Sunday, December 30, 2012

Caesar Must Die/Cesare deve morire (2012)

Director: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani
Country: Italy

Synopsis: The film was made in Rome's Rebibbia Prison, where the inmates are preparing to stage Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. After a competitive casting process, the roles are eventually allocated, and the prisoners begin exploring the text, finding in its tale of fraternity, power and betrayal parallels to their own lives and stories. Hardened criminals, many with links to organised crime, these actors find great motivation in performing the play. As we witness the rehearsals, beautifully photographed in various nooks and crannies within the prison, we see the inmates also work through their own conflicts, both internal and between each other. –

Today/Tey (2012)

Director: Alan Gomis
Country: Senegal

Synopsis: Today is the last day of his life. He knows this to be true even though he is strong and healthy. Nonetheless Satché (played by American actor-musician Saül Williams) accepts his imminent death. Walking through the streets of his home town in Senegal he takes in the sites of his past as if he were looking at them for the last time: his parents’ house, his first love, the friends of his youth, his wife and children. Time and again he hears the same reproach: why didn’t he stay in America, where he would have a future? Satché encounters his final moments full of fear but also with a sense of joy. –BIFF

Present Tense/Simdiki Zaman (2012)

Director: Belmin Soylemez
Country: Turkey

Synopsis: The story of a young woman who is in search for her lost hopes. Like many in Turkish society, Mina is jobless, lonely, and unhappy. She wants to escape to the USA and start from zero; a familiar feeling to most of us. But how? She needs money, documents and a visa. She applies to a fortune-telling café, lying that she has experience. While she reads the coffee cups of many different women, she also tries to find a way out herself. Through the shapes emerging in coffee cups, she expresses her own frustrations and desires to match with those of the customers. Will she be able to get away from present tense and try her luck for the future? – Internet Movie Database (IMDb)

When I saw You/Lamma Shoftak (2012)

Director: Annemarie Jacir
Country: Palestine

Synopsis: 1967. The world is alive with change: brimming with reawakened energy, new styles, music and an infectious sense of hope. In Jordan, a different kind of change is underway as tens of thousands of refugees pour across the border from Palestine. Having been separated from his father in the chaos of war, Tarek, 11, and his mother Ghaydaa, are amongst this latest wave of refugees. Placed in "temporary" refugee camps made up of tents and prefab houses until they would be able to return, they wait, like the generation before them who arrived in 1948. With difficulties adjusting to life in Harir camp and a longing to be reunited with his father, Tarek searches a way out, and discovers a new hope emerging with the times. Eventually his free spirit and curious nature lead him to a group of people on a journey that will change their lives. When I Saw You is the story of people affected by the times around them, in search of something more in their lives. A journey full of adventure, love, humor, and the desire to be free. A story of the human spirit that knows no borders.- Internet Movie Database (IMDb)

Ivan’s Woman/La Mujer de Ivan (2011)-Review

Director: Francisca Silva
Country: Chile
Synopsis: Since she was a little girl, Natalia lives captive in Ivan’s house. They live like family, despite the repressive regime they live in. When she has her sexual awakening, the kidnapper’s powers begins to weaken, showing his desire for love and a woman’s companionship. The house is transformed into an amoral battlefield, in which Ivan and Natalia struggle with each other, exchanging love for freedom. –IFFK

Rose/Roza (2011)-Review

Director:Wojciech Smarzowski

Synopsis: In summer 1945 Tadeusz Mazur, an officer of the Armia Krajowa and veteran of the Warsaw uprising, whose wife was raped and murdered by the Germans, moves to Masuria, a region in former German East Prussia, which became part of Poland as a result of the Potsdam Agreement after World War II. He visits Róża, a widow of a German Wehrmacht soldier whose death Tadeusz had witnessed, to hand over her husband’s possessions. Róża invites Tadeusz to stay at her farm to protect her against marauders and the brutal rapes she had previously experienced in the lawless atmosphere of postwar Masuria. From this partnership of purpose, slowly respect and love arises - a "frowned-upon relationship" attracting the "unwelcome attention of the new Polish nationalists as well as the notorious Soviet NKVD". While Róża is regarded a German by the new Polish authorities, thus facing her expulsion, Tadeusz wants her to declare her Polish nationality as many Masurians did in a "humiliating nationality verification procedure" –Wikipedia