Drama

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun – Grigris (2013)

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Despite a paralyzed leg, Grigris, a 25 year old living in Chad, dreams of being a dancer, but his dreams are dashed when his uncle falls critically ill. To save him, Grigris resolves to work for petrol traffickers.
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Ken Hughes – The Long Haul (1957)

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synopsis
One of several British melodramas picked up for American distribution by Columbia in the late 1950s, The Long Haul stars Victor Mature and Diana Dors, two of the prettiest and most amply endowned screen personalities of the era. Mature is cast as American ex-GI Harry Miller, who takes a job as a truck driver to support his British war bride Connie (Gene Anderson). It isn’t long, however, before Harry is blackmailed into joining a smuggling operation run by the conniving Casey (Liam Redmond). His resolved momentarily weakened by his obsession with gang moll Lynn (Diana Dors), Harry finally decides to turn honest again–if the other crooks will let him live that long. Director Ken Hughes adapted the screenplay from a novel by Mervyn Mills….by Hal Erickson Read More »

Amat Escalante – Heli (2013)

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From IMDb

Love story between a young girl and a police man, both of them had connections with drugs but in opposite ways. This will create a conflict that love will try to overcome.

Heli (Armando Espitia), the protagonist of Amat Escalante’s 2013 Palme d’Or nominee of the same name, is a young Mexican who lives with his father, his son, his young wife (Linda Gonzalez) and 12-year-old sister, Estella (Andrea Vergara). He’s prone to bad luck, keen on his naps and, when a census taker comes to the house, hesitates about how many people live there with him. However, when 17-year-old army cadet Beto (Juan Eduardo Palacios) falls in love with Estella and makes plans for the two of them to run away together, Heli’s cataclysmic knee-jerk reaction will plunge the family into pitiless and brutal violence. Read More »

Yakov Protazanov – Otets Sergiy AKA Father Sergius (1917)

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One of the few pre-Revolution Russian feature films to survive, Father Sergius is an elaborate picturization of a Tolstoy novel. Ivan Mozzhukin plays a young, libertine officer who thinks nothing of committing casual sins while in the service of the Czar. He comes to regret his misdeeds as he grows older, his past debaucheries manifesting themselves in his wizened face and desiccated body. He wanders up and down the countryside, searching for redemption. Director Feodor Protazanov emphasized the high and low points of Mozhukin’s life by filming in the actual palaces and private clubs described by Tolstoy in his novel. The overall theme of corruption in high places automatically resulted in Father Sergius being banned by the Czarist censors, though the film found a more receptive audience once the government passed into the hands of the revolutionaries. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
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Yakov Protazanov – Bespridannitsa AKA The bride without a dowry (1937)

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From allmovie: Filmed in 1937 (in fact: 1936), the Russian film “Without Dowry” was released in America in 1946, one year after the death of its director, Yakov Protazanov. Produced on a far-less epic scale than most Protazanov films, this is a merciless satire of the Russian dowry system in particular and the Czarist regime in general. The heroine (Nina Alisova) is promised in marriage to a bureaucrat (Victor Balikhin), who is interested only in receiving the girl’s dowry. Maintaining a gently comic tone throughout most of the proceedings, the story dovetails almost imperceptibly into tragedy. The musical score is based upon Tchaikovsky’s 5th, with a few Russian folk songs woven in.
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Andrei Konchalovsky – Dyadya Vanya AKA Uncle Vanya (1970)

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Synopsis from IMDB:

A retired professor has returned to his estate to live with his beautiful young wife, Yelena. The estate originally belonged to his first wife, now deceased; her mother and brother still live there and manage the farm. For many years the brother (Uncle Vanya) has sent the farm’s proceeds to the professor, while receiving only a small salary himself. Sonya, the professor’s daughter, who is about the same age as his new wife, also lives on the estate.
The professor is pompous, vain, and irritable. He calls the doctor (Astrov) to treat his gout, only to send him away without seeing him. Astrov is an experienced physician who performs his job conscientiously, but has lost all idealism and spends much of his time drinking. The presence of Yelena introduces a bit of sexual tension into the household.
Astrov and Uncle Vanya both fall in love with Yelena; she spurns them both. Meanwhile, Sonya is in love with Astrov, who fails even to notice her. Finally, when the professor announces he wants to sell the estate, Vanya, whose admiration for the man died with his sister, tries to kill him.
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Yakov Protazanov – Chelovek iz restorana aka The Man From Restaurant (1927)

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Based on story by Ivan Shmelev.
The movie action starts very close before February democratic revolution in Russia in 1917.
Fate is cruel to waiter of capital city restaurant Skorohodov: his son dies on front, his wife perishes from grief, his daughter is excluded from grammar school because of lack of money to pay tuition.
Skorohodov decides to rent one of rooms in his poor apartment to a decent young man named Sokolin who is working as a courier in war industry committee .
The lodger and a girl fall in love with each other and soon decide to get married.
In meantime the father appoints his daughter as a violiinist in restaurant orchestra.
But rich factory owner Karasev rudely molests young blonde violinist and through blackmail expects to make her his mistress.
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