Like many unresolved crimes, the tragedy of the Argentine citizens kidnapped by agents of the murderous military régime that ruled from 1976 to 1983 doesn’t seem to go away.
France, as we know, is a country fiercely attached to its many traditions. Every January, Lyon — that cradle of haute cuisine spanning the vine-endowed banks of the Rhône River, home to world-famous chef Paul Bocuse — welcomes the nation’s top gastronomy fair, internationally known by its French acronym, Sirha. This past January, the city papered itself in posters displaying a fetching young woman in a blond bob, thoughtfully sucking on a chocolate-covered cherry while gazing forthrightly at all passersby. Kitschy but probably effective, the image was even embossed onto small chocolate rectangles given to guests upon arrival.
Conjure the image of a colleague you do not particularly like, one hierarchically superior to you. We all have one of them, and we all put up with them. We have no choice. We say hello, we peck them on the cheek and, in private, we groan when obliged to waste an entire evening on them.
The evening after Teddy Kollek lost his last race for mayor of Jerusalem in 1993, after 28 years at the city’s helm, I sat in an Arabic language class at the Hebrew University. The teacher, a Muslim from East Jerusalem, asked his students, a motley assemblage of young, chatty left-wingers, retirees and barrel-chested young men from the security services, what they thought. The young leftists rushed to condemn Teddy: He betrayed Jerusalem’s Arabs! He built illegally on Arab lands! He was obtuse about Jerusalem’s standing as an international city! He neglected the poor neighborhoods!
Late in the evening of Friday, December 30, 2005, Pepe Eliaschev, a man renowned for his 20-year run as the sharp-tongued host of Argentina’s daily radio news show “Esto Que Pasa” — in rough translation, “This Is What’s Happening” — received what appeared to be a standard holiday-time phone call.
After seeing Michael Verhoeven’s new movie, “The Unknown Soldier,” and Paul Verhoeven’s new movie, “Black Book,” both of which were presented last month at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival, one arrives rapidly at the conclusion that it is a very bad idea to lie to anyone by the name of Verhoeven.
‘Family Law,” Argentine filmmaker Daniel Burman’s latest offering, is a movie about lawyers, so almost by necessity the issue of secrets and lies predominates. Only here, the prevarications are of a domestic sort: Ariel Perelmen, a young professor of law, son of Bernardo Perelman, a Buenos Aires criminal attorney, keeps secrets from his wife, Sandra.
Jorge Telerman, the new mayor of Buenos Aires, is an energetic, dashing man, even when suffering and sniffling through a wicked spring flu. The high-octane 51-year-old, a former journalist and ambassador to Cuba who previously served as minister of culture for the city, is the ultimate urban animal, prowling his city’s streets in good times and bad — as he is prone to say — and fueled by the metropolis’s bursts of energy.
Just how (unconsciously, breezily) Catholic is Barcelona? Contemplate, for a moment, the ultra-popular 11 a.m. Saturday exercise class led by Xavi, a step-aerobics guru at the Club Natació Atlètic-Barceloneta. Barceloneta is a beachfront neighborhood that is slightly more than 100 years old and was originally built for dockworkers — once famously painted by Picasso — and now slowly gentrifying. Xavi, like a significant proportion of the club membership, is gay, and to all appearances not concerned by the particulars of weekend liturgy. But when he directs his class in a set of pectoral workouts, what he yells out is, “Okay, boys and girls, lie down on the cross!”
As the war battered the prime vineyards of Israel’s cool, hilly north in Lebanon last month, Micha Vaadia, the Galil Mountain winemaker, found himself defying the army’s curfew and donning a helmet and flak jacket to inspect the growing ripeness of his grapes. His fruit survived intact, but a Lower Galilee winery, Dalton, ended up sacrificing a few lines of its vineyards to Hezbollah missiles.