1. Mr. Sissako is both an indispensable political filmmaker and one of the great poets of contemporary cinema. His portrait of life under jihadi rule in northern Mali is brutal and shocking, but also gentle, generous and surprisingly funny. Mr. Sissako does not humanize violent extremists so much as demonstrate that they already belong to the species and reflect part of our common, tragic nature. But his movie also insists that the only effective and ethically serious way to oppose fanaticism is with humanism. Which is to say with irony, with decency and, perhaps above all, with art. (Read the review.)
2. Yu Xiuhua, born with cerebral palsy, lived a quiet village life. She is now a literary sensation whose vivid, erotic poems are “stained with blood.”
西西软件园 A new paper on the Dutch debacle, coauthored by Peter Koudijs at Stanford Graduate School of Business, turns up modern-day lessons about the not-so-scientific ways in which personal experience rather than market information can determine optimism, pessimism, and access to credit.