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Parallel Mothers at TIFF

Monday, for a bit, felt like life returning: a movie and dinner downtown for the first time in, what, a year or more? No, Ken and I saw a movie some months ago and dined afterwards. But that’s twice in a very long time. 

Annie, her older son Nick, and I saw the new Almodovar film Parallel Mothers at TIFF and then Sam joined us. It’s a moving film full of very bright, colourful Spanish interiors and greenery and of course the most beautiful woman in the world, Penelope Cruz; it’s really unfair she’s also a good actress. It’s about motherhood but also coming to terms with the past, in this case, the massacres by Franco’s fascists in the thirties that Spain has only recently begun to deal with. There’s an actual Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory. Powerful stuff. 

Coming out after to the cold grey murk of once-lively King Street, where many restaurants have closed because of Covid, was sad, though we did eventually find an open place for dinner. The young men share an interest in the beer business and know lots of people in common in the restaurant world. I was just stunned to be out.

There was a roving band of anti-vaxxers downtown waving Canadian flags, chanting about freedom, disrupting traffic. A pundit on Steve Paikin’s show tonight made clear it’s what she called “an astroturf movement” as opposed to a grassroots movement – that is, not arising from the people at all, but heavily funded by libertarian, quasi-fascist forces that want to abolish government or at least severely limit its power. Makes sense.

And Putin – what to say? A monster.

Mostly, on these cold days, I put my head down and work. Got the essay manuscript into shape and sent it to Ellie tonight for a final edit. And then it will go out into the world, somewhere, and I can move on. 

Tomorrow I see my family doctor for a checkup for the last time; though considerably younger than I, she’s retiring. I have a very long list of things to run by her, the disintegrating bits of my body. Fun times.

Something pretty for you after this rather gloomy screed: Christi Belcourt’s latest. Beauty.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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