Barry Healy

Under the guise of “escaping Communism”, the United States encouraged Cuban parents to send their children to the US. Deb Shnookal has done a great service in minutely researching this escapade in both Cuba and the US, using official documents and personal memories, writes Barry Healy.

Cover of A Theatre for Dreamers by Polly Samson

Barry Healy reviews two stories — one a novel, the other a play — that examine the artists' colony on the Greek island of Hydra from the early 1950s to the early '60s.

The history of the Haitian slaves’ revolt has been well-documented by CLR James in The Black Jacobins, among other books. But the period in between has been largely left blank, writes Barry Healy.

Cover of Seducing and Killing Nazis

Nazi Germany's invasion of Holland was comparatively easy, but the Occupation was fraught due to the resistance. Among those who risked their lives in the struggle were three young women: Hannie Schaft and the sisters, Truus and Freddie Oversteegen. This book tells their story, writes Barry Healy.

The Good Wife (La Bonne Espouse)

How to be a Good Wife is charming, quirky celebration of women’s liberation and endorsement of the 1968 spirit, writes Barry Healy.

The Heights season 2 cast, photo by Ben King

Returning for its second season, The Heights provides a refreshingly new take on that great Australian TV staple, the soap opera, writes Barry Healy.

Liam Pierron as a troubled student in La Vie Scolaire

La Vie Scolaire sets out to show another side to Paris' famous banlieues, one that is more hopeful, but fails to develop into a memorable film, argues Barry Healy

Mohsen and Zunaira outside the ruins of their favourite bookshop in The Swallows of Kabul

The Swallows of Kabul is deeply affecting and graphically brings home the misogynistic barbarity of Taliban rule, writes Barry Healy.

Thomas Solivérès in Edmond

Barry Healy suggests grabbing a glass of nice red wine, settle down and laugh watching Edmond until you hyperventilate.

Cloudstreet is one heck of a theatrical experience, one that was greeted with repeated standing ovations at its Perth opening night, writes Barry Healy.

At the height of the US invasion of Vietnam, about 500,000 United States military personnel were involved in the conflict. Of those, more than 50,000 lost their lives — and the US lost the war.

Two new books illustrate the enormous breadth, depth and courage of the soldier (GI) movement against the war.

Waging Peace in Vietnam is an ideological hand grenade thrown at the war mongers. Winter Warrior, for its part, uses a graphic, comic-book style to show the terrible personal cost inflicted on at least one anti-war Vet.

Karl Marx and the Birth of Modern Society: The Life of Karl Marx and the Development of His Work
Volume 1: 1818-1841
By Michael Heinrich
Monthly Review Press, 2019 
390 pp., $46.00

In the opening lines of this book Michael Heinrich quotes from an 1868 letter in which Karl Marx mentions a publisher’s request for a biography. “Not only did I not send one”, said Marx, “I did not even reply to the letter.”

Maryanne Ilhen

Maryanne & Leonard, Words of Love
Documentary film directed by Nick Broomfield
In cinemas

As I emerged from the media preview for this film, I heard another viewer mutter that it was “the most self-indulgent film I’ve ever seen”.

So, beware! This documentary about Leonard Cohen’s personal and artistic life will cut the sheep from the goats of fans and detractors – much like his music and atonal singing have always done.

Donald Duck helping stop a revolution

How to Read Donald Duck
By Ariel Dorfman & Armand Mattelart, translated by David Kunzle
Pluto Press, 2019 
192 pp, $17.00

Today, as the streets of Chile burn with rebellion, it is timely to look back on this book, which was burned by the military during the 1973 overthrow of the socialist Salvador Allende presidency.

Mrs Lowry & Son
Directed by Adrian Noble
Starring Vanessa Redgrave & Timothy Spall
In cinemas as part of the MINI British Film Festival

This film adaptation of the stage play by Martyn Hesford shows the early life of one of the titans of modern British art, L. S. Lowry, famous for his paintings of “matchstick people” going about their lives in working class northern England.

His simplistic style evokes beauty in what was considered squalid and lower class.

Evald Ilyenkov

Finding Evald Ilyenkov: How a Soviet philosopher who stood up for dialectics continues to inspire
By Corinna Lotz
Lupus Books, 2019 
57 pp., $8
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