The Chinese film Red Mountain is a minor family saga, told by a son about his father and grandfather who served as mountain rangers in a remote section of China. When the (then) young father wants to leave to go to college and see the world, the grandfather forbids it, forcing the younger to stay and take over his role on the mountain. For years, he resents his missed opportunity and, when he has a son of his own, he resents being away from him. He seems trapped in an unhappy life. But in time he discovers that this mountain is a part of his life and wishes to pass that relationship on to his son as well. It is a bit melodramatic at times, but it exhibits a love for the natural world and our place within it.
The creator of All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons and several other amazing and successful TV shows is the subject of Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You. There was a time when he had six shows in production at one time. This film chronicles his career and speaks of his influence on the medium. It also touches a bit on his activism outside of TV. Now in his nineties, he is still active and much of the film consists of his own memories of the events. Even with an hour and a half, his career had so many successes that it’s hard to spend much time on any of them. The clips that are shown are some of the best in the history of TV. This film is part of the PBS American Masters series and will be in theaters in July.
When Army Chaplain Justin Roberts experienced a post-deployment depression, he reunited with many from the unit he had served with in Afghanistan to talk about their experience there, and the difficulties involved in coming home. His conversations with these comrades makes up the bulk of No Greater Love. That deployment was a difficult one for that unit. They lost several soldiers in very strenuous battles. As he interviews them in the film, they relive some very emotional moments. This is about more than just the PTSD that many must deal with; it seeks to get to the hearts of these soldiers and their commitment to one another. In the Q&A after the film, Roberts noted that in part this grew out of an attempt to cut the number of veteran suicides that began even before the deployment. The film is very powerful and moving film with intense battle scenes that Roberts filmed while with the unit.