Imagine if the X-Games were a state-run event. Think about it. What better way to promote the Bush administration while indoctrinating young athletes? While that sounds like an Orwellian nightmare, it's real life for the North Korean kids who participate in the Mass Games, the focus of Daniel Gordon's A State of Mind. One part athletic performance and three parts patriotic display, the Mass Games embody the belief that individuals exist to serve the state.
The documentary follows the lives of two adolescent girls -- Pak Hyon Sun, 13, and Kim Song Yun, 11 -- as they train for the event. It's no surprise that the young gymnasts endure a level of discipline that would make most American youths reach for their Barney dolls. What's more eye-opening (if not a bit disturbing) is the politicization of the games. The athletes are taught not just that Kim Jong Il is The Man but that America is the root of all evil. So be thankful that Tony Hawk doesn't have to wear a Bush/Cheney T-shirt when he skates. A State of Mind is showing as part of the "EmergingCinemas" series at Palm Beach Community College's Stage West Theatre (4200 Congress Ave., Lake Worth). Screenings run Thursday through Saturday. Tickets cost $7.50 for adults and $5 for students. Call 561-868-3948. -- Jason Budjinski
A reading of the minds
Sure, she once wrote a poem titled "Her Whose Vagina Ate Men," but Denise Duhamel isn't a man-hater; she just has an active imagination and a knack for flouting convention. Besides, Duhamel is happily married to fellow poet Nick Carbó. On Thursday, the couple stops by for "An Evening of Poetry" at Lynn University (3601 N. Military Trl., Boca Raton) to read from their latest books, Andalusian Dawn (Carbó) and Two and Two (Duhamel). Carbó's poems are calm meditations inspired by the book's Spanish namesake. Duhamel takes on revisionist historians with some revisions of her own, such as the bit of wordplay in marrying Noah to Joan of Arc. Let's hope Joan likes pets, eh? The free reading starts at 7 p.m. inside the international building. Call 561-237-7411. -- Jason Budjinski