#ThrowbackThursday: Movie Review: ‘But Not For Me’

About four years ago, I met Jason Stefaniak while volunteering and we stayed in touch over the years. Jason has been a huge supporter of my writings, and I a huge supporter of his filmmaking.

Two years ago, I interviewed Jason about his filmmaking process  and the crowdfunding campaign he was running for his film, ‘But Not For Me.’

A lot has happened since Jason was last profiled on this website. Jason cofounded a production company called, Impolite Company  and  ‘But Not For Me’ was the official selection at the Virginia Film Festival and Audience Choice Award and Best Original Score Award at the Brooklyn Film Festival!

‘But Not For Me’, “tells the story of a struggling, disillusioned young writer named, Will Stewart, who discovers a fledgling sense of hope when a beautiful violinist moves in next door and agrees to perform with him on the city streets.”

”But Not For Me,’ took me on a musically insightful journey. The first scene with the narrator set the foundation for the remainder of the film, which takes place in New York, the city where many struggle yet still find hope. There were many lines from this movies that made me think about my career, but one that stood out to me was “what contribution are you making to humanity.” This line really made me think about my day to day life and if I am doing work that is defining me or am I defining how I want to impact others.

Beyond the insightful thoughts on creative expression and contributions to humanity, it is the music that steals the show. I enjoyed the soundtrack of this movie. My favorite songs were ‘Evils’ and ‘Office Party’ – two songs that were played at important parts of the movie.

When the movie ended, I was left wanting more. I hope to see more from writer/director Carmichael and producer Stefaniak.

Check the Trailer below

***Lisa-Marie 

A geography PhD student finding peace in creating a balance between the mind, body, soul, & environment.

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Photo Credit: Impolite Company

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saying goodbye to a faithful fan of my blog

When I started blogging way back in 2009 , my only readers were my friends and family. They all showed support by reading and commenting, but one of the biggest fans of my writing was my grandmother, Liliane (Gramma).

Gramma read every blog post and would often forward my posts to my family members. For the posts that were more technical, she would say “I don’t understand the topic, but you write clearly.” For the posts that were more personal, she would say “Are you okay, I’m concerned.”  I would always laugh because I would try to convince her that my website was more of a creative writing outlet for my thoughts. I would have to tell her that if something was immediately wrong with me, I would not write it on my website, I would call someone and ask for help.

Unfortunately, on Friday September 25th, I had to say goodbye to Gramma, a long time reader of my writings. It will be weird knowing that I no longer have one guaranteed person who is reading and sharing my work.

If you remember my posts on my mother passing away, you might not know that the number one person that stepped up to fill her role was Gramma. If you remember all my trips to Haiti, you might not know that my travel partner was Gramma.

Though not always stated, my life has been strongly influenced by Gramma. At first, when I heard the news, I felt like giving up. Giving up on school, giving up on my writing, giving up on all my hobbies. But the days leading up to her funeral and eventual burial, made me realize that she never gave up on life, so why should I? In fact, if I gave up, that would go against everything she taught me and she would be disappointed. So this past week, I have been working, writing and dedicating my time to my schoolwork. Even though she is no longer here physically, her spirit, memory, and drive live in me.

***Lisa-Marie 

A geography PhD student finding peace in creating a balance between the mind, body, soul, & environment.

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Photo Credit: Lisa-Marie Pierre

 

 

 

#FridayReads: The number one way to get free books

In honor of #LibraryCardSignUp month, #eBookLove day, and #FridayReads, today I share some book and money saving tips.

 

The other day, I was on the phone with a friend. She mentioned how she needed to start saving money, in almost the same breath, she mentioned how she was about to order at $9.99 book on Amazon. If she could have seen my face, she would have known I was giving her the side eye.

 

I told her “I’m always on my soapbox advocating for the library and you want to tell me you are buying a 10 dollar book! You must not ever listen to me!” After we laughed, we discussed possible ways she could save money by seeing if her library offered that book either in print or digitally.

 

So a friendly reminder:

 

If you prefer print books, the library has it… for free.

If you prefer digital books, the library has it… for free.

If you prefer print or digital magazines, the library has it… for free.

If you prefer audiobooks, yup, the library has that too… for free.

 

There are many services that the library offers beyond books, so I encourage you to browse your library website and see what services you could use. Sign up for a library card, you won’t be disappointed!

 

Want to read more of my thoughts on libraries? Check out the links below.

Why Libraries should stay open and five useful resources available at the library.

 

***Lisa-Marie 

A geography PhD student finding peace in creating a balance between the mind, body, soul, & environment.

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Photo retrieved from: American Library Association

United States Occupation of Haiti: 100 Years Later

Not many people know that the United States invaded and occupied Haiti for almost 20 years. Today, July 28th, 2015 marks 100 years since the forced occupation. Because I have interest in Haiti, I knew of the occupation, but that is where my knowledge ended. When I don’t know something about Haiti, I turn to my grandmother. When I asked her about the occupation and if she learned about it in school, her response surprised me – “I never heard of that.” Granted the occupation was before she was born, but I still thought she might know something. What did that mean? Did the occupation have a different name while she was growing up? If someone who grew up in the country didn’t know too much about this time period, what about the larger population? What does that say about the continued presence of outside forces in the country? Was this occupation a non-factor for those who lived in smaller cities? 

 

So many questions. I went digging for more information and found several websites that discussed the occupation and even a documentary that is currently in the works.

 

Below are some resources I found about the occupation.

 

1. Currently, there is a Kickstarter campaign for a documentary called The Forgotten Occupation. The film is completed, but they are raising funds for post-production and release. Learn more about the documentary and support.

 

2. Brandon Byrd wrote a seven part series reflecting on the occupation.

Part 1: Reflecting on the US Occupation of Haiti, One Hundred Years Later

Part 2: The “Black Republic:” The Meaning of Haitian Independence before the Occupation

Part 3: “Ask Forgiveness from Dessalines:” Debating Haitian Independence on the Eve of Occupation

Part 4: “Ten Million Black People… are Watching:” Reactions to the Outset of the U.S. Occupation

Part 5: “We Must Look to Ourselves to Save the Situation:” The Emergence of Opposition to the Occupation

Part 6: Haitian Intellectuals and the U.S. Occupation of Haiti: An Interview with Patrick Bellegarde-Smith

Part 7: Charlemagne Peralte and Haitian Resistance to the U.S. Occupation: An Interview with Yveline Alexis

 

3. Dr. Celucien L. Joseph wrote a four part series on the occupation.

Part 1: Jacques Roumain and the US Occupation in Haiti: The Economic Impact

Part 2: Jacques Roumain and the Crisis of the Haitian Intellectuals in the Era of the American Occupation in Haiti 

Part 3: Jacques Roumain, Jean Price-Mars, and the Crisis of the Haitian Intellectuals in the Era of the American Occupation in Haiti

 

4. The U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian has a timeline of milestones and a brief overview. 

 

5. Naval History and Heritage Command, also has an overview of the US Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934. 

 

6. Public Archive, offers an incomplete collection of publicly available, open-access sources with the hope that the memory of the U.S. military occupation of Haiti is preserved and extended in this moment, one hundred years later.” In addition, the website has other documents tagged with “1915” and “intervention

 

7. The Haiti Digital Project at Duke University has transcripts, treaties, and other documents on this occupation.

 

8. Background information on the NAACP involvement in protesting the Occupation.

 

9The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom created  a document of alternatives to the US policy of sending in Marines

 

As always, please share other resources in the comments.

***Lisa-Marie 

An urban planning PhD student finding peace in creating a balance between the mind, body, soul, & environment.

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Photo Credit: The Forgotten Occupation