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Posts Tagged ‘documentary’

God Save the Queen

by Mimi Blankenship Coupland on September 16th, 2015

QE2 Longest ReignA standard interview question is “Who would you like to meet and why?”  My answer for years has been Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – she has experienced many changes, both good and bad, and has conducted herself with dignity and aplomb.  On 09 September 2015, Queen Elizabeth surpassed the previous record set by Queen Victoria as the longest reigning monarch with 63 years and 217 days.  Like Queen Victoria, she is the only other sovereign to celebrate her 60th Diamond Jubilee.  This occurred in 2012 and many books and documentaries were released to celebrate that auspicious occasion.

Coronation cover.phpThe Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (2012) is an hour-long documentary that details everything from the planning stage through to the ceremony.  Since it was televised to the nation at that time, it is comprised of landmark footage plus interviews with actual participants.

Princess Elizabeth's Spy cover.phpShe is fictionalized in Princess Elizabeth’s Spy (2012) as a 14-year-old girl stashed away for safety, along with her sister, in Windsor Castle during World War II.  This book by Susan Elia MacNeal is the second in the Maggie Hope Mystery series.  Maggie is not happy to be posted as a tutor/babysitter, but when one of their group dies under mysterious circumstances, they discover a much larger threat.  “Lilibet” assists immensely in foiling the plot.

The Queen and I cover.phpIn The Queen and I (1992) by Sue Townsend, Queen Elizabeth’s “annus horribilis” becomes much more awful.  Due to a change in government, she and her family are forced to move into a council estate, basically a group of downtrodden duplexes.  The story chronicles their attempts to be “ordinary” people with poignancy and humor.

Mrs Queen Takes the Train cover.phpAlthough Mrs Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn was published in 2012, the events in the novel take place “several years ago”.  In a fit of nostalgia, the Queen decides to visit her old yacht Britannia, now retired to a berth in Leith, Scotland.  When members of staff discover she’s scarpered, they set off to retrieve her before the tabloids discover Queen Elizabeth’s disappearance.  It is a character study not only of the Queen but Britons of all sorts.

The Diamond Queen cover.phpLastly, I recommend The Diamond Queen (2012) for an intense, yet intimate, look at Queen Elizabeth’s life.  This three-part documentary follows her activities over a year and a half culminating in the 60th Jubilee festivities.  It also includes personal interviews with many other members of the royal family.

Like Halley’s Comet, take a moment to savour [sic] this once-in-a-lifetime event!

Explore the Importance of Seeds at ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on July 22nd, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library will explore the shift of seeds from a local resource to a corporately-owned property with a screening of Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds tonight (Wednesday, July 22).open-sesame

This 2015 environmental documentary by M. Sean Kaminsky looks at the challenges facing one of the world’s most precious resources: seeds. In the past, seeds were saved season-to-season and shared gardener-to-gardener. Today, more than half of the seed stock is controlled by three major corporations. Open Sesame details the history of seeds and presents the challenges organic and small growers, seed savers and seed freedom advocates face today.

The film will be shown in Room A at 7 p.m. Popcorn will be provided.

Our exploration and understanding of seeds continues on Wednesday, July 29, with a presentation by Seed Savers Exchange from Decorah.

Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the preservation and utilization of heirloom varieties since 1975, working with farmers and gardeners to ensure that these unique varieties are not lost forever.

This event begins at 7 p.m. in Meeting Room A. It is co-sponsored by New Pioneer Food Co-op and will be broadcast LIVE on The Library Channel, Iowa City cable channel 20.

Both events are part of the 2015 Adult Summer Reading Program.

For more information, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.

Twice as Nice!

by Mimi Blankenship Coupland on July 21st, 2015

Often in my civilian life I am recognized and greeted by patrons, whether at HyVee, the bus stop, even on the plane home at Christmas.  Sometimes it isn’t me though – it’s my identical twin sister who also lives in Iowa City.  Instead of regaling you with anecdotes of a twin’s life, I’ll let these authors enlighten you about these special siblings.

Separated @ Birth cover.phpIn Separated @ Birth: A True Love Story of Twin Sisters Reunited (2014) by Anais Bordier and Samantha Futerman, two sisters discover each other’s existence because of a video on YouTube.  Told from alternating viewpoints, this book chronicles that beginning of their relationship, their first face-to-face meeting, and other milestones.  Even if you are not adopted, nor a twin, this heartwarming memoir will make you smile.

There are two related items:  one is a companion documentary “Twinsters” released in 2015; the other is an article in the 12 July 2015 New York Times Magazine titled “The Mixed-Up Brothers of Bogata” about two sets of twins switched at birth and raised as fraternal twins.

Trading Faces cover.phpTrading Faces (2009) is the first book in a series written by identical twin sisters Julia De Villers and Jennifer Roy.  It introduces Payton, the “pretty” one, and Emma, the “smart” one.  Because of a wardrobe malfunction, they must switch clothes and identities for the day.  Needless to say, that becomes not the only time; however, they learn that it’s okay not to adhere so rigidly to labels and how to use their individual skills to help each other as well as others.

The Third Twin cover.phpThis final suggestion is a fascinating novel; I have read it multiple times.  The Third Twin (1996) by Ken Follett features Dr. Jeannie Ferrami who is studying nature versus nurture.  She is raped but the suspect claims his innocence.  Further investigation uncovers another man with identical DNA.  And, as the title indicates, there emerges a third character.  Part mystery and part thriller, the plot is quite intricate and intriguing.

Nowadays, multiple births are common.  Even if you are not lucky enough to have congenital buddies, you can experience some of the joy here.

ICPL to screen Unsung Heroes July 8

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on July 2nd, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library will screen Unsung Heroes: The Story of America’s Female Patriots at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 8, in Meeting Room A.unsung heroes

This 2014 documentary gives a first-hand look at the women who answered the call to serve and defend their country, sharing their experiences through rare photographs, archival materials, personal memorabilia and on-camera interviews. Called an inspiring story of perseverance and triumph, the film commemorates their courage and strength.

This event is part of the 2015 Adult Summer Reading Program. It is free to the public and popcorn will be provided.

For more information, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.

ICPL to screen DamNation on April 22

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 15th, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library will celebrate Earth Day with a screening of DamNation at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 22.EarthDayFilm

Winner of the 2014 SXSW Film Festival Audience Choice Award in the Documentary Spotlight category, DamNation explores the change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers.

Dams were created to control seasonal flooding, create recreational lakes, and generate power, but by doing so, entire ecosystems were changed or destroyed. Now, as obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life as native species return to their primeval spawning grounds after decades without access.

Named the Best Conservation Film at the 2014 International Wildlife Film Festival and winner of the Environmental Advocacy Award at the 2014 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital, DamNation has been praised as “ … quick, smart doc on the natural havoc dams cause.”

Directed by Ben Knight and Travis Rummel, this 87-minute film will be shown in the big screen in Meeting Room A. This event is co-sponsored by ECO Iowa City. Popcorn will be provided.

For more information, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.

Iowa City Public Library to screen Raising Ms. President

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on October 10th, 2014

The Iowa City Public Library will show a free screening of “Raising Ms. President,” a documentary about raising the next generation of female political leaders, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8, in Meeting Room A. raising ms prez

Studies show that when more women are at the political decision-making table, their presence makes a difference. The problem, though, is that many women don’t want to run for office, saying they are underqualified. This is despite the fact that women make up more than 50 percent of the population and workforce, are college graduates, and have higher earning power before their reach their 30th birthday.

“Raising Ms. President” looks at where political ambition begins and how to get more women to run for office in order to create a stronger country and world.

This screening is free and open to the public. It is co-sponsored by the Library, the League of Women Voters of Johnson County, Girls on the Run of Eastern Iowa, and the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.

For more information, call the Library at (319) 356-5200.