Snapshots - #37: It, Breathe, Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House

It (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Four inseparable friends in middle school bond with other three newcomers. They all have in common that they are bullied by the same people. Over the course of one summer they'll fend off bullies and face a centuries-old demon in the form of a clown, named Pennywise, whom has been disappearing kids and terrorizing the town of Derry, Maine, every twenty-seven years since the town was founded.
Based on Stephen King's novel of the same title, It is a movie with a smart script and a sympathetic ensemble of nerds that deliver light humor, and deep thrills. It doesn't hurt that each and every character has his or her own arc, thus one gets to know their motivations and fears before Pennywise enters head on into the picture.
In a nod to 1980s movie classics such as The Goonies, and the Brat Pack ensemble, the newest adaptation of It takes place at the end of that decade, when it seems, at least from the Hollywood perspective, that every kid harbored a genius insi…

Project Nim (♦♦♦♦)

I have had pets of different kinds throughout my life, and I'm very good with animals. In fact, as years have gone by I've grown more comfortable among animals than humans. Animals don't judge; they take you at face value, and I have seen animal behavior that cannot be described any other way than human. For that reason I think that animals have to be treated with empathy and consideration. Though I'm not an animal rights activist and I believe sometimes their rights are taking to the extreme, I feel heartbroken when I see animals suffering or being killed in human hands or care.

The reason for the diatribe above is the HBO documentary Project Nim, about a baby chimpanzee named Nim, who was raised as a human child with a family in New York, all in the name of science. The objective of the project was to find out the effects human interaction had on a developing chimpanzee, and if it could communicate with his human charges using sign language. As years went by and Nim grew stronger, it became a liability for the research scientist in charge of the project, setting in motion a chain of events that adversely impacted the rest of Nim's life.

Documentaries weren't my thing until I watched Blackfish and I was hooked. Blackfish explored the life of the orca whale Tillikum and the ethics and consequences of capturing animals for entertainment. As its environment negatively affected Tillikum, so did human interaction to Nim.

I find something very wrong with injecting diseases to animals as part of the process of a drug coming to the market. If we can't take good care of them, why do we even capture them and deny them an environment that is totally conducive to their development as is living with their fellow animals? The answer eludes me.


  1. It is a moral question and you are right to ask it. For me, the answer seems pretty obvious. Just because we can do it doesn't mean it is right to do it.

  2. This reminds me of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, the novel by Karen Joy Fowler. Similar idea along with what happened to the kids the chimp was raised with. Also gave me insight into animal activists.

    1. Then perhaps I should add that book to my reading list.

  3. Sounds like a sad film. And The Blackfish film chilled me totally.

    1. It was heartbreaking but it ended on a good note.


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