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Posted by on Mar 5, 2022 in Blog, Politics | 0 comments

The Defiant Smile of Anastasiia Yalanskaya



“She’s just one face. One name. One life. In one town.”


Her’s is the face of war and preamble of death.

Anastasiia Yalanskaya could have left Ukraine some time ago, but insisted she would stay, even while most of her friends and family fled around her.

As a volunteer, the young Ukrainian woman was delivering food to a dog shelter in a small town named Bucha when she was shot and killed on Friday. The animals had not eaten in days and she felt compelled to help them. And she paid for that extraordinary act of kindness with her life.

Yalanskaya’s car was deliberately targeted at close range by Russian troops. Friends do not know why she was targeted, but it’s a horrific fact that Russian troops are now targeting civilians randomly and bombing their homes indiscriminately as a way to terrorize the population into submission.

She’s just one face. One name. One life. In one town.

She deserves to be remembered.

Call out her name in your thoughts. Anastasiia Yalanskaya

READ MORE:  Young Ukrainian volunteer killed delivering aid to dog shelter near Kyiv: ‘She was a hero’

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Posted by on Feb 27, 2022 in Blog, Movie Reviews | 1 comment

“Sorry” (Oscar-Winning Short Film)



If you follow my writings and have read my movie reviews over the years, more than likely you’ve also seen my annual tribute to the Oscar-nominated short films.

Oscar-nominated short films — uh, what?

These are the categories supposedly that “nobody cares about,” as I’ve heard one cynic succinctly put it.  “No one ever sees any of these movies, so why bother with them?”

Let me address that ignorance and correct this common misperception in this article.

I’ve expressed my passion for short films because they are often so moving and impactful.  I make an effort to see every nominated film, each year.  These films can sure pack a punch, sometimes within only a few minutes.  If you don’t think it’s possible to become emersed in a story and tear up in less than four minutes, then I challenge you to try the following experiment.

Fair Warning: Get a box of tissues ready.

Consider this recent Oscar winner, titled Sorry.  It was filmed in Albania in 2020.  It’s about a boy who is late each day for school and gets punished.  Words aren’t necessary.  Understanding and forgiveness are universal.  Human kindness is an international language.

We can all learn a little something from this whether we are parents or children.  Please take 3 minutes and 54 seconds and watch this short film that should leave you with something special.

We can all use a lesson and a reminder of goodness and decency and here it is:



Read my article on 2015 Oscar-nominated short films here.

Read my article on 2014 Oscar-nominated short films here.

Correction:  This film did not win the Oscar.  It was mislabeled as such in the video.  I regret the error.  However, the short film is still very much worth watching. 

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