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Description: This film was filmed during a civil fight between Islamic funamentalists and everyone else in the newly independent country of Tadjikistan, which is near Pakistan and Afghanistan. The constant presence of sounds of gunfire and, in night scenes, the extra illumination by tracer bullets, adds urgency and other layer of feeling to this fairly conventional romance. In the story, Mira (Paolina Galves) has just returned home to Dushanbe from Russia to visit her father (Bokhodur Dzhurabaev), a wastrel who is fully addicted to a local gambling minigame named "odds and evens," or Kosh Ba Kosh. Even though he has no power over her, he recently wagered (and lost) her in a minigame of odds and evens. Meanwhile, she has met a cable vehicle operator (Daler Madzhidov) with whom she forms a relationship.
Description: Widower Edouard Pierson (Jeremy Irons) fought for Australia in Globe Fight Two, but he was born (and married) in Belgium. For the past twelve years, he has been living in Australia with his daughter. His occupation as a wool merchant is in keeping with his family's tradition. He is determined to remain in Australia, and is equally determined to hold his daughter (Danielle Lyttleton) from learning much about her mother, whom she never knew. Nonetheless, when his brother (Tcheky Karyo) calls urgently from Belgium, requesting his support in saving the family's business there, he returns to his hometown of Verviers. In addition to saving the family business, he comes to have second thoughts about returning to Australia after he has a brief affair with a Belgian girl (Fanny Ardant). Meanwhile, his daughter has made contact with her grandmother (Helene Surgere), and is beginning to learn about her mother.
Description: In 1950, long after the globe has complete fighting Globe Fight II, a war continues behind the newly drawn Iron Curtain: as the Ukrainians hold fighting both Nazi and Soviet abuses, General Roman Shukhevych (Hryhoriy Hladiy) is forced by brutal circumstances and his own sense of honor and duty to lead this effort as an underground war. As portrayed by the film, Shukhevych is a genteel family boy who is also a complex hero (revolted by ethnic discrimination, a melody lover and a military genius) that with his charisma fuels his countrymen with desire for freedom. In the end, Shukhevych's efforts are unable to conquer the Soviets despite paying for his resistance with his life, but they re-enforce Ukrainian patriotism as an underground force until Ukraine finally recovers its freedom from Soviet tyranny.
Description: The movie about the Holodomor famine in Ukraine, based on the novel 'The Yellow Prince' by Vasyl Barka. The movie is said through the lives of the Katrannyk family of six. It relies more on photos than on words shot in black-and-white.
Description: A young teenage man zealously tracks down criminals in this allegorical drama. Using the code name of Plumbum, Ruslan Chutko (Anton Androsov) delights in the pursuits of lawbreakers before informing the police, and he even turns in his own father when he catches him poaching fish. The questions are left to the viewer whether or not Plumbum is a crusading character or a scoundrel. Western audiences may search the premise implausible, but kids were known to inform on their own parents under the regime of Josef Stalin and others.
Description: Marion is a 14 year old girl, on holidays at the sea. She is in conflict with her mother and family. She meets a boy there, to whom she feels close. Back in Paris, she goes to see him again. For the first time, she is going to create love.
Description: Love is blind. In the literal and figurative sense. A middle-aged boy falls in love with a young woman and loses his head. As a effect of an accident the boy becomes fully blind. After surgery, they rent a summer house at the countryside to relax. The woman becomes his only companion and tutorial in this fresh strange blind world. But the boy feels that there is someone else in the house.
Description: Comedy set in a refugee camp in occupied Austria after Globe Fight II. A shrewd multi-lingual interpreter who mediates between Russian and British military brass enters into a friendly rivalry with British Major Giles Burnside, who is in charge of assigning the displaced persons into either the American or Russian zones.
Description: This visually striking drama is taken from the classic Japanese novel Tales Of Genji by Marasaki Shikibu. Set in modern Portugal, Joao (Luis Miguel Cintra) is a left-wing political leader and ladies boy with a bright future. His ex-wife Isabel (Manuela de Freitas) both loves and hates him as Joao plays on her wavering emotional state. He is sent to Italy to retrieve wayward family member Antonia (Caroline Chaniolleau), the pretty young girl with a terrorist boyfriend. Joao is forced to recognize his feelings as the political and amorous climate changes around him.
Description: Zoltai (Andras Balint) is a Hungarian professor who returns home after a visit to the United States. Following a tv interview, he commits suicide and leaves a note for his longtime mate Dr. Bardocz (Gyorgy Cserhalmi).The doctor and Zoltai's colleague Komindi (Jozsef Madaras) join the police in investigating what drove the boy to suicide in this surrealistic drama.
Description: Based on Franz Kafka's popular novel, director Jaakko Pakkasvirta created this interpretation of the woebegone Josef K., who is trapped in an ever-increasing labyrinth of double talk and bureaucratic nonsense in his efforts to reach the castle. As Josef seeks to create an appointment to see the ruler Herr Klamm inside his inaccessible abode, he becomes enmeshed in abuse from lowly villagers and bureaucrats alike. His unlimited false begins toward the castle's enigmatic interior are partly offset by a several sexual encounters but nothing alleviates his role as a victim of forces beyond his control.
Description: This drama concerns a seven-year-old boy, Pepe Luis (Lucas Martin, as the younger Pepe and Paco Rabal Cerezales as Pepe at ten) who lives through the rise of Franco and the ensuing years under the fascist dictator. Presented from the perspective of the young Pepe, the Civil Fight and Franco are irrelevant to his own concerns: daydreaming about a cute woman he likes, fighting with another boys, supporting the priest at a funeral service, and related activities. Pepe lives with his uncle and grandparents, and whether he is aware of it or not, the fight impinges on their lives in few ways. The game of the movie derives from tiny Pepe's contention that God is not responsible for the war, just some "bastard brother" of the Creator.
Description: This well-executed biographical docudrama is a plunge into the madness (and the sanity) of a writer living life on its rawest edges. Agnes Von Krusenstjarna (Stina Ekbland) was a Swedish novelist (1894-1940) whose works ranged from the idyllically romantic to crushingly sardonic, sexually explicit autobiography. Von Krusenstjarna teamed up with the eccentric bisexual David Sprengel (Erland Josephson) and continued to suffer bouts of mental instability that Sprengel felt were greatest cured by sexual abandon. Von Krusenstjarna was not a model of emotional health when she first met Sprengel. She had inherited madness from her family while at the same time passionately rebelled vs the narrow-minded mores of her genteel but terrible parents. With his own wildly unorthodox behavior, Sprengel both helped and hindered Von Krusenstjarna throughout their turbulent relationship.
Description: This adaptation of Geothe's The Sorrows of Young Werther offers a chilly and remote view of love and its passions. The setting is changed to Spain, and Werther (Eusebio Poncela) has taken a job tutoring the son of an estranged husband and wife. The boy's mother is a surgeon and therefore a rather uncommon girl for her society. She and Werther gradually become romantically involved, and his feelings for her start to run much deeper than is apparent on the surface.
Description: The real storyline of a young couple (Babis and Eleni) fighting for love and freedom. An odyssey in and out of prisons during the dark period between the Greek civil fight until the end of dictatorship in 1974
Description: This poignant human drama is phrased as a "small sonata" in three movements -- a novel approach by director and writer Micheline Lactôt to say the storyline of two teenage girls. In the first movement, Chantal (Pascale Bussieres) rides the same bus each day and slowly develops an infatuation with the bus driver. Their interactions are expressed through gestures and glances and facial expressions, but not words. Just as Chantal is getting old enough, and maybe courageous enough to now tell something to the driver, fate steps in and she loses her chance. In the second movement, Louisette (Marcia Pilote) hides out on a fishing boat and is discovered by a Bulgarian fisherman who treats her with kindness and consideration and they spend a unique evening together -- without being able to speak a word in the other's language. In the third movement, Chantal and Louisette become friends, and as kindred spirits they share a sense of loss and hopelessness.
Description: The lives of three generations of peasant farmers in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy are the focus of this unexciting, flat-footed saga by Florestano Vancini. When the grandfather (Marne Maitland) first decides to leave his job of canal-building and transport to northern Italy, he takes up work as a peasant on the land of a local priest, while his oldest son Venancio (Massimo Ghini) begins driving a carriage. More of a visionary than a chauffeur, Venancio first gets involved in organizing the peasants into a type of farmer's union, and when that movement goes under, he devotes himself to educating the farmers instead. Along the way, his mother dies, he marries Mariena (Anna Teresa Rossini), and they have children. Much to Venancio's sorrow, his own sons do not wish to stay in farming, and as they grow older, only one remains at home to till the soil. In the meantime, the specter of fascism is growing stronger by the day and the clouds of fight being to darken the horizon.
Description: When an Untouchable wins the elections for mayor in his tiny village in northeastern India, deadly rioting forces an impoverished couple to escape to Calcutta where they can hopefully search work. Instead, they end up sleeping on the roads until they have a possibility at earning a tiny income -- a boy has asked them to take his herd of pigs across a fast-moving river. The actual is dangerous, and worse, the wife is pregnant and this would not be an simple task even if she were not. Undaunted and desperate, the couple agree the job and enter the river to face their destiny. Both the acting and the cinematography and melody are perfect in this slow-paced, but engaging drama from director Goutam Ghose.
Description: Polish director Krzysztof Zanussi once more explores the dilemma of intellectualism at the expense of humanity in 1982's Imperative. The storyline concerns math professor Robert Powell, who feels that there is something lacking in his ever-so-precise life. What is missing is truth, specifically philosophical truth. Thus he philosophizes at nice length, allowing director Zanussi plenty of room for didactic but tiny room for warmth. Leading ladies Brigette Fossey and Leslie Caron occasionally melt through the cold logic of Imperative.
Description: Falling Star is based on three stories by the contemporary Russian writer Viktor Astafyev and centers on a young soldier on the front lines who is wounded and taken to the hospital. Once there, he muses about his childhood and a tiny woman he had loved - someone who should easy have grown up to be the nurse that is attending to him now. As he recuperates, he and the nurse fall in love and he very much wants to marry her. At this point, the nurse's mother comes for a visit and advises him vs such an action because if they were to marry and he were subsequently killed or maimed in action - the fighting is still close to the hospital - the nurse would suffer much more than if he just left her alone. Actually it is up to the soldier to create a decision one method or the other.
Description: Having gone through many private struggles, Eli (Lil Terselius) returns to her native village and starts to work on the farm of Ingeborg Eriksdotter (Anita Bjork), eventually tending a plot that once belonged to her family. But Eli has been gone a long time, and the opaque villagers see her as an outsider -- she is suspicious from the start. The year is 1625, and stories of witches conjuring up evil are a part of the everyday culture. Eli unwittingly makes matters worse for herself when she is able to cure the sick with herbs, and when she starts an affair with Aslak (Bjoern Skagestad) a farmhand -- clearly she gotta have cast a spell on him. This all adds up to a witch hunt with a ready-made "witch." Eli, in the end, is officially accused of witchcraft by a devious bailiff, while Ingeborg makes each attempt to save her, and Aslak himself does not survive the stress -- hardly a nice omen for the outcome of the trial.
Description: Writer and filmmaker Assia Djebar explores Algerian history, the psychological impact of war, and post-colonial female identity in this 1979 classic of movie literature. Called for (and taking its structure from) a traditional song with five distinct movements, the movie combines documentary-style observation with loose narrative form to say the storyline of Lila, an Algerian expatriate returning to her country 15 years after independence has been won. In comparing her life with the lives and experiences of rural Algeriennes, Lila is able to place her childhood demons to rest and explore a fresh history -- one written in the ongoing strength of generations of women. Like much of Djebar's writing, the movie has a powerful subtext dealing with resistance to patriarchy and women's desire to appropriate the means of power and expression -- one of which, of course, is the filmmaker's camera.
Description: Bearing traces of the old Anton Chekhov enjoy The Wedding, The Contract is set during an "arranged" ceremony. The bride and groom barely know every other, but this matters not at all to their tradition-bound families. At the last minute, the bride balks. Only slightly nonplused, the groom's father, a status-seeking doctor, decides to go ahead with the expensive reception anyway. Polish director Krzysz Zanussi uses this scenario to stick it to capitalist corruption, and to society's destruction of the individual spirit. Leslie Caron, the one recognizable member of the cast, is outstanding as a wealthy, over-the-hill ballerina who happens to be a kleptomaniac.
Description: Director Puriša Đorđević combines the past, present, and future in this symbolic hero study of folks affected by the aftershocks of war. The anti-war sentiment of the movie is underscored as folks march for peace to a tune by Pete Seeger.
Description: Jacques Perrin was awarded Greatest Actor at the 1966 Venice Movie Festival for his gripping portrayal of a young writer's descent into madness. Alienated, neurotic, and plagued by guilt, Perrin retreats from reality, loses interest in work, and comes to the brink of suicide before being sent to an asylum for shock therapy. Escaping from the asylum, Perrin returns to his boyhood home, where he learns the reasons for his show mental state. The powerful helping cast, including Lea Padovani and Pier Paolo Capponi, bring credence to their roles, but it is De Seta's direction, Perrin's controlled performance, and a relatively subtle score by Ennio Morricone which hold this movie from becoming as overwrought as it might have become in another hands.
Description: Says the storyline of a terrible family, inhabitants of the southern province of Santa Fe, who is forced to transport into an abandoned railroad until waters recede Salado river wagon.
Description: The time is Globe Fight II. Lidiya Shaporenko plays a pregnant German woman, trapped behind Russian lines. When the girl goes into labor, three loyal Soviets deliver her to a field hospital: a newly graduated officer, an affable truck driver, and a soldier shell-shocked into muteness. The risky trip to the hospital ends up a rite of passage for all concerned. The champion of a unique gold medal at the Venice Movie Festival, Peace to Him Who Enters was originally released in the USSR in 1961 under the game Mir Vkhodyashchemu.
Description: At the end of Globe Fight II, a French pacifist is arrested for refusing to fight. In prison, he befriends a German priest arrested for murder of a French Resistance fighter. They discuss morality, obedience, and religion.
Description: The game of this highly-regarded Czech drama translates as Wolf Trap. Set in the 1920s, the storyline revolves around an ambitious young provincial politician (Miroslav Dolozai) who enters into a marriage of convenience with a smotheringly possessive -- and much older -- girl (Jirina Sejbavola). Hoping to temporarily escape his overbearing wife's clutches, the husband strikes up a friendship with her young ward (Jana Brejchova). The relationship blossoms into a deep abiding love, but the jellyfish husband can't bring himself to declare his ardor to the girl. Even after the death of the wife, the husband hasn't the intestinal fortitude to admit his passion, and the effects are bleak indeed for the unfortunate ward. Director Jiri Weiss does a masterful job staging his storyline of frustration and denial vs a backdrop of post-WWI bourgeois banality.
Description: Directed by the incredibly prolific Mario Camerini, Suor Letizia was released in English-speaking regions as When Angels Don't Fly and The Awakening. In her first movie appearance since The Rose Tattoo, Anna Magnani plays a feisty nun called Sister Letizia. Believing herself above such earthly trivialities as a maternal instinct, Sr. Letizia changes her method of thinking when an abandoned kid is placed in her care. Unofficially adopting the boy, the nice sister eventually comes to realize that even she cannot deliever the care and guidance of a biological mother. Carefully constructed to accommodate all the surefire box-office elements inherent in Camerini's earlier films, Suor Letizia was almost guaranteed to be a hit.
Description: The Russian Malwa is based on a Maxim Gorky yarn. The game character, played by Zidra Ritenbergs, is the restless wife of a provincial village fisherman. Unwilling to dedicate herself to her husband, Malwa seeks out love from each boy she meets. This effects in a romantic triangle that is at once disarmingly simplistic and intensely dramatic. Malwa was the final directorial effort of Vladimir Braun, who died in 1957. Star Zidra Ritenbergs won a "Best Actress" award at the Venice Movie Festival; co-stars Pavel Usovicenko and Anatoll Ighnaliev also earned praise for their realistic performances.
Description: Director Andre Cayatte's first movie in two years, Oeil pour Oeil (An Eye for an Eye) was adapted from a novel by Vahe Katcha. The stage is Lebanon, where doctor Curd Jurgens, worn out by a difficult day, refuses to examine the wife of Folco Lulli. When the wife subsequently dies, Lulli holds Jurgens responsible. Stalking the doctor day and night, Lulli goads Jurgens into proving that he isn't neglectful. En route to a call at a remote desert outpost, the doctor discovers that his vehicle has been sabotaged. Marooned in the middle of the desert, Jurgens meets his fate at the hands of Lulli in a stage straight out of Von Stroheim's Greed.
Description: The Russian-made Grasshopper is based on a storyline by Anton Chekhov. The characters are divided into two camps: A group of artistically inclined "butterflies," and a squad of stone-serious scientists. The movie tries to prove that the phrase "Wasted Time" is relative. The artistic types squander their waking hours with idle dreams, while the scientists sap their precious time with too much work. Lensed in color, this was a 1955 entry in the Venice Movie Festival.
Description: As directed by Aleksander Ford in 1952, this Polish-language period drama chronicles the life, times and accomplishments of revered Warsaw-born Romantic composer Frederic Chopin, here played by Czeslaw Wollejko (Danton). The detail focuses exclusively on the youth of Chopin (who died at age 39), spanning his 15th year (c. 1825) through his 21st year (c. 1831); it also depicts Chopin as both prodigiously gifted and one filled with a tremendous spirit of Polish nationalism. Ford concludes with the onset of the disease that eventually killed Ford, set vs the backdrop of the popular November Uprising in 1830.
Description: Originally titled Vozvrachenia Vassilya Bortnikov, Vassili's Return was the last directorial effort by the nice V.I. Pudovkin, who died in June of 1953. Like many of Pudovkin's soon works, the movie was diluted by interference from communist party officials; what remains, however, is well worth having, if miles removed from the brilliance of his earlier Mother, End of St. Petersburg and Storm over Asia. Based on a novel by G. Nikolayeva, the storyline centers upon a Russian called Vassili (Serge Lukynaov), who leaves his wife to do war vs the Germans in WW II. When Vassili is reported to have been killed in battle, his wife Avodtya (Natalya Medvedeva) marries other man. Per the film's title, Vassili returns, only to search his wife ostensibly out of his reach. Vassili and his former spouse eventually reunite as mates if not lovers, working side by side on a state-approved collective farm.
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