Year 5780. Do you know someone who is Jewish? Get ready to wish him or her L’shanah tovah—“For a good year!”
Care to see all the holidays? It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances—just remember the address InterfaithHolidays.com
ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.
Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are:
- ONE CHILD NATION—Ed urges us to see this new documentary, giving it 5 out of 5 stars. The issue was so important and controversial within China that co-directors Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang risked arrest and imprisonment for surreptitiously filming many of their interviews.
- THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON—Filmmakers created this film specifically for Zack Gottsagen, a Down Syndrome person aspiring to be an actor. Hitherto such persons have usually been peripheral to the main story, but in this film, Zak is the central character. This dramatic, suspenseful adventure story earns 4.5 stars.
- WHERE’D YOU GO BERNADETTE? Director Richard Linklater’s film, co-written with long time collaborators Holly Gent and Vincent Palmo Jr., is adapted from Maria Semple’s novel of the same name. (4 stars)
- SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION—Ed reminds us that October is the 25th anniversary of this classic.
- BLINDED BY THE LIGHT—Ed writes, “If your heart is not gladdened and your countenance uplifted by the end of this tuneful musical, you need to see a doctor.” (5 stars)
- BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON—Ed writes, “Director/writer Paul Downs Colaizzo’s story about a hefty Manhattanite down on herself will cheer the hearts of all who like to root for the underdog.” (4 out of 5 stars)
- BRIAN BANKS—This controversial film has divided commentators because of its treatment of issues surrounding campus diversity and accusations of sexual misconduct. Ed writes that it is a worthwhile “cautionary tale” and will spark spirited discussion among friends. (4.5 stars)
- NIGHTINGALE—Director/writer Jennifer Kentd film forces us to watch such intense scenes of violence that a viewer might want to leave, Ed writes. However, a bit of research into the history of Tasmania’s “Black War” shows that Ms. Kent’s film is a model of restraint. (5 stars)
- BADABOOK—Ed also reaches back to 2014 to recommend this earlier chilling tale by Jennifer Kent about a deeply troubled mother and son. He writes, “I am not a big fan of horror movies, but Australian writer/director Jennifer Kent ‘s film involving a pop-up book really got to me.” (4.5 stars)
- THE ART OF SELF DEFENSE—Some quirky characters and violence—especially with the likable Jesse Eisenberg as Casey, a timid bookkeeper—could make this movie a cult favorite. But the film’s moral compass is askew, Ed writes. (4 stars)
- THE FAREWELL—Writer/director Lulu Wang gives a peek into both Chinese culture and that of the immigrant in her warm comedy that begins and ends in New York City, but which unfolds mainly in a large city in China.