Foreign

Movie Review: Atlantics (2019)

“Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole” — Derek Walcott To French-Senegalese director Mati Diop, the ocean is a “holy temple,” a shimmering presence that reflects the economic and social aspirations of people seeking a better life….

Movie Review: For Sama (2019)

“The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress” — Frederick Douglass The war began peacefully. In 2012, university students and others launched peaceful protests against the regime of Bashar-al-Assad whose government had been in power since 1971 and had failed to institute promised reforms. When government soldiers fired on…

Movie Review: Beanpole (2019)

“For a long time after the war I was afraid of the sky, even of raising my head towards the sky. I was afraid of seeing plowed-up earth. But the rooks already walked calmly over it. The birds quickly forgot the war” — Svetlana Alexievich, “The Unwomanly Face of War” During World War II, the…

Movie Review: Synonyms (2019)

According to award-winning Israeli director Nadav Lapid (“The Kindergarten Teacher”), “art has the right to be chaotic and wild, to go to extreme and dangerous places.” If you are looking for chaotic and wild, you need look no further than his Synonyms (Milim Nirdafot), a mystifying and often maddening film that will either leave you…

Movie Review: Bacurau (2019)

You cannot find Bacurau on any map of Brazil. That is because the town is fictional. The problem is that the residents of this small community in the northeast corner of Brazil can no longer find their town on Google Maps, or any GPS system either. Other strange things soon begin happening in Bacurau, winner…

Movie Review: Young Ahmed (2019)

Over the last twenty years, the Dardenne brothers’ (“The Unknown Girl”) social realist dramas about the forgotten and the marginalized have been honored at the Cannes Film Festival with two Palme d’Ors, two Best Performance awards, one Best Screenplay award, and one Grand Prix. Their magic is still in evidence in their latest film, Young…

Movie Review: Parasite (2019)

South Korean director Bong Joon-ho (“Okja”) says that he always tries to overturn viewer expectations and hopes that his latest film succeeds in this way. Palme d’Or winner at the 2019 Cannes Film festival, Bong’s Parasite (Gisaengchung) does indeed thwart expectations, but the question is — to what end? Defying any strict genre classification, the…

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