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Tradition in a new world

{ { Navid Negahban, right, plays a traditional Jewish father in Iran in ‘Baba Joon,’ screening at the Seattle Jewish Film Festival April 10. Photo courtesy

United King Films

‘Homeland’ alum Navid Negahban discusses his role in ‘Baba Joon,’ screening on Mercer Island for the Seattle Jewish Film Festival by Joe Livarchik


ith his portrayal as a Jewish turkey farmer in the award-winning Israeli film “Baba Joon,” actor Navid Negahban is stepping out from a role that many television fans have come to associate with the Iranian-born actor. Negahban was renowned as Abu Nazir, the al-Qaida leader he played on Showtime’s “Homeland” over three seasons. In “Baba Joon,” Negahban plays Yitzhak, a strong-willed Iranian father trying to raise his reluctant Israeli-born son, Moti (Asher Avrahami), to take up the family business. The arrival of Yitzhak’s brother Darius (David Diaan) from America further complicates Yitzhak’s efforts with his son. The film won five Ophir Awards — the Israeli equivalent of the Academy Awards — including the 2015 Best Picture award. “Baba Joon” will be the closing feature of the Seattle Jewish Film Festival. It will screen April 10 at the Stroum Jewish Com‘BABA JOON’ CONTINUED ON PG 6




Walla Walla vintner wins out in Columbia Wine Competition PG 3

California author chronicles Washington state’s murders in new e-book PG 4

Christian rockers Tenth Avenue North schedule tour stop at Eastridge Church PG 5


The Don’t Miss List By Ryan Murray


WALLA WALLA WINS CASCADIA by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue


City Opera Ballet presents a mixed performance featuring opera, classical and contemporary ballet and live music later this month at the Meydenbauer Theatre as both classic and new works will get the star treatment. During the two-day event, City Opera Ballet Music Director Philip Tschopp will conduct the opera and the display of ballet. Previews of “Romeo and Juliet” and “La Boheme” (premiering Aug. 26) and selections from “Swan Lake” will delight existing fans, while University of Washington instructor Rachael Lincoln directs her contemporary ballet “Thieves and Beggars.” In “Thieves,” sound and light are used masterfully in the woodland-set production, while ballerinas masked as animals with fantastic and bizarre dress dance around the stage. Visit www.cityoperaballet.org/events for more information.

WHEN: April 15 and April 16. WHERE: Meydenbauer Center, 11100 NE Sixth St., Bellevue.


ArtEAST Art Center will play host to Ellen Borison as she leads students in two open studio figure drawing sessions. The session will be mixed, featuring both nude and clothed, short and longer narrative poses. The morning “exercise class” from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and the afternoon open studio (from noon to 2 p.m.) are independent of one another, and aspiring artists can sign up for one or both. The format of the poses in the courses will be similar to provide extra practice for those in the morning session. Some figure drawing experience is helpful, and participants must provide their own papers and drawing materials. Email education@arteast.org for questions.

WHEN: April 4, 11, 18 and 25. WHERE: artEAST Art Center, 95 Front St. N., Issaquah.


The Kirkland Arts Center prepares for its annual Artists’ Exhibition, which showcases the work of local Eastside artists. Seattle artist Frederick Holmes will be judging the works, and he will announce the top two pieces at the opening reception on April 1. Later that evening, the audience choice award will be given after guests vote. More than 20 artists will exhibit their work, such as the post-industrial, Asian-inspired work of Iskra Johnson and the ephemeral watercolors of Kathy Collins. Refreshments and beverages will be available.

WHEN: Opening reception - 6 to 8:30 p.m. April 1. Exhibition is open April 2 to June 11.

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spicy, sweet pink grapefruit aromas. In the mouth, the grapefruit is augmented by tropical flavors of lychee and papaya. It closes with just enough acidity to wash away the 5 percent residual sugar. (9 percent alcohol). Best dessert: Abacela 2015 Blanco Dulce, Umpqua Valley, $30. Using estate Albariño, this opens with aromas of honey-glazed apricot and intense Christmas spices and leads to flavors of candied orange peel, poached peach and vanilla ice cream. It is a stunning dessert wine. (15 percent alcohol). Cole Danehower Award for best Oregon wine: Mt. Hood Winery 2014 Estate Pinot Noir, Columbia Gorge, $28. There’s little sign of oak in the nose of blueberry jam, cherry juice and plum flesh from this product of estate vines first established in 2000. Red currant, Red Vines licorice and white pepper lead to a racy finish of fresh cranberry and Montmorency cherry. The Cole Danehower Award honors the longtime Oregon wine writer, who died in 2015. (13.6 percent alcohol). Best British Columbia wine: JoieFarm Winery 2015 A Noble Blend, Okanagan Valley, $24. This beautiful white blend is led by Gewürztraminer. It displays spice, lychee and a bit of grapefruit in its aromas, then lychee, papaya, tart lime and lemon, starfruit and melon flavors, all finishing with juicy, crisp acidity that balances its .07 percent residual sugar. (13.6 percent alcohol).

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or the second straight year, a young Walla Walla Valley winemaker has taken home the top prize from the largest judging of Pacific Northwest wines. Palencia Wine Co.’s 2015 Albariño won best of show at the fourth annual Cascadia Wine Competition, which took place March 15-17 at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River, Oregon. The winery, owned by Victor Palencia, 31, is at the Walla Walla airport and also has a downtown Walla Walla tasting room. Last year, Palencia’s 2014 Rosé of Pinot Noir won best of show at the competition. This year, the crisp white Albariño stood out amid more than 1,000 wines entered by more than 250 wineries from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho. During the three-day competition, 22 wine professionals evaluated all the wines and concluded the Albariño was the best. Here are the best wines of the competition. Ask for them at your favorite wine merchant or contact the wineries directly. Best of show: Palencia Wine Co. 2015 Albariño, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $18. Aromas of crushed herb, kiwi and green apple lead to stunning flavors of crisp orchard fruit, lime zest and starfruit. This is a perfect wine for shellfish, particularly crab dip. This will be released April 9 to Palencia’s wine club and to the public shortly after that. (13 percent alcohol). Best red and Bob Woehler Award for best Washington wine: Thurston Wolfe 2012 Zephyr Ridge Vineyard Reserve Petite Sirah, Horse Heaven Hills, $30. Rich aromas of dark chocolate, plum and oak lead to flavors of deep, dark, ripe black fruit, cocoa powder, espresso and clove. The Bob Woehler Award honors the longtime Tri-City Herald wine writer, who died in 2011. (14.5 percent alcohol). Best rosé: Indian Creek Winery 2015 Rosé of Syrah, Snake River Valley, $16. This gorgeous pink wine displays aromas of ruby grapefruit and wild plum, which lead into crisp flavors of grapefruit and jellied tart wild plums. (12 percent alcohol). Best sparkling: College Cellars 2015 Inland Desert Vineyard Muscat, Yakima Valley, $15. Upon opening, this semisparkler produces subdued bubbles, then

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Shaped in pixels and voxels By Daniel Nash Editor It was March 4 and a small crowd was forming on the second floor of Bellevue Arts Museum, where curators had set up an exhibit concerning digital technology in craft arts. The crowd had swelled toward the center of the room, where staff had placed “L’Artisan Boutique,” an installation best described as a digital pottery wheel in two parts. When you looked closely, the crowd was divided in two as well. The first group — my group — hewed older, or at least old enough to remember the pottery scene in the movie “Ghost.” It had devoted itself to gently interrogating designer Dries Verbruggen, of Belgian studio Unfold, about the modifications and ideas that had gone into the 3D printer that was haltingly producing a plain, circular vase before their very (patient) eyes. The second group was too young (or perhaps too wise) to understand the schmaltzier work of Patrick Swayze. Nor did they have the patience to watch a robotic box defecate clay into a vase over the course of three hours. Why would they? They had discovered how the vases were designed— by video game. A young boy and girl crowded in front of a pedestal next to the 3D printer. A small tablet display sitting on top rendered a low-res polygonal cylinder spinning on its axis. In front of the display was mounted a rectangular frame with a green laser light projecting from one inner edge to the other. The girl tentatively advanced her hand into the frame. As she did, a camera scanned the the contours of the laser against her fingers and fed that information back to the unseen computer. The sides of the cylinder crumpled as they spun against the ghost of her hand on the screen. The girl giggled. The boy shouted “Now me!” Their guardian shouted “Let’s go!” Several installations in “Atoms + Bytes: Redefining Craft in a Digitial Age” are like this. A week later, I would comment to curator Jennifer Navva Milliken that it must be hard to keep children from climbing inside “Star Lounge,” a giant dome constructed from MakerBot printers. “It’s hard to keep anybody out of it,” she said. Back on March 4, Verbruggen was explaining how Unfold’s ceramic printer has no practical reason to exist and no functional advantage over the traditional potter’s wheel. “It’s more of an advanced narrative piece for the museum showing the potential relationship between digital and material space,” Verbruggen said. Every installation in “Atoms + Bytes” touches on this theme — the use of digital tools in traditional handcrafts — in some form or another. This interplay between


the two can be seen as a conversation taking place across individual works that span more than a decade, from the turn of the millennium to today. Often, this conversation focuses on novelty. Case in point: Marcel Wanders’ “Airborne Snotty Vase” series features 3D-printed statuettes of human boogers mid-sneeze. Other times, the conversation is purely narrative, such as with Unfold’s ceramic printer. Kirkland artist Gwendolyn Zierdt’s “Public and Private” features QR codes on a rug to illustrate the shared binary nature of both programming and traditional weaving.

Sometimes the question of authorship looms large over a piece, such as with Adam Chau’s “Who Am I?” Chau placed six hexagonal plates under a CNC milling machine programmed to draw the Chinese character for “I,” Wo, six times per plate. Chau’s involvement was limited to the programming of the machine and the placement of different paint brushes on the miller to achieve different designs with each plate. Then there are artists like Emily Cobb, creator of “Dry Up; The Garden Snake.” Cobb uses computer-aided design to structure her wearable nylon statues, but she farms out the actual construction of the pieces to an outside company before she puts on finishing touches by hand. Because she outsources, Cobb faces a question of whether she can be considered a craft artist or merely a designer. “She insists that developing an image as a file in CAD is the same as developing it by hand,” Milliken said. “Some might argue the file can be mass-produced, so she didn’t create an individual work. But if she protects that file as an individual work, doesn’t it remain unique?” Verbruggen provides a potential answer in the use of digital tools to advance craft arts. Though “L’Artisan Boutique” is a purely narrative piece, he thumbs through photos of ceramics that have been made without “Boutique’s” laser faux lathe, using the full power of digital design. He points to a perfume diffusion chamber — a complex networked web of absorptive walls inside a container — as a piece that would be impossible without a digital hand. “These are artifacts of a new history,” he said.


he news of a murder horrifies and captivates. Even hearing about a murder that happened years earlier awakens something uncomfortable deep within. After all, if these people became monsters, couldn’t we all? That’s the conclusion of Marques Vickers, a writer from California who recently finished his book “Murder in Washington,” an encyclopedic guide to orchestrated deaths in the Pacific Northwest. “There is a dark side to human nature, but that’s no mystery,” he said. “We all have a dualism, and just about everyone would be able to commit an atrocity if they were placed in a certain set of circumstances. But some people are just dark from the beginning.” The Evergreen State is no stranger to man-made horrors. After months researching and documenting the locations where famous murders happened, Vickers said he was burned out. It was the third time in his life he hit that wall. The first two occurred after finishing the previous entries in his “Topography of Evil” series. The first two books focused on Northern California and the Golden State as a whole, respectively. “Murder in Washington” revisits 78 homicide locations throughout Washington state and covers murders that occurred as early as the 19th century and as recent as the last few years. Scores of photos are packed into the dense 250-page book, which is available on Amazon. Chapters include “Chance Encounters and Impulse Killings,” “Rampage Murders” and “Assassinations.” That’s not to mention Washington’s own unique murderous historical legacy and the many serial killers who have dwelled within the state’s borders. Vickers said his macabre interest in some of the most heinous crimes committed on the West Coast manifested early. The first victims of the Zodiac Killer were found on the outskirts of his hometown of Vallejo, California, when Vickers was a child. He had been in the Boy Scouts with the male victim, 17-year-old David Faraday. Vickers’ sister knew the female victim, Betty Lou Jensen. Vickers, a visual artist and sculptor, began working on his art seriously after serving as the head of the Burbank Chamber of Commerce. He also became a prolific writer. He has written books on painting, architecture and photography.

By Ryan Murray Staff Writer

But the cornerstone of his work has always been murder. “When you read these stories and go to these locations, you’re seeing something that has transformed a lot of lives,” he said. “People read the account of a killing and that’s it. The people affected experience it every day. The killer is separated from society [and] the family has to relive that dark thing. “I’m sure in many cases the killers would like to take back their actions. But they can’t.” The transformative nature of murder imparts itself not only on the people and community involved, but sometimes on the very location it took place. Vickers said that realtors only have to disclose facts about a “stigmatized property” for seven years. Even so, many locations remain vacant of any occupant but its dark local lore. “You see the vacancies and know that someone felt something about that place,” he said. “It’s not a coincidence.” While in the state last summer doing research, Vickers traveled from Spokane to Walla Walla and Blaine to Vancouver to get the most thorough overall impression of Washington’s bloody past (and sometimes present). Local crimes include the brutal Wilson family killings in 1997 in Downtown Bellevue; the Rafay Family murders in the Somerset area of Bellevue; the Lau triple murder and suicide in Bellevue; the grotesque Bellevue murders committed by Mercer Island resident George Russell Jr.; serial killer Gary Ridgway, the Green River Killer; and the murder of women at Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah by serial killer Ted Bundy. “Murder in Washington” is a self-published work and, despite its strengths, the work’s rough edges and worn seams often show. Vickers could benefit from a sharpeyed copy editor, but the photos he takes of murder locations and his concise summations of the facts in each case made for a compelling, albeit depressing read. He has no issue with editorializing on the particular heinous details of the crimes, which differentiates him from other authors writing similar books. “I don’t interview families or police officers,” Vickers said. “But I do a tremendous amount of research. My goal isn’t to write a true crime account, but more of a periphery account of the details.”

‘We are not alone’ Christian band Tenth Avenue North, coming to Issaquah, spreads message of community By Carrie Rodriguez Staff Writer Award-winning Christian band Tenth Avenue North will perform at Eastridge Church this April during a stop in Issaquah for its “All the Earth is Holy Ground” tour. The guitarist for the Nashville band, Jeff Owen, describes the band’s music as occupying the balance point between high faith and secularism — a great musical performance that transcends earthly art. “We want people to walk away with knowing something more about God that will last them much longer than the feeling of, ‘Man that was a great show,’” Owen said. “All the Earth is Holy Ground,” will be beginning its tour of 30-plus cities when it stops in Issaquah, with guest performances from fellow Christian performers Hawk Nelson and I Am They. The tour, slated to run through September, is the sequel to a version of the tour that ran through November and drew 53,000 people. Both have seen the band performing music from their November 2014 studio release, “Cathedrals.” Owen said that album inspires community and celebrates that people are not alone. “A lot of Christians will say, ‘Oh it’s just me and Jesus; that’s all I need is just God and me,’” Owen said on a phone call during a stop in Bellevue, Nebraska. “And while that’s true, he is all you need … Christ came to give us a message of community and engaging with people and bringing light to the world. So really, we can’t live life alone. Even if you’re not a Christian, isolation isn’t good — you can’t go through life alone.” Poet John Donne, who wrote “No Man

is an Island,” inspired “Cathedrals’” titular single. The upbeat melody calls people out of isolation so they can experience grace, patience and community, Owen said. “If we are in Christ and the spirit of the Lord lives within us, then we should feel this confidence of going out into the world and not being afraid by it, but rather being filled with compassion and that we should be a safe place for people to come to and not the scary crazy Christians that are against everybody,” Owen said. “Because if Christ is within us, then we can ultimately be that cathedral and that sanctuary and that safe place of refuge to help people heal and we want people to understand that.” Other Tenth Avenue North songs highlight powering through human struggles like divorce. The band wrote “Stay” when several of their friends were going through divorces or marital problems. “We were just pretty bummed out and wrote this song … about that journey and what we feel like we wanted to say to our friends and to people who are married.” The band, which includes frontman Mike Donehey, drummer Jason Jamison, bassist Ruben Juarez, keyboardist Brendon Shirley and Owen, have produced a unique sound that has made them one of Christian music’s most successful young bands. They won the Gospel Music Association Dove Award in 2009 for New Artist of the Year. In 2010, “By Your Side” was named Song of the Year. They met nearly a decade ago while students at Palm Beach Atlantic College in West Palm Beach, Florida. Owen said the band started out writing songs for their church’s youth group. They took their band name from the street where several of them lived in student housing. “When the band started, [we] were a worship band,” Owen said. “And several years go by and Mike didn’t really feel like the kids were understanding the gospel. So he started writing songs to explain it to

Tenth Avenue North will perform at Eastridge Church April 3. Photo courtesy of GMA Media Promotions

them.” The band’s trajectory arced from there. And while they’re grateful for their accolades, Owen said the band’s work is about reaching people with the truth. They are not a typical Christian band, Owen said, as they try to appeal to fans across the religious spectrum. “We often find ourselves in that middle ground, [where] we know that not everybody has the on-the-mountaintop feeling about their faith … A lot of people have a lot of weight, a lot of shame, a lot of pain within themselves,” Owen said. “A lot of people are on top of the mountain, they’re ready to go, their hands are in the air and they’re stoked about their walk with God and that’s great. We … don’t assume that everyone is in the same place and so a lot


In the 2015 Sammamish Arts Fair, Rebecca L. Goulder created miniature scenes from her own home, which represented the personalities of people in her life.. Photo by Megan Campbell

It’s time to get crafty. Deadlines for submissions to the 10th annual Sammamish Arts Fair are coming up on May 15 for adults and June 1 for students. “It has grown in reputation to be one of the most anticipated arts events on the Eastside, and it will feature some of the

of our songwriting comes from an honest collision between how we feel and what God’s word says.” Ultimately, he said the band wants people to walk away knowing more about God. “We want to hopefully bring people out of their pain and shame, but also rejoice with those who are rejoicing.” IF YOU GO Tenth Avenue North will perform 7 p.m. Sunday, April 3, at Eastridge Church, 24205 SE Issaquah-Falls City Road, Issaquah. Tickets cost $45 VIP, $22.50 advance general admission and $20 groups. For tickets, call 855-443-8499 or visit 4DTIXX.com. For more information about the band, visit www.tenthavenuenorth.com. best jury selected local artists in our area,” according to a statement from the Sammamish Arts Commission. Last year’s event showcased work from roughly 30 Eastside artists, half of whom were new to the fair. Attendees had the chance to see a wide variety of work, from paintings to mixed media and wood carvings. The event is free to the public; all proceeds from sales go directly to the local artists on display. Artists interested in applying should visit www.sammamishartsfair.wordpress.com for more information and to download the necessary application. The fair will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 8-9 at Sammamish City Hall, 801 228th Ave. SE.


‘BABA JOON’ CONTINUED FROM PG 1 munity Center on Mercer Island. For Negahban, who will be in attendance for the screening, taking on the role of Yitzhak was an experience that hearkened back to his own upbringing. And it was not as much of a stretch for the actor as some might assume. Eastside Scene: What initially drew you to work on Baba Joon? Navid Negahban: The story. The story and the passion that I saw in [director] Yuval [Delshad]’s eyes when I talked to him over Skype. The story really touched me and there were lots of similarities, especially because all of us left home and we moved to different places. If you look at it, all those characters exist inside us, so I was able to identify myself with all the characters in the story. I was the kid, I was the father, I was the uncle, so I was truly touched. ES: Yitzhak is a strong-willed father figure. Was this a difficult role to play? NN: It was, because I’m very liberal. In reality, I was Moti in my own life. And then I was Darius, I was the uncle who left. So playing Yitzhak, there were similarities with my brother who stayed behind in Iran. It was a very emotional journey. ES: I thought I read somewhere [about] the personal connection to your brother regarding the film… NN: Like I said, I was the one who left and left everything behind. [Pauses] I was kind of in search of myself, so I left and my brother stayed behind. I remember I was in Germany, I was telling him, ‘Why don’t you come, just come and be with me?’ and he was saying, ‘Who’s going to take care of mom and dad? I have to be here.’ He was very close to the family, and he passed away, but until the end, he was just trying to get validation from my dad and the validation came after he passed away. That was very sad. (Jokingly) So what are you doing to me? I’m glad I’m not paying you for this therapy session [laughs]. ES: I don’t mean to go that deep. Or I don’t know, maybe I do.

NN: I think there’s a truth inside all of us and sometimes we are afraid to look at it. By acknowledging it and by seeing it, it frees us and it gives us the freedom to be what we want to be, and that has always been my journey. I’ve always been in search of truth and my own truth, so I’m not afraid to go there. ES: Were there any other personal connections you felt to any of the other characters in the film? NN: Of course. Viss, the mother [played by actress Viss Elliot Safavi], she was a force of nature and my mom had some of those similarities. My mom was quiet but at the same time she was very powerful, she would keep everything together. I remember the conversation we had in the truck [in the film], I had been in a situation like that. I argued with my dad and I wasn’t talking to him, and I was going on for a couple days. My mom came into my room and she said to me, ‘He’s your dad. Do you know how hard he’s working?’

ABOVE: Navid Negahban, center, plays the father of Asher Avrahami, left, in “Baba Joon.” BELOW: Negahban with co-star David Diaan. Photos courtesy of United King Films

need to be able to part your hair. And the crease of your pants needs to be sharp enough that you can split a watermelon on it. These were the rules. ES: Were you working all those personal experiences into the film? NN: I tried, but Yitzhak was his own thing.

“Yitzhak was very determined, he’s not an easy character ... It was interesting for all these characters to have a conversation inside Yitzhak’s head.” Exactly what was said in the film, exactly the same conversation. I said, ‘He doesn’t let me be,’ and [she said] ‘Go kiss him, kiss his hand.’ With my dad, my dad is a very strong-headed man. He can be a little bit stubborn, but that’s his upbringing and he worked very hard, he was a banker. He used to tell me that the shine of your shoe needs to be shiny enough that by looking at the shine, you

I was trying to give him the freedom to have his own journey. One of the things that happened was my personal experiences or the people who I cross paths with, they ignited that fire inside Yitzhak. Yitzhak was very determined, he’s not an easy character. At the same time that he is Yitzhak, there is a Moti inside him. There is also a wish to be Darius, so he was struggling. It was interesting for me to allow all these characters to come and have a conversation inside Yitzhak’s head. In a way, it also helped me just to discover a few things. Every time you’re playing a character, if you let the character take over, the character will always teach you something. Because it is a point of view you’ve never had before. Instead of you controlling the character, you need to allow the character to be and then it helps you to grow. That is my opinion. ES: A central theme to this story is the father-son relationship. What kind of


relationship did you develop with Asher Avrahami, who played Moti? NN: It was a delight just to work with him, and we became very close. Our connection was very strong. In a way, it became like a father-son relationship. He was very easy to work with, he is very talented. Still to this day, we are communicating with each other, writing back and forth sometimes on Facebook. I try to keep up with what he’s doing and where he’s going. I think he’s an amazing young man. ES: A lot of people may know you for your TV work. A role you’ve been known for is al-Qaida commander Abu Nazir from “Homeland,” which is a bit of a contrast from a Jewish turkey farmer. As an actor, how do you go from one role like that to the next? NN: It’s like creating different apps on your computer or your phone. You’re just jumping from app to app, each app has its own characteristics and qualities. The thing about Abu was the struggle in his head with how to manage being a politician to being a warrior, being a father, being a teacher, just being a man. With him, he was the one who was trying to move the chess pieces. With Yitzhak, Yitzhak was a chess piece who wanted to be a player. It’s just playing both sides. It was interesting. As I told you, every time you play a character it’s like you’re discovering things that you never knew before. Going back to the apps on your phone, I’m sitting in some of these apps and they’re so fascinating and exciting, but you don’t know how it works unless you jump in and play with it. ES: You will be in attendance when “Baba Joon” comes to Mercer Island for the closing night of the Seattle Jewish Film Festival Sunday, April 10. What will you be expecting for your visit to the Pacific Northwest? NN: I’m excited to be there. For me, the people who I’m encountering are my teachers. Wherever I go, whoever I meet is a messenger giving me a message. I’ve never been there and I’m looking forward to being there. I’d love to catch some of the films if my schedule allows.


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JANUARY 30—APRIL 11, 2016





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