Claire Denis – Chocolat (1988)

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IMDB:
A young French woman returns to the vast silence of West Africa to contemplate her childhood days in a colonial outpost in Cameroon. Her strongest memories are of the family’s houseboy, Protee – a man of great nobility, intelligence and beauty – and the intricate nature of relationships in a racist society. Read More »

Julian Pölsler – Die Wand aka the Wall (2012)

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Plot:

A woman inexplicably finds herself cut off from all human contact when an invisible, unyielding wall suddenly surrounds the countryside. Accompanied by her loyal dog Lynx, she becomes immersed in a world untouched by civilization and ruled by the laws of nature. Read More »

Lars von Trier – Medea (1988)

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Quote:
Lars von Trier´s direction makes this film a shocking look into the disturbed mind of a woman who has been scorned and left. Medea´s revenge is horrible but never unbelievable. She does what every sane person would do, when deprived of all that she loves. The film burns itself into your mind and leaves you with a lasting impression of what human misery can be like. Read More »

Andrei Tarkovsky – Nostalghia AKA Nostalgia (1983)

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How could I have imagined as I was making Nostalghia that the stifling sense of longing that fills the screen space of that film was to become my lot for the rest of my life; that from now until the end of my days I would bear the painful malady within myself?
– Andrei Tarkovsky: Sculpting in Time

SYNOPSIS

Director Andrei Tarkovsky recasts his lifelong cinematic motif of humanity’s quest for faith in the waterlogged and mist-ensconced countryside of Italy for his philosophical masterpiece Nostalghia. Andrei Gorchakov (Oleg Yankovsky) is a misanthropic Russian scholar researching the life of an exiled Russian composer who committed suicide. With the help of his beautiful guide, Eugenia (Domiziana Giordano), Andrei visits mystical and religious sites on the trail of the late composer’s legacy.
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Claude Berri – Sex-shop (1972)

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The owner of a bookshop in Paris suffers a personal crisis. In order to solve it he decides to convert his library into a sex-shop but the only effect is that he turns himself into a sexual obsessive man. Written by Volker Boehm Read More »

Moshé Mizrahi – La Vie devant soi AKA Madame Rosa (1977)

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Synopsis
Madame Rosa, a former prostitute, lives in a top floor apartment in a mixed race district of Paris. Although her health is failing, she manages to look after the abandoned children of prostitutes, including a rebellious young Arab boy named Momo. An Auschwitz survivor, Madame Rosa imagines that the Nazis are still around and instructs Momo to protect her from them. Momo faithfully repays his guardian’s kindness by raising money to support her in her dying days, but he is curious to find out about his own origins…

Quote:
Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (1977)
César Award for Best Actress for Simone Signoret (1978) Read More »

Ken Loach – Ae Fond Kiss (2004)

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Synopsis: Director Ken Loach and writer Paul Laverty team up again for the romantic drama Ae Fond Kiss. The filmmaking team’s third film set in Glasgow, this story involves a mixed-race relationship that causes problems for all involved. Casim Khan (Atta Yaqub) lives with his Punjabi-born Muslim family in Scotland. He wants to open a nightclub with pal Hammid (Shy Ramsan), but his parents have arranged for him to marry his cousin Jasmine (Sunna Mirza). Then he meets Irish schoolteacher Roisin Hanlon (Eva Birthistle), whom he quickly falls for. After calling off his family-approved engagement, Casim is ostracized by his father, Tariq (Ahmad Riaz). Meanwhile, Roisin runs into a concerned priest (Gerard Kelly) when she tries to get a job at a Catholic school. Ae Fond Kiss won several prizes at the Berlin Film Festival in 2004. -Andrea LeVasseur (AMG) Read More »