Archive for April, 2011

A passionate cause

Posted on April 20, 2011 by Leave a comment

Suzz Cromwell visited my Film, Video and Society class yesterday at Middlesex Community College to share info on the Lowell Film Collaborative and upcoming Lowell Film Festival, with its Civil War theme.

But she also brought in Rich Garella, producer of the documentary Who Killed Chea Vichea?, which the Lowell Film Collaborative was screening that night at the National Park Visitors Center.

The film is about the assassination of Chea Vichea, who was Cambodia’s most prominent, respected labor leader, and director Bradley Cox’s five-year-effort to unmask the forces behind the murder that sent fear through this country.

Garella shared his experiences as a producer with my students, who were full of questions and clearly fascinated and moved by the clips of the film that he showed. It opened their eyes to another culture and what is happening there. It also elicited their sympathies and made them realize quite vividly what horrors still exist in Cambodia. I had shared some this with them in discussions last week, but this film made it so much more real to them.

Kudos to Garella and Cox for their efforts, which will be shown across the country on PBS stations in May. And thanks to Suzz and Brett Cromwell for their efforts to bring such films to audiences here, at no cost to viewers.

The Lowell Film Collaborative is another institution that adds luster to the city’s shine.

Greenlaw chats

Posted on April 20, 2011 by Leave a comment

I can’t wait to hear what Linda Greenlaw has to say when she visits the Pollard Memorial Library next Thursday – that’s the 28th – to share her life story at the annual benefit for library programs hosted by the library’s friends and foundation.

Chatting with Greenlaw a couple of weeks ago, for a story running on the cover of The Sun’s Steppin’ Out tomorrow – that’s the 21st – was a dream come true for me.

My husband and I are big Greenlaw fans and have all her books on our shelves. We were first introduced to her, as was the rest of the world, in Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm, which sheds light on the infamous 1991 maelstrom along the East Coast that took the lives of all on board the Andrea Gale, sister ship to the Hannah Boden, which Greenlaw skippered.

What’s amazing about her is that she stands no taller than 5-foot 2-inches, yet has gained fame and fortune as the only female swordboat skipper in the U.S.

But thanks to Junger’s praise on that account – he called her “the best captain on the East Coast, period” in his book – Greenlaw was tapped by publishers to tell her story. Eleven years later, she’s become an acclaimed writer and publishing success story with numerous books under her belt and more on the way. That’s all the better for us, her fans.

I particularly like The Lobster Chronicles,  which details her return to Isle au Haut, the family’s Maine island home, and her foray into lobstering after years on the high seas. Like Greenlaw, it’s witty, feisty and a bit salty. She’s also done a fine job on the cookbook Recipes from a Very Small Island, which she co-authored with her equally feisty mom, Martha, a noteworthy cook.

She promises that her talk will be light-hearted and casual, and she’s eager to answer questions. So bring them on.

I’ll be there, six books in hand for her to sign. It’s $40 at the door and includes a reception. It all starts at 6 p.m.

Check out my story in tomorrow’s Sun on the cover of Steppin’ Out for more on Linda Greenlaw.