My Favorites of 2023

Christian Friedel in The Zone of Interest. PHOTO: A24

I’m not a big fan of these “best of” lists, but of all the new(ish) arts entertainment (or edutainment, as KRS-One would say) I consumed this past year, here’s what helped me most in surviving (and contemplating) the relentless horrors of 2023.

FILMS

The Zone of Interest, written and directed by Jonathan Glazer (A24)

Anatomy of a Fall, directed by Justine Triet (Le Pacte)

How to Blow up a Pipeline, directed by Daniel Goldhaber (Neon)

Israelism, directed by Erin Axelman and Sam Eilertsen (Independent)

Tantura, directed by Alon Schwarz (Reel Peak Films)

Empty Orchestra, directed by Nicole Hawkins (Independent)

Radioactive: The Women of Three Mile Island, directed by Heidi Hunter (Independent)

SERIES

The Last of Us, created by Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley (HBO)

Succession, created by Jesse Armstrong (HBO)

Dear Mama: The Saga of Afeni & Tupac Shakur, directed by Allen Hughes (FX)

White House Plumbers, directed by David Mandel (HBO)

Tiny, Beautful Things, created by Liz Tigelaar (Hulu)

Bill Russell: Legend, directed by Sam Pollard (Paramount+)

MUSIC

Sam Blasucci, Off My Stars (Innovative Leisure)

André 3000, New Blue Sun (Epic)

Jenny Lewis, Joy’All (Blue Note Records)

Julie Byrne, The Greater Wings, (Ghostly International)

Yo La Tengo, The Stupid World, (Matador Records)

BOOKS

The Future Is Degrowth: A Guide to a World Beyond Capitalism, by Andrea Vetter, Aaron Vansintjan, Matthias Schmelzer (Verso Books)

Cobalt Red: How the Blood of the Congo Powers Our Lives by Siddharth Kara (St. Martin’s Press)

The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017, by Rashid Khalidi (Picador Paper)

From the River to the Sea: Essays for a Free Palestine, edited by Sai Englert, Michal Schatz, et al. (Haymarket Books, Verso Books)

Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World by Naomi Klein (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

PODCASTS

Disillusioned with Yahav Erez (Independent)

The Dig with Daniel Denvir (Jacobin Magzine)

Green & Red with Scott Parkin and Robert Buzzanco (Independent)

On the Nose with Arielle Angel et al. (Jewish Currents)

Parallax Views with J.G. Michael (Independent)

JOSHUA FRANK is the managing editor of CounterPunch. He is the author of the new book, Atomic Days: The Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America, published by Haymarket Books. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can troll him on Twitter @joshua__frank.