Get curated editors’ picks, peeks behind the scenes, film recommendations and more.
Shohaku Okumura was born to a worldly merchant family in Osaka, Japan, but, to their chagrin, he chose a life as a Zen Buddhist monk and abbot in Bloomington, Indiana. Shohaku gives his own two children – a daughter, Yoko, and a son, Masaki – his quiet, steady support, affording them the ‘space to grow’ that he didn’t experience in his youth. But Masaki is indifferent to the Buddhist practices shared by his family, lacks direction and ambition, and prefers playing video games to engaging with the pressing question of what to do with his life. A simmering passion for cooking offers some hope, but Masaki and Yoko agree that they really wish their parents would just set some expectations for them. Shot over several years by Yoko Okumura, Sit is a touching, personal portrait of a family trying to find its way, and a probing exploration of the tension between the best intentions of parents and the needs of their children.
Director: Yoko Okumura
Producer: Christopher Ruiz
Building ‘bigger and better’ has pushed cosmology forward. Can it take it any further?
How Hokusai’s Great Wave emerged from Japan’s isolation to become a global icon
The ancient world
Not a lost kingdom but a parable – how to read Athens in Plato’s story of Atlantis
Meaning and the good life
Albert Camus built a philosophy of humanity on a foundation of absurdity
When two punk bands came to a psychiatric hospital, beautiful chaos ensued
Check in to the Hilbert Hotel, and learn why some infinities are bigger than others
Cognition and intelligence
How a ‘periodic table’ of animal intelligence could help to root out human bias
A climate activist living off-grid faces her toughest challenge yet – a new primary school
What it’s like to have aphantasia, the inability to visualise images in the mind’s eye