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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Film: Friends From France

Friends from France (a.k.a. Les Interdits) is a multilingual film about two cousins from France traveling to the USSR to help Soviet Jews escape to Israel. The vast majority of the film takes place within the one week they are in the USSR, and centers around their relationship with each other, and with their Jewish identities. I was struck by how, if only some lines were changed, the entire film could be about a sibling couple and there would be very little difference, except for the fact that everyone would be less open talking about it. Both of the main characters grew up together in a refugee camp, and their push and pull dynamic is reminiscent of other types of intense, but frowned upon relationships. The film isn't a thriller, or a mystery, but more of a personal drama about self-discovery and human connection.

The whole film can be watched on YouTube with English subtitles. It's not a fast paced movie, but it's not long either - just 90 minutes, which is rare these days. I liked it, though I'd say I enjoyed some other movies more.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Podcasts on Consanguinamory

There have been a series of podcasts coming out recently on consanguinamory. They've mostly focused on GSA, since there's been a wave of media coverage on GSA in the past couple of years. The Mike E & Emma podcast did a short interview with a woman in a relationship with her half-brother. They were really supportive, and it was nice to hear that the woman's family is supportive too.

Snap Judgement dedicated a portion of one of their episodes to an interview with a GSA couple. It also features supportive family members. It's so nice to hear stories of GSA couples getting acceptance, since so often the stories of GSA couples being arrested include family turning the couples in.

Now, after those short but important pieces, Nothing Off Limits has dedicated a string of podcast episodes to the subject, covering all possible angles. A podcast episode came out Sunday night featuring Cristina Shy. She did an excellent job, and the host is very understanding. This is the kind of coverage we need to move the movement forward. I want to thank both Cristina Shy and Michelle Ann Owens for all of this.

Cristina's final message is really powerful, and I wanted to reproduce it here for everyone who doesn't want to listen to the whole podcast:
America was founded on "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." People always forget about that last part. Freedom isn't just about doing whatever you want, it's about forging your own way in the world, and finding out how to be your best self. It's about making the world a better place for you, and those around you. My relationship with my brother is the best relationship I've ever had. Someone else coming and trying to ruin everything for us would not change what we've had. This relationship has made me grow as a person, and it has given me a reason to live. This is the path I have found for myself, and it has brought good into the world. And yet people still want to tell me that I do not have the right to decide what is best in life. They say I do not have the right to love this man, and be loved by this man. If they'd had their way, we never would've gotten together, and then I would never have learned all the things I've learned.

Imagine if every time you touched your partner affectionately, people harassed you. Image if you had to run in fear of the police finding out you were just having sex. Imagine if taking your kids to the doctor meant possibly losing them forever. What would the world look like then? I don't think it's a world anyone would want to live in, but that's the world everyone else is forcing us to live in. No-one should have the right to do this to another innocent person. We have not hurt anyone else, and we have not hurt each other. The world could only be better for letting us be free.
Edit:  The Nothing Off Limits episode with Jane of has just come out. Jane did an excellent job! This has been some of the best and fairest coverage our community has gotten, ever. I want to thank everyone involved for their work. You can read Jane's original interview with Keith here.