Drama

Nicolas Klotz – La Blessure AKA The Wound (2004)

Quote:
Inviting favorable comparison to the overtly political, social realist films of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, The Wound is an understatedly affecting, acutely observed, and profoundly sobering portrait of oppression, dehumanization, and exclusion. By incorporating organic, extended plan-sequences and using repeated images of interminable waiting – from Blandine’s detention, to her self-confinement at a derelict tenement, to Papi’s real-time ride through the countryside in the back of day laborer truck – Nicolas Klotz reflects the inherent inadequacy (if not outright failure) of immigration and asylum laws, lax procedural structure, and government-tolerated, often racially motivated policies (and undocumented, obstructive common practices) that willfully hinder or impede the integration and assimilation of immigrants into their adoptive countries. Using the treatment of Blandine’s wound while in French custody as a metaphor for the authorities’ repeated turning of a blind eye to the obvious, visible social problem, the film serves as a harrowing and trenchant exposition on intolerance and systematic marginalization. Read More »

Joan Micklin Silver – Hester Street (1975)

Synopsis:
It’s 1896. Yankel Bogovnik, a Russian Jew, emigrated to the United States three years earlier and has settled where many of his background have, namely on Hester Street on the Lower East Side of New York City. He has assimilated to American life, having learned English, anglicized his name to Jake, and shaved off his beard. He is working at a $12/week job as a seamster, the money earned to be able to bring his wife Gitl and his son Yossele to America from Russia. Regardless, he has fallen in love with another woman, a dancer named Mamie Fein. Nonetheless, he is excited when he learns that Gitl and Yossele are indeed coming to America. Read More »

Ki-young Kim – Goryeo jang AKA Burying Old Alive (1963)

Prior to the adoption of Confucianism, it was the tradition to abandon one’s parents on a mountainside if they were over 70 years of age. In the ancient kingdom of Goryeo, now modern Korea, a nobleman defies this tradition when he refuses to leave his mother to starve to death. Read More »

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Blizna AKA The Scar (1976)

Quote:
Films made under the state socialist regimes of Eastern Europe in the mid-twentieth century tend to fall roughly into two categories: the rigidly institutional and the scathingly anti-establishment. These films either serve to trumpet the cause of Communism or else find ways to avoid or subvert its conventions. The early films of Krzysztof Kieslowski present a slightly different alternative. On the one hand, these films duck the scrutiny of government censors with minute, incisive portraits of the system’s failings; but on the other, they tend to humanize and complicate the causes of these failings. Rather than make the system seem a corrupt, faceless entity, Kieslowski’s early films present a collection of individuals whose personal problems and shortcomings compose this system and thereby bring about its failure. Read More »

Paul Turner – Hedd Wyn (1992)

Oscar nominated for Best Foreign Language film in 1994, this Welsh language film tells the true story of a young poet’s fight to protect his family, his loves and his burning ambition under the shadow of the First World War.

Directed by Paul Turner, the director of photography is Ray Orton, who was also responsible for the cinematography in Gadael Lenin and Branwen. Read More »

Walter Hill – Hard Times (1975)

Synopsis:
During the Great Depression, the mysterious drifter Chaney befriends the promoter of illegal street fights Speed and they go to New Orleans to make money fighting on the streets. Speed is welcomed by his mistress Gayleen Schoonoverand invites his former partner Poe to team-up with them. Meanwhile Chaney has a love affair with the local Lucy Simpson. Speed has a huge debt with the dangerous loan shark Doty and borrows money to promote the fight of Chaney and the local champion Jim Henry, who is managed by the also promoter. Casey wins the fight, they make a lot of money but Speed is an addicted gambler and loses his share in the dice table. But Doty wants his money back and Speed’s only chance is Chaney accepts to bet his own money that he is saving and fight a winner that Gandil brought from Chicago. Will he accept the challenge? Read More »

Malgorzata Szumowska – Elles AKA Sponsoring (2011)

Quote:
On her latest assignment, a journalist for Elle immerses herself in a prostitution ring run by university students. Read More »