Uri Barbash – Spring 1941 (2007)

Successful doctor Artur Planck, his wife Clara and their two daughters are seeking shelter from the Nazis storming Poland. They find a safe house in the farm of Emilia, their local grocer who is all alone after her husband fought for his country and never returned. Amidst the horrors of the war that surrounds them, an impossible love triangle erupts as Emelia uncontrollably falls in love with Artur. Such a fragile arrangement is sustained by love – or is it just the will to survive? The answer to that question may not even be made known to those who make it out alive. Read More »

Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda – Le damier AKA The Draughtsmen Clash (1996)

A wicked political satire about African dictators, this film tells the story of the president of a fictitious African nation who spends a sleepless night playing checkers with a pot-smoking vagabond who is claimed to be the “all-around champion”. However the rules of the game entail opponents howling vulgar and foul obscenities at one another. The Champion proceeds to insult, and trounce the President. His reward – and fate – are not exactly unexpected in this hilarious send-up of living under tyranny. Read More »

Gloria Rolando – Oggun: An Eternal Presence (1992)

In Oggun, Gloria relates the patakin or mythical story of Oggun, the tireless warrior who, enamored of his mother, decided as punishment to imprison himself in the mountains: only Ochun, goddess of love, succeeded in captivating him when she let fall a few drops of honey on the lips of the god of metal, war, progress, and civilization. This film of 52 minutes includes chants, dances, a “tambor” (Yoruba religious ceremony with the bata drums), and the experiences of Ros, who not only made his the beauty of the African chants, but had the opportunity to sing them in trips throughout the world. The noted “apwong” works incessantly to preserve the lore and transmit it to the younger generations. Read More »

Markus Schleinzer – Angelo (2018)

In Markus Schleinzer’s long-awaited second feature and true-story drama, a young African boy is abducted, sold, and forced into 18th-century Viennese court life where he must wrestle with the restrictions placed upon him by society.
Inspired by surviving records about the life of Angelo Soliman, an 18th-century Viennese “court moor,” Angelo tells the story of a young African boy who is Europeanized by force. Although director Markus Schleinzer’s grandiose period drama is set back in the courts of the Habsburg empire, its lessons also apply to the present. Read More »

Claude Binyon – Family Honeymoon (1948)

Synopsis:
Grant Jordan, bachelor botany professor, marries Katie, a widow with three kids, despite the machinations of Grant’s former girlfriend Minna. But on the wedding day, Aunt Jo, who was to babysit, breaks a leg; so the kids come along on the honeymoon. After misadventures en route, they make it to the Grand Canyon, only to find Minna there, still scheming. Read More »

Mohammad Hossein Latifi – Khabgah-e dokhtaran AKA Girl’s Dormitory (2004)

A group of college students move into a dilapidated dormitory that is reputed by local people to be haunted.

From Horror.com:
The history of horror films being made in Iran goes back to the 1950’s when the late directory Samuel Khachikian cranked out titles like “A Party in Hell” (1956), “The Midnight Terror” (1961) and “Delirium” (1965). Over the years since, the horror genre in Iran has had its up and downs. One thing has remained constant, though, many Iranian movie fans welcome the chance to see domestically produced fright films. Read More »

István Szabó – Taking Sides (2001)

Synopsis by Bruce Eder
Set in Germany in 1946, Taking Sides tells the story of the investigation of Wilhelm Furtwängler (Stellan Skarsgård), the renowned conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras, by the American occupying army. Major Steve Arnold (Harvey Keitel) has been told by his superiors that they want Furtwängler convicted of being a willing participant in the crimes of the Hitler regime, by virtue of his supposed support for and support from the Hitler government. They haven’t got the time or resources to go after every ex-Nazi, so they want Furtwängler, as the biggest cultural target they can hit. Read More »