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WATCH LIST: September 2017

By Observer Staff

Victoria and Abdul
(Working Title Films/BBC Films)

Based on a book of the same name, Victoria and Abdul traces the real-life relationship between Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) and an Indian servant named Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal). When Karim travels from India to London for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, he forms an unexpected friendship with the aging monarch. Victoria’s inner circle seeks to end their relationship, but their attachment deepens, revealing the dynamics that have shaped their lives. Sept. 22

Vintage Saints and Sinners: 25 Christians Who Transformed My Faith
(InterVarsity Press)

Saints are revered by Christians for their piety and spectacular acts. But examined more closely, their stories reveal human trials and failures in pursuit of God. Narrating her own pilgrimage through faith, author Karen Wright Marsh explores the lives of 25 inspiring “saints” — official ones like St. Augustine and St. Francis, as well as other influential Christian writers and thinkers, such as Søren Kierkegaard, Amanda Berry Smith and Dorothy Day. Sept. 12

Bone on Bone
(True North Records)

Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn returns after a seven-year break with Bone on Bone, his 33rd album. The 11-song record, whose release coincides with Cockburn’s induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, weaves the artist’s contemplative style with political urgency, which he attributes to living in the age of U.S. President Donald Trump. His spiritual side also shines through in tracks like Forty Years in the Wilderness. Sept. 17

Claiming Anishinaabe: Decolonizing the Human Spirit
(University of Regina Press)

Lynn Gehl is an Algonquin Anishinaabe-kwe advocate, artist and writer from the Ottawa River Valley. In her second book, she details her lifelong fight, as someone who has been denied her Indigenous status, to reclaim mino-pimadiziwin — the good life. Through discovering her spirit and decolonizing her identity, the author writes, she has become “fully human.” Sept. 23

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David Wilson%


by David Wilson

Outrage is the new normal

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ObserverDocs: Stolen Mother

by Observer Staff

The daughter and adoptive mother of one of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women share their story

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October 2017

Fall from grace

by Justin Dallaire

Don Hume was a United Church minister nearing retirement. Then he tried crack cocaine.


September 2017


by Jane Dawson

Restless longing is at the core of the human condition, urging us onward through life. What happens when it veers off course?


July 2017

From far and wide

by Various Writers

Meet 11 immigrants who are putting down new roots


October 2017

A tale of two cancers

by Catherine Gordon

One year after the writer discovered she had breast cancer, her sister in California received the same diagnosis. They both recovered, but their experiences were worlds apart.


June 2017

Resisting genocide

by Sally Armstrong

In August 2014, ISIS attacked Iraq’s Yazidis, slaughtering thousands and forcing women and girls into sexual slavery. Today, the survivors are fighting for their ancient way of life.


April 2017

Dear Grandkids

by Various Writers

Six acclaimed Canadian authors write letters from the heart

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