Lav Diaz – Elehiya sa dumalaw mula sa himagsikan AKA Elegy to the Visitor from the Revolution (2011)

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Like Prologue to the Great Desparecido, Elegy finds Diaz looking back to the Filipino Revolution of the last years of the 19th century. Here, he imagines a woman from that era visiting the Philippines of the present-day. Around her time-travel, Diaz weaves a three stories with characters drawn from his usual stock: a prostitute, a musician and three petty criminals. As so often in Diaz’s recent work, Elegy looks back to the Revolution to measure the vast distance between the hopes of that defeated movement and the poverty, desperation and corruption (both political and spiritual) of the Philippines today Continue reading

Ken Loach – I, Daniel Blake (2016)

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Quote:
Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, the latest from legendary director Ken Loach is a gripping, human tale about the impact one man can make. Gruff but goodhearted, Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) is a man out of time: a widowed woodworker who’s never owned a computer, he lives according to his own common sense moral code. But after a heart attack leaves him unable to work and the state welfare system fails him, the stubbornly self-reliant Daniel must stand up and fight for his dignity, leading a one-man crusade for compassion that will transform the lives of a struggling single mother (Hayley Squires) and her two children. [IFC Films] Continue reading

Zeki Demirkubuz – Kor AKA Ember (2016)

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When her husband Cemal is arrested in Romania, Emine is left alone with their child who needs immediate surgery. She takes a job as a needle worker at a garment workshop where she comes across Ziya, her husband’s former boss. He can’t stay indifferent when he learns what the woman he once fancied is going through. When Cemal returns months later, he finds Emine working at the garment workshop and their son healthy. A hospital bill he accidentally sees reveals that Ziya has paid for the surgery and Emine hid this fact. Will Cemal, who already blames Ziya for what he went through and is extremely jealous of Emine, be able to confront this situation or choose to ignore it? Continue reading

Senem Tüzen – Ana Yurdu (2015)

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Nesrin, an urban upper-middle class woman, goes back to her parents’ old village in Anatolia to finish a novel and live out her dream of being a writer. When her conservative mother turns up uninvited and refuses to leave, Nesrin’s writing stalls and her fantasies of village life turn bitter. The two woman are forced to confront the darker corners of each other’s inner worlds.
– Written by Adam Isenberg Continue reading

Béla Tarr – A Torinói ló AKA The Turin Horse (2011) (HD)

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SYNOPSIS:
1889.
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche witnessed the whipping of a horse while travelling in Turin, Italy. He tossed his arms around the horse’s neck to protect it then collapsed to the ground. In less than one month, Nietzsche would be diagnosed with a serious mental illness that would make him bed-ridden and speechless for the next eleven years until his death. But whatever did happen to the horse? This film, which is Tarr’s last, follows up this question in a fictionalized story of what occurred. The man who whipped the horse is a rural farmer who makes his living taking on carting jobs into the city with his horse-drawn cart. The horse is old and in very poor health, but does its best to obey its master’s commands. The farmer and his daughter must come to the understanding that it will be unable to go on sustaining their livelihoods. The dying of the horse is the foundation of this tragic tale. Continue reading

Esen Isik – Köpek AKA Koepek (2015)

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Esen Isik, who already won the prestigious “Quartz” in 2012 for Du&Ich, presented her debut feature film, Köpek, a glimpse at an Istanbul held prisoner by its own contradictions, at this year’s Zurich Film Festival. By portraying the everyday lives of three ‘marginal’ characters who fight to find love (or simply a glimmer of humanity) in a city that rejects them, Esen Isik paints us a portrait of an entire society that wants to be modern in spite of the preconceptions that risk choking it. Continue reading

Alejandro Jodorowsky – Poesía sin fin AKA Endless Poetry (2016)

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Through Alejandro Jodorowsky’s autobiographical lens, Endless Poetry narrates the years of the Chilean artist’s youth during which he liberated himself from all of his former limitations, from his family, and was introduced into the foremost bohemian artistic circle of 1940s Chile where he met Enrique Lihn, Stella Díaz Varín, Nicanor Parra… at the time promising young but unknown artists who would later become the titans of twentieth-century Hispanic literature. He grew inspired by the beauty of existence alongside these beings, exploring life together, authentically and freely. A tribute to Chile’s artistic heritage, Endless Poetry is also an ode to the quest for beauty and inner truth, as a universal force capable of changing one’s life forever, written by a man who has dedicated his life and career to creating spiritual and artistic awareness across the globe. Continue reading