My review: “Spies like James Bond/007 can appear cool… but what if it were their family, their relatives and their people they were betraying? That type of treason may be nothing to celebrate anymore. One may actually need to hide all of that – and definitely not make a film about it! That is the challenge that the director, Nadav Schirman, has taken on. His previous two other documentaries were also about individuals living undercover: ‘In the Dark Room’ and ‘The Champagne Spy.’ He was also the producer of the successful 2012 ‘No Place on Earth.’ — In our desire to appear smart and in charge, we make fast assessments, ready to speak up and to react. Here, because repeatedly nothing appears as it what it is, the film will challenge most preconceptions. The moral compass for what constitutes one’s alliances seems to be constantly shifting and one is asked to turn oneself inside out. Healthy questions emerge: What constitutes intelligence and security? How do we know what we know? Is it just about those two individuals, Mosab Hassan Yousef and Gonen Ben Yitzhak or is it about us? N.B.: For those who have read Mosab Hassan Yousef’s book ‘Son of Hamas,’ this film is very different than the book!” + Clips [...]Read More
Post-screening note and review: At my recent presentation of “Blinky and Me” at the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center, it was clear that the audience was enthralled by watching the elder Yoram Gross, the noted Australian animator, passing the baton of history to his grandchildren with great patience and humor. What a vibrant family! Viewing it one more time, I realized that behind the film’s simplicity lies a tightly orchestrated symphony of highs and lows meant to encourage us all, as it says in the Torah, to choose life – fully aware of history. — Excerpts from a letter Mr. Gross recently sent me: About my films, as I was taught by [Ed.: the famous] Joris Ivens: “ If you have nothing to say, don’t make films.” – The things that I would like to say, adults already know. Therefore I made films for kids, where I wish to convey something from my long experience, with the hope that they will not make the same mistakes as the adults. In one of my animated films “Sara” with Mia Farrow, I am showing the tragedy of the World War II, but stating that such tragedies are happening still today. Video Clips… [...]Read More
My Review: Based on real events, the film follows the separate lives of three Cairo women – played by three compelling actresses.
At first each story is presented as a single strand; slowly though, as through the perspective of some Brechtian “Distancing/Alienation Effect,” each saga ends up related to the others.
As the women meet each other, sexual harassment appears to be the pervasive and inescapable fabric of Egyptian culture, and once more, the personal becomes political.
The tension between oppressive conditions and the need to rebel has been portrayed cinematically many times before (as in such classics as Eisenstein’s Potemkin and Ruy Guerra’s Os Fuzis), but here, in the land of the Arab Spring, the awakening of consciousness of this small band of amazon warriors makes for a most resounding thriller.
350+ films, 54 countries, 39 free screenings/events, 100+ filmmakers!
75 narrative features, 63 documentary features, 192 shorts
201 screenings/programs – HERE IS THE ONLINE SCHEDULE
you can download a PDF of the program book (10MB)
Again some events will sell out! Shortly I will post my recommendations which as usual are many. Stay tuned.[...]
My review of Family Talk/Fambul Tok: Through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission – the TRC (cf. resources) – South Africa took the courageous steps to face and uncover the truth of its violent past, here Sierra Leone, through Tambul Tok, goes even further.
When considering that the family – in its extended meaning – requires a coming together of victim and perpetrator; how can we live together and incorporate what everyone would rather forget but cannot?
What does it take to forgive? Once more Africa has much to teach the world.
A few of the voices:
“For many years I’ve been thinking about this hidden pain in my heart. — we have been living together as brothers and sisters — I never spoke to anyone because it was a very fearful situation — There is no love between us”