Video Reviews, February 15, 2012

starred review star Prince of Broadway. color. 100 min. Sean Baker, Elephant Eye Films, dist. by Flatiron c/o New Video, 800-314-8822; www.newvideo. com. 2011. DVD ISBN 9781422974919. $26.95. F

Lucky (Prince Adu) is an undocumented immigrant from Ghana who sells knockoff bags and shoes in New York’s garment district. One day, his former girlfriend dumps on him a toddler whom she insists is his son and disappears. He is forced to care for the boy, despite his doubts about his paternity, and then among many pitfalls he must explain the situation to his current girlfriend. Levon (Karren Karagulian), an Armenian-Lebanese immigrant, operates an illegal storefront with a concealed back room where Lucky gets his counterfeit goods. He has a troubled marriage to an American woman who helped him to get his green card. The performances from several first-time actors are often astonishing; the emotions portrayed are genuine as viewers get a real sense of this New York neighborhood. Directed by Baker (Take Out; Greg the Bunny) and produced by Lee Daniels (Precious), Prince has garnered 17 awards, including Best Dramatic Feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Bonus features include the behind-the-scenes documentary Meet the Hustlers, as well as director/actor commentary. VERDICT This gritty yet heartwarming film is very highly recommended for adult audiences who flock to independent film.‚ Tom Budlong, Atlanta

starred review star Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics. 2 discs. color. 250 min. Doug Jefferson, Kentucky Quilt Project, 502-897-3819; 2011. DVD ISBN 9780615453750. $39.95. DEC ARTS

Shelly Zegart began as a quilt collector but has since become a leading advocate in the promotion of quilts as art and as vital historical records. In this nine-episode series, which aired on select PBS stations, Zegart reveals through photographs and interviews just how essential quilts are in studying American culture. Historically, quilts have provided a window into the lives and thoughts of their makers, which is particularly true regarding the lives of women, including those of different classes, races, and religions. Some quiltmakers, for example, Kathleen Loomis, Mariya Waters, and Penny Sisto, have become well known for their work, becoming accepted as artists. Currently, there are millions of quilters supporting a hugely profitable business worldwide, with quilts hanging in art museums and commanding premium prices among collectors. This compelling and visually rich series convinces us that quilts do matter. Beyond the film, the website includes information on all of the highlighted photographs. VERDICT This wonderful series would be an important addition for all museums, libraries, and quilt guilds.‚ Julie Stump, Voorheesville P.L., NY

starred review star Fire in Babylon. color. 95+ min. Stevan Riley, E&G Prods., Tribeca Film, dist. by New Video, 800-314-8822; 2011. DVD ISBN 9781422973332. $26.95. SPORTS/INT AFFAIRS

Riley follows up his well-received college boxing documentary Blue Blood (2007) with this equally impressive story of the West Indies cricket team, which dominated international competition in the 1970s and 1980s and challenged the sport’s status quo by introducing an aggressive, intimidating style of play. The film puts the team’s early struggles and eventual hard-earned success into historical and political context, showing how controversial and dominating victories over predominantly white teams from England and Australia brought unity and pride to the Caribbean region. Interviews with many of the team’s key players as well as a few historians and reggae artist Bunny Wailer mix with archival photographs and video in this fast-paced, engaging, and important film. Many of the game snippets include commentary from the original broadcasts. VERDICT Much more than just a film about cricket, this is highly recommended for anyone interested in the mix of sports, race, sociology, and politics. Viewers may also learn a bit about a game that is virtually unknown in the United States but hugely popular and culturally significant elsewhere.‚ Douglas King, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia

starred review star Patriot Guard Riders. color. 73 min. Ellen Frick, Wall Fly Films, 2011. DVD ISBN 9780615471464. home video $20; public performance $289 (Rental: $65) + $15 s/h. Closed-captioned. MILITARY STUDIES

This stirring and powerful film documents the work of the Patriot Guard Riders, a national organization of 200,000 motorcycle riders who serve as honor guards at funerals of armed services members. The guard formed in response to protests staged by members of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) at funerals of Iraq War fatalities, with guard members acting both to shield attendees and to show honor and respect for fallen soldiers. Their mission has since broadened to include participating in funerals for any military veteran as well as welcoming troops home from combat zones. The film is well constructed, weaving footage of funeral processions and protests with numerous interviews, both with guard members and WBC congregants. These often poignant and emotion-laden interviews are the central focus of the film and clearly demonstrate the passion and commitment on both sides. Particularly compelling are the stories of Vietnam vets explaining their motivations for joining the guard and that of a couple whose son’s funeral was targeted by the church and who have subsequently become riders with the guard. It is difficult to view this often heartrending film without moist eyes and a lump in one’s throat. VERDICT Heartily recommended for all audiences.‚ David Van de Streek, Penn State Univ. Libs., York

The following titles are reviewed in the February 15 print issue. Visit our Reviews Center (Beta) for the full reviews.


Single-Handed. Set 1. 3 discs. color. 278 min. Colm McCarthy & Anthony Byrne, Touchpaper Prod., dist. by Acorn Media, 888-870-8047; 2011. DVD ISBN 9781598285284. $49.99. SDH subtitles. F

arts & humanities

The Color of Your Socks: A Year with Pipilotti Rist. color. 53 min. In English & German w/English subtitles. Michael Hegglin, dist. by Microcinema, 2011. DVD UPC 880198123695. $24.95; public performance $149. ART-GENERAL

Kubrick’s Odyssey: Secrets Hidden in the Films of Stanley Kubrick. Pt. 1: Kubrick and Apollo. color & b/w. 70 min. Jay Weidner, Cubed Brick Prods., dist. by Sacred Mysteries c/o Victory Multimedia, 310-590-1388; 2011. DVD UPC 809573961592. $19.95. FILM/PARAPSYCH

Whitman. color. 100 min. Vincent Williamson, Whitman the Movie LLC, 2011. DVD UPC 793573054630. $29.95; public performance $50; acad. libs. $195. LIT

Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook. 3 discs. color. 300 min. Amber Edwards, Hudson West Prods. for PBS, dist. by AV Café, 877-228-2233; 2011. DVD UPC 793573860828. $29.99. Public performance. MUSIC

Neil Young’s Music Box: Here We Are in the Years; Limited Collector’s Edition. color. 2+ hrs. Sexy Intellectual Prod., dist. by MDV Visual, 800-888-0486; 2011. DVD UPC 823564524993. $19.95. MUSIC

social sciences

Breaking News Breaking Down: Two Journalists’ Emotional Journey After 9/11 & Katrina. color. 40+ min. Mike Walter, waltermedia, dist. by PBS, 2011. DVD ISBN 9781608835003. $14.99. SDH subtitles. COMM

British Royal Weddings of the 20th Century. color & b/w. 184+ min. Cherry Red Records & Strike Force Entertainment, dist. by PBS, 2011. DVD UPC 760137520399. $19.95.

Royal Wedding of a Lifetime. 2 discs. color. 4¬Ω hrs. Stan Griffin & others, Renegade Pictures for Lifetime, A&E Television Networks, dist. by New Video, 800-314-8822; 2011. DVD ISBN 9781422971000. $24.95.

William & Kate. color. 93 min. Mark Rosman, Konigsberg Co., Lifetime, A&E Television Networks, dist. by New Video, 800-314-8822; 2011. DVD ISBN 9781422942246. $19.95.

William & Kate: Planning a Royal Wedding. color. 45 min. Simply Media TV, dist. by PBS, 2011. DVD ISBN 9781608834433. $12.99. SDH subtitles. HIST/SOC SCI

A Question of Justice. color. 52+ min. In Spanish w/English subtitles. Calogero Salvo, Mirabella Films, dist. by Victory Multimedia, 310-590-1388; 2011. DVD UPC 850709001026. $24.95. INT AFFAIRS

Discovering Havana: In the Footsteps of Hemingway. color. 53 min. Jacques Vichet, Blue Bird Prods., dist. by Kultur, 2011. DVD ISBN 9780769791371. $19.99. TRAV

Bette-Lee Fox About Bette-Lee Fox

Bette-Lee Fox ( is Managing Editor, Library Journal.

Now in her 46th year with Library Journal, Bette-Lee also edits LJ's Video Reviews column, six times a year Romance column, and e-original Romance reviews, which post weekly as LJ Xpress Reviews. She received the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Vivian Stephens Industry Award in 2013 for having "contributed to the genre or to RWA in a significant and/or continuing manner"