Three of My Favorite Lockdown Indulgences
As the COVID-19 lockdown continues, I thought I'd share a couple of my new and favorite indulgences in streaming services and social media, thus far. Get ready to expand your horizons, from New York to Milan to Sweden to Syria. Feel free to drop me a line in the comments section with your thoughts on them.
1. Caliphate: This Swedish-language Netflix mini-series tells the story of three women and their involvement with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) - Fatima, of the Swedish Security Service (SAPO), who is determined to unravel a plot by ISIS to attack Sweden; Sulle, a teenager and first-generation Swede groomed and recruited by a student assistant at her high school to join ISIS as a bride; and Pervin, a Swedish jihadi bride in the heart of ISIS territory who goes to work for SAPO in the hope of securing her and her daughter's return to Sweden. Rather than demonizing the women for their involvement with the now-diminished jihadist group-cum-quasi-state, Caliphate shines a light on the geopolitical conflicts, immigrant experience, domestic violence, inner conflicts, fears, and lies that entangle and ensnare vulnerable individuals to ISIS' cause. If the character development alone isn't enough to hook you in, the suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat, wondering who is involved, who will make it out alive, and who is a lost cause.
2. Tamu McPherson, of All the Pretty Birds: Tamu is a former New York-based law student-cum-Milan-based, global fashion phenomenon, whose daily doses of style will inspire you to get creative with your own wardrobe while riding out the lockdown, as well as learn about other black creatives who are making a name in fashion and street-style across Europe.
3. Unorthodox: This Netflix mini-series - loosely based on Deborah Feldman's autobiography, Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots - chronicles the story of Esty, a young woman raised in an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, who defects and flees to Berlin, Germany, where she rediscovers herself and makes a new life, only to have her past, including her husband, catch up with her. This is a coming-of-age story for anyone who's struggled to belong and conform to the circumstances and culture into which they were born. Furthermore, it's a fascinating look into an otherwise esoteric and exclusive community. Esty's character is well-casted and lovable and the city of Berlin - its mod and colorful architecture matched only by its ethnic diversity - will have you itching to visit once the lockdown is lifted.
Photo Credit: Courtney Dianne