Central Idaho Report 

The Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival

Once again, the organizers of the Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival have drawn films from around the world­­—and around the universe, it seems—all designed to show moviegoers a little more than the usual big-screen fare. Start with Buddha's Lost Children, which tells the story of Tiger Monk (a former Thai boxer turned Buddhist monk) and his work to improve the lives of children in Thailand's Golden Triangle. Then, The Cats of Mirikitani focuses on the art and life of Jimmy Mirikitani, whose motto is "make art not war." The Chosen Ones crisscrosses the spectrum of Jewish music, from New York Jewish musicians to an African-American Jew rapping about God. Organizers say you'd better be ready to dance in your seats for this one. From Canada, Favela Rising has won multiple awards. It's about a Brazilian squatter settlement and the former drug trafficker who rallies his community to counteract the violent influences of the drug culture. And while you may have heard of Bethany Hamilton, the 13-year-old surfer who was attacked by a shark in 2003, you've never seen her story like this. Heart of a Soul Surfer, digs into the question: "Why does God allow bad things to happen in our lives?" and tracks Hamilton's triumph over her loss. I Named Her Angel, from Turkey, tells the story of a young Turkish girl and her desire to become a whirling dervish. Invitation From God, from Denmark, engages in conversation with Thomas Keating, a charismatic Cistercian monk and an authority on Christian spirituality. And those are just a few of the films showing.

For a full list go to svspiritualfilmfestival.org. Festival is Sept. 14-16. Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival passes are $108, individual passes are $8. Call 208-788-9729 for more information, ask for Mary Gervase. Films show at The Liberty Theater, 110 N. Main St., Hailey, and the Sun Valley Opera House, Sun Valley Village.


John Patrick Shanley, the Bronx playwright, may be best known for the screenplays for Joe Vs. The Volcano and Moonstruck, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay. But now his play, Doubt, will be performed by the Company of Fools theater group in Hailey. New York's Newsday called the piece "Blunt yet subtle, manipulative but full of empathy for all sides," adding, "The play is set in 1964 but could not be more timely." The story is about what happens when a strict principal, a nun named Sister Aloysius, comes to believe that a young priest has molested a male student. She has no evidence, just what she calls "her certainties." The play is directed by Denise Simone and stars Jana Arnold, Michelle Carter Todd, Chad Smith and Aly Wepplo.

Show runs Oct.17-Nov. 3. Oct. 17 is the Pay What You Feel Preview; Educator nights, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 19 at 8 p.m., tickets $10; Family performance, Oct. 21 at 3 p.m.; times vary. Call the box office for details. Company of Fools, 409 N. Main St., Hailey, 208-788-6520, companyoffools.org.

Fine and Pleasant Misery

Anyone who has ever read Patrick McManus knows that this Idaho writer is not what you might consider "fine art." But neither is he the sort of writer that you should read in public, unless you don't mind laughing out loud. For years, McManus has been spinning tales of wayward hunters, of growing up in rural Idaho, and of the haplessness of modern outdoorsy males. His stories are infectious and withstand numerous re-reads. But trying to read them in public remains risky, for fear of being seen snorting your drink out of your nose.

Apparently, Tim Behrens is willing to take the risk at the College of Southern Idaho's Fine Arts Auditorium. Behrens, an actor, is now ready to perform The McManus Comedies: A Fine and Pleasant Misery, a stage production of classic McManus lore. Stories he will perform include tales of deer on bicycles, the famous toboggan run of Rancid Crabtree and lessons on how to brush the taste of dog off your teeth.

The shows, originally conceived in 1992 by McManus and Behrens, are said to harken back to a simpler time. These were days when boys wanted to become mountain men but couldn't because they were afraid of the dark, or when you knew your first date would warp your personality forever but you went on it anyway, or when 100-year-old men kept repeating stories they knew you'd never heard, but you listened for the 40th time because it just might be true.

Thursday, Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m. Cost is $13 adults, $9 children, mcmanusplays.com. CSI Fine Arts Auditorium, 315 Falls Ave., Twin Falls, 208-733-9554, 1-800-6800-CSI.

Feast of Love

Tom Rosenberg's film Feast of Love will debut at this special library event in Ketchum. The movie, starring Morgan Freeman, is billed as "a meditation on love and its various incarnations." The film also includes Greg Kinnear, Selma Blair and Tom Ward. Rosenberg is a producer on the film.

Sept. 27, call for show time. FREE. The Community Library, 415 Spruce Ave. N., Ketchum, 208-726-3493, www.thecommunity library.org.

—Shea Andersen


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