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Posted 12/23/2009

As a socially conscious filmgoer, I would differ with many of the 10 selections in City Paper's "The Year in Movies" (Top Ten, Feature, Dec. 9). Of course, as a long-time reader I know that social relevance is of no importance to most of the critics who review the cinema for City Paper. I agree with these selections: Revanche, Gomorrah, and The Hurt Locker.

In my opinion, the other seven lag far behind some brilliant, must-see movies. Probably the best mainstream Hollywood movie of 2009 was State of Play. How many movies touched the subject of tax dollars being paid to a mercenary corporation much like Blackwater? As the economy is in free fall, we needed Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story to get us motivated to do something.

If you want to see corporate malfeasance in action, check out The Informant! To see the effects of climate change, rent Earth. If you believe war is the answer, avoid The Messenger.

The Charles Theatre was gracious enough this year to screen several great foreign films: Everlasting Moments, a woman breaking out; Il Divo, a prime minister in bed with the Mafia; Lemon Tree, the brutality of the Israeli occupation; The Baader Meinhof Complex, the best example of the virtues of nonviolent direct action; and maybe the best of all, A Woman in Berlin, a story that reminds us not to pass judgment as we were not there.

Unfortunately, despite the revelatory nature of these wonderful socially conscious films, few people will see them. And even fewer will decide to speak out against the injustices which abound.

Max Obuszewski

Eat Those Words

This letter is in response to "Beans and Fiends" (The Mail, Dec. 9). After all the years of Beans and Bread doing good humanitarian work, this one stabbing should not be used to nullify the expansion project. The author of the letter states, "Why do the residents of Baltimore have to fight Catholic Charities by themselves? That is the city's job." Well, the homeless and hungry and addicted are part of the city, and taking care of them is one of the things that make us civilized and the greatest country on Earth.

She was appalled by fliers in Beans and Bread advertising for heroin and cocaine users to contact researchers and that they would be paid for their time. Again, commenting on something she was uninformed about. Maybe she wouldn't have been so appalled if she knew that the addicts who participate would be given treatment and researchers would be studying alternatives to drug use in order to help many addicts to conquer their terrible affliction.

She blames crime in the area on Beans and Bread attracting such "dangerous clientele," yet it is common knowledge that this crime is spread throughout the city as criminals are known to migrate to affluent areas because there are simply more things of value in those areas. The fact is Beans and Bread has benefited many over the years with very little negative impact. Punishing so many for this one incident is wrong as there are many other ways to improve a neighborhood.

Titan Fletcher

Text Inhibition

I awoke this brisk morning to a warm cup of java and the printing of your Fiction and Poetry Contest winners (Feature, Dec. 2).

What spiked my coffee and jump-started my cardiac waves was the poem by Lauren M. Campbell. "Exhibitionist" was so very earnest, in-your-face and simply but sweetly graphic.

Why do the majority of us feel that lovemaking should be performed in the shadows of the dark, where expressions are never totally translated, communicated, comprehended, and wholly digested?

Thanks, Ms. Campbell, for getting it right. Poet, yes, but more importantly you're a wonderful instructor who enlightens others about the way we handle a gift that has to be appreciated by not some, but rather all the senses!

Patrick R. Lynch

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