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Movie Digest

One StarOne Star

Kal Ho Naa Ho

Loews State (2:25). In Hindi with English subtitles. Not rated.

Bollywood musicals, those big, loud, colorful extravaganzas from India, are an acquired taste and much of "Kal Ho Naa Ho" doesn't translate easily.

A serious, bespectacled Punjabi girl living in New York (Preity Zinta) is torn between her best friend (Saif Ali Khan), and a guardian-angel type (Shah Rukh Khan). Complications ensue: Never have so many tears rolled down so many cheeks.

All three leads grow on you, although Shah Rukh Khan, a major star, bears an unfortunate resemblance to Conrad Birdie in "Bye Bye Birdie." When cultures clash, they do so loudly.

Jami Bernard

One StarOne Star

The Legend of Leigh Bowery

Cinema Village (1:23). Not rated: Nudity.

Before shelling out big bucks for "Taboo," the Rosie O'Donnell/ Boy George Broadway musical, consider checking out Charles Atlas' documentary. The subject's the same, and it's a lot cheaper. Some consider Leigh Bowery a visionary performance artist. Others will see a selfindulgent narcissist. You may want to decide for yourself.

Elizabeth Weitzman

One StarOne StarOne Star1.5 Stars

My Flesh and Blood

Angelika (1:24). Not rated.

Susan Tom has her hands full in Jonathan Karsh's documentary "My Flesh and Blood" - she's dealing with her 13 children, most adopted, some with serious maladies. Rarely does one encounter such capable hands. There are stories galore, but the main one is Tom herself, a down-to-earth woman with an extra dose of love in her heart.

J.B.

One StarOne StarOne Star

Valley of Tears

Pioneer Theater (1:20). Not rated.

In 1979, director Hart Perry covered the battle between local Mexican workers and Anglo businessmen during a fractious strike in southern Texas. Blending old footage and new, he examines the uneasy relationship between the town's ethnically divided residents. The town's entrenched racism is impossible to ignore, but the efforts toward change make a compelling history.

E.W.

One StarOne StarOne Star

Independent Spirits

Quad (1:16). Not rated.

Anyone who watched TV in the 1970s will recognize the work of Faith and John Hubley, animators who contributed to everything from "Sesame Street" to cereal ads. The struggle of the Oscar-winning filmmakers to survive propels this engrossing look at their partnership.

E.W.


Originally published on November 28, 2003

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