Alexander Gentelev – Putin’s Games (2014)

0jum Alexander Gentelev   Putins Games (2014)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Alexander Gentelev   Putins Games (2014)

As costs for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia spiraled to in excess of $50 billion dollars, Putin’s Games goes behind the scenes to investigate why the first Winter Games to be held in a sub-tropical resort have become the most expensive Olympics ever. With extraordinary access to top government officials and wealthy Russian businessmen, the documentary follows the preparations from the early stages, exposing alleged corruption, the sky-rocketing budget and the big winners and losers. Continue reading

Icíar Bollaín – También la lluvia AKA Even The Rain (2010)

63l7 Icíar Bollaín   También la lluvia AKA Even The Rain (2010)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Icíar Bollaín   También la lluvia AKA Even The Rain (2010)

The politics of the past and present begin to merge during the making of a motion picture in this drama from director Icíar Bollaín. Spanish movie director Sebastián (Gael García Bernal) and his producer Costa (Luis Tosar) have arrived in Bolivia to shoot a picture about Columbus’ exploration and exploitation of the New World. While Sebastián has come to Bolivia for realistic scenery, Costa has chosen the location for the cheap and abundant supply of labor. An open casting call for extras attracts far more people than the picture needs, but when Costa tries to send them away, one would-be actor, Daniel (Juan Carlos Aduviri), makes a strong and eloquent case for fair treatment of the locals, and Sebastián casts him as Hatuey, the chief of a native tribe who fought the invading Spaniards. As Sebastián stages scenes of revolt against would-be colonists, a real battle is brewing in Colombia — the government has privatized the national water works, and the price of water has jumped by 300 percent, leading to protests and riots in the streets of Cochabamba. Daniel is one of the activists protesting price gouging for something as essential as water — will Sebastián and his colleagues join him in speaking out against this injustice? También la Iluvia (aka Even the Rain) was an official selection at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. Continue reading

Alexander Payne – Citizen Ruth (1996)

 Alexander Payne   Citizen Ruth (1996)

thgc Alexander Payne   Citizen Ruth (1996)

“Ruth Stoops is a poor indigent drug-user (a huffer – inhaling glue and paint for a high) whose down and out existence is complicated once more by becoming pregnant (she has had and lost four children already). When a judge orders that she gets an abortion or face a felony charge, she is befriended by Gail Stoney, a pro-lifer whose husband is president of the local ‘Babysavers’ group. Suddenly Ruth is thrust into the middle of the pro-choice/pro-life struggle, with each side wanting her to take their side as a ‘message’ to others – and the situation escalates…” Continue reading

Tahmineh Milani – Vakonesh panjom AKA The Fifth Reaction (2003)

viir000011250 Tahmineh Milani   Vakonesh panjom AKA The Fifth Reaction (2003)

thgc Tahmineh Milani   Vakonesh panjom AKA The Fifth Reaction (2003)

Tahmineh Milani’s “The Fifth Reaction”
An Iranian Woman Fighting for Her Rights
By Josef Schnelle

Five women sit in a restaurant in Tehran and talk about their husbands and their marriages. First, the conversations are quite amusing, but later on we notice that each woman faces serious problems below the thin surface of legal rights granted to women in Iran. Continue reading

Francesco Maselli – Il sospetto AKA The Suspect (1975)

ilsospetto4 Francesco Maselli   Il sospetto AKA The Suspect (1975)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Francesco Maselli   Il sospetto AKA The Suspect (1975)

Following his passionate involvement in the 1968 demonstrations (Maselli was one of the supporters of the protest at the 1969 Venice Biennial), he made two explicitly “political” films, Lettera aperta ad un giornale della sera (1970) and Il sospetto di Francesco Maselli (1975). In Lettera ad un giornale della sera, which prompted fierce discussion about the idea of “political commitment” amongst left-wing intellectuals, Maselli played one of the characters, thereby openly involving himself in the debate, together with Nanni Loy and other politically active colleagues and friends.
For this film, Maselli used a style which in many ways was similar to certain paradigms of “cinema-verité”: the film was shot in 16 mm with heavy use of the zoom, the hand-held camera and out-of-sync sound.
Maselli returned to a more relaxed cinematic language and a more concise structure with Il sospetto. Dubbed “one of the best political films of all time”, it was set in the year of the “turning-point” (1934), one of the most important moments in the evolution of the Communist party.
Gian Maria Volonté gave a splendid performance in the role of Emilio, the protagonist, a militant Communist who has emigrated to France, embroiled in an affair so fraught that it turns into a thriller. Continue reading

pixel Francesco Maselli   Il sospetto AKA The Suspect (1975)