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6 items from 2010

See Raoul Peck’s “Moloch Tropical” (And Others) At Human Rights Watch Film Festival!

9 June 2010 9:58 AM, PDT | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

If you live in New York City and you missed the 3 previous screenings of Raoul Peck’s latest offering, Moloch Tropical, well, you’ll get a 4th chance to see it! Come on folks – you have zero excuses now! I expect every (ok, maybe not every) New Yorker who reads this blog to have seen this film already, and if you haven’t, make an effort to see it when it screens this weekend, the 20th, as a selection of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, which begins tomorrow, the 10th, and runs through the 24th of June.

There are a number of other films worth checking out, including: In the Land of the Free (a NY premiere), Vadim Jean’s documentary on the Angola 3, who were convicted of the murder of a prison guard (sans physical evidence and credible eyewitnesses), after they were targeted by prison officials for »

- Tambay

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Films out this week

26 March 2010 5:08 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Lourdes (U)

(Jessica Hausner, 2009, Aus/Fra/Ger) Sylvie Testud, Léa Seydoux, Elina Löwensohn. 99 mins

Handsomely photographed and coolly observant, this excursion to the French pilgrimage town manages to be both a penetrating study of the spiritual tourism racket and a genuine mystical inquiry. Testud is our central pilgrim, paralysed from the neck down and, like many others, in search of a miracle. But unlike those others, she gets one. Or does she? We're given much to think about.

No One Knows About Persian Cats (12A)

(Bahman Ghobadi, 2009, Iran) Negar Shaghaghi, Ashkan Khoshanejad. 107 mins

A suitably guerrilla-style tour of Iran's underground (often literally) music scene – a place where even gentle indie rock is considered seditious. Mostly factual and shot illegally, it's eye (and ear)-opening stuff.

The Blind Side (12A)

(John Lee Hancock, 2009, Us) Sandra Bullock, Quinton Aaron. 128 mins

Bullock might have got her Oscar but that doesn't make it any »

- Steve Rose

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Film review: In the Land of the Free

25 March 2010 4:45 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

This hard-hitting documentary about the plight of the Angola 3 exposes the appalling conditions in American prisons, writes Xan Brooks

The Angola 3 are a trio of onetime Black Panthers who have spent the bulk of their life in solitary confinement, deep within the bowels of Louisiana's state penitentiary, aka the Farm. Now along comes Vadim Jean's crusading polemic, lobbying for the release of the two who remain behind bars and lifting the lid on all manner of institutionalised American madness. The judge is a racist and the chief eyewitness is legally blind, and out in the prison yard the convicts are thrown to the bulls for the entertainment of a paying public. Errol Morris's The Thin Blue Line was sharper, tougher, more in command of its brief. But this, in its way, is just as horrific.

Rating: 3/5

DocumentaryCriminal justiceXan Brooks © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of »

- Xan Brooks

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Film Weekly explores the Land of the Free and meets Brendan Gleeson

25 March 2010 5:30 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

This week's podcast ventures into criminal underworlds both real and imaginary, as we take you from Louisiana's notorious Angola prison – possibly the scene of a horrific miscarriage of justice – explored In the Land of the Free, to the violent back streets of Dublin in Perrier's Bounty.

Director Vadim Jean comes into the studio to discuss his latest film, the documentary In the Land of the Free. Best known as the director of the 1993 comedy, Leon the Pig Farmer, Jean makes no apology for what some have called his hodge-podge career, and explains how his passion for telling a story has lead him to tackle widely different subjects. In this compelling film, Samuel L Jackson narrates the story of the Angola 3 about three men who, possibly as a result of connections to the Black Panther party, have spent a combined total of a century in solitary confinement for crimes they insist they did not commit. »

- Jason Solomons, Kate Taylor, Peter Bradshaw

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Review: In The Land Of The Free

20 March 2010 10:53 AM, PDT | Pure Movies | See recent Pure Movies news »

This is the review for In The Land Of The Free (directed by Vadim Jean and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson). Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox and Robert King were strangers when jailed in the 1970s. A conviction for the murder of a prison guard and decades in solitary confinement now unite them as The Angola Three. King, released in 2001, spent 31 years in Louisiana State Penitentiary (also known as Angola) while Wallace and Woodfox remain there after 37. This documentary attempts to expose their continued mistreatment as a violation of their rights and a miscarriage of justice. It is clearly a labour of love and the film’s dedication to Anita Roddick hints at the philanthropy and moral action at its heart. Looking afresh in 2010, the situation that director Vadim Jean paints is staggeringly straightforward. These men should not be in jail. Decades of prejudice, discrimination and corruption driven by institutional racism »

- Joe Fraser

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Gerard Butler to bare all as Scottish poet

24 January 2010 6:50 PM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Gerard Butler will reportedly bare all in an upcoming film. The Law Abiding Citizen star has been lined up to portray Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns in a racy new movie directed by Vadim Jean. Speaking to the Sunday Mail, Jean said: "Gerard and I are both totally committed to the film. There's plenty of sex and nude scenes in it. "[Burns] was a notorious rake of (more) »

- By Marcell Minaya

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