Greek Films

The 15th San Francisco Greek Film Festival runs from 12 – 21 October 2018.


Opening night this year will be at Lucas Film in the Presidio and closing night at Dolby Cinema on Market and Ninth Streets. All other films will be shown at Delancy Street Screening Room, 600 Embarcadero Street, San Francisco.

I look forward to seeing Djam directed by Tony Gatlif (2017) France, Xanou directed by Clio Fanouraki (2016) Greece, Jamaica directed by Andreas Morfonios (2017) Greece, and Polyxeni directed by Dora Masklavanou (2017) Greece.

Contact San Francisco Greek Film Festival for more information and tickets.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Gallic Parenting

Journalist Pamela Druckerman isn’t sure she likes living in Paris, but after the arrival of her first child notices distinct differences between French and American parenting styles and outcomes.


Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman, Penguin Press, 2012, delves deep into the success of French parenting.

Why newborns sleep though the night without waking their parents. How they learn to eat a wide variety of food. Are able to amuse themselves without demanding constant adult supervision. And the remarkable ease in which both children and parents maintain harmonious relationships in public venues.

Druckerman’s cross-cultural research includes both personal interviews with American, British, and French mothers as well as conversations with experts in various related fields.

I was intrigued by the book when it first came out but wasn’t provided with a review copy by the publisher. However, after my son and daughter-in-law announced they were expecting twins, I was convinced it was relevant reading material for me and them.

Bringing Up Bébé is a definite resource guide for would-be parents.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Personal Invite

Wajib directed by Annemarie Jacir (2017) Palestine offers a glimpse of Christian Arab daily life in Israel.


Shadi, a young Palestinian living in Italy, returns home to Bethlehem to help with preparations for his sister’s wedding.

He accompanies his father to deliver all the invitations by hand. Their interactions as they drive from house to house reveal some of their personal differences and their subsequent visits with friends and family only highlight the issues that divide them.

Perhaps the most difficult obstacle to overcome is the stark contrast between those who still live as part of a minority in the place their ancestors have lived for generations and those who chose or were forced to live somewhere else.

Wajib screens again Friday 3 August 2018 at Smith Rafael Film Center, San Rafael and Saturday 4 August 2018 at Piedmont Theatre, Oakland during San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 38.

For more information and tickets contact Jewish Film Institute.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved



San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 38 opens 19 July 2018.


Venues include the Castro Theatre, San Francisco; Cinéarts, Palo Alto, Albany Twin, Albany; Piedmont Theatre, Oakland; and Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, San Rafael.

Feature films include: The Sign For Love, Wajib, Scaffolding, Promise At Dawn, Simon & Theodore, and The Last Suit.

For more information and tickets contact Jewish Film Institute.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Athens Night

Last Friday I attended the first of two consecutive weekend engagements by Gerasimos Andreatos and Christos Papadopoulos at Hamam, a music venue at the site of a former Turkish bath in Athens.

I arrived early enough to meet Andreatos, who’s a distant cousin, outside the club. He’s one of a couple of well-known Greek singers in the family, the other one being Elefteria Arvanitaki.
Hamam is an intimate environment, allowing the audience close contact with the performers on stage, which in this case totaled four.
The tables were occupied mostly by couples or groups of friends.
The show began at 11:00 PM and was scheduled to go until 4:00 AM, typical time for people who are used to partying late into the night.
However, I left after an hour and a half, concerned about public transportation only to approach the nearby station just as the last train was pulling in. I subsequently walked about fifteen blocks to the closest Metro with extended weekend service, making it home by 1:30 AM.
If you’re in Athens you can catch a repeat of the show at the same time and place.
For more information and reservations checkout the Hamam website or its Facebook page.
copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

SFIFF 2018

The 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival takes place 4 – 17 April 2018.

This year’s venues include the Castro Theatre, Dolby Cinema, Roxie Theater, SFMOMA, Victoria Theatre, and YBCA in San Francisco; BAMPFA in Berkeley; and Grand Lake Theater in Oakland.

Four French films to look out for are: Claire’s Camera; Gaugain: Voyage To Tahiti; Godard, Mon Amour; and The Sower.

For more information and tickets contact San Francisco Film Society.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Family Domain

Back To Burgundy directed by Cédric Klapisch (France) 2017 is about the pleasures and challenges of winemaking in France.

The complicated story is told by the oldest son returning to the childhood home he fled ten years earlier to escape his demanding father and experience the world.

Reunited with his sister and brother, the three maneuver to make a go of what was left to them by their parents.

They face difficult decisions both in their personal lives and also in the running of the family enterprise they hope to preserve as best they can.

The film opens 23 March 2018 at the Village East Cinema, New York; Smith Rafael Film Center, San Rafael; Summerfield Cinemas, Santa Rosa; and Vogue Theatre, San Francisco.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

French Kiss

New wave director Agnes Varda and conceptual artist JR document their road trip in Faces Places (France) 2016.

This intergenerational journey celebrates the lives of ordinary people seldom acknowledged. Many are women: a waitress in a small café, the lone resident of a block of homes targeted for demolition, the wives of longshoremen.

Much of the magic involves pasting huge, black and white photos on walls and other exterior surfaces in the locations they visit.

The two artists bring playful delight to a number of communities in France.

It’s one of the nominees for the 2018 Academy Awards.

The film returns to the Alamo Drafthouse New Misison Theater in San Francisco Friday 2 February 2018.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Human Family

Welcome To Germany directed by Simon Verhoeven (Germany) 2016 will open the Berlin & Beyond Film Festival Friday 9 February 2018 at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco.

It takes the issue of immigration head on in a delightful family comedy. Nearly every facet of the difficult situation migrants and residents must work through is explored.

What is most refreshing is the spirit of generosity and love that prevails despite some ugly and disturbing incidents.

Contact for more information and tickets.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Rome Boy

Friends By Chance directed by Francesco Bruni (Italy) 2017 is an intergenerational drama.

Allessandro hangs out with a small group of young men who seem to have little going for them.

His father insists that he work as a caretaker for an aging poet with Alzheimer’s.

Though he’s resistant at first, the two develop a warm relationship beneficial for both.

The film is one of the narrative features of New Italian Cinema 2017.

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved