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Montreal is a great city--from my perspective, chiefly because it is the second-largest metropolis of French speakers in the world. (The first being...?)

Montreal also has the best or second-best metro/subway system I have ever used. And I've used the systems at least in Tokyo, Nagoya, London, Paris, Rouen, Rome, Geneva, and Mexico City. The Montreal metro is clean as metros go and extremely simple and well-laid out. It saved me dozens of dollars that I would have otherwise had to use for downtown parking. It also saved me hours that I would have had to spend sitting in Montreal traffic (a point definitely not in Montreal's favor).

Montreal is also where I spent most of the last week, at a the annual convention of the American Association of Teachers of French. Thus the absence of blog posts. I hope to catch up now, and this week I will be posting mainly about the Huguenots in North America, which was the topic of my presentation at the convention.


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Read this in English.





今週初めて黒澤明の『隠し砦の三悪人』という映画を見ました。この三悪人とは、だれですか? 三船敏郎が演じる真壁六郎太(まかべろくたろう)と二人の百姓です。この3人の登場人物の関係はとても面白くて、全ての人間の弱さも愛される性質も示します。


Movie Review: A Better Life - Part 2

This is the second part of a two-part review of A Better Life. The first part dealt more with the background issue of illegal immigration, whereas this part focuses more on the movie itself.

In the movie, neither the undocumented immigrants (representative of all the undocumented, but particularly those with upright motives) nor the police (representative of the legal system, including courts, prisons, and immigration) is entirely at fault. Both are stuck in an imperfect, human system.

The viewer is led to sympathize with the undocumented man, an honest landscaper who wants nothing but to work hard so that his one son can have a better life. He’s away from home; his wife left him when his son was little; he has next to nothing; when he does acquire something (a lawn business and pickup with equipment) it gets stolen from him. And yet, the movie does not excuse what he does wrong nor does it try to show him as a man victimized and ruined by the consequences of his actions.

Apart fr…