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WATCH LIST: July/August 2014

By Observer Staff

Get on Up
DIRECTED BY TATE TAYLOR, STARRING CHADWICK BOSEMAN, NELSAN ELLIS AND VIOLA DAVIS (Imagine Entertainment)


Tate Taylor, director of The Help, is back, this time bringing the life of music legend James Brown to the big screen. Brown, who died in 2006, was born into poverty during the 1930s and served a stint in prison as a teenager. This film chronicles his rise to fame alongside other soul musicians, including his close associate Bobby Byrd. Aug. 1

Qur’an in Conversation
BY MICHAEL BIRKEL
(Baylor University Press)


Through dialogues with Muslim scholars, imams and public intellectuals, author Michael Birkel explores Islam’s sacred text and its insights for contemporary North American society. The diversity of interpretations demonstrates the wide spectrum of thought among western Muslims and helps non-Muslims understand the Qur’an on a deeper level. Birkel is a practising Quaker and teaches at Indiana’s Earlham College. Aug. 15

The Giver
DIRECTED BY PHILLIP NOYCE, STARRING JEFF BRIDGES, BRENTON THWAITES AND MERYL STREEP (Walden Media)


This screen adaptation of an award-winning science fiction novel is set in a society that gives its memories away to avoid having to deal with emotions associated with war, death, loneliness and pain. Twelve-year-old Jonas is entrusted to keep these memories should they be needed one day. In doing so, he realizes what his community has lost by becoming emotionally paralyzed. Aug. 15

Sweetland
BY MICHAEL CRUMMEY
(Doubleday Canada)

Like most of Michael Crummey’s works, his latest tale is set close to home. The Newfoundland author tells the story of a remote island community off the province’s coast that dissolves when the government offers buyouts for residents to leave permanently. Retired fisherman Moses Sweetland is the sole dissident, going to great lengths to stay and preserve his deep connection with the land. Aug. 19


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