During this year’s Montreal World Film Festival, I spoke with Suayip Adlig, a producer of the Iraqi Kurdish film Narcissus Blossom. I liked the picture; it’s one of those little gems that turn up at Montreal in small, out-of-the-way screening rooms in the late afternoon. The film is a gritty, realistic portrait of the U.S. role in the betrayal of the Kurdish people’s desire for independence.
Earlier this year, Narcissus Blossom won an award from Amnesty International at the Berlin Film Festival. Now Adlig has set his sights on the U.S., with no less a goal than the Academy Awards foreign-film competition. Before he can qualify for that competition, however, he needs to find a theater that will show his film in Los Angeles for one week. He will have a tough sell, given the current political climate, but Adlig is not discouraged. He says he is looking for “one courageous American theater owner.”
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).