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Two grad professors have taught and praised The Decalogue in their poetry/fiction classes this semester. Originally airing in the late ’80s on Polish television, The Decalogue is a collection of ten potent vignettes loosely corresponding to the commandments. And they’re bleak but look at Poland’s history. These films are poetic and moving, simplistic yet superbly metaphorical. They’re made with a love for acute symbolic detail and aren’t overtly about religion.

  • The Dekalog (Decalogue) (Poland) 1988, Facets
  • List price: $89.99 (2 discs)

Did you know the banjo is an African instrument? Yes, not only our origins as human beings, but the banjo’s origins as well are in the great mother continent — makes sense! Banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck takes his banjo back to Africa in this documentary. What unfolds is a candid and musically stunning record of Fleck’s unpretentious musical interactions and observations in countries across Africa. The folk music of Uganda, Tanzania, the Gambia, and Mali is exquisite and shamanic.

  • Béla Fleck: Throw Down Your Heart (USA) 2008, Docudrama
  • List price: $26.95

— Dillon Scalzo, Poet/grad student SDSU MFA program

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