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all things considered

Fives and Twenty-Fives by Michael Pitre
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All Things Considered: Marine Turned Novelist Brings Brutal, Everyday Work Of War Into Focus
A novel by an Iraq War veteran presents the stories of platoon leader Lieutenant Donovan, who feels isolated by his rank; medic Doc Pleasant, who is unraveled by the deaths of friends; and Iraqi interpreter Dodge, who both loves and hates what America represents.

Fives and Twenty-Fives by Michael Pitre

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

All Things Considered: Marine Turned Novelist Brings Brutal, Everyday Work Of War Into Focus

A novel by an Iraq War veteran presents the stories of platoon leader Lieutenant Donovan, who feels isolated by his rank; medic Doc Pleasant, who is unraveled by the deaths of friends; and Iraqi interpreter Dodge, who both loves and hates what America represents.

The Lost Estate (Le Grand Meaulnes) by Henri Alain-Fournier
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All Things Considered: As Summer Winds Down, Wistful Dreams Of A ‘Lost Estate’
When Meaulnes first arrives in Sologne, everyone is captivated by his good looks, daring, and charisma. But when he attends a strange party at a mysterious house with a beautiful girl hidden inside, he is changed forever. Translated by Robin Buss.

The Lost Estate (Le Grand Meaulnes) by Henri Alain-Fournier

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All Things Considered: As Summer Winds Down, Wistful Dreams Of A ‘Lost Estate’

When Meaulnes first arrives in Sologne, everyone is captivated by his good looks, daring, and charisma. But when he attends a strange party at a mysterious house with a beautiful girl hidden inside, he is changed forever. Translated by Robin Buss.

The Story of Land and Sea: A Novel by Katy Simpson Smith
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All Things Considered: Novel Explores A Time When A Woman Might Not Live To Meet Her Child
NPR: 'Land And Sea' Is An Unceasingly Bleak Story
A sweeping generational story, set in a small coastal town in North Carolina during the waning years of the American Revolution, follows fathers and daughters, mother and son, and master and slave as they search for redemption during a time of war, servitude, and love.

The Story of Land and Sea: A Novel by Katy Simpson Smith

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

All Things Considered: Novel Explores A Time When A Woman Might Not Live To Meet Her Child

NPR: 'Land And Sea' Is An Unceasingly Bleak Story

A sweeping generational story, set in a small coastal town in North Carolina during the waning years of the American Revolution, follows fathers and daughters, mother and son, and master and slave as they search for redemption during a time of war, servitude, and love.

The Sultan of Byzantium by Selcuk Altun
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All Things Considered: Mystery Writer Finds Istanbul’s Byzantine Past Hiding In Plain Sight
A quiet academic living in Istanbul receives a message from a mysterious organization telling him that he’s a descendant of the last Byzantine emperor, and posing a series of tests to determine whether he’s a worthy successor. Translated by Clifford Endres and Selhan Endres.

The Sultan of Byzantium by Selcuk Altun

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

All Things Considered: Mystery Writer Finds Istanbul’s Byzantine Past Hiding In Plain Sight

A quiet academic living in Istanbul receives a message from a mysterious organization telling him that he’s a descendant of the last Byzantine emperor, and posing a series of tests to determine whether he’s a worthy successor. Translated by Clifford Endres and Selhan Endres.

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens by Benedict Carey
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All Things Considered: Studying? Take A Break And Embrace Your Distractions
A science reporter presents an exploration of what is known about learning and memory that considers how to adapt negative characteristics to expand learning potential.

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens by Benedict Carey

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

All Things Considered: Studying? Take A Break And Embrace Your Distractions

A science reporter presents an exploration of what is known about learning and memory that considers how to adapt negative characteristics to expand learning potential.

Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
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All Things Considered: 'This Fight Begins In The Heart': Reading James Baldwin As Ferguson Seethes
The author shares his views of black thought and the conditions of black life in America during the 1940’s and early 1950’s.

Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin

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All Things Considered: 'This Fight Begins In The Heart': Reading James Baldwin As Ferguson Seethes

The author shares his views of black thought and the conditions of black life in America during the 1940’s and early 1950’s.

What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye
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All Things Considered: "What’s Going On?:" A New Generation Answers
Morning Edition: "What’s Going On?:" A Departure That Defined A Generation
Weekend Edition: Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?:” Songs We Love
It has been hailed as Marvin Gaye’s masterpiece and soul music’s finest moment. What’s Going On, a song cycle focusing on the shattered American dream of the early 1970s, melded a darkly atmospheric, jazzy sound with heartfelt lyrics about the country’s military plight abroad and socio‑economic problems at home, to create what many still perceive as the apex of artistic musical expression. 
Released in May 1971, Gaye’s 11th studio album cast the singer‑songwriter‑musician with the four‑octave vocal range — who had spent the past decade recording sensual R&B hits — in the role of a disillusioned Vietnam War veteran. The reason for his disillusionment? On his return, he discovers that the America whose values he’s been defending is plagued by poverty, police brutality, drug abuse, abandoned children, urban decay and civil unrest. In more ways than one, What’s Going On was different than anything that Gaye or Motown had previously issued, taking its inspiration from the classic track of the same name that he’d recorded in June 1970 and which, in March 1971, hit number two on the Billboard Hot 100.

What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye

Buy  Buy CD | Vinyl | iTunes

All Things Considered: "What’s Going On?:" A New Generation Answers

Morning Edition: "What’s Going On?:" A Departure That Defined A Generation

Weekend Edition: Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?:” Songs We Love

It has been hailed as Marvin Gaye’s masterpiece and soul music’s finest moment. What’s Going On, a song cycle focusing on the shattered American dream of the early 1970s, melded a darkly atmospheric, jazzy sound with heartfelt lyrics about the country’s military plight abroad and socio‑economic problems at home, to create what many still perceive as the apex of artistic musical expression. 

Released in May 1971, Gaye’s 11th studio album cast the singer‑songwriter‑musician with the four‑octave vocal range — who had spent the past decade recording sensual R&B hits — in the role of a disillusioned Vietnam War veteran. The reason for his disillusionment? On his return, he discovers that the America whose values he’s been defending is plagued by poverty, police brutality, drug abuse, abandoned children, urban decay and civil unrest. In more ways than one, What’s Going On was different than anything that Gaye or Motown had previously issued, taking its inspiration from the classic track of the same name that he’d recorded in June 1970 and which, in March 1971, hit number two on the Billboard Hot 100.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: A Novel by Haruki Murakami
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All Things Considered: Haruki Murakami Paints A ‘Colorless’ Character In A Vividly Imagined World
Thirty-six-year-old Tsukuru Tazaki meets a woman named Sara who raises questions about a painful incident from his youth in which his closest friends all cut off relations with him without explanation, and inspires him to find out why.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: A Novel by Haruki Murakami

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

All Things Considered: Haruki Murakami Paints A ‘Colorless’ Character In A Vividly Imagined World

Thirty-six-year-old Tsukuru Tazaki meets a woman named Sara who raises questions about a painful incident from his youth in which his closest friends all cut off relations with him without explanation, and inspires him to find out why.

Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by MD, Judy Melinek, T.J. Mitchell
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All Things Considered: Medical Examiner: ‘Staying Alive Is Mostly Common Sense’
A New York City forensic pathologist describes her experiences working as a medical examiner during the events of September 11, the subsequent anthrax attack, and the plane crash of Flight 587.

Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by MD, Judy Melinek, T.J. Mitchell

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

All Things Considered: Medical Examiner: ‘Staying Alive Is Mostly Common Sense’

A New York City forensic pathologist describes her experiences working as a medical examiner during the events of September 11, the subsequent anthrax attack, and the plane crash of Flight 587.

Lauren Bacall 1924 - 2014
Award-winning actress Lauren Bacall was Humphrey Bogart’s partner on and off the screen. She was nominated for an Academy Award, won two Tony Awards and received an honorary Oscar in 2009.  Beautiful, elegant, sultry and sexy, one more link to “old hollywood” has been lost and will be missed.  In 1999, Bacall was the 20th out of 25 actresses listed on the AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Stars list with films such as “To Have or Have Not,” “Key Largo,”: “How To Marry a Millionaire,” and “The Mirror has Two Faces.”
As Heard on Public Radio:
Morning Edition: Hollywood, Broadway Icon Lauren Bacall Dies at 89
All Things Considered: The Countless Lives of Lauren Bacall
Fresh Air: Lauren Bacall
Notable Perfromances:
Great Classic Film Legends: Lauren Bacall - 4 classic films demonstrating both her beauty and talent - Includes Key Largo, Blood Alley, Dark Passage and Designing Woman.
The Mirror has Two Faces - Lauren Bacall was the odds on favorite to win the best supporting actress Oscar for her portrayal of Barbara Streisand’s overbearing, manipulative, over-the top, controlling mother.
How To Marry a Millionaire - Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe, what more could a man ask for?  How about the 3 beautiful leads delivering wonderful, nuanced, comedic performances about the search for a rich husband.  Very entertaining!

Lauren Bacall 1924 - 2014

Award-winning actress Lauren Bacall was Humphrey Bogart’s partner on and off the screen. She was nominated for an Academy Award, won two Tony Awards and received an honorary Oscar in 2009.  Beautiful, elegant, sultry and sexy, one more link to “old hollywood” has been lost and will be missed.  In 1999, Bacall was the 20th out of 25 actresses listed on the AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Stars list with films such as “To Have or Have Not,” “Key Largo,”: “How To Marry a Millionaire,” and “The Mirror has Two Faces.”

As Heard on Public Radio:

Morning Edition: Hollywood, Broadway Icon Lauren Bacall Dies at 89

All Things Considered: The Countless Lives of Lauren Bacall

Fresh Air: Lauren Bacall

Notable Perfromances:

Great Classic Film Legends: Lauren Bacall - 4 classic films demonstrating both her beauty and talent - Includes Key Largo, Blood Alley, Dark Passage and Designing Woman.

The Mirror has Two Faces - Lauren Bacall was the odds on favorite to win the best supporting actress Oscar for her portrayal of Barbara Streisand’s overbearing, manipulative, over-the top, controlling mother.

How To Marry a Millionaire - Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe, what more could a man ask for?  How about the 3 beautiful leads delivering wonderful, nuanced, comedic performances about the search for a rich husband.  Very entertaining!
Benjamin Booker by Benjamin Booker
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All Things Considered: For Benjamin Booker, A Missed Shot Became A Music Career
The Current: Album Review: Benjamin Booker, ‘Benjamin Booker’
The Current: Benjamin Booker performs in The Current studio
KCRW: Benjamin Booker
NPR First Listen: Benjamin Booker, ‘Benjamin Booker’
World Cafe: Benjamin Booker On World Cafe
NPR All Songs TV: Benjamin Booker, ‘Have You Seen My Son?’
Benjamin Booker is a young New Orleans based singer-songwriter. He is influenced by The Gun Club, Blind Willie Johnson, and T. Rex. Benjamin Booker’s debut self-titled album was produced by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray For The Riff Raff)

Benjamin Booker by Benjamin Booker

Buy  Buy CD | Vinyl | iTunes

All Things Considered: For Benjamin Booker, A Missed Shot Became A Music Career

The Current: Album Review: Benjamin Booker, ‘Benjamin Booker’

The Current: Benjamin Booker performs in The Current studio

KCRW: Benjamin Booker

NPR First Listen: Benjamin Booker, ‘Benjamin Booker’

World Cafe: Benjamin Booker On World Cafe

NPR All Songs TV: Benjamin Booker, ‘Have You Seen My Son?’

Benjamin Booker is a young New Orleans based singer-songwriter. He is influenced by The Gun Club, Blind Willie Johnson, and T. Rex. Benjamin Booker’s debut self-titled album was produced by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray For The Riff Raff)

Robin Williams - 1951 - 2014
Robin Williams passed away yesterday of an apparent suicide. He was a comedic genius who first rose to fame on television in the series “Mork and Mindy.” The success of this show led to a diversified carreer in television, feature films, stand-up and regular appearances on the USO tour. Among his many feature films are “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Dead Poet’s Society,” “Good Morning Vietnam,” and his Oscar winning performance in “Good Will Hunting.” 
One of my favorite stand up routines if Robin Williams’ riff on how the game of golf was created.  Watch
As Heard on Public Radio:
Press Play with Madeleine Brand: Remembering Robin Williams
Fresh Air: Robin Williams: In Looking For Laughs, ‘You Have To Be Deeply Honest’
NPR’s Monkey See: Robin Williams: A Supreme Talent Who Was Always On
NPR’s Monkey See: Remembering The Big-Hearted Comedy Of Robin Williams
NPR ED: What Robin Williams Taught Us About Teaching
All Things Considered: 'An Evening With Robin Williams,' Circa 1982
All Things Considered: Robin Williams, A Stand-up Act — On Stage, On Set And In Life
Morning Edition: Robin Williams’ Death Leaves Fans Reminiscing
Here & Now: After Robin Williams’ Death, A Look At Depression
Here & Now: Celebrating The Work Of Robin Williams
PRI’s The World: Many veterans remember Robin Williams’ morale-boosting performances for the troops
MPR Newscut: Robin Williams and his black dog
MPR Newscut: Why Robin Williams’ death has hit us so hard
NPR: Actor-Comedian Robin Williams Dies At 63
All Things Considered: Robin Williams, Comedic Master And Oscar Winner, Dies At 63
Morning Edition: Versatile Comedian Robin Williams Dies At 63
Below, we highlight a few of his best performances.
Notable Works:
Mork & Mindy - The series that propelled Robin Williams to superstardom!  It was his hilarious and funny portrayal of Mork from Ork as he struggled to adjust to life on Earth and report his findings back to his leader.  ”Mork’s Mixed Emotions” was listed as the 94th best episode of all time by TV Guide.
Mrs. Doubtfire - A wonderful comedy about a divorced father struggling to maintain a relationship with his children who dons a wig and dress to become his ex-wife’s housekeeper and nanny.  
Insomnia - This may be the performance that is most suprising (with the possible exception of One Hour Photo).  Robin Williams and Al Pacino at the top of their game!  Both performances are nuanced and surprising.  Al Pacino plays a homicide detective with a past who comes to Alaska to solve a murder where the Midnight Sun wreaks havok on his sleep and judgement as he tries to solve the case.
Good Will Hunting - Robin Williams Oscar winning performance for Best Supporting Actor anchors this feature film as he portrays the teacher who is the last resort to reaching one of the most intelligent humans who happens to have had one too many run ins with the law.
Dead Poets Society - Another brilliant supporting turn as a teacher who inspires his students to “Sieze the Day!”  Williams portrays John Keating, a teacher who inspires his students with his non-traditional approach to teaching but fails to impress other faculty at the upper class prep academy.
Good Morning Vietnam - Oscar nominated turn as a radio DJ who brings laughter to a war torn 1965 Saigon as he entertains the troops with his stories and music while upsetting the upper brass.
Aladdin - Robin Williams took the role of the genie for scale as a “thank you” to Disney for casting him in Good Morning Vietnam.  And here is a case of the genie who stole the movie with some of his best ad-libbed worked mixed into the scripted animated feature thus creating a Genie for all ages!  What a vocal powerhouse of a perfomance - so much so that Disney all but promoted Robin Williams’ Genie as a lead character even though he was not featured in much of the animated film.

Robin Williams - 1951 - 2014

Robin Williams passed away yesterday of an apparent suicide. He was a comedic genius who first rose to fame on television in the series “Mork and Mindy.” The success of this show led to a diversified carreer in television, feature films, stand-up and regular appearances on the USO tour. Among his many feature films are “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Dead Poet’s Society,” “Good Morning Vietnam,” and his Oscar winning performance in “Good Will Hunting.” 

One of my favorite stand up routines if Robin Williams’ riff on how the game of golf was created.  Watch

As Heard on Public Radio:

Press Play with Madeleine Brand: Remembering Robin Williams

Fresh Air: Robin Williams: In Looking For Laughs, ‘You Have To Be Deeply Honest’

NPR’s Monkey See: Robin Williams: A Supreme Talent Who Was Always On

NPR’s Monkey See: Remembering The Big-Hearted Comedy Of Robin Williams

NPR ED: What Robin Williams Taught Us About Teaching

All Things Considered: 'An Evening With Robin Williams,' Circa 1982

All Things Considered: Robin Williams, A Stand-up Act — On Stage, On Set And In Life

Morning Edition: Robin Williams’ Death Leaves Fans Reminiscing

Here & Now: After Robin Williams’ Death, A Look At Depression

Here & Now: Celebrating The Work Of Robin Williams

PRI’s The World: Many veterans remember Robin Williams’ morale-boosting performances for the troops

MPR Newscut: Robin Williams and his black dog

MPR Newscut: Why Robin Williams’ death has hit us so hard

NPR: Actor-Comedian Robin Williams Dies At 63

All Things Considered: Robin Williams, Comedic Master And Oscar Winner, Dies At 63

Morning Edition: Versatile Comedian Robin Williams Dies At 63

Below, we highlight a few of his best performances.

Notable Works:

Mork & Mindy - The series that propelled Robin Williams to superstardom!  It was his hilarious and funny portrayal of Mork from Ork as he struggled to adjust to life on Earth and report his findings back to his leader.  ”Mork’s Mixed Emotions” was listed as the 94th best episode of all time by TV Guide.

Mrs. Doubtfire - A wonderful comedy about a divorced father struggling to maintain a relationship with his children who dons a wig and dress to become his ex-wife’s housekeeper and nanny.  

Insomnia - This may be the performance that is most suprising (with the possible exception of One Hour Photo).  Robin Williams and Al Pacino at the top of their game!  Both performances are nuanced and surprising.  Al Pacino plays a homicide detective with a past who comes to Alaska to solve a murder where the Midnight Sun wreaks havok on his sleep and judgement as he tries to solve the case.

Good Will Hunting - Robin Williams Oscar winning performance for Best Supporting Actor anchors this feature film as he portrays the teacher who is the last resort to reaching one of the most intelligent humans who happens to have had one too many run ins with the law.

Dead Poets Society - Another brilliant supporting turn as a teacher who inspires his students to “Sieze the Day!”  Williams portrays John Keating, a teacher who inspires his students with his non-traditional approach to teaching but fails to impress other faculty at the upper class prep academy.

Good Morning Vietnam - Oscar nominated turn as a radio DJ who brings laughter to a war torn 1965 Saigon as he entertains the troops with his stories and music while upsetting the upper brass.

Aladdin - Robin Williams took the role of the genie for scale as a “thank you” to Disney for casting him in Good Morning Vietnam.  And here is a case of the genie who stole the movie with some of his best ad-libbed worked mixed into the scripted animated feature thus creating a Genie for all ages!  What a vocal powerhouse of a perfomance - so much so that Disney all but promoted Robin Williams’ Genie as a lead character even though he was not featured in much of the animated film.

Beefheart Vs. Zappa: When Don Met Frank
  Buy DVD
All Things Considered: Frank Zappa: A ‘Lumpy’ Legacy
Weekend Edition: Director’s Cuts: Frank Zappa’s Music Legacy
When it comes to musical eccentricity, no one has ever come close to the often strange and sometimes downright weird sonic achievements of the loosely connected Frank Vincent Zappa and Don Van Vliet. The fact that this pair of unconventional musicians and human beings ever managed to get anyone outside of their own enterprise zones to release their music in the first place is an achievement of staggering dimensions - particularly considering the conservative approach of most record companies both then and now. But it remains one that has enriched the lives of anyone who has taken the time to listen. This 2 x DVD set explores the relationship, the music and the lives of the good Captain and Uncle Frank, and in so doing it provides an unparalleled document on this oddest of couples and the anomalous art which they both produced during their fascinating lives.

Beefheart Vs. Zappa: When Don Met Frank

Buy  Buy DVD

All Things Considered: Frank Zappa: A ‘Lumpy’ Legacy

Weekend Edition: Director’s Cuts: Frank Zappa’s Music Legacy

When it comes to musical eccentricity, no one has ever come close to the often strange and sometimes downright weird sonic achievements of the loosely connected Frank Vincent Zappa and Don Van Vliet. The fact that this pair of unconventional musicians and human beings ever managed to get anyone outside of their own enterprise zones to release their music in the first place is an achievement of staggering dimensions - particularly considering the conservative approach of most record companies both then and now. But it remains one that has enriched the lives of anyone who has taken the time to listen. This 2 x DVD set explores the relationship, the music and the lives of the good Captain and Uncle Frank, and in so doing it provides an unparalleled document on this oddest of couples and the anomalous art which they both produced during their fascinating lives.

A Colder War by Charles Cumming
  Buy Book | Kindle | iBooks
As Heard on Public Radio:
All Things Considered: Book Review - ‘A Colder War’
The British spy writer Charles Cumming has half-a-dozen novels to his credit. And he has a growing reputation as the heir to the John le Carre tradition of British fiction. Our reviewer Alan Cheuse says Cumming’s latest novel, “A Colder War,” shows why.

A Colder War by Charles Cumming

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle | iBooks

As Heard on Public Radio:

All Things Considered: Book Review - ‘A Colder War’

The British spy writer Charles Cumming has half-a-dozen novels to his credit. And he has a growing reputation as the heir to the John le Carre tradition of British fiction. Our reviewer Alan Cheuse says Cumming’s latest novel, “A Colder War,” shows why.

The Railway Man
  Buy DVD | Blu-ray
All Things Considered: A Story Of Torture And Forgiveness That Spans A Half-Century
NPR: After The Horror Of War, What About Forgiveness?
WHYY’s RadioTimes: The true story of war, brutality and forgiveness in the new film, “The Railway Man”
The Takeaway: Colin Firth on Torture & ‘The Railway Man’
Here & Now: New Film Tells True Story From World War II
Take Two: Colin Firth opens up about his new film ‘The Railway Man’
Academy Award® Winners Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman star in the remarkable autobiography of Eric Lomax (Colin Firth), a British Army officer who is captured by the Japanese during WWII and sent to a POW camp, where he is tormented and forced to work on the Thai-Burma Railway. Decades later, still suffering the trauma of his wartime experiences, Lomax and his wife Patti (Nicole Kidman) discover that the Japanese interpreter responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and set out to confront him, in this powerful and inspiring tale of heroism, humanity and the redeeming power of love.

The Railway Man

Buy  Buy DVD | Blu-ray

All Things Considered: A Story Of Torture And Forgiveness That Spans A Half-Century

NPR: After The Horror Of War, What About Forgiveness?

WHYY’s RadioTimes: The true story of war, brutality and forgiveness in the new film, “The Railway Man”

The Takeaway: Colin Firth on Torture & ‘The Railway Man’

Here & Now: New Film Tells True Story From World War II

Take Two: Colin Firth opens up about his new film ‘The Railway Man’

Academy Award® Winners Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman star in the remarkable autobiography of Eric Lomax (Colin Firth), a British Army officer who is captured by the Japanese during WWII and sent to a POW camp, where he is tormented and forced to work on the Thai-Burma Railway. Decades later, still suffering the trauma of his wartime experiences, Lomax and his wife Patti (Nicole Kidman) discover that the Japanese interpreter responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and set out to confront him, in this powerful and inspiring tale of heroism, humanity and the redeeming power of love.

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