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2012 Presidential Elections: France

This is the fourth in a series of posts on the numerous presidential elections this year. The first three posts were on the elections in Taiwan, Russia, and Senegal.

On May 6, François Hollande, the candidate of the Socialiste Party in France (PS - Parti Socialiste) won a run-off presidential election against incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. A series of events (the whole DSK scandal), gaffes on Sarkozy's part (making him less and less liked by the French), and economic problems (enough said), turned Hollande from an also-ran to the president of the République for the next five years.

This is good news for those who feared the growing more of the extreme-right Front National and the ways in which they thought Sarkozy was leaning that way (though in the more mainstream conservative party UMP). This is bad news for those who did like Sarkozy's more capitalist, pro-American ways.


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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…


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。