Browsing: Conversations

In SASHKA (2018) – a short film by Katarzyna Lesisz that will be screened at 2019 Polish Film Festival Los Angeles, Sasha, a young Ukrainian, receives a message about death of a man with whom she took a fictional marriage to get Polish VISA. The funeral of her husband gives her an opportunity to meet her beloved Piotr, who arranged her marriage years ago and decided to leave her with no explanation. The following is our interview with Katarzyna Lesisz, director of SASHKA: Bijan Tehrani: How did you come up with the idea of SASHKA? Katarzyna Lesisz : I was always interested in telling stories…

They say it takes a village to raise a child. And Jeanne Herry’s sensitive second feature, In Safe Hands, illustrates how that proverb is all the more incisive when a newborn is separated from his mother at birth. A glimpse into the intricate anonymous-mother adoption system in France, the ensemble film follows two parallel story lines — that of little Théo, from his birth to finding a home three months later; and the agonizing process of one very determined prospective mother (magnificently portrayed by Elodie Bouchez). In between, the infant moves from hand to hand, through the astonishingly fine-tuned process…

Adapted from the acclaimed novel Neither Wolf Nor Dog by Kent Nerburn the story follows a white author who gets sucked into the heart of contemporary Native American life in the sparse lands of the Dakota’s by a 95 year old Lakota elder and his side-kick. First published in 1994 and winner of the Minnesota Book award in 1996, no other novel is seen to so successfully bridge the gap between white America and the Native American world. It still sells well aided by a wide readership through academic use. Two sequel novels followed to equal acclaim. Steven Lewis Simpson…

Finding Farideh, a feature documentary by Azadeh Moussavi and Kourosh Ataee, is Iran’s entry for Best International Feature Film Oscar 2020. Finding Farideh” is about an Iranian girl named Farideh, who had been abandoned in a holy shrine in Iran when she was 6 months old in 1976, and then she got adopted by a Dutch couple and left Iran to the Netherlands to start her new life. Her parents promised to take her to Iran when she turns 18, but it never happened because they always thought that Iran is a dangerous country to go. Now, she overcomes her fears…

This is not Berlin happens in 1986, Mexico City. As the country prepares for the World Cup, a thriving underground of New Wave music and avant-garde art bubbles up. Seventeen-year-old Carlos feels like an outsider, but when his engineering know-how comes to the rescue of a synth-heavy music group in need of a keyboard technician, he’s ushered into a world much wilder than high school rivalries and his sheltered home life. Hitting the clubs puts Carlos closer to Rita, his older crush, who’s the sister of his best friend Gera, but as the two young men navigate this vibrant and revolutionary…

The Mountain a film by Rick Alverson happens in 1950s America. Since his mother‘s confinement to an institution, Andy (Tye Sheridan) has lived in the shadow of his stoic father. A family acquaintance, Dr. Wallace Fiennes (Jeff Goldblum), employs the introverted young man as a photographer to document an asylum tour advocating for his increasingly controversial lobotomy procedure. As the tour progresses and Andy witnesses the doctor’s career and life unravel, he begins to identify with the institutions’ patients. Arriving at a California mountain town, a growing center of the New Age movement, they encounter an unconventional French healer who requests a lobotomy…

A wandering camera follows a performance crew as they prepare for an upcoming show. This documentary style stops once we get to see an audition taking place, where a few old people are asked to play victims of an incident. They are asked to cry and scream and beg for their lives. The film immediately sets up its tone: It is going to be a dark comedy. I Don’t Care If We Go Down in History As Barbarians (Radu Jude, 2018) is about Mariana, who wants to direct a public performance recreating the 1941 Odessa massacre, or the Odessa Holocaust,…

Big World Pictures presents the US theatrical release of “I DO NOT CARE IF WE GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS BARBARIANS”, a film by Radu Jude. Named Best Feature at the 2018 Karlovy Vary International Film festival; official selection at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, and Romania’s official selection for the 2019 Academy Awards (Best Foreign Language Film), “I DO NOT CARE IF WE GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS BARBARIANS” will open at IFC Center in New York on July 19 and at Laemmle Monica in Los Angeles on July 26. Other cities will follow. “I do not…

Surrounded by extravagant luxury, Sofía de Garay (Ilse Salas) lives in a dreamlike cloud of opulence in 1980s Mexico City. Her days are filled with lavish soirees, designer dresses, country-club tennis matches, and all the pleasures reserved for the upper crust. In this world, appearances are everything and friendships are only as strong as your financial status. However, when Mexico’s 1982 economic crisis hits her husband’s business hard, the elegant lifestyle Sofia is accustomed to falls to pieces right before her eyes. Soon, her arrogance turns into desperation, as she is forced to confront her new reality. It’s only in…

Celebrating the life of rock star and activist Rita Guerrero, this intimate and music-fueled documentary by Arturo Diaz Santana captures the energy and artistry of a brilliant performer who was taken too soon. As the lead singer of famous band La Santa Sabina, Guerrero became a central figure in Mexico’s 90s rock scene and a fierce advocate for social justice who supported the Zapatista movement. Blending footage from her role as an entertainer that the audience came to love, with personal moments highlighting her off-stage personality, as well as interviews with those who were touched by her magic, the film…

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