HOW TO BLOW UP A PIPELINE – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

There is a sense of urgency that permeates every frame of How to Blow Up a Pipeline, not just in terms to the necessary fast pacing that a film like this relies on as its generic backbone, but of course also in regards to its very subject matter. The feeling that we are running out of time is an explicit drumbeat throughout the film, a sense of desperation and speed driving the film’s cast of ensemble characters towards the act of domestic ‘terrorism’ from which the film takes its name. But even the label ‘terrorist’ is up for grabs here; in one of the film’s quieter moments before the crew get to work, a heated debate regarding what it means for their actions to be defined through the lens of domestic terrorism is one of the film’s many thoughtful moments where subtext and text collide.

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HOW TO BLOW UP A PIPELINE – Review by Rachel West

Director Daniel Goldhaber’s How To Blow Up A Pipeline is a timely eco-thriller with all the suspense of a true heist film. Based on ideas in the non-fiction book of the same name by Andreas Malm, How To Blow Up A Pipeline structures its plot around Malm’s argument that environmental sabotage is a perfectly reasonable and encouraged form of climate activism. In 2023, we are living in a reality where climate scientists and activists have time and again said we are past the point of passivism when it comes to global climate change. Extreme weather like floods, droughts, heatwaves, and fires are now a common occurrence while governments, major corporations, and the wealthiest nations in the world still debate climate action plans at a glacial pace. And even then, those glaciers are melting faster than climate action.

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HOW TO BLOW UP A PIPELINE – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

Even before I saw this movie, I thought it had a good chance of being the film of the year. Of the decade, even. And I don’t mean that I think it’s gonna win tons of Oscars. I mean in a more fundamental, profoundly philosophical way. I wondered if this might even feel like the first movie of the 21st century, zeitgeist-wise.

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FAREWELL AMOR – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

Farewell Amor is the beautiful feature debut of writer-director Ekwa Msangi, in which she finds a delicate balance between drama in the wild sense, as secrets threaten to upend a cautious newfound domestic equilibrium, and drama in the more intimate sense, as husband and wife tentatively rediscover each other; as father and child unexpectedly stumble upon common ground; and as mother and daughter find that their different approaches to life are suddenly more pronounced in this potentially dangerous new place.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 11, 2020: FAREWELL AMOR

Love — and the best of intentions — may not be enough to overcome a 17-year separation for the reunited family of three who are at the heart of writer/director Ekwa Msangi’s touching first feature, Farewell Amor. This affecting drama raises thoughtful, heartfelt questions about what it means to be a family, And, it takes an honest and insightful look at the difficulties of immigration.

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FAREWELL AMOR – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Farewell Amor is an intimate soap opera blessed with an engaging small cast and an intriguing premise: What happens when Esther (Zainab Jah), an Angolan woman, and Sylvia (Jayme Lawson), her teen-age daughter, finally reunite with their husband and father after spending 17 years apart? Writer-director Ekwa Msangi could have chosen to look back at the woes that these immigrants have suffered in the past. But, instead, the trio is more concerned about whether they will be able to get over the awkwardness of their situation and be able to share a future together as a family.

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FAREWELL AMOR – Review by Leslie Combemale

It’s quite the achievement to create a movie that feels as fluid as a dance. Writer/director Ewa Msangi achieves just that with Farewell Amor, a film that tackles the challenge of articulating reintroduction, second chances, and the risks and rewards of chosen intimacy for a family reuniting after 17 years. In her feature directorial debut, Msangi reveals herself to be a filmmaker with a deft and nuanced hand, and one to watch.

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