Politics

Mario Monicelli – I compagni AKA The Organizer (1963)

In turn-of-the-twentieth-century Turin, an accident in a textile factory incites workers to stage a walkout. But it’s not until they receive unexpected aid from a traveling professor (Marcello Mastroianni) that they find their voice, unite, and stand up for themselves. This historical drama by Mario Monicelli, brimming with humor and honesty, is a beautiful and moving ode to the power of the people, and features engaging, naturalistic performances; cinematography by the great Giuseppe Rotunno; and a multilayered, Oscar-nominated screenplay by Monicelli, Agenore Incrocci, and Furio Scarpelli. Read More »

Barbet Schroeder – Le vénérable W. AKA The Venerable W. (2017)

Plot : A view of the religious tensions between Muslims and Buddhist through the portrait of the Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu, leader of anti-Muslim movement in Myanmar. Read More »

Miguel Littin – Sandino (1990)

Synopsis:
Narrative of a period of 8 years(1926-1934) in the life of the leader of Nicaraguan revolution ‘Sandino’ , who was known in his time as “the general of free men.” Read More »

Robin Hessman – My Perestroika (2010)

Synopsis:
An intimate epic about the extraordinary lives of this last Soviet generation, Robin Hessman’s feature documentary debut tells the stories of five Moscow schoolmates who were brought up behind the Iron Curtain, witnessed the joy and confusion of glasnost, and reached adulthood right as the world changed around them. Through candid first-person testimony, revealing verité footage, and vintage home movies, Hessman, who spent many years living in Moscow, reveals a Russia rarely ever seen on film, where people are frank about their lives and forthcoming about their country. Engaging, funny, and positively inspiring, in MY PERESTROIKA politics is personal, honesty overshadows ideology, and history progresses one day, one life at a time.
— (C) International Film Circuit Read More »

Juraj Herz – Habermann (2010)

A mill owner in the Sudetenland and his family’s lives are changed as Europe heats up in 1938.

Habermann (Czech: Habermannův mlýn) is a 2010 Czech-German-Austrian drama film directed by Juraj Herz. In the story, a German mill owner in the Sudetenland and his family’s lives are changed as Europe heats up in 1938.

Quote:
The German-Czech-Austrian production “Habermann” is being marketed — with the tagline “War is over; vengeance has begun” — as a look at a corner of history that is little known in America: the expulsion of millions of ethnic German civilians from parts of Europe after World War II. It’s a tricky tale to tell; the film’s opening and closing scenes of Germans in Czechoslovakia being rounded up and loaded onto trains consciously echo the familiar imagery of Jews being sent to Nazi concentration camps. Read More »

Sherif Arafa – Tuyoor al-Zalam AKA Birds of Darkness (1995)

Fathi Nofal Imam, an unknown but no-nonsense attorney with a taste for liquor and loose women, is assigned to take a case related to one of the local politicians. The story centers on his representation of Samira, a woman up on prostitution charges. His opponent is the Islamist lawyer Ali and both of them face a stern Muslim judge. Despite formidable obstacles, the clever Imam is able to work the crooked justice system and use religion to free Samira, after which he becomes a personal adviser for the local politician. Read More »

Claude Autant-Lara – Tu ne tueras point AKA L’Objecteur AKA Non uccidere AKA Thou Shalt Not Kill (1961)

Synopsis by Hal Erickson
An Italian/French/Yugoslavian/Liechtensteinian coproduction (whew!), Thou Shalt Not Kill features Laurent Terzieff as a French conscientious objector. Interwoven with his story is the saga of a German priest (Horst Frank) who faces stiff punishment for killing a Frenchman during the Second World War. Director Claude Autant-Lara characteristically uses these twin plotlines as a platform to espouse his Leftist political beliefs and to heartily condemn the Catholic church. As a result, the fact-based Thou Shalt Not Kill (originally Tu Nes Tuera Point) caused quite a stir upon its first release. Many of its sentiments became more palatable in the late 1960s, though even at that time critics carped at Autant-Lara’s cut-and-dried directorial techniques. Read More »