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Television

Surviving Escobar

Much to my surprise, I’m still watching Surviving Escobar — Alias JJ, the 60-part Netflix series. In the past two weeks, I’ve watched 41 episodes. Yesterday, I binged on two.  Tonight, I’ll watch two more. I never thought I’d make that kind of commitment to a television show, but it’s that addictive. I tuned in to […]

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Television

Is The American Media Imperilled?

We live in age when the media in America is under constant fire by conservative elites. President Donald Trump has led the charge, having accused newspapers and television networks of manufacturing “fake news.” Journalism appears to be under siege, begging the question whether the First Amendment, guaranteeing freedom of the press, is in danger of being […]

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Television

America’s First Foodie

A discussion about food in the United States would be incomplete without a long and appreciative nod to James Beard. A cook, author, syndicated newspaper columnist, consultant and teacher, he’s the subject of a forthcoming PBS profile, American Masters — James Beard: America’s First Foodie, which will be broadcast on May 19 at 9 p.m. […]

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Television

Unit 8200

Computer hackers, the bane of corporations and bloggers alike, are the heroes of Martin Himel’s documentary, Unit 8200, which will be broadcast by Vision TV in Canada on Monday, May 8 at 9 p.m. Two decades ago, hackers were regarded as common criminals, says Yossi Melman, an Israeli journalist who specializes in intelligence and strategic […]

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Television

The Cuba Libre Story

Cuba usually comes to mind at this time of the year as the weather in Toronto goes from bad to worse. Holed up in my winter-bound house, I think of Cuba’s sunny weather, its sandy beaches, its turquoise waters and its tropical vegetation. Call it, if you wish, Cuba on the brain. But the lure […]

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Television

The Architect Who Saw The Future

Eero Saarinen passed away five decades ago, but his architectural legacy remains firm and strong. “He figured out a way to be important across time, so even though he died young, he is still alive,” says his son, Eric, who takes us on a journey of his father’s works in Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who […]

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Television

Nazi Death Squads

With the launch of Operation Barbarossa, Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Holocaust entered a new and much more deadly phase. As the German army conquered vast swaths of territory, coming perilously close to capturing Moscow, mobile killing squads, known as Einsatzgruppen, were set loose to murder communist officials and […]

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Television

Armistice: The End Game Of World War I

Ninety eight years ago, on an overcast day on November 11, 1918, the long nightmare of World War I ended with an armistice. Optimists claimed that World War I would be “the war to end all wars.” But in fact, the armistice, signed in a railway carriage in France by the Allied powers and Germany, would […]

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Television

Shtisel Highlights Ultra-Orthodox Jews

The ultra-Orthodox Jews of  Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood are an island onto themselves. Fanatically observant and utterly disdainful of Israeli secular society, they’re intensely insular and obsessively self-absorbed. To the vast majority of Israelis, these pre-modern Jews are virtually strangers. They may as well be Martians, but they’re Israelis. Shtisel, an Israeli television drama which […]

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Television

Hitler Of The Andes

  Adolf Hitler and his wife, Eva Braun, committed suicide in their Berlin bunker on April 30, 1945 as the Red Army advanced into the German capital. Hitler’s ignominious death was confirmed by German radio and by Marshall Georgy Zhukov, the commander of Soviet forces in Germany. Since then, the circumstances surrounding Hitler’s demise have […]