Bakhtyar Khudojnazarov – Luna Papa (1999)

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Synopsis

“Mix some Monty Python with the violent black humour of Yugoslavian director Emir Kusturica, add a little South American magic realism, and you might have some idea of what goes on in the thoroughly strange and enjoyable Luna Papa, a movie set in the contemporary world of Central Asia. Within the context of its comic, fantastic narrative, about a pregnant teenager and her search for the father of her child whom she has never seen, there`s a darker impression of life revealed in this journey through the outlying former Soviet republic of Tajikistan where gangsterism, military brutality and violent surprises are a normal part of existence.” (Globe and Mail, February 2001) Continue reading

Oksana Bychkova – Eshche odin god AKA Another Year (2014)

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A young married couple in today’s Moscow: He’s an unemployed guy who gets some money by giving rides to strangers at nights (the illegal taxi driving so common in Russia). She’s a young graphic designer who just got her first job. The film tracks their unstable relationship throughout a year. Both have different backgrounds and pursue different goals in life, and gradually the differences, no matter how insignificant, become fatally important for their relationship.
Oxana Bychkova makes a poignant portrait of a young, immature love and subtly shows how feelings inevitably become routine, against the will of the lovers. This unsentimental and touching drama unfolds gradually but its pace is engaging and has genuine tension. Continue reading

Aleksandr Sokurov – Chitayem Blokadnuyu Knigu AKA Reading Book Of Blockade (2009)

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The lengthy siege of Leningrad during World War II cost a million civilian lives. In Alexander Sokurov’s documentary, various people – actors, journalists, students, soldiers – read eyewitness accounts about this ‘historic and cultural disaster’, to use Sokurovr’s words. Continue reading

Angela Gallardo Bernal – 10 Days In North Korea (2013)

10 Days in North Korea takes the audience on a trip around Pyongyang, the focal point of power for the North Korean regime, to speak with citizens of what the filmmakers consider a very interesting “social experiment” that has been going on for about seventy years.

The film kicks off by demonstrating the allegiance of the Pyongyang workforce – interviews with an accomplished biologist and a few factory workers convey a genuine high opinion of “Grand Marshal” Kim Jong-un and enthusiasm towards contributing to the regime’s collective productivity. The terminology used to describe the government’s control over their daily lives is they are being “protected.” Continue reading

Svetlana Proskurina – Do svidaniya mama AKA Goodbye Mom (2014)

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Synopsis

A story about a chance encounter that momentarily destroyed a successful and happy family life. All of a sudden the woman found passion and desire more important than her loving husband and cherished child. The father and son suffer from the realization that they are no longer needed, but try to understand and forgive. The woman, who failed to become happy, is in turmoil. Continue reading