THE SAN DIEGO PARTICIPANT OBSERVER Participant Observation is the Process of Learning by Observing and Participating in Cultural Life
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October, 2020 - (Click Here for Previous Issues)
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May 1, 2020




Local Cultural News and Nifty Things to Do Whilst Homebound:
Some interesting, helpful and fun activities from our staff and friends (if you know of any more, send them along!):

Hands of Peace Community Circles
Virtual Talk: European Response to Covid-19 & Implications for Transatlantic Relations San Diego Diplomacy Council
Free Online Screening of The Postcard courtesy of the SD Italian Film Festival
Museum of Photographic Arts Livestream Series
San Diego International Film Festival Online Series
Screening of Singing Our Way to Freedom by Media Arts Center San Diego’s San Diego Latino Film Festival
Screening of Nuestras Madres (Our Mothers) by Media Arts Center San Diego’s San Diego Latino Film Festival
Live Streams from the San Diego Zoo
Live Webcams from the Georgia Aquarium
Virtual Events from the California Center for the Arts, Escondido
New Grant for Balboa Park International Cottages
Things To Do At Home During Lockdown: The Best Online and Virtual Events Taking Place Today from London Inside
UNESCO Asks 'Little Artists' to Draw a World Heritage Site That Matters to Them
Around The World, At Home: Arts, Game Drives, Food, Wine '" From Ireland, South Africa, Napa, More
Virtual San Diego: Bringing Culture and Attractions to You
Air BnB's Online Activities Lots to do with folks around the world (most require payment but some are free)

Music & Dance for Your Soul:

Live Streaming from European DJs Techno anyone?
Live from Home Concerts Courtesy of Live Nation
Livestream Music Concerts from Discover Music
NPR's List of Livestream Concerts updated daily
The Dance Performances That Have Gone Online from Dance Magazine

More Museums and Cultural Sites to Virtually Meander Through:

Street Art from Around the World (Google Art Project)
YouTube Virtual Walking Tours of Cool Places
The Most Beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites
45 Abandoned Places Around the World That Are Eerily Beautiful
Virtual Tours of the Vatican

Food Stuff:

San Diego Magazine's List of Restaurants Offering Take-Out and Delivery
Comfort Food From Around the World
International Recipes from Venturists.net
International Breakfasts from Mr. Breakfast
Lots and lots of International Recipes from Curious Cuisinière

International TV:

Panchayat (India) Amazon Prime

Engineering student Abhishek sure wishes he had studied harder when he realizes that the only job he can find after graduating college is the job of secretary for a Panchayat (village council) in Uttar Pradesh (North India). Abhishek goes from a world of glitzy modern shopping malls and fancy restaurants to a dust-filled rural world of seemingly endless inconveniences hardly aided by ubiquitous cell-phones. The show does a great job of replicating the pace of village life: things don't happen, they evolve. The humor has no punch lines'"it's entirely situational. If you appreciate the daily ironies of human life, you will love this show. It's a rather realistic view of a side of India not much seen in the West. Relax and let it unfold.


Foyle's War (England) Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play

For health reasons Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) can't fight in World War II. But he fights in a very different war on the home front, fighting those who seek to take unscrupulous, sometimes murderous advantage of the wartime chaos in the Southeastern city of Hastings. Ably assisted by his driver (the effervescent Sam played by Honeysuckle Weeks) and the troubled-soul Detective Sergeant Paul Milner (Anthony Howell), Foyle is soft-spoken, methodical, empathetic but absolutely unrelenting in his efforts to bring to miscreants to justice. Written by the award-winning screenwriter Anthony Horowitz, the show frequently visits the moral complexities brought on by war for those struggling to survive far from the actual fighting.

International Movies

The Farewell (US/China) Amazon Prime, YouTube, Vudu and Google Play

Billi (Akwafina) was brought to the United States when she was only a child. At 30 years old, Billi lives in New York and is trying to make it as an writer. While visiting her parents for dinner, they let on that they are returning to China because "Nai Nai" (Billi's grandmother, played by Shuzhen Zhao) is dying. Shocking Billi to her moral core, she learns that no one has told her grandmother that she's dying. Billi's parents don't want her to accompany them because they believe that she won't be able to keep the secret if there. Looking for work and behind in her rent, Billi maxes out her credit card and catches the first flight she can to China. What follows is a tender drama (with occasional comic relief) that brings to the fore seemingly incompatible cultural differences between her Americanized family and the family they left behind in China who see the world very differently. Both cultural and personality differences bring forth very different manners of coping with the apparent demise of the family's beloved Nai Nai. A wonderful ensemble of actors and sensitive writing and deft direction by Lulu Wang (an the film is semi-autobiographical and "based on a real lie") will pull you into the family and this wonderful film.

Man from Reno (US) Tubi, Amazon Prime and iTunes

Several years ago I saw this film at the San Diego Asian Film Festival. As one of the film's stars is the venerable Mexican-American actor Pepe Serna (who plays a sheriff), the film would have been just at home at the Latino Film Festival. Written and directed by Dave Boyle, Man from Reno is a cross-cultural murder mystery in a neo-noire style with a plot filled with mysterious twists and turns. Best-selling Japanese crime novelist Aki-Akahori (played by Ayako Fujitani) is hiding out in San Francisco to escape the pressures of fame in Japan who accidentally becomes involved in a real life murder mystery. Sheriff De Moral (Serna) has his own mystery to solve and the two plots run parallel to each other until they intersect. Much of the movie is in Japanese (with English subtitles); but that is no artifice, it is cleverly integral to the plot. If you enjoy artfully constructed but complex murder plots, you will enjoy this movie.
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