Oscars

Q&A: Roberta Grossman on the Untold Story of the Warsaw Ghetto

In 1940, a Polish historian named Emanuel Ringelblum and a group of 60 scholars, journalists, and local leaders, known as the Oyneg Shabes, set out to record Jewish life in the Warsaw Ghetto. The Nazis had taken over, and, unbeknownst to Ringelblum, a plan for the “Final Solution”—the systematic extermination of the Jewish people—was beginning to formulate.

Reading Roundup: Volcanic Umbrellas, Student Oscars, More

Volcanic Umbrella

When Mt. Pinatubo exploded in the northern Philippines in 1991, it spewed millions of tons of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere. For nearly two years, that sunlight-blocking plume acted as a sort of volcanic “umbrella,” cooling the Earth by almost 1 degree Fahrenheit. As climate change increasingly alters our lifestyles and embeds itself into our collective consciousness, geoengineering—in this case, humans playing volcano to replicate this cooling event—became a fascinating idea.

Cal Alumni Get Oscar Noms

This morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released its list of 2017 Oscar nominees via video live stream, with Cal alumni dominating the documentary short category. Berkeley J-School lecturer Dan Krauss’s Extremis, which explores the ethically murky territory of end-of-life decision making, and alumna Daphne Matziaraki’s 4.1 Miles, about a captain suddenly charged with saving the lives of thousands of drowning refugees, are competing against one another; Krauss was once Matziaraki’s instructor and advisor.

The Oscar-Shortlisted Doc That Puts You on a Sinking Boat

In Daphne Matziaraki’s documentary short, 4.1 Miles, she several times breaks the fourth wall, as her arm stretches out in front of the camera’s view, to grasp an outstretched hand or a rope. These instances are not born simply out of artistic choice, but rather grave necessity, as life and death bob against the ocean currents surrounding the Greek island of Lesbos.

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