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Idris Elba in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Photo by Keith Bernstein/The Weinstein Company

WATCH LIST: December 2013

By Observer Staff

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

British actor Idris Elba portrays the hero of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement in this moving adaptation of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography. The film traces Mandela’s path from lawyer to resistance leader to political prisoner, a journey that eventually leads to the presidency. At the heart of the story is his passionate but fraught relationship with his wife, Winnie (Naomie Harris). Dec. 25

Blessed by Less: Clearing Your Life of Clutter by Living Lightly
BY SUSAN V. VOGT (Loyola Press)

Just in time for the Christmas shopping spree, author Susan Vogt offers a primer on doing more with less. The book springs from her own Lenten challenge to give away at least one thing each day. Forty days soon turned into a year as she discovered that clearing your closets can also free your spirit. Dec. 1

Jesus:  The Human Face of God
BY JAY PARINI (New Harvest)

Modern theology has sought to demythologize Jesus. By contrast, this new book by American poet and novelist Jay Parini celebrates the mythic Jesus and the enduring power of a story that has shaped people’s lives for over 2,000 years. Jesus: The Human Face of God is the first volume in ICONS, a series of short biographies edited by James Atlas. Dec. 3


Whether you thrill at hitting the slopes or curse the drifts in your driveway, snow is a defining part of the Canadian identity. Our obsession with the white stuff takes centre stage in a new exhibition at Ottawa’s Museum of Civilization. Exploring the cultural history of snow through art, sport and industry, the show features over 250 artifacts and runs until next September.
Dec. 6

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The author is baptized at Central United in Calgary. (Photo courtesy of Al Coe)

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