Natalie Portman pulls out of Israel award due to ‘distressing recent events’ there

Jerusalem-born actor was due to receive 2018 Genesis prize but cancels telling she cannot in good conscience proceeded with the ceremony

Natalie Portman has pulled out of a major award ceremony due to take place in Israel, citing her “distress” at recent events in the country.

Portman, who was born in Jerusalem and holds dual Israeli and US citizenship, was named in November as the recipient of the 2018 Genesis award, a yearly award for” outstanding achievement by individuals who have attained excellence and international renown in their chosen professional fields[ who] embody the character of the Jewish people “.

However, Portman informed the Genesis Prize Foundation she would not travelling to Israel for the ceremony, which has been cancelled.

Portman’s representative said: “[ R] ecent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfy participating in any public events in Israel” and that” she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony “.

No specific events were mentioned, but the recent military response to Palestinian demonstrations on the Gaza-Israel border has provoked worldwide censure.

The move described swift disapproval from Israel’s governing Likud party. Knesset member Oren Hazan demanded authorities rescinded her citizenship while the culture pastor, Miri Regev, referring to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, claimed she had” fallen like ripe fruit into the hands of BDS advocates .”

Portman was effectively to intervene in the ranks of those” relating to the narrative of Israel’s success and wonder of rebirth as one of darkness and darkness ,” Regev told, a reference to her movie adaptation of Israeli writer Amos Oz’s 2002 memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness.

But Rachel Azaria, a is part of the centrist Kulanu party, which is part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition, said Portman’s cancellation should constitute a “warning light” to Israel.

” She’s speaking for many in US Jewry, especially the young generation ,” Azaria wrote on Twitter.” Losing them might be too high a price .”

As an Israeli, Portman has largely steered clear of politics, although she has expressed criticism of the current “ministers “, Benjamin Netanyahu, telling in 2015 she was ” very upset and disappointed that he was re-elected” and discovered” his racist commentaries horrific “.

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Walking out to protest gun violence? Robert De Niro just wrote a note to your principal.

On April 20, students from more than 2,500 schools nationwide will walk out of their classrooms to protest handgun violence.

At 10 a.m. on the 19 th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, students across the country will drop what they’re doing and leave their classrooms behind as part of the National School Walkout.

The walkout is continuing an important national conversation that has begun in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. Teens are refusing to let the debate fade from public consciousness until gun statutes change.

Students will participate in a variety of activities organized by the leaders of that school’s walkouts. While some may return to class — several school districts have already issued statements saying that not doing so will result in disciplinary action — others will march on their local lawmakers’ offices, call on the government for widespread handgun reform, and register people to vote.

Some will, in accordance with the desire of the officials at Columbine, participate in a day of service.

The protests have received widespread support. But one actor went even further to stand in solidarity with America’s students.

Photo by Karim Sahid/ AFP/ Getty Images.

Robert De Niro, a vocal critic of the NRA and now ally to the #NeverAgain movement, has penned an absence note for anyone who’s planning to had participated in the stoppage.

Didn’t expect De Niro to be the one to get all those students out of class? He’s get compelling reasons.

The letter, shared by the National School Walkout’s official Twitter opens with an appeal to educators to understand that they and De Niro want “a safe nurturing surrounding for[ student] education and growth.” Then, De Niro outlined all the reasons he’s asked lecturers to excuse his children in the past, stimulating it clear how those reasons are relevant to the stoppage.

“Gun violence is a devastating cancer, ” he wrote for the purposes of the heading of “health.” De Niro goes on to stimulate the lawsuit that the stoppage is a fine example of good citizenship — “This is what good citizenship is all about” — and education.

“What an opportunity to teach these children history by encouraging them to induce history, ” De Niro stated. “Let them learn about the American tradition of protest for change as they experience it.”

Would most principals accept this letter? No. But it’s an urgent reminder to stand with the students.

The walkout is important. There’s no debate about that.

But it’s not about just a call for change; it’s a demand that, as a country, we don’t become desensitized to gun violence. The walkout’s creator, high school sophomore Lane Murdock, lives merely miles from Newtown, Connecticut, the site of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting. She said the idea for the walkout came to her after she realized that her own reaction to the February 2018 shooting at Parkland wasn’t one of sadness or dread.

“I genuinely felt quite numb to it. Our whole country is pretty desensitized to gun violence and once I realized I was, too, it really scared me, ” she told USA Today. “I was no longer amazed that people were dying. That shouldn’t be the case.”

Survivors of firearm violence call for change at the March for our Lives rally in Washington , D.C. in March 2018. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/ Getty Images.

De Niro’s note is a good start, but here’s hoping that parents and adults see it and decide to write notes of their own — or, even better, also sit down with their teens to discuss what the walkout means and potential impacts that youth can have in the world.

“Keeping up the momentum is important, ” said Murdock. “We saw that low after March for Our Lives, but students aren’t quitting on this. Our generation is demanding change and won’t be ignored or swept for the purposes of the rug.”

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Terry Gilliam’s Don Quixote film to receive premiere at Cannes after two-decade wait

Long-gestating Man Who Killed Don Quixote confirmed as the celebrations closing movie, while Lars Von Trier builds his Cannes return after seven years away

Terry Gilliam’s long-awaited The Man Who Killed Don Quixote will receive a world premiere at the Cannes film festival, as the event’s closing cinema, it has been announced. This is in addition to confirmation of Lars von Trier’s return to the festival after a seven-year prohibit.

The screening of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote arrives despite an ongoing court case, arising from a dispute between Gilliam and the film’s former producer Paulo Branco. However, the film-makers lately issued a statement denying that Branco had the power to block the film’s release.

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Gilliam started work on the film over two decades ago, though a previous attempt to cinema it( with Johnny Depp in the lead role) in 2000 was abandoned after Depp’s co-star Jean Rochefort became ill. The completed film now stars Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce, and will be released in France on the same day it screens at Cannes.

The inclusion of Von Trier’s The House That Jack Built had been all but confirmed by the festival’s artistic director, Thierry Fremaux, in a radio interview on Tuesday, but the former Palme d’Or winner’s new cinema will not be eligible for the top prize, since it is in the out of rivalry segment. A serial-killer drama defined over 12 years, The House That Jack Built starrings Matt Dillon, Riley Keough and Bruno Ganz. Fremaux and festival chairman Pierre Lescure had to convince the festival committee to readmit Von Trier, when the director was voted ” persona non grata” after inducing Nazi-related jokes at the 2011 edition. Allegations of sexual harassment against von Trier by Bjork, star of Dancer in the Dark, do not appear to have swayed opinion against him.

Two other big-name auteurs are also late additions to the festival line-up. Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the Turkish win of the Palme d’Or in 2014 with Winter’s Sleep, has been selected for competitor with The Wild Pear Tree, about a novelist who returns to her father’s village in rural Turkey; Sergei Loznitsa, the Ukrainian director of In the Fog and A Gentle Creature, will open the un certain regard section with Donbass, a new drama about the recent Russian-Ukraine conflict in the region.

Cannes has also saw room for Ayka, the first cinema in a decade from Kazakh director Sergey Dvortsevoy( best known for steppe drama Tulpan ); Whitney, a new documentary about Whitney Houston by Touching the Void director Kevin Macdonald; the new HBO adaptation of dystopian sci-fi parable Fahrenheit 451starring Sofia Boutella and Michael B Jordan; and Knife+ Heart, directed by Yann Gonzalez, in which Vanessa Paradis plays a gay-porn producer.

Meanwhile, the celebration selections have triggered some political rows: Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov, who has been under house arrest since August 2017 on theft charges, has had his detention period widened until July 2018 in the wake of the inclusion of his new cinema Leto in the competition line-up, while Taiwan has protested at the festival’s official description of jury member Chang Chen as “Chinese” and demanded it be corrected.

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Alex Jones gets sued for his relentless campaign to torment Sandy Hook parents.

On Monday, April 16, parents of two students who died during the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting sued conspiracy theorist and media personality Alex Jones.

Jones, who runs the far-right conspiracy site Infowars.com, is no stranger to suits. To say he plays fast and loose with facts would be an understatement, as he’s pushed a number of absurd conspiracy hypothesis over the years, including the idea that the government can control the weather and summon tornadoes at will, that Hillary Clinton has personally murdered people and runs small children sex trafficking operation out of a Washington , D.C.-area pizza place, and of course, his notion that the government is putting chemicals in our water supply that is building frogs lesbian.

None of his ridiculous conspiracy hypothesis have had as lasting and as painful an effect as what he did to the Sandy Hook mothers. More than five years after the misfortune, Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son died in the shooting, and Veronique De La Rosa and Leonard Pozner, whose 5-year-old son also died, filed suit against Jones, Infowars, and a company called Free Speech Systems LLC.

Neil Heslin testified before congress in February 2013. Photo by Alex Wong/ Getty Images.

His lies have turned these parents’ lives into a living hell.

With an intense fanbase conditioned to not believe anything the mainstream media says, Jones should know better than to share baseless and dubious accusations about these families, lumping them into bizarre conspiracy theories.

Jones’ YouTube page is riddled with videos related to the shooting, many pushing the idea that the whole thing was a “false flag”( in this case, the debate seems to be that the shooting was ordered and carried out by members of the government or some other shadowy organization to pressure Congress into taking away everyone’s guns … or something like that ), that the entire thing was a hoax where no one succumbed, that victims or their families were “crisis actors, ” and so on. A plenty of this is pushed out there under the guise of “just asking questions” or some larger quest for truth that’s being hidden.

Days after the shooting, community members mourn at a makeshift memorial for the Sandy Hook victims. Photo by John Moore/ Getty Images.

Here’s only a small sampling of some of the videos still live on his page: Is Connecticut Shooting a False Flag ?, Connecticut School Massacre Looks Like False Flag Says Witnesses, Sandy Hook, False Narratives Vs. The Reality, Sandy Hook: The Lies Keep Growing, New Sandy Hook Questions Arise from FOIA Hearing, Sandy Hook Vampires Exposed, Were Crisis Actors Utilized in Sandy Hook Massacre ?, Creepy Illuminati Message in Batman Movie Hints at Sandy Hook School, Crisis Actors Utilized at Sandy Hook! Special Report, Dr. Steve Pieczenik: Sandy Hook Was a Total False Flag !, Retired FBI Agent Investigates Sandy Hook: Mega Massive Cover Up, Revealed: Sandy Hook Truth Uncovered, Sandy Hook “Officials” Caught In Coverup And Running Scared, Bombshell: Sandy Hook Massacre Was a DHS Illusion Says School Safety Expert, and Why People Think Sandy Hook Is a Hoax.

A headline on Jones’ website pushing a false assert about an FBI report. Image from Infowars.

In 2016, one fan of Jones’ Sandy Hook commentary was arrested for sending death threats to Pozner. The girl, Lucy Richards, allegedly sent Pozner messages like “you gonna die, death is coming to you real soon” and “LOOK BEHIND YOU IT IS DEATH.”

These families merely want to be left alone, but Jones and other conspiracy theorists won’t let up.

Pozner founded the Sandy Hook Honor Network in hopes of fighting back against the conspiracies about his son and another gunned down. Still, the attacks continue from Jones and others. The internet induces spreading misinformation easier than ever, and conspiracy theorists like Jones have thrived as a result.

This lawsuit is about more than only Sandy Hook. This lawsuit is about fighting back against conspiracy hypothesis and no longer letting people to profit off disinformation. How many more people need to be tormented by Jones and others before we say enough?

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Beyonc’s badass Coachella performance honored HBCUs in a really dope way.

Do you want a college experience filled with dope music, black culture, and Beyonce as the dean of all that is black excellence?

You should sign up for Beyonce University.

Photo by Kevin Winter/ Getty Images for Coachella.

We got to take a class during this year’s Coachella celebration. The unbelievable vocalist and musician, also known as “Queen Bey, ” became the first black girl to headline a Coachella music festival . Naturally, her life performance oozed with pure, unparalleled black excellence. And the internet audience? Well, they were pretty damn floored.

Between the incredible vocals, remarkable attires, and dancing moves that would’ve made the King of Pop jealous, her performance illustrates the epitome of hard work and perfection that she is. But even beyond the theatrics, the entire root of Beyonce’s performance was based in a powerful central part of black culture.

Beyonce utilized her concert performance to pay homage to historically black colleges and universities, a staple of black culture and education.

Photo by Larry Busacca/ Getty Images for Coachella.

We knew Beyonce wasn’t playing around when she kicked off her performance with “Lift Every Voice and Sing, ” the black national anthem written by James Weldon Johnson and set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson. But audiences were in awe at an entire define and musical foundation dedicated to the music and cultural activities of HBCUs.

In hypothesi, HBCUs were really one of the first “safe spaces” for black people to be educated . Established after the Civil War, HBCUs began popping up largely in the South when predominantly white institutions impeded black students from enrolling in their institutions. Black academics and scholars like Booker T. Washington and Mary McLeod Bethune helped establish these institutions so black students could safely pursue higher education and procure the resulting possible opportunities.

In these HBCUs, black culture continued to develop and flourish. Sororities and fraternities like Delta Sigma Theta and Alpha Phi Alpha were developed to support black women and men, and marching bands, dancing crews, and Greek life step shows became a core culture staple at football match, dancings, and other recreational events.

Photo by Kevin Winter/ Getty Images for Coachella.

With budget cuts and systematic racism, HBCUs have fought with funding, enrollment, and other challenges to keep the institution and culture alive. But, HBCUs still matter. As black students look toward educational communities that are both safe and empowering, the HBCU structure is more culturally relevant than ever. Beyonce’s visible employed of black females dancers, HBCU marching bands, and an adorable play of( safe) Greek hazing was heartwarming and empowering for black communities around the country.

My mothers were educated at an HBCU, and marching bands were as much a part of my life as American football game . But, it was always in the confines of predominantly black spaces. Beyonce’s performance — in front of a largely white mob — was about as rich and authentic as it gets. The fact that it was broadcast for the world to watch was awesome, and a great example of how important cultural pride can be.

If Bey University is anything like Beyonce’s show, where do we sign up ?

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Beyonc just wrote a big check to HBCUs after an Earth-shattering Coachella set.

Look at this.

Photo by Kevin Winter/ Getty Images for Coachella.

I mean….

A literal. Queen.

Photo by Larry Busacca/ Getty Images for Coachella.

Beyonce Giselle Knowles-Carter, ruler of pop music and your favorite Southern-raised do-gooder( OK, my favorite ), just made a huge proclamation.

After a historic, legendary performance as the first black woman to headline a Coachella festival, Beyonce announced a $100,000 donation to students at historically black college and universities( HBCUs ).

( Yeah, that was our reaction, too .)

This news is especially amazing, dedicated how significant HBCUs are to the story of civil right in the U.S.

HBCUs are institutions of higher education that were established to serve African-Americans before the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

As a part of her philanthropic BeyGOOD initiative, Beyonce will donate $25,000 to four HBCUs as part of the Homecoming Scholars Award Program. One student from each HBCU — Bethune-Cookman University, Tuskegee University, Wilberforce University, and Xavier University of Louisiana — will receive the money.

“We salute the rich legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, ” Ivy McGregor, Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations at Parkwood Entertainment which houses BeyGOOD said in a statement. “We honor all institutions of higher learning for preserving culture and creating environments for optimal learn which expands dreamings and the seas of possibilities for students.”

Maybe the coolest portion? The gift is on topic . Beyonce’s Coachella performance was dedicated to HBCUs and their unparalleled legacy of black culture. Beyonce was joined by musicians from marching bands and majorettes styled to reflect those from HBCUs.

Photo by Kevin Winter/ Getty Images for Coachella.

And of course, Bey was instantly and deservedly praised for putting on such a public display of respect for HBCUs at a predominately white concert.

Lest we forget, this certainly isn’t Beyonce’s merely example of her dedication to black excellence and scholarship .

After launching the visual album “Lemonade, ” she created the BeyGood’s Formation Scholars Awards Program, which provided scholarship fund to young women analyse creative arts, music, literature or African-American analyses at Berklee College of Music; Howard University; and Howard’s Parsons School of Design.

Through programs like this, she continues to amplify black education, women, and unique voices in her artistry — and it indicates in her work.

Photo by Christopher Polk/ Getty Images for NARAS.

As HBCUs struggle to secure the funding necessary to maintain their important place in society, Beyonce’s public and financing support is a welcome display of dedication to black culture. HBCU students will likely appreciate it.

To qualify for the awarding, applicants must maintain a 3.5 GPA or above. Universities will select all finalists and wins, and wins will be announced in the summer. To learn more, check out the program here.

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Sandra Oh got a lead role. Her reaction shows why it’s a big deal.

One day strolling around Brooklyn, Sandra Oh( “Grey’s Anatomy”) learned she landed the part of Eve on BBC America’s “Killing Eve.”

But of all the feelings relevant actors may experience learning they’ve snagged a lead role, Sandra Oh just felt … confused .

Photo by Frederick M. Brown/ Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards.

Lead roles are rarely offered to racial minorities, she noted to Vulture. It took her a moment for the news to sink in.

“When I got the script for ‘Killing Eve, ‘ I remember I was walking around in Brooklyn and I was on my phone with my agent, Nancy, ” told Oh. “I was quickly scrolling down the script, and I can’t actually tell you what I was looking for. So I’m like, ‘So Nancy, I don’t understand. What’s the proportion? ‘ And Nancy runs, ‘Sweetheart, it’s Eve, it’s Eve.'”

Oh, who is Korean-Canadian, said the moment was a wakeup call for her( emphasis added ):

“I think about that moment a lot . Of just going, how deep have I internalized this?[ So] several years of being seen[ a certain route ], it deeply, profoundly, deep affects us. It’s like, how does racism define your work? Oh my goodness, I didn’t even assume when being offered something that I would be one of the central storytellers . Why? And this is me talking, right? After being told to insure things a certain way for decades, you realize, ‘Oh my god! They brainwashed me! ‘ I was brainwashed! So that was a revelation to me.”

Oh and her “Killing Eve” co-star Jodie Comer at a press event in January. Photo by Frederick M. Brown/ Getty Images.

It attains sense that Oh felt “brainwashed.” She’s ran in an industry with limited opportunities for people like her.

A report published in February by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African-American Studies at UCLA determined racial minorities are still underrepresented across virtually all roles in TV and film production. While minorities make up 40% of the U.S ., for instance, only 20.2% of cable scripted leadings were people of color, research reports find. And most of the roles were written for men.

These disproportionate figures don’t simply affect performers of coloring trying to find work; they affect every minority watching from home who don’t see themselves on screen . For Oh, her role in “Killing Eve” is another step in changing that status quo.

“We haven’t even scratched the surface of how deeply we need to see ourselves represented, ” she said to Vulture. “And how it’s not just leaving the images to the outside voices. It’s seeing it within ourselves.”

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36 years before her, Blake Shelton used this girl’s textbook. That’s not a great thing.

Imagine opening up one of your textbooks to learn that it used to belong to one of the top country music starrings of our time. Pretty cool, right? Maybe not.

When first grader Marley Parker opened up her new reader, she saw a familiar name scrawled in the sign-out page: Blake Shelton. It could be a neat coincidence( Marley and her family live in Shelton’s hometown of Ada, Oklahoma, and though Shelton hasn’t commented on whether it was his, it is possible ), but regardless — the 1982 date by Shelton’s name means the book has been in circulation for at least 36 years.

Marley was excited. Her mom, Shelly Bryan Parker, was not. Shelly wrote in a Facebook post, “I am EMBARRASSED !!!! I’m 40 and these people are my age !!! Thank you to every educator/ mother/ support staffer/ etc. for fighting for my kids education !!! Don’t give up until education is FULLY FUNDED !!!! “

Marley is EXCITED that her “new” reader belonged to Blake Shelton, but I am Disconcerted !!!! I’m 40 and these people are…

Posted by Shelly Bryan Parker on Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Several commenters on the Facebook post didn’t seem to see the problem.

One commenter wrote 😛 TAGEND

“Oh my gosh man you have to be kidding me. It’s a fucking volume! It still has pages and the child can learn !! If teachers really cared about teaching, they would print shit off and teach !! Not complain about what they don’t have! They are forgetting about teaching at the most important time of year, the children should be studying for tests , not worried about teachers not wanting to teach !! ”

Another added 😛 TAGEND

“My main question is when did they change the alphabet that they need to buy a new volume … the letter A is still the letter A right? Or did it change to an S? ”

But the issue isn’t about whether the content of the book itself is outdated. The commenters are probably right that not much has changed in the world of first grade literature in the past few decades. They’re also right that the book looks to be in fairly good condition. The questions is that many old textbooks being used in Oklahoma schools are outdated or in a virtually unusable condition.

Oklahoma educators began April 2018 with a stoppage, calling on the state legislature to improve their pay and fund their classroom needs.

Parents, educators, students, and supporters marched on the state capitol building to advise lawmakers to approve $200 million in annual education funding increases, and they’re making a good case. According to the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, inflation-adjusted funding per student in Oklahoma fell 28.2% between 2008 and 2018. Factor in that Oklahoma, a state that heavily subsidizes energy companies, has the lowest teacher pay in the nation, and they’re absolutely right to feel a bit outraged.

Thousands met outside the Oklahoma state Capitol building on April 4, 2018, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Photo by Scott Heins/ Getty Images.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin added gasoline to the fire when she blamed the teachers for being entitled, saying, “It’s kind of like having a teenage kid that wants a better car.”

That comment came after the state approved a roughly $6,000 a year pay increase for educators, and a $50 million fund increase, well short of the teachers’ petition. Previously, she said she hoped teachers would stop by the capitol to “thank” her and legislators. It doesn’t is felt that she understands the situation.

Teachers do this work because they love children, because they want to help inspire a new generation of leaders. They know going into it that they’re going to be overworked and underpaid, but they do it anyway. What Gov. Fallin and other elected official in favor of cutting public spending are doing is nothing short of exploitation. Teachers are finally saying “enough, ” and it’s on all of us to stand with them, and their students, in their fight for fair treatment and adequate funding.

Thousands gathered and marched in a picket line outside the Oklahoma state Capitol building on April 4, 2018, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Photo by Scott Heins/ Getty Images.

It’s on us to fight for a world where no student has to use 36 -year-old textbooks.

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest director Milo Forman dies aged 86

Film-maker became key figure of the Czech new wave before emigrating to the US and establishing a successful career in Hollywood

Milos Forman, the Czech-born director of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus, has died at persons under the age of 86. Czech news agency CTK reportedthat Forman died on Friday in the United States after a short illness. His spouse, Martina, told CTK:” His departure was calm and he was surrounded the whole time by his family and his closest friends .”

Forman was born in the Czech town of Caslav in 1932; after the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, both his mother and father been killed in concentration camps.( Forman afterward discovered his biological father was actually a Jewish architect who had survived the war and escaped to South America .) After being raised by relatives, Forman joined the Prague Film Academy, and began writing scripts in the late 1950 s, gradually moving up the ranks in the postwar Czechoslovak industry. His debut as director, Black Peter, about a teen in his first task, incurred the disfavor of the Communist authorities for its irreverent stance, but after its prizewinning appearance at the Locarno film festival enabled Forman to continue directing.

His next film, A Blonde in Love- inspired by a real-life incident in which Forman went across a young woman who had been deceived and abandoned by a devotee- established the free-wheeling, semi-documentary style that became his trademark in this period and constructed Forman a key figure in the burgeoning Czech new wave. It was nominated for the best foreign language movie Oscar, as was the follow up, The Fireman’s Ball- a brilliantly scabrous account of a chaotic official social event that again incurred the fury of the Communist authorities.

The Fireman’s Ball was released in 1967 and Forman was then invited to the US by Paramount Pictures to make a film in America. After attempting to get the rights to the musical Hair, Forman began work on an original screenplay, for the film Taking Off. In August 1968 Czechslovakia was invaded by Warsaw Pact forces aiming to suppress Alexander Dubcek’s liberalising reforms; Forman opted to stay in the US, where he was joined by fellow director Ivan Passer.

Jack
Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Photo: United Artist/ Fantasy Films/ Kobal/ REX/ Shutterstock

Taking Off was a flop on its release in 1970, and Forman suffered a breakdown, living in the rundown Chelsea Hotel in New York but decided not to return to Czechslovakia. At his lowest phase he was offered the chance to direct One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, another anti-authoritarian parable adapted from Ken Kesey’s novel. Producer Michael Douglas subsequently told the Guardian the employ was on the strength of The Fireman’s Ball:” It took place in one enclosed situation, with a plethora of unique characters he had the ability to juggle .” With a cast led by Jack Nicholson at the height of his powers, Cuckoo’s Nest emerged as a massive success, a seminal product of the New Hollywood and win of all top five Academy awards.

Forman returned to Hair for a followup, then moved on to Ragtime, an adaptation of EL Doctorow’s novel- the latter procured eight Oscar nominations( though failed to win any ). Forman then had another huge success with Amadeus, a film version of Peter Shaffer’s play about the rivalry between Mozart and Salieri; it won eight Oscars, including Forman’s second for best director.

Valmont, Forman’s 1989 adaptation of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, demonstrated something of an anticlimax as another version, directed against Stephen Frears and containing a star-making performance from John Malkovich, had been released the previous year. However, Forman re-emerged with The People Vs Larry Flynt, a biopic of the porn publisher that Forman framed as another anti-authority fable. His next film Man on the Moon, about eccentric comedian Andy Kaufman and starring Jim Carrey, was not a commercial success but has received considerable attention after the recent documentary Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond, which uncovered Carrey’s unusual performance techniques.

His final completed film, Goya’s Ghosts, was released in 2006, though he did continue to appear in cinemas, including the 2011 French cinema The Beloved, which was the closing film of the Cannes film festival that year.

Forman was married three times – his first two, to Jana Brejchova and Vera Kresadlova-Formanova ended in divorce- and had four children.

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The hidden history of tea shows us that little things can have a huge impact.

Where did your morning cup of tea come from? If you said “the grocery store, ” you’re missing a big part of the story.

It’s easy to forget the tea you enjoy actually began its journey thousands of miles away. It comes from lush tea farms up in the mountains of places like Sri Lanka or Kenya, where women carefully pick the leaves by hand. Those leaves then make their way to a local factory, where they’re dried from a bright green tint to a rich, earthy brown.

Photo via Upworthy.

All of this happens before they even cross the ocean, and long before they ever arrive at your local grocery store .

Yes, even the most ordinary household staples can have extraordinary histories, with narratives that span countries around the world. These surprising facts are just a glimpse into the rich history and impact of the tea you enjoy :

1. Tea is the second-most ingested beverage in the world.

It’s second only to water. Seriously. Global tea consumption is forecasted to reaching 3. 3 million tons by 2021, with more than half of that intake coming from Asia.

In fact, on any given morning, more than 50% of Americans are drinking it — around 158 million people.

2. It’s also a plant that grows in very specific regions of the world.

Most of the world’s tea grows in mountainous areas, thousands of feet above sea level, in rich but acidic clay, typically with heavy rainfall. Tea plants are especially vulnerable to extended periods of cold temperatures, which is why they do better in climates that are warm year round.

Photo via Upworthy.

Under subtropical or temperate climates — like in Kenya — the higher altitude and humidity contributes to distinct wet and dry seasons . This is key to tea plant survival and also influences the variety of teas found in these types of areas.

As such, countries that make the most tea include Argentina, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Taiwan, and Vietnam, all of which have these distinct seasons without getting too cold.

3. Legend has it, though, the first cup of tea was altogether an accident.

The earliest accounts we have of drinking tea come from China. Apparently a foliage fell down simmering water that was being prepared for Emperor Shen Nung — and he enjoyed the savor. He didn’t know it then, but he would be the first to enjoy what we now call tea.

4. While tea may have originated in China, it quickly spread around the world.

Japanese Buddhist intellectuals visiting China brought tea seeds with them when they returned home, popularizing tea in Japan. But that was only the beginning.

While we know the Brits today love a good cuppa, it was actually the Portuguese missionaries that brought tea to Europe. The British initially favored coffee, attaining the switch only when fashionable tea-lover Catherine of Braganza( who hailed from Portugal) became queen upon marriage Charles II.

And while tea surged in popularity worldwide, its identity( and of course, savor) differed from place to place.

5. Many regions of the world have their own unique take on tea.

It’s true that the English are largely responsible for introducing tea to other regions in the world, including Africa and India. But plenty of cultures had their own spin on it, both before and after they arrived.

Photo by Julie Johnson/ Unsplash.

India, for example, specializes in its national beverage, chai, which is more of a spiced milk-tea. Meanwhile, Morocco has a mint tea called touareg tea, which is a drink of cultural significance. It epitomizes hospitality and is served three times daily to guests.

You can find unique teas as far as South Africa. Indigenous people there — the Khoisans — have their own tea, too. It’s called rooibos tea, and originated over 300 years ago. It doesn’t derive from the same plant as your typical black or green tea, though; its plant base is unique to that region of the world.

6. Tea is also partly responsible for the United States as we know it.

Tea began stimulating its route to the American colonies as early as 1650, by colonists who needed their fix as they journeyed west. The British then began importing tea to the American colonies starting in 1720 to sell overseas en masse.

Forty years later, they would begin taxing it — making tension between the colonies and the British government. This led to numerous demoes, one of which — the Boston Tea Party — would be a catalyst for the American Revolution.

7. Even today, most tea comes from a farm and has to be hand-picked.

Traditional machinery has been found to be a little too rough, injury many of the foliages in the harvesting process — so hand-picking is the universally preferred method.

Photo via Upworthy.

Once harvested by farmhands, the leaves are transported to a factory nearby, where they’re processed. This involves drying them out, maintaining a shut eye on them as they react to oxygen in the air, and then sorting them by size and grade.

8. There are some great organizations working to make tea more sustainable.

The Rainforest Alliance and Sustainable Trade Initiative were created to call on enterprises to do better and invest in sustainability — not just for the environment, but for the farmers whose health and subsistence could be impacted by pesticide use, water pollution, and more.

In fact, the Rainforest Alliance created its own certification to measure the sustainability of a specific farm’s practices.

Photo via Upworthy.

And that certification isn’t so easy to reach. It includes great attention to energy and water utilization, commitment to biodiversity and preservation endeavors, and fair and ethical labor practices( including access to safe drinking water, health care, and education ). It also requires fully respecting the rights of people indigenous to the land where that tea is grown.

9. Those attempts have caught on — today, some of the more popular tea brands are making a concerted effort to promote sustainability.

10 years ago, Unilever — Lipton’s parent company — became the first major tea company to announce their commitment to sustainable sourcing of tea across their farms. And by the end of 2015, they had kept that promise: 100% of Lipton’s Black and Green tea containers are Rainforest Alliance Certified( tm ) .

10. In fact, one of the largest tea estates in Kenya has made unbelievable strides.

In Kericho, Kenya — Lipton’s largest tea estate and the first to be certified — substantial efforts have been made to improve biodiversity through reforesting, addressing water and energy use, and reducing carbon emissions.

Photo via Upworthy.

In fact, more than 1.3 million trees ( yes, million !) have been planted in Kericho in the last eighteen years, ensuring a balanced ecosystem within the farm . Kericho is also inducing use of hydropower — amazingly, something they’ve done since the 1920 s — thanks to a river running through the region.

11. The majority of tea farmers today are smallholder farmers — making tea a family affair.

Smallholder farmers own the plots of land where their harvests are grown, and get the majority of their income from running that land. It’s estimated that a whopping 70% of global tea production comes from smallholder farmers in Africa and Asia.

In Kenya, those farmers are responsible for 60% of the tea that’s rendered.

That’s why, in 2006, Lipton joined a partnership with the Kenya Tea Development Agency( KTDA ) and the Sustainable Trade Initiative, leading to the creation of Farmer Field Schools for locals to increase access to the best resources for farmers.

Photo via Upworthy

At these schools, tea-growers in Kenya can share best agricultural practices, as well as improve the quality of their crops as well as yields. They can also discuss issues around nutrition and health in their communities, as well as the impact of climate change on their work.

12. Building tea farming sustainable can empower women and their families, too.

Many of the farmers that benefit from programs like the Farmer Field Schools are girls. In Kenya, for example, there are 42, 000 girls farmers who have benefited from the Farm Field Schools run by KTDA.

When farmers learn to increase their yields and tea quality, their income is boosted, too. That buying power allows them aimed at improving health and nutrition of their families, and increases access to education for themselves and their children.

Photo via Upworthy.

13. And that means your humble cup of tea could transform communities thousands of miles away.

Organizations like WE Charity — a non-profit offering resources to communities in need internationally — have been supporting rural communities in Kenya for the last 20 years. WE’s is committed to education, health, clean water, food, and fiscal programming has been transformative for those communities.

That’s why Lipton recently partnered with WE in an effort to further empower a new demographic of farmers — those that pick our morning cup.

Most notable to come out of Lipton’s partnership with WE are the new opportunities for women harvesting tea.

Photo via Upworthy.

This program will give women farmers the tools to increase their earnings and the guidance to leverage those earnings; 80,000 females will receive small business and leadership training.

The result? The ability to purchase more livestock, grow their farms, send their kids to college, and start their own businesses.

So as it turns out, the tale behind where your tea came from is a lot more significant than you may’ve realise.

Sometimes it really is the journey — not just the destination — that makes a difference.

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