The Master and Margarita

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“Written in Moscow during the 1930s, this surreal blend of political satire, historical fiction, and occult mysticism has earned a legacy as one of the twentieth century’s greatest novels—and one of its strangest.” This TED-Ed lesson by Alex Gendler, directed by Adriatic Animation, depicts the premise of Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel The Master and Margarita and the circumstances surrounding its writing and eventual publication in the 1960s.

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Examining The Joy Luck Club

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“Tan speaks to anxieties that plague many immigrants, who often feel both alienated from their homeland and disconnected from their adopted country.” In this TED-Ed animated film, Sheila Marie Orfano breaks down the themes of Amy Tan’s first novel, The Joy Luck Club, and the lessons learned from the intergenerational relationships of the characters.

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Cranes, Mafiosos and a Polaroid Camera

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“What streams of light might escape me and reveal / about the things I collect and hide...” This Motionpoems film directed by Tash Tung features Natalie Diaz’s poem “Cranes, Mafiosos and a Polaroid Camera,” which was first published in Spillway and will be included in her second collection, Postcolonial Love Poem, forthcoming from Graywolf Press in March 2020. 

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For Estefani

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“Elephant on an orange line, underneath a yellow circle / meaning sun. / 6 green, vertical lines, with color all from the top / meaning flowers.” In this animated short film for the TED-Ed “There’s a Poem for That” series, Aracelis Girmay reads her poem “For Estefani Lora, Third Grade, Who Made Me a Card” from her collection Teeth (Curbstone Press, 2007).

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The Transformation

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“It wasn’t fair that fish could see color, / and whales could not, but I was okay: I loved my new body. / I don’t know what kind of whale I was. In the ocean / there were no mirrors.” Emily Jungmin Yoon’s poem “The Transformation,” which appears in her debut collection, A Cruelty Special to Our Species (Ecco, 2018), has been adapted into a Motionpoems film directed by Malin Sandberg. 

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