Jayro Bustamante – Ixcanul (2015)

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María, a 17-year-old Kaqchikel Maya, lives with her parents on a coffee plantation at the foot of an active volcano. She is set to be married to the farm’s foreman. But María longs to discover the world on the other side of the mountain, a place she cannot even imagine. And so she seduces a coffee-harvester who wants to escape to the USA. When this man leaves her behind, María discovers her own world and culture anew. Continue reading

Lucile Hadzihalilovic – Évolution aka Evolution (2015)

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The only residents of young Nicholas’s seaside town are women and boys. When he sees a dead body in the ocean one day, he begins to question his existence and surroundings. Why must he, and all the other boys, be hospitalised?

Nicolas is a boy living on a remote island set in the future, or another planet – or is it a dream? His village consists of white-painted houses located above the sea with a volcanic rock and black sand coastline, populated by young women and boys all of a similar age to Nicolas. Whilst swimming, Nicolas makes a discovery in the ocean, which is shrugged off my his mother, who, like all the women in the town has tied-back hair, is pale and wears a simple thin beige dress. Nicolas is curious, thinks that he is being lied to and starts to explore his environment, witnessing some unsettling scenes. He then finds himself taken to a hospital-like building where he along, with the others, undergoes a series of medical procedures by the women, dressed as nurses. He is befriended by one nurse, who becomes instrumental in the film’s denouement. The film is not easy to categorise; it is not only enigmatic but beautifully filmed with deeply poetic imagery. – IMDb Continue reading

Jean-Gabriel Périot – Une jeunesse allemande (2015)

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La Fraction Armée Rouge (RAF), organisation terroriste d’extrême gauche, également surnommée « la bande à Baader » ou « groupe Baader-Meinhof », opère en Allemagne dans les années 70. Ses membres, qui croient en la force de l’image, expriment pourtant d’abord leur militantisme dans des actions artistiques, médiatiques et cinématographiques. Mais devant l’échec de leur portée, ils se radicalisent dans une lutte armée, jusqu’à commettre des attentats meurtriers qui contribueront au climat de violence sociale et politique durant « les années de plomb ». Continue reading

Ciro Guerra – El abrazo de la serpiente AKA Embrace of the Serpent (2015)

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Quote:
“You are nothing but a white!” So shouts indigenous Amazonian shaman Karamakate (Nilbio Torres) to the seemingly on-the-level but still suspicious German scientist/explorer Theodor (Jan Bijvoet) in Ciro Guerra’s enthralling, politically tinged, psychedelic, historical adventure film Embrace of the Serpent. Reversing the perspective of more familiar movies such as Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo or Roland Joffé’s The Mission, Embrace of the Serpent’s snaky crawl up the river investigates imperialism’s cultural pollution from the inside out, with the mystical Karamakate as a reluctant tour guide in two time periods. Continue reading

Marianne Lambert – I Don’t Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman (2015)

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Synopsis:
I DON’T BELONG ANYWHERE: THE CINEMA OF CHANTAL AKERMAN explores some of the Belgian filmmaker’s 40 plus films, and from Brussels to Tel Aviv, from Paris to New York, it charts the sites of her peregrinations. An experimental filmmaker, a nomad, Chantal Akerman shared with Marianne Lambert her cinematic trajectory, one that never ceased to interrogate the meaning of her existence. And with her editor and long-time collaborator, Claire Atherton, she examines the origins of her film language, and aesthetic stance. Continue reading