SPIRIT UNTAMED – Review by Diane Carson

I endorse the supportive friendship among the three girls, the interracial group of characters, and the condemnation of animal abuse, a positive lesson for all viewers. However, this level of anthropomorphizing animals should have been abandoned long ago.

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WHO WILL START ANOTHER FIRE – Review by Diane Carson

Who Will Start Another Fire offers an impressive, diverse anthology from Dedze Films’, focusing on “underrepresented communities and early works of emerging storytellers,” as demonstrated by the nine films from Israel, Nigeria, Philippines, Uganda, and the U.S. Running ten to twenty minutes each, these fiction and nonfiction, realistic and impressionistic creations signal the talent of diverse directors.

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TAKE ME SOMEWHERE NICE – Review by Diane Carson

For everyone who has experienced one of those days or weeks when nothing goes right, Take Me Somewhere Nice will strike a familiar chord. The story begins with Alma, in her Netherlands home, as she learns that her estranged father is in the hospital in Bosnia, his homeland. She flies there, expecting her cousin Emir’s assistance to find him.

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SPRING BLOSSOM – Review by Diane Carson

Spring Blossom offers a refreshing, imaginative take on teenage ennui. French writer/director Suzanne Lindon dramatizes the familiar ennui of adolescence in a refreshing, imaginative feature film debut. Moreover, she expertly plays the central sixteen-year-old misfit, also named Suzanne, who becomes enamored of thirty-five-year-old stage actor Raphaël, immersed in his own boredom with repetitive rehearsals and performances, notably as an oak tree.

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TWO LOTTERY TICKETS – Review by Diane Carson

In a provincial Romanian town, three middle-aged friends needing money buy, as the film’s title announces, Two Lottery Tickets. When they win six million Euros, their elation is squelched when Dinel, keeper of the precious ticket, reveals it was in his bumbag, as he calls his fanny pack, taken by two thieves who confronted Dinel as he retrieved his mail.

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PROFILE – Review by Diane Carson

In director Timur Bekmambetov’s Profile, based on a true story, London-based television journalist Amy Whittaker becomes enmeshed in a chilling cat-and-mouse game with an ISIS recruiter who goes by the name Abu Bilel. Interacting exclusively through a computer for the entire film, Amy’s often crowded, even chaotic screen mirrors her frenetic attempts to gain control of her life.

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DREAM HORSE – Review by Diane Carson

Director Euros Lyn has crafted the remarkable, real story of thoroughbred Dream Alliance into the fictionalized narrative Dream Horse,. Although rather formulaic and totally predictable, the film is completely charming and overwhelmingly delightful. As stars Toni Collette and Damian Lewis play off each other perfectly, we realize Dream Horse is more about the residents of a Welsh village than this amazing steed.

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LIMBO – Review by Diane Carson

Though millions of people have experienced displacement, struggling to survive as refugees, it strikes me as very difficult to understand what that truly feels like, as different as it may be for each. Welcome, then, writer/director Ben Sharrock’s Limbo that perceptively imagines and communicates one such situation with a surprising amount of humor though never ignoring the pain and loneliness.

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DOWNSTREAM TO KINSHASA – Review by Diane Carson

In Downstream to Kinshasa, Congolese writer/director Dieudo Hamadi fearlessly and directly documents the legacy of the 2020 Six Day Ugandan – Rwandan war. During it, one thousand residents of Hamadi’s hometown Kisangani were killed, three thousand wounded. Nine of those victims now band together, determined to travel to the Congolese capitol Kinshasa to demand the compensation ordered by the International Court of Justice.

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