MSPIFF: Friday 4/23: USA

Friday was Day 8 of the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival.  The blossoms on the crab apple trees smelled even better than they did on Thursday, so I had to flee to the movies to escape them.  It turned out that Friday was director’s and producer’s day.

  * [Ghosts of the 7th Cavalry](, USA.  Director Tom Roberts was present for the US premiere of this documentary.  Despite being an American film about American history about American soldiers, and despite the critical acclaim at film festivals around the world (I forget how many he named, but it was at least 5), this film has yet to receive any showing by HBO, ShowTime, or any other US TV distributor or distribution company.  MSPIFF is the first US festival to show "[Ghosts of the 7th Cavalry (MSPIFF link)](".  "Ghosts" tells the story of a 80+ year old Army veteran Major Robert ‘Snuffy’ Gray.  Gray fought in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam wars, a member of the legendary/infamous US Army 7th Cavalry.  The 7th Cavalry was destroyed in General Custer's leadership at Little Big Horn, murdered hundreds of Dakota women and children at Wounded Knee 14 years later, and "followed orders" to shoot civilians early in the Korean war before Gray joined the Cav.  Roberts is quite clear that he doesn't like war in America's foreign policy, but he's also has deep compassion for the courage of the soldiers that fight to enforce that policy.  Gray reminded me a great deal of my Cousin Helen; I think she would have made a great calvary officer.  **Highly recommended**.  Showing again on 4/25.
  * [Today's Special](, USA.  ([MSPIFF link](  All seats were sold out.  Technical problems with the projector delayed the start by over half an hour.  But the movie was worth the wait.  "Feel good, funny foodie movie" could summarize it pretty well.  The famous Indian veteran actor who plays the taxi driver who teaches the young, rebellious chef how to cook, [Naseeruddin Shah](, reminded me of Richard Dreyfuss at his most charming.  [Madhur Jaffrey]( plays the match-making mother; according to the producer, she only wanted to act, so the cooking was done by others.  **Recommended**.  Showing again on 4/24.