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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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