Elchin Musaoglu – Nabat (2014)

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Nabat and her husband Iskender, an old and sick ex-forestry worker, live in a small isolated house far from the village. The war in Nagorno-Karabakh has been raging for some time and their son has been killed at the front. Their sole means of survival is the sale of milk from their only cow that Nabat takes to the village every couple of days. As the shadow of war envelopes the region the village is slowly deserted by its inhabitants. Following Iskender’s death, Nabat has to survive in a now abandoned village under the regard of a she-wolf. Continue reading

Youssef Chahine – Al-asfour AKA The Sparrow (1972)

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One of his most controversial films, THE SPARROW was written by Chahine in collaboration with avant-gardist Lofti el-Kholi. Set during the 1967 Six Day War between Israel and the United Arab Republic this story of familial and national divisions has become one of Chahine’s most popular films in festivals and retrospectives. A young policeman’s adoptive father occupies a high post in the force, while his biological father is reputed to have been a left-wing activist. Raouf begins to search for those who might have known his real father, while his half-brother, stationed on the Sinai front, prepares for battle. Continue reading

Ermanno Olmi – Torneranno i prati AKA Greenery Will Bloom Again (2014)

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The winter of 1917, the North-East front, the final clashes of the Great War. An Italian stronghold situated at 1800 metres above sea level, on the Asiago plateau, described in the novels of Mario Rigoni Stern. It’s snowing everywhere; the Austrian trenches are so close that you can hear the enemy soldiers breathing.

A hundred years since the outbreak of World War I, maestro Ermanno Olmi describes with Torneranno i prati his vision of a conflict that cost the lives of 16 million human beings, just as it was brought back to him by the memory of his father, called to arms at 19 years of age, to find himself within the bloodbath of Carso and Piave. A drama that scarred his youth and the rest of his life, just like millions of others. Continue reading

Tobias Lindholm – Krigen AKA A War (2015)

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Company commander Claus M. Pedersen (Pilou Asbæk) and his men are stationed in an Afghan province. Meanwhile back in Denmark Claus’ wife Maria (Tuva Novotny) is trying to hold everyday life together with a husband at war and three children missing their father. During a routine mission, the soldiers are caught in heavy crossfire and in order to save his men, Claus makes a decision that has grave consequences for him – and his family back home. Continue reading

Chuan Lu – City of Life and Death AKA Nanking Nanking (2009)

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The third film from award-winning Fifth Generation director Lu Chuan (Kekexili: Mountain Patrol), City of Life and Death (Nanking Nanking) is a devastating account of the massacre that occurred during WWII when Japanese troops took the city of Nanjing in December 1937, a tragedy remembered as the Rape of Nanking. Shot completely in black and white, this powerful war drama unflinchingly captures the shocking violence and brutality of the Nanjing massacre, from the mass executions of POWs to the raping and slaughtering of civilians, while providing a deeply human portrait of both the victims and the perpetrators. Continue reading

Jean-Loup Hubert – Après la guerre AKA The War Is Over (1989)

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Synopsis
The conflict in question is World War II; even though hostilities have all but ceased, the Germans and the French are not precisely reconciled. German soldier Richard Bohringer, absent without leave, is befriended by a couple of pre-teen boys. Despite the fact that they seem to have found a lasting peace, the adult world doesn’t see things the boys’ way… Continue reading