The rebellious Thracian Spartacus, born and raised a slave, is sold to Gladiator trainer Batiatus. After weeks of being trained to kill for the arena, Spartacus turns on his owners and leads the other slaves in rebellion. As the rebels move from town to town, their numbers swell as escaped slaves join their ranks. Under the leadership of Spartacus, they make their way to southern Italy, where they will cross the sea and return to their homes.
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This examination of a famous scandal from the 1970s explores the relationship between Barbara Baekeland and her only son, Antony. Barbara, a lonely social climber unhappily married to the wealthy but remote plastics heir Brooks Baekeland, dotes on Antony, who is homosexual. As Barbara tries to “cure” Antony of his sexuality — sometimes by seducing him herself — the groundwork is laid for a murderous tragedy.
PATHS OF THE SOUL follows a group of Tibetan villagers who leave their families and homes to make a “bowing pilgrimage” — laying their bodies flat on the ground after every few steps — along the 2,000-kilometre road to Lhasa. Though equally devoted to the trip, they all have different reasons: one traveller needs to cleanse bad family karma; another, a butcher, wants to wash the animals’ bloodstains from his soul; and another pilgrim, sensing the end is near, hopes that prayers and prostrations will break the chain of cause and effect determined by his life’s actions. During their months on the road, a baby is born, they meet fellow travellers, and their resolve is put to the test by harsh snowstorms and physical fatigue. But no hardship can deter them from their ultimate goal — not even the threat of death, a very real danger in this high altitude where a common cold can take one’s life.
Eleven year-old Akeelah Anderson’s life is not easy: her father is dead, her mom ignores her, her brother runs with the local gangbangers. She’s smart, but her environment threatens to strangle her aspirations. Responding to a threat by her school’s principal, Akeelah participates in a spelling bee to avoid detention for her many absences. Much to her surprise and embarrassment, she wins. Her principal asks her to seek coaching from an English professor named Dr. Larabee for the more prestigious regional bee. As the possibility of making it all the way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee looms, Akeelah could provide her community with someone to rally around and be proud of — but only if she can overcome her insecurities and her distracting home life. She also must get past Dr. Larabee’s demons, and a field of more experienced and privileged fellow spellers.
A love story built on a misunderstanding. A transit worker pulls commuter Peter off the tracks after he’s mugged. But while he’s in a coma, his family mistakenly thinks she’s Peter’s fiancée, and she doesn’t correct them. Things get more complicated when she falls for his brother, who’s not quite sure that she’s who she claims to be.
Mexican immigrant and single mother Flor Moreno finds housekeeping work with Deborah and John Clasky, a well-off couple with two children of their own. When Flor admits she can’t handle the schedule because of her daughter, Cristina, Deborah decides they should move into the Clasky home. Cultures clash and tensions run high as Flor and the Claskys struggle to share space while raising their children on their own, and very different, terms.