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Lewis Beale

Lewis Beale
Lewis Beale is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Newsday and many other publications.

Recent posts

 

A Classic ‘Feel Bad’ Movie About Progress

The new documentary “Surviving Progress” takes a cautionary view of modern advancement and sees major problems at every juncture.

 

Documentary Frames Graphic Art’s Political Ferment

A stirring compilation of instances where the pen, or brush, was equivalent to the sword raises the question of whether it can compete with the keyboard.

 

Study: More Black Juveniles Sentenced to Life Without Parole

As the U.S. Supreme Court gets ready to examine life without parole for juvenile killers, a new study identifies the racial and sociological backstories of the existing prisoners.

 

From Modern Albania, A Feudal Tragedy

“The Forgiveness of Blood” looks at a Balkan nation that has left behind feudalism and then communism but not the traditions of the blood feud.

 

A Masterful Look at Anti-Apartheid

South Africa’s painful journey from white minority domination to democracy, and the roles played by the rest of the world, is chronicled in a five-part documentary airing on PBS.

 

Two Russian Films Give Differing Views of Motherland

“Khodorkovsky” and “Hipsters,” two wildly different films currently making rounds of U.S., suggest that each step forward in Russia is greeted with one step back.

 

Searing Look at Rio’s Homicidal Police

As Brazil prepares to host two high-profile global events, filmmaker José Padilha suggests that while improving security is a worthy goal, its methods and rationale are deeply flawed.

 

Reintroducing Paul Goodman, the ‘Public Intellectual’

A new documentary film, “Paul Goodman Changed My Life,” tells the at-times risqué story of the seminal public intellectual of the American left whose impact evaporated after his death in 1972.

 

‘American Teacher’ Argues for Increasing Salaries

“American Teacher” argues the best prescription for the United States’ ailing public schools is paying the educators a better salary.

 

Film Recalls U.S.’s First Overseas Guerilla War

The latest headlines from Afghanistan repeat the old stories Americans first heard from the Philippines, suggests the newest movie by independent filmmaker John Sayles.

 

What a Chimp Teaches Us About Humans

“Project Nim,” a documentary film examining the story of Nim Chimpsky, a chimpanzee who learned to communicate with people using sign language, reveals more about people than other primates.

 

The Last Mountain: A Scary Movie About … Coal

In his film review of “The Last Mountain,” Lewis Beale describes a horror flick about environmental degradation and predatory capitalism.

 

Lessons Learned From School and War

Reviews of two serious feature films examining true occurrences: the uplifting “The First Grader” and the brutal “City of Life and Death.”

 

Documentary Tells Story of Art Saved from Stalin’s Fury

The documentary ‘The Desert of Forbidden Art’ tells the story of the Igor Savitsky Museum, a remote refuge for Soviet-era art that ran afoul of Stalin’s diktat.

 

‘Making the Boys’ Examines Controversial Gay Play

Documentary film “Making the Boys” recounts the rise, fall and redemption of the groundbreaking and controversial play, “The Boys in the Band.”

 

Book Banners Finding Power in Numbers

Efforts to ban books in schools have shifted subjects and tactics, with the efforts of single parents now being replaced by organizations.

 

A Hiding Place for Nuclear Waste

A new film documenting Finland’s effort to seal away nuclear waste for the next 100 millennia asks how one predicts 100,000 years into the future.

 

Robert E. Lee Without the Halo

A new documentary finds that Robert E. Lee, the beau ideal of the Confederate officer and gentleman, also represented some of the less savory aspects of the Lost Cause.

 

Bhutto Soap Opera Makes for a Compelling Film

The murders, intrigues and expanses of Pakistan’s first female prime minister seem made for the big screen, and a new documentary is a game first step in that direction.

 

Eliot Spitzer’s Rise and Fall, and Potential Return

Eliot Spitzer, the shooting star of New York state politics, takes part in the documentary “Client 9,” which looks at the sex scandal that doused his light.

 

‘Carlos’ Brilliant Look at Real Terrorist

“Carlos,” a monumental feature film about the 1970s terrorist Carlos the Jackal, covers the bases historically and still provides a crackling good experience cinematically.

 

Alternative Sentencing Gaining Acceptance

Changes in attitudes, technology and finances have eroded the stance that a prison cell is the best home for every convicted criminal. Alternative sentencing is finding creative ways to deal with low-level, nonviolent offenders.

 

‘Howl’: Sex, Poetry and America in the ’50s

A new movie looks at the seminal 1955 obscenity trial centering on Allen Ginsberg’s epic Beat poem ‘Howl.’

 

‘A Film Unfinished’ Focuses on Nazi Documentary

“A Film Unfinished” shows the pains that Nazi documentarians took to ensure that their take on the “Jewish problem” came through.

 

It’s the End of the World as We Blow It

‘Countdown to Zero,’ a documentary history of nuclear weapons and possibility of radioactive terrorism, offers a cautionary tale for atomic powers.

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Trust Is Waning, and Inequality May Be To Blame

Trust in others and confidence in institutions is declining, while economic inequality creeps up, a new study shows.

Dopamine Might Be Behind Impulsive Behavior

A monkey study suggests the brain chemical makes what's new and different more attractive.

School Counselors Do More Than You’d Think

Adding just one counselor to a school has an enormous impact on discipline and test scores, according to a new study.

How a Second Language Trains Your Brain for Math

Second languages strengthen the brain's executive control circuits, with benefits beyond words.

Would You Rather Go Blind or Lose Your Mind?

Americans consistently fear blindness, but how they compare it to other ailments varies across racial lines.

The Big One

One company, Amazon, controls 67 percent of the e-book market in the United States—down from 90 percent five years ago. September/October 2014 new-big-one-5

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