In A CIAMBRA, a small Romani community in Calabria, Pio Amato is desperate to grow up fast. At 14, he drinks, smokes and is one of the few to easily slide between the region's factions - ... See full summary »
Fernando, a solitary ornithologist, is looking for black storks when he is swept away by the rapids. Rescued by a couple of Chinese pilgrims, he plunges into an eerie and dark forest, trying to get back on his track.
João Pedro Rodrigues
João Pedro Rodrigues,
In Lausanne, the aspirant pianist Jeanne Pollet has lunch with her mother Louise Pollet, her boyfriend Axel and his mother. Lenna leans that when she was born, a nurse had mistakenly told ... See full summary »
Thatcherism and the Irish troubles provide the backdrop for this study of Mick, a well-meaning youth in Sheffield, who has, unlike Dickens' Pip, no expectations. Mick lives with his parents... See full summary »
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Henry B.J. Phiri,
Unsensational take on immigration with a documentary feel
I knew nothing about this film when I sat down to it as part of a project to choose films for distribution in the Czech Republic. I took to it fast. The hand-held camera takes some getting used to, and there were times when the action was unclear due to a lack of light. The style was appropriate for the most part, however, suiting the subject and setting. The main characters are sympathetic and their stories comprehensible from the start. The brothers Ayiva and Abas we travel with from a few minutes into the film, are believably differentiated throughout. I personally understood Ayiva, whose POV the film takes, and who seemed to take a rope-a-dope stance to anything the world could throw at him, but could understand why his brother might look down on him for it.
The film is gentle. Never preachy. The acting is natural. I have come across references to the main characters having been played by non-actors, with Ayiva played by a refugee whose story resembles his character's. True or not, it feels real enough. For most of the film, the story of the refugees life here stands in relation to many other similarly-themed films as Jarhead stands to other war films: though there is action, it's low key, with much of it relating to work, to getting hands on a bargain, Skypeing home, the rituals of food. In the last third of the film, this changes somewhat, but if the pace steps up, it is never long frenetic.
In 2015, this is an important film that deserves some real success.
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