Film & Theater

Thumbnail image for “RED” at the San Diego Repertory Theatre

“RED” at the San Diego Repertory Theatre

by Source 04.10.2014 Culture

“Stop the heart and think… How fine are we?”

By Alejandra Enciso Guzmán

San Diego Repertory Theatre is staging its final production of its thirty-eighth season with RED by John Logan. It is a wonderful and –colorful- end to an eclectic and very well rounded season.

RED is a play with two actors and no intermission. John Vickery plays Mark Rothko, short for Marcus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz, an American painter of Russian Jewish descent. Jason Maddy is Ken, Rothko’s young assistant, aspiring painter and apprentice. San Diego Free Press had the opportunity to chat with the actors about their roles in RED.

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Thumbnail image for The Wild Widows Return to Old Town Part 2: Cygnet Theatre

The Wild Widows Return to Old Town Part 2: Cygnet Theatre

by Judi Curry 04.08.2014 Culture

By Judi Curry

Following our breakfast at O’Hungry’s, Irene and I left Ro and went up to Ft. Rosecrans to visit our husbands. Irene made the comment that the only good thing about our husbands passing was that we met each other. When it is our time to leave this earth, Irene and I will be only a few rows apart and will be able to still converse with each other.

Following our visit to the cemetery, we went back to Old Town to the Cygnet Theatre to see the play Spring Awakening. Ro was the House Manager on this particular day and could not watch the play with us but will see it at a later time.

Spring Awakening is a winner of 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical. It is based on a play that was originally written in 1891, but it is so contemporary it could have been written in our time.

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Thumbnail image for A Review of “Cesar Chavez” the Film: Sí, Se Puede

A Review of “Cesar Chavez” the Film: Sí, Se Puede

by Source 04.04.2014 Activism

By Byron Morton/ OBRag

Cesar Chavez shows the political evolution and the struggles of the man behind the movement during the 1960s to organize the farm workers in California. Through the United Farm Workers (UFW) Chavez (played by Michael Peña) brings bargaining rights and dignity for the impoverished farm workers. The UFW motto during this time was “Sí, se puede” or yes, it is possible.

It is important to remember at that time in the 1960s the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 did not protect farm workers and others. The Act “is a foundational statute of US labor law which guarantees basic rights of private sector employees to organize into trade unions, engage in collective bargaining for better terms and conditions at work, and take collective action including strikes if necessary.”

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Thumbnail image for Restaurant Review: Bistro 60

Restaurant Review: Bistro 60

by Judi Curry 03.28.2014 Film & Theater

Bistro 60
5987 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92115
619-287-8186

Some time ago, I remember going to San Diego Desserts to talk to the owners about allowing some of my culinary arts students from San Diego Job Corps to do an internship with them. The bakery had been recommended highly by my two culinary arts chefs, and we thought it would be a wonderful experience for the students. Shortly after meeting with the owners, I left San Diego for a position at Penobscot Job Corps in Maine and do not know if our students had the intern experience there or not.

Much later, around 2008 or so, I heard that people could eat their desserts in the restaurant, and it was obvious that it was no longer just a wholesale bakery. Later on I heard that food had been added to the menu, and then wine, and beer, etc.

Recently, a friend and I purchased tickets to the Moxie theater just down the street from the bistro, and it gave me a perfect opportunity to drop in and have dinner before the opening curtain.

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Thumbnail image for Bedtime with Moxie

Bedtime with Moxie

by Judi Curry 03.25.2014 Culture

Moxie Theater
6663 El Cajon Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92115
www.moxietheatre.com
858-598-7620

By Judi Curry

When was the last time you were invited to wear your pajamas to a party?  When was the last time you were told to wear your pajamas out in public? When was the last time you were invited to a pillow fight – only if you were wearing your sleeping gear?

When was the last time you were told that “costumed guests will enjoy a Pillow Fight Photo Booth, Naughty Night Cap Beverages, Live Lullabies and Bedtime Stories performed by local celebrities?

And when were you told that one of those celebrities was none other than the Interim Mayor of San Diego, Todd Gloria?

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Thumbnail image for The American Dream in San Diego Rep’s DETROIT

The American Dream in San Diego Rep’s DETROIT

by Source 03.07.2014 Culture

San Diego Repertory Theatre presents Detroit by Lisa D’Amour as the fifth production of the company’s 38th season.

By Alejandra Enciso Guzmán

A young couple, Ben and Mary (played by Steve Gunderson and Lisel Gorell-Getz) are comfortably settled into their suburban lifestyle just outside a major American city. Then Sharon and Kenny, a pair of free spirits (Summer Spiro and Jeffrey Jones) suddenly move into the long-empty house next door.

Playwright Lisa D’Amour uses this setting to challenge the American cultural assumptions about status, comfort, ambition, and community. The New York Times describes how the setting– “A friendly suburban barbecue spirals into a delirious, dangerous bacchanal…”

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Thumbnail image for Sanctuary: 7th Annual Dia de la Mujer Juried Art Exhibition to Open

Sanctuary: 7th Annual Dia de la Mujer Juried Art Exhibition to Open

by Source 03.04.2014 Arts

An all woman’s art exhibition, a film screening and a very womanly celebration

By Leticia Gomez Franco 

Casa Familiar’s THE FRONT will once again present their annual ode to women, this year called Sanctuary: 7th Annual Dia de la Mujer Art Exhibition. The group art exhibition features the work of 48 female artists from both sides of the border and will be on view from March 7  to April 24.

With over 50 art pieces on view, the exhibition is a wonderful collection of work, inspired by this years theme: Sanctuary. Artists were invited to explore the idea of sanctuary in its many manifestations as it relates to them as women and builders and creators of their own spaces. With this theme the exhibition curator honors the mission of Día de la Mujer. The art exhibition allows women artists to create real representations of themselves, to counter the powerful stream of visual stimulation spat out by the media, oversaturating our world, with foreign, unrealistic versions of women. Día de la Mujer fosters a safe space for women to be real women and to celebrate that realness, in all of its diverse beauty.

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Thumbnail image for To Reach My Goals – Education in Barrio Logan

To Reach My Goals – Education in Barrio Logan

by Brent E. Beltrán 03.02.2014 Desde la Logan

Video by Media Arts Center San Diego’s Teen Producer’s Project
Intro by Brent E. Beltrán

With the battle looming over the future of Barrio Logan, due to Maritime Industry’s refusal to accept the Barrio Logan Community Plan update, I feel it is necessary to give voters of the city of San Diego a little history of Barrio Logan and highlight the issues residents face. In June, eligible San Diego voters will go to the polls to vote on wether to approve the community plan or reject it.

This week’s video, To Reach My Goals – Education in Barrio Logan, documents the challenges barrio youth have in school and highlights the Barrio Logan College Institute and their work to get neighborhood kids into college.

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Thumbnail image for “The Who & The What”:  Tradition vs. Modern World at the La Jolla Playhouse

“The Who & The What”: Tradition vs. Modern World at the La Jolla Playhouse

by Source 02.15.2014 Culture

By Alejandra Enciso Guzmán

La Jolla Playhouse has opened its last production of the 2013-2014 season titled ‘The Who & The What’ by author, playwright and screenwriter Ayad Akhtar.

The play had its first developmental reading February 2013, during the Playhouse’s inaugural DNA New Work Series, which entailed a six-week period of workshop productions and readings of new plays and musicals. “Yes, that is how this project started. Gabriel Greene, Director of New Play Development at the Playhouse, is in charge of new work series. It is this terrific opportunity for work that is in a very early stage to be heard out loud” explained ‘The Who & The What’ director, Kimberly Senior.

San Diego Free Press had a chance to talk to the Chicago based freelance director, regarding this piece and how it came about, along with other projects in store for her in the near future. “The Who & The What” was in a very early stage. We got a full day of rehearsal with professional actors and had an informal reading that evening where the public was invited. With that we were able to get some really good feedback on what was working and what was not,” Senior explained.

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Thumbnail image for Point Loma High School Students Honor “Blackfish” Director and Her SeaWorld Expose

Point Loma High School Students Honor “Blackfish” Director and Her SeaWorld Expose

by Frank Gormlie 02.05.2014 Activism

By Frank Gormlie / OB Rag

Hundreds of Point Loma High School students honored the director of the controversial film “Blackfish” – the expose on SeaWorld’s treatment of their Orcas – on Monday, Feb. 3rd.

Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite came to the campus after some film students had produced their own film criticizing SeaWorld and addressed an assembled group of them.  She told them she wanted her documentary about the water-park’s captive killer whales to persuade SeaWorld to discontinue “using animals as entertainment.”  Cowperthwaite also told the students that they need to form their own opinions on the issue.

Her film began, she said, as a research project on the death in 2010 of Orca trainer Dawn Brancheau and Tilikum, the killer whale.

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Thumbnail image for Conservative Darling Dinesh D’Souza Indicted for Illegal Contributions in Senate Race

Conservative Darling Dinesh D’Souza Indicted for Illegal Contributions in Senate Race

by Doug Porter 01.24.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

Just two years ago San Diego resident Dinesh D’Souza was sitting at the top of the conservative heap. He was a best selling author, president of Kings College, fledgling documentarian and sought after debater. Now he stands accused by federal prosecutors of making $20,000 in straw contributions in a 2012 Senate race.

According to an indictment made public on Thursday in federal court in Manhattan, D’Souza around reimbursed people (believed to be his ex-wife and mistress) who he had directed to contribute $20,000 to a senate campaign, believed to be that of Wendy Long, a Republican attorney who lost to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in 2012. The indictment said the campaign was unaware of D’Souza’s activities, which apparently weren’t very helpful, as Long garnered just 28% of the vote..

D’Souza rose from Reaganite beginnings to become a fixture on the ‘90s speaking circuit, and became a personal favorite of UT-San Diego publisher Doug Manchester. The Daily Fishwrap ran scores of full-color ads promoting his shoddily-made documentary entitled 2016: Obama’s America.  

“Papa” Doug even helped finance the film, which set out to lead its audiences to the conclusion that the President of the United States hates this country, wants to destroy it and create a socialist state where everybody is taxed at 100%; one world under Allah.

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Thumbnail image for Interview with Playwright Caridad Svich: “In the Time of the Butterflies”

Interview with Playwright Caridad Svich: “In the Time of the Butterflies”

by Source 01.15.2014 Culture

The story of resistance against oppression continues at the San Diego Repertory Theatre

By Alejandra Enciso Guzmán

As part of its 2013-2014 season, San Diego Repertory Theatre will present In The Time of the Butterflies. This play, based on the novel by Julia Álvarez, captures part of the lives of the four Mirabal sisters. These women fought against the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo, a former president of the Dominican Republic. Their struggle ended with the brutal loss of their lives in 1960.

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Thumbnail image for Organizations Commemorate 20th Anniversary of Zapatista Uprising

Organizations Commemorate 20th Anniversary of Zapatista Uprising

by Brent E. Beltrán 01.05.2014 Activism

Enero Zapatista Committee Organizes Month Long Series of Events

By Brent E. Beltrán

Twenty years ago on January 1 an unknown, rag tag rebel group walked out of the fog and rain forest of Chiapas, Mexico and into the imaginations of millions of Mexicans, indigenous people and lefties throughout the world.

On that fateful day, from below and to the left, the Ejercito Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN/Zapatista Army of National Liberation) made their first of many appearances upon the world stage.

Named after the great Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata the Zapatistas demanded work, land, shelter, food, health, education, independence, freedom, democracy, justice and peace not just for themselves but all Mexicans and oppressed people throughout the world.

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Thumbnail image for Movie Review of ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

Movie Review of ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

by Staff 11.23.2013 Culture

A thrilling adventure film held back only by the lead heroine’s need for a savior.

By Melissa Phy

Screaming tweens and indulgent adults finally got to check back in with Katniss, Peeta, Gale and the rest of The Hunger Games crew this week after the second installment of the series, Catching Fire, was released Friday.

The movie starts out nearly a year after the last hunger games, in which Peeta and Katniss (tributes from District 12 in the futuristic Panem) both survived, making headlines as the first dual winners of the barbaric games in which two children from each district (there are 12 total, with a former 13th reportedly obliterated by the capitol for rebelling) duke it out in an arena in a fight to the death.

Katniss, now a sign of hope for the starving and suffering districts, is considered a threat by Panem’s president. In an effort to eliminate Katniss and restore order among the districts, the 75th’ Hunger Games has a twist: all participants will be pulled from the pool of previous victors, meaning Katniss and Peeta must return to the arena. The catchphrase of the film? “Remember who the enemy is.”

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Thumbnail image for CNN Joins the Cover-Up of the Kennedy Assassination

CNN Joins the Cover-Up of the Kennedy Assassination

by Frank Gormlie 11.15.2013 Culture

By Frank Gormlie

This may not be a surprise to hardcore corporate media watchers, but CNN has joined the ranks of those establishment outlets that are continuing the cover-up of the assassination of John F Kennedy. The news station has jumped on the bandwagon that is making a lot of noise these days due to the 50th anniversary of the President’s murder.

It was a real disappointment however, in viewing CNN’s “The Assassination of President Kennedy” because one of my favorite actors, Tom Hanks, was one of the producers and I was looking for some truth. Alas, it did not come through.

The show promised a look at the Warren Commission Report, and it started out with a lot of television footage from those crazy days in Dallas, November 22nd through the 24th when Lee Harvey Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby. The old TV scenes in black and white gave the film authenticity, which were followed up by interviews of some of the major researchers and book authors on the killing of Kennedy.

It started off fairly balanced, with old scenes of Jim Garrison – the New Orleans DA who brought the only trial involving the assassination to life in America – , interviews with Mark Lane – the original critic of the Warren Commission, and also interviews with those who back the “3-bullet theory” and think Oswald did it and did it alone.

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Thumbnail image for How to tell if what you’re reading or watching is still part of the JFK assassination cover-up.

How to tell if what you’re reading or watching is still part of the JFK assassination cover-up.

by Frank Gormlie 11.14.2013 Books & Poetry

By Frank Gormlie

We’re all fairly aware now that this month is the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Assassination. President John F Kennedy was murdered on November 22, 1963 in Dealy Plaza in Dallas, Texas.

And boy, we’re being swamped with films, articles, videos and books about the assassination and the subsequent cover up. For example, both the History channel and National Geographic channel are throwing new films at us this month at almost a daily basis.

So, how can you tell if what you’re reading or watching is still part of the Kennedy murder cover-up?

Here’s three simple rules:

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Thumbnail image for Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

by Ernie McCray 10.24.2013 Encore

By Ernie McCray

I’m not, necessarily, one for seeing movies or plays or other things that are staged more than once unless there’s something really special about it. That being said I can’t wait to take in my friend Calvin Manson’s wonderfully soulful musical “Don’t Let me Be Misunderstood” again.

I highly recommend this beautifully crafted piece of theater because it’s so personal to me. It features the songs of one of my show-people-heroes, Nina Simone. This inimitable singer and pianist not only dazzled the world with her sultry sincere soulful voice but she also, at the same time, actively pursued dreams of that world being one where all people live in freedom. With dignity. Like Robeson and Belafonte. That kind of service to humanity resonates deeply within me.

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Thumbnail image for Reflecting Upon the First Year of Desde la Logan

Reflecting Upon the First Year of Desde la Logan

by Brent E. Beltrán 10.12.2013 Activism

By Brent E. Beltrán

One year ago today, October 12, 2012, my first Desde la Logan column was published here at San Diego Free Press. To date I’ve written forty-nine pieces: forty-four Desde la Logan columns and five articles on Comic-Con. If I had more time I probably could’ve written fifty more.

Like all SDFP writers I do not get paid to write. I write because the stories that I want to share rarely, if ever, get covered by the mainstream press. And the community I live in and write about doesn’t get much positive media attention.

I’ve taken it upon myself to cover the stories and issues that don’t get covered. To unashamedly champion the places, people, issues and causes that are near and dear to my community and myself.

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Thumbnail image for Don’t Miss Robert Reich’s Movie ‘Inequality for All’

Don’t Miss Robert Reich’s Movie ‘Inequality for All’

by Source 10.05.2013 Business

By Frances O’Neill Zimmerman

In the years before Ronald Reagan, income taxes on the One Percent were regularly in the range of 70%, including when Republicans Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon were in the White House.

Amiable President Reagan brought us the exaggerated and toxic notion of “welfare queens” on foodstamps. He also fired all the striking air traffic controllers without a peep of opposition and lowered income taxes on the rich to 28%, benefitting his plutocrat LA pals. In 2012  the GOP’s own Richie Rich,  Gov. Mitt Romney, paid 13% in taxes. And in 2012 Warren Buffett paid less income tax than any of his clerical help at Berkshire-Hathaway.

We’re talking serious income inequality here and now in the US of A.

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Thumbnail image for Las Monthly Ondas October Edition: The Art and Heart of Lucha Libre

Las Monthly Ondas October Edition: The Art and Heart of Lucha Libre

by Brent E. Beltrán 10.01.2013 Activism

Ruben Torres’ 2nd Annual HeART of LUCHA

By Brent E. Beltrán

Local music and video producer, curator, lucha libre lover and all around cool vato Ruben Torres is organizing his 2nd annual HeART of LUCHA event. It is being billed as the “largest lucha art and culture exhibition in the nation.”

Last year’s inaugural exhibition took place at The Spot Barrio Logan. For the second installment Ruben has taken over the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park where his other art series, HeART of Lotería, took place earlier this year. In addition to these two series he also organizes an annual winter toy and clothing drive for San Diego and Tijuana youth called Love Thy Neighbor (I wrote about it here).

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Thumbnail image for Shooting Elephants in the Face: Well-Done, A Lot of “Fun” on NBC

Shooting Elephants in the Face: Well-Done, A Lot of “Fun” on NBC

by Source 09.29.2013 Culture

by Abby Zimet / Common Dreams

Just when you thought you couldn’t hate the NRA any more comes this video from Under Wild Skies, an NRA-sponsored, so-called sports show being inexplicably aired by NBC, in which tough guy, Indiana Jones-wannabee and NRA lobbyist Tony Makris bravely goes forth into Botswana to massacre an elephant – an act about to be but not quite yet illegal – finally downing it on the third shot by shooting it in the face and then gleefully gloating, after the suffering animal charged him, that “somebody got a little cheeky there.”

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Thumbnail image for Our Road to Elysium

Our Road to Elysium

by Source 09.27.2013 Culture

Robert Reich’s new film Inequality for All exposes America’s growing wealth disparities.

By  / OtherWords.org

The Hollywood blockbuster film, Elysium, depicts a polarized Los Angeles in the year 2154. The vast majority of inhabitants live in overpopulated and polluted slums, toiling in grinding poverty.

Meanwhile, a wealthy elite live on Elysium, a space station modeled after a luxurious neighborhood in Malibu, California. Life expectancy on Elysium is three times longer than on the sweltering toxic earth, thanks to advanced medical technologies and a pristine environment.

Matt Damon stars as the character Max DeCosta, who is exposed to a lethal dose of radiation at his factory job. With five days to live, he must get to Elysium and climb into a “med bay,” a scanner that cures cancers and other life-threatening ailments.

Elysium is a cautionary tale, a dystopian vision of the kinds of extremes that might result if America’s growing economic inequality were to continue unabated.

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Thumbnail image for Las Monthly Ondas September Edition: Spend a Weekend with Picasso

Las Monthly Ondas September Edition: Spend a Weekend with Picasso

by Brent E. Beltrán 09.01.2013 Arts

Herbert Siguenza Returns as the Iconic Artist

By Brent E. Beltrán

Some may have thought that Pablo Picasso died at the gravely old age of 91 while entertaining friends at his home in France. That was not the case because the famous artist lives on here in San Diego.

This month you can see him live and in the flesh as Salvadoran actor Herbert Siguenza, of Culture Clash fame, captures the pure essence of the master himself in A Weekend with Picasso. From his mannerisms and speech to painting live Siguenza channels his inner Picasso and transforms into one of the most influential artists in modern history.

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Thumbnail image for “In the Heights” Now Playing in San Diego

“In the Heights” Now Playing in San Diego

by Source 08.11.2013 Culture

San Diego… iNo me diga!

By Alejandra Enciso Guzmán

After an intense month of rehearsals and five days of preview shows, In the Heights had its opening night on Sunday, August 4th at the Lyceum stage in Horton Plaza. The multiple award winning musical had its first resident production in the county, thanks to the partnership between San Diego REP and the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA). In the Heights is directed by Sam Woodhouse and choreographed by Javier Velasco. The play is based on the book by Quiara Alegría Hudes and conceived by Lin- Manuel Miranda.

In the Heights is set in the vibrant community of New York’s Washington Heights. It is a community with immigrants from all over Latin America who face the day to day decision whether to keep on with traditions or leave them behind in this new place. We are introduced to barrio businesses and their owners where this tension plays out. Usnavi owns the corner bodega where he sells coffee, newspapers and miscellaneous along with his bratty yet very good hearted cousin Sonny. The Rosarios run a taxi dispatch and Daniela operates a hair salon.

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Thumbnail image for Sam Woodhouse Talks about “In The Heights” at the San Diego Rep

Sam Woodhouse Talks about “In The Heights” at the San Diego Rep

by Source 08.01.2013 Arts

A Broadway musical about heart and “familia”

By Alejandra Enciso Guzmán for SDFP

The San Diego Repertory Theater opens its thirty-eighth season with the award winning musical In the Heights. Sam Woodhouse, San Diego Rep co-founder and artistic director, provided insight into the first resident production of the musical in San Diego:

“There are several factors here. One is the partnership with the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA), the ‘fame’ high school of San Diego that allows us to do these big giant musicals in the summer. They bring us an orchestra of thirteen musicians and a bunch of actor/dancers, all terrific.”

In The Heights is this wonderful collision and marriage of a very 21st century, modern American immigrant story, filled with all those desires and longings and dreams and quests that every immigrant community has, in the cocoon of an old fashioned Broadway musical” added Woodhouse.

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