AURORA’S SUNRISE – Review by Nadine Whitney

In 1919 a silent film called alternatively Ravished Armenia or Auction of Souls premiered in America. The film, the story of Aurora Mardiganian whose non-anglicised name is Arshaluys Mardigian – a survivor of the Armenian Genocide. The film was a hit and propelled the teen whose experiences were the basis of the film and also the star of the film, to a small amount of fame. Immediately, however, director Inna Sahakyan informs the viewer that her documentary Aurora’s Sunrise is not about a meteoric rise to stardom, but about a survivor of unimaginable horrors.

Read more

AMANDA – Review by Nadine Whitney

The titular protagonist of Carolina Cavalli’s delightfully absurd yet heartfelt film, Amanda has one of the worst cases of arrested development for a twenty-five-year-old in recent cinema history. The film is an absurdist coming-of-age story that is reminiscent of something Lanthimos or Baumbach might have put together but remains completely Cavalli. Amanda is perpetually fifteen, or even younger at times. She’s brilliant, devious, spikey, absurd, and yet somewhat wonderful. Marching across the streets of Turin in her odd (and rarely changing) costume of boots, an eighties inspired peter pan collar shirt, and a granny vest, Amanda is constantly sticking her middle finger up at almost everything.

Read more