Alissa Quart

Alissa Quart is the author of Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers (Basic Books) and Hothouse Kids: How the Pressure to Succeed Threatens Childhood (Penguin).

Recent Articles

Road Pictures for Our Time

Filmmaker Michael Winterbottom is that rare Western artist who can depict the streets of Tehran and Karachi. It's movie stars that trip him up.

Right now a political filmmaker of great talent is making more than one film a year -- 17 in the last 15 years. That's the good news. The bad news is that his work has yet to be viewed by a substantial audience. That filmmaker is Michael Winterbottom, director of this summer's A Mighty Heart , an adaptation of Mariane Pearl's memoir of the kidnapping and murder of her husband, reporter Daniel Pearl. The red-carpet attractions of its star, Angelina Jolie, have helped publicize the film, but they have not brought it high box-office returns. The same was true for another of Winterbottom's films, In This World (2002): It received so little distribution when it came out stateside four years ago that if you saw it, you were probably a film critic. Despite his still small following, Winter-bottom deserves to be known as a filmmaker for our time. At 46, the British-born and London-based director can handle, without apparent strain or sanctimony, themes of religious radicalism, national...