Articles by Alan Gerstle

The Critical Movie Critics

Alan Gerstle is a fiction writer and essayist who also teaches film and creative writing. He lives on the East Coast of the United States.


Movie Review: Waiting for Anya (2020)

Waiting for Anya, directed by Ben Cookson, who co-wrote the screenplay with Toby Torlesse, is a film that falls within a popular World War II sub-genre that focuses on a local conflict between German occupiers and French non-combatants, typically set away from the civilian centers that suffered crushing horror, destruction, and death. Based on a…

Movie Review: Ximei (2019)

“Even though I am poor and I have AIDS, I am happy. Each day brings hope.” — Liu Ximei Ximei, a documentary filmed in China over a seven-year period by Andy Cohen and Gaylen Ross, follows the HIV-positive titular protagonist and plain-spoken community leader named Ximei, a local “peasant” woman in her thirties. Ximei is…

Movie Review: Teslafy Me (2019)

Often considered a forgotten genius, Nikola Tesla had a fascinating early life and upbringing, albeit not as impressive as his life and work in developing applications that could and would create devices that would transform electricity for practical uses. Tesla wasn’t simply an inventor (which would have been more than enough), but a visionary, a…

Movie Review: Portals (2019)

“Well, the doctor interrupted me just about then, Sayin, ‘Hey I’ve been havin’ the same old dreams, But mine was a little different you see. I dreamt that the only person left after the war was me. I didn’t see you around.’” — Bob Dylan, “Talking World War III Blues” Portals begins with a white…

Movie Review: Aniara (2018)

In his play, “The Glass Menagerie,” Tennessee Williams alludes to one of the characters as the “Gentleman Caller.” He is the character in the play that is supposed to be realistically rendered to complement the rest of the cast who comprise a group of dreamers. Williams describes him as “a symbol . . . the…

Movie Review: Leto (2018)

“Fuck your TV. I’ve got my T-Rex.” “It’s OK in the swamp, especially if you’re the number one toad.” Leto, written and directed by Kirill Serebrennikov (“The Student”), has received much buzz because of the director’s house arrest — apparently because he is no friend of Vladimir Putin. It has also been criticized for not…

Movie Review: Sobibor (2018)

A reasonable question many people may raise regarding Sobibor, a feature film about the Holocaust in general, and about a particular concentration camp, in particular, is what can it add to our understanding of the nature of the “final solution” by those that perpetrated it, and those that fell victim to it? It’s true that…

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