Curtis Yee is a reporter and critic living in Washington, D.C. He covers faith, society, and everything in between. Follow him on Twitter @curtisfyee

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The Persistence of Life’s Mundane Beauties

by Curtis Yee 06-06-2024
Wide, spacious shots and sparing cuts give Éric Rohmer's 1986 drama, “The Green Ray,” its power.
The image shows a man and a woman at a table, laughing about something. The man is shirtless with a red bandana on his head, and the woman has a red shawl thing and dark hair.

From The Green Ray

THERE IS SOMETHING outré about summertime sadness. As foliage reaches its lushest form and the sun turns our skin dewy, nature summons its full potential to evoke enchantment. And yet, we often find ourselves standing obstinate in the face of God’s good favor.

Such is the case for Delphine in Éric Rohmer’s 1986 French drama, The Green Ray. Newly separated from her fiancé and ditched by a friend she was supposed to vacation with, Delphine (Marie Ri-vière) is suddenly alone in Paris as the city’s leisure class flees for more temperate summer climates. Failed attempts at companionship find her isolated or, worse, at the mercy of dining companions who take on the role of Job’s friends, psychoanalyzing her disposition and insisting she just needs to get out more. Despite all efforts, Delphine is disenchanted.

Indifference Is a Cursed Heirloom

by Curtis Yee 03-27-2024
“The Virgin Suicides” portrays the callous ways we distance ourselves from grieving people.
The image shows four girls lounging on the floor, they are sisters. The room is full of pink items.

From The Virgin Suicides 

THE REMAINING LISBON sister are sprawled in their bedroom when the priest knocks on their door.

“Hello girls, I thought we could talk. Do you feel like talking?”

Their returning stares are vacant and unknowable, and the priest wears only the pretense of concern. Both parties maintain their false decorum, neither fully able to acknowledge their shared grief: the suicide of Cecilia, the youngest Lisbon sister, only 13 years old.

Reaching a Verdict in the Absence of Proof

by Curtis Yee 01-10-2024
Justine Triet's mystery “Anatomy of a Fall” contends with the stories we build on partial wisdom and faulty logic.
The photo shows a woman with gray hair in a gray suit in a courtroom, looking at people off camera.

From Anatomy of a Fall 

THE FIRST TIME we see Samuel Maleski (Samuel Theis), he is lying in the snow outside his home, blood pooling at his head. Across French director Justine Triet’s mystery Anatomy of a Fall, the cause of Samuel’s untimely death will be debated ad nauseam. Was it suicide? Or was it murder?

Samuel’s wife, Sandra (Sandra Hüller), a successful writer, becomes the state’s prime suspect, and his 11-year-old son Daniel (Milo Machado Graner), who has limited vision, is the only witness. Viewed through the lens of a whodunit courtroom procedural, one might expect the film to track the facts to a clear truth. But as lawyers and experts atomize the scene — a spatter of blood here, an open window there — a lack of physical evidence pushes the prosecution to lean on emotional appeals, building a case for murder around the circumstances of Samuel and Sandra’s flailing marriage. 

When Christian News Falls Into the Trap of ‘Impartiality’

by Curtis Yee 06-29-2023

Photo by Ian Maina via Unsplash. 

When I spoke over video call with CEO and editor-in-chief Jason Woodruff in June, he told me that The Pour Over was founded out of “a lack of better options.”

“Traditional news sources promote obsession, they promote anger, they promote division,” the 28-year-old Iowa resident told Sojourners. “That’s why people either become shaped by those [divisions], or they flee and they become uninformed.”

Branded as a “politically neutral” and “trustworthy news source,” The Pour Over is Woodruff’s answer for Christians looking for facts without the spin. It’s a publication that doesn’t take sides and offers a brief biblical encouragement at the end of each story. It highlights the day’s biggest news, approximately takes five minutes to read, and is purportedly punchy.

‘God, Please Help Me Make Some Money So I Can Pay Off My Student Loans.’

by Curtis Yee 01-27-2021

After graduating during the Great Recession, which also coincided with his divorce, Derek Williams struggled to build his fledgling private practice and make ends meet. He told Sojourners there were times when he was unable to pay for simple necessities, let alone meet his regular student loan payments.

Warnock's Georgia Win Highlights Growing Strength of Progressive Faith Vote

by Curtis Yee 01-05-2021

Rev. Dr. aphael Warnock holds a small rally with young campaign volunteers on Election Day in Georgia's U.S. Senate runoff election, in Marietta, Ga., Jan. 5, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar

After a heated runoff election in Georgia, Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock has won his bid for election to the United States Senate, defeating Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler.

‘I Will Literally Convince Some People to Vote by Using Bible Verses’

by Curtis Yee 11-24-2020
How organizers and faith leaders reached Georgia's new voters

Children celebrate after media announced that Joe Biden won the 2020 U.S. presidential election, at Atlanta, Nov. 7, 2020. REUTERS/Brandon Bell/File Photo

During the 2016 presidential election, 22 percent of eligible Georgia voters were unregistered. Four years later that number has dropped to just two percent.

How Clergy Support Pro-Democracy Movements Around the World

by Curtis Yee 11-05-2020

Activists, relatives of those killed in the drug war, and others protest extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. Photo by AC Dimatatac /

Should the faithful take to the streets in protest to combat political injustice, they will be following the footsteps of religious groups across the globe that have responded with nonviolent action during times of civil resistance.

The Chaplains Who Marched for George Floyd Are Headed to the Polls

by Curtis Yee 10-28-2020

Photo courtesy of Loose the Chains.

“Nine times out of 10, we’ll just be greeting people and passing out water and snacks,” said Billy Michael Honor, who directs Loose the Chains, the faith engagement initiative of The New Georgia Project “But in the event that something does happen, it’s good to have people there who know how to lead people in situations of conflict or crisis.”