Meal (2018): A Dysfunctional Family on the Verge of Devouring Itself

The personal merges with the political and comes to a boil in Abhiroop Basu’s searing short film Meal. Featuring veteran actors Adil Hussain (Life of Pi, Lootera) and Ratnabali Bhattacharjee (Jonaki, Bombay Talkies) as a married couple engaged in a wordless domestic duel, the film becomes a potent look at Continue Reading

Shikara (2020): Buoyed By Formal Mastery, Victim To Narrative Insincerity

Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Shikara combines superior craft, earnest performances, A.R. Rahman’s soulful score and a script brimming with pathos to achieve the unexpected: a film where the sum-of-parts is far greater than the crucial whole. While Chopra’s vision seems fueled by genuine passion and feeling for the themes he tackles, Continue Reading

Son-Mother (2019) Review – A Radical Reflection of Social Evils Plaguing Iran

Son-Mother is reminiscent of the humanist dramas of Jafar Panahi (who, just like Mohammadi herself, was also barred from travelling abroad and sentenced to prison for his views) and his radical critique of orthodox Iranian values and traditions, anchored by a nearly-wordless central performance from the young Mahan Nasiri, vividly reflecting the pain of having one’s fundamental rights violated and then being coerced into accepting their fate without protest.

Pompei (2019): Fractured Adolescence within a Desolate Community

A collaborative effort between Falguères and American filmmaker John Shank, Pompei is an exploration of the collective psyche of the misfit inhabitants of a remote town, a glimpse of civilization away from civilization, where conventional social norms take a backseat in favour of rebellious baser instincts and rigid communal traditions. Filmed in naturally-lit anamorphic cinemascope, with long sluggish takes capturing the dullness of the children’s day-to-day lives, it is a unique and sensual coming-of-age tale where the fleeting uncertainty of adolescence becomes a product of the sparse environment the kids grow up in.

Heimat is a Space in Time (2019) ‘TIFF’ Review – Seeking Shelter within Memory while Exorcising Ghosts of the Past

Through a series of meticulously narrated letters and diary entries ― set against gorgeous black-and-white imagery of modern-day Germany ― the film explores the uniquely-German concept of “Heimat”, which refers to everyone’s personal idea of “homeland”, something that Heise envisions here as a shelter within the memory of his family and thus, by extension, of his nation’s painful past.

The County (2019) – Engrossing Drama About A Woman’s Lone Rebellion

The County begins during winter, the harsh and cold landscapes marking the hardships they were facing, complicated by debt and guilt. As the film progresses, different hues emerge to complement Inga’s multitude of conflicting moods, while also marking the seasonal progression.

Antigone (2019) Review – Refreshingly Moving Drama On Familial Sacrifice

“Freely adapted” from Sophocles’ Greek tragedy of the same name, Antigone is a vibrant and heartbreaking account of a teenager’s self-sacrificial journey through the Canadian criminal justice system to save her family from falling apart. Banking on an extraordinary lead performance from Nahéma Ricci (and her piercing green eyes) and Continue Reading

Fire Will Come (2019) Review – Fiery Visuals Fuel A Slow-Burn Narrative

Winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at Cannes, Oliver Laxe’s Fire Will Come ―set in rural Galicia ― is a quiet rumination on mankind’s place within the vast, untamed lap of nature. Through a minimalistic plot and restrained performances, it examines the symbiotic relationship between the human and Continue Reading

Krabi, 2562 (2019) Review – A Heartfelt Spiritual Snapshot of a Community

Made by the collaborative duo of experimental slow cinema auteur Ben Rivers and noted Thai indie director Anocha Suwichakornpong, the mellow and meditative Krabi, 2562 provides a geographical and spiritual snapshot of its eponymous coastal town. Krabi has become a major tourist attraction in recent years, partly due to its Continue Reading