INCITEMENT – Review by Diane Carson

Israeli director/co-writer Yaron Zilberman begins his film Incitement with news footage of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat with U.S. President Bill Clinton in the White House rose garden announcing the 1993 Oslo I Accord. Addressing Israeli Palestinian relations and hopes for peace, this official Declaration of Principles was a monumental event provoking a distressing aftermath.

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THE TRAITOR – Review by Diane Carson

Italian director Marco Bellocchio’s film The Traitor takes a deep dive into the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, spanning three continents and two decades. Based on real events, the traitor of the title is Tommaso Buscetta, a reluctant informant who becomes alienated from the criminal world of which he’s a part after September 1980 when heroin becomes the illegal product trafficked.

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WAITING FOR THE CARNIVAL – Review by Diane Carson

Director Marcelo Gomes’ documentary Waiting for the Carnival captures small-town capitalism in the rural northeastern Brazilian town of Toritama, known as the country’s jeans capital. It doesn’t take long to be convinced of this claim as motorbikes drive by piled with mounds of blue jeans. Equal stacks lie outside doorways and clutter the floors of small shops, called factions.

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DOWNHILL – Review by Diane Carson

Too often Hollywood convinces itself that an impressive foreign film should be remade, the potential financial gain so irresistible. Unfortunately, the remakes usually pale by comparison for many reasons: social context differences or the U.S. version fails to capture the vivid essence of the original. Sadly, that is the blunder writ large for Downhill, a disastrous reboot of Force Majeure.

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WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL – Review by Diane Carson

The transparent goal of the documentary What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael is measured praise for this influential film critic best known for twenty-four years of reviews in The New Yorker, beginning in 1968. Determined to make the presentation entertaining, director Rob Garver excessively inserts unidentified film clips reflecting and reinforcing comments and context.

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PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE – Review by Diane Carson

Writer/director Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a haunting examination of love and the restrictions imposed on women by eighteenth-century French society. Artist Marianne is commissioned to paint a portrait of Héloïse, a work solicited by her potential husband in Milan for his approval and acceptance of Héloïse as his wife.

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EVERYBODY’S EVERYTHING – Review by Diane Carson

For those who know Lil Peep’s music and persona, the documentary Everybody’s Everything offers a bittersweet immersion in his charisma and his sensitivity, as well as his tragic circumstances. Avoiding formulaic biopic pitfalls, directors Sebastian Jones and Ramez Silyan find a fresh approach: an appealing, clear-headed entree to the heart and mind of Gustav (Gus) Åhr, aka Lil Peep.

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LES MISERABLES – Review by Diane Carson

French cinema has produced gripping police procedurals. To that group must now be added writer/director Ladj Ly’s Les Misérables, set in the embattled Parisian banlieue (district) Les Bosquets where Victor Hugo located important scenes in his famous 1862 eponymous novel. Les Misérables won the Jury Award at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and is France’s submission for this year’s Best Foreign Film Oscar.

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I LOST MY BODY – Review by Diane Carson

Into the increasingly diverse and strange world of animation comes the Academy Award nominated feature I Lost My Body. Faithful to the title, a severed hand, the central character, if you will, flees a Parisian laboratory, fighting to extract itself from a medical facility’s refrigerator, to find its missing body. Yes, that’s correct, in this unique nightmarish tale.

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MICKEY AND THE BEAR – Review by Diane Carson

The teenage years of high school pose ample challenges for just about anyone anywhere. For eighteen-year-old high school senior Mickey Peck, in small town Anaconda, Montana, life is immeasurably complicated by her widowed father Hank, a possessive Iraq Marine vet with PTSD. Caught in emotional warfare, she struggles to fight her way out of a dead-end situation.

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