Film Reviews


Call Me by Your Name: Academy Award-winning film from Luca Guadagnino

By Hiram Lee, 19 March 2018

Italian director Guadagnino’s film is beautifully photographed, and the performances are generally very good. Why, then, does the whole thing feel so flat?

Wonder Wheel: Woody Allen’s latest film—and the campaign to drive him out of the film industry

By Joanne Laurier, 17 March 2018

Woody Allen’s newest film, Wonder Wheel, set in the 1950s, involves four characters whose unhappy lives become entwined in Coney Island—New York’s iconic amusement park.

68th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 2

The shattering of what’s left of the American Dream: Generation Wealth, Game Girls, Lemonade

By Stefan Steinberg, 16 March 2018

Three films at this year’s festival shed a piercing light on social relations in the United States.

68th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 1

The 2018 Berlinale and the #MeToo campaign

By Stefan Steinberg and Verena Nees, 14 March 2018

The 68th Berlin Film Festival, whose 2018 edition ended February 25, is the world’s largest film festival open to the public.

Sweet Country: Bitter truths about Aboriginal dispossession in Australia

By George Morley, 13 March 2018

Warwick Thornton’s second feature is a visually striking and powerful historical drama, which confronts audiences with some ugly truths about Australia’s colonial past.

Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya: Confessions of a media pariah

By Carlos Delgado, 12 March 2018

The film depicts the life and times of Tonya Harding, the former Olympic figure skater who became the center of a media firestorm after the assault on rival Nancy Kerrigan in 1994.

Armando Iannucci’s The Death of Stalin: A fatally ill-conceived “black comedy”

By David Walsh, 9 March 2018

Ianucci’s new film about the demise of the gravedigger of the Russian Revolution is not so much maliciously anticommunist as it is, above all, historically clueless.

90th Academy Awards: Banal, conformist and 10,000 miles from reality

By David Walsh, 6 March 2018

The 90th Academy Awards ceremony Sunday night, as one media commentator observed, “passed off without a hitch.” How unfortunate.

A conversation with Raoul Peck, director of The Young Karl Marx

By Fred Mazelis, 1 March 2018

Filmmaker Raoul Peck discusses his portrait of the young Marx and Engels.

2013 Berlin Film Festival prize winner dies in poverty

By Stefan Steinberg, 26 February 2018

Nazif Mujić, according to first accounts, has died in extreme poverty in the impoverished hamlet of Svatovac in Bosnia.

Bill Frisell: A Portrait—an intimate documentary about a unique guitarist

By Richard Phillips, 23 February 2018

Emma Franz’s film is a fascinating overview of Frisell’s creative work and his constant search for new musical challenges.

A conversation with Emma Franz, director of Bill Frisell: A Portrait

By Richard Phillips, 23 February 2018

Filmmaker and musician Emma Franz speaks about her latest documentary and the political and artistic conceptions that informed her approach.

Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: A hollow “defining moment” cloaked in identity politics

By Nick Barrickman, 22 February 2018

Hailed as a milestone in African American and film history, Black Panther is, in fact, a vacuous superhero blockbuster that does not withstand a moment of serious reflection.

Failed by the State co-writer and presenter Ish: “I wasn’t trying to push agendas, I was just trying to tell the truth about Grenfell.”

By Robert Stevens, 16 February 2018

The World Socialist Web Site interviewed Ish about the making of Failed by the State, a documentary on the Grenfell fire, and the attack launched against it by the Daily Beast and right-wing newspapers in Britain.

Louis C.K.’s I Love You, Daddy: The tragic fate of a significant American film

By Zac Corrigan, 12 February 2018

After allegations of sexual misconduct against Louis C.K. became public, the distributor pulled the film, one week before its scheduled opening in November.

Jeff Daniels’ Flint: A drama about the former industrial city

Is it “all about the money” or all about race?

By David Walsh, 2 February 2018

Jeff Daniels’ drama is currently being performed at the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea, Michigan, some 60 miles west of Detroit. The play will run until March 10.

Marshall and #MeToo: A 77-year-old civil rights fight exposes the reactionary character of the sexual misconduct witch-hunt

By Fred Mazelis, 1 February 2018

The 1941 case, in which a black man was acquitted of rape charges, poses awkward questions for those who dismiss due process in their campaign against sexual harassment, both real and alleged.

Actress Dorothy Malone (1924-2018)

By Hiram Lee, 29 January 2018

Veteran Hollywood actress Dorothy Malone, who appeared in the Douglas Sirk classic Written on the Wind, has died at the age of 93.

70 years since the release of John Huston’s The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

By Joanne Laurier, 26 January 2018

The classic film, based on the 1927 novel by German author B. Traven, is the tale of two down-and-out Americans in Mexico who join with an older prospector to dig for gold.

B. Traven, the author of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

By David Walsh, 26 January 2018

The author of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre was the left-wing writer known as B. Traven. Considerable mystery surrounds Traven, some of it sustained by the writer himself during his lifetime.

The 2018 Academy Award Nominations: A few worthy films, and others to fill quotas

By Hiram Lee, 24 January 2018

Guillermo del Toro’s film The Shape of Water led with thirteen nominations. Christopher Nolan’s World War II drama Dunkirk received eight nominations, while Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri received seven.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: A vengeful mother stands up to the local “patriarchy”

By Kevin Martinez, 18 January 2018

Morbid and banal, the story concerns a mother battling local authorities to find the killer of her daughter. Unsurprisingly, it has won considerable acclaim from the arts establishment, including the recent Golden Globes.

Steven Spielberg’s The Post: To reveal government secrets and lies or not?

By Joanne Laurier, 17 January 2018

The new film recounts the internal struggle at the Washington Post over whether or not to publish the Pentagon Papers in 1971.

And the Golden Globe award goes to … Witch hunting!

By Trévon Austin and David Walsh, 9 January 2018

This year’s Golden Globes award ceremony, organized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, was a spectacle of self-absorption and self-pity.

All the Money in the World—above all, the “expunging” of Kevin Spacey—and The Shape of Water

By Joanne Laurier, 5 January 2018

Probably the most important thing about Ridley Scott’s new film, an account of the 1973 kidnapping of J. Paul Getty III, is the decision to erase Spacey’s performance. The Shape of Water is a charming “fairy tale,” with anti-authoritarian overtones.

Director of A World Not Ours, A Man Returned and A Drowning Man

An interview with Palestinian filmmaker Mahdi Fleifel: “A film is like a historical document, it should be solid enough to endure”

By David Walsh, 4 January 2018

Fleifel’s A World Not Ours (2012), Xenos (2014), A Man Returned (2016) and A Drowning Man (2017) are some of the important films currently being made.

Short films considered for Academy Award nominations: Emmett Till, a Jack London story and an isolated child

By Joanne Laurier, 3 January 2018

Ten films have been voted onto the Academy Award short list in the “Best Short Film (Live Action)” category.

Best films of 2017, and other matters

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 30 December 2017

It is impossible to discuss the best films of the year without considering some big social and cultural issues.

Remarkable collection of early Soviet films on DVD: The New Man—Awakening and Everyday Life in Revolutionary Russia

By Bernd Reinhardt, 29 December 2017

A notable collection of early Soviet films has been released on DVD in Germany to coincide with the centenary of the October Revolution.

Downsizing: Alexander Payne’s take on climate change, overpopulation, social inequality … and more

By Joanne Laurier, 23 December 2017

Payne’s latest work is a science-fiction satire that proposes to solve the earth’s ecological and other problems by “downsizing,” or physically shrinking, human beings.

Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird and Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck: “Small” films at a time of big crisis

By Carlos Delgado, 21 December 2017

The two films are sometimes charming, occasionally amusing and generally benign. But something is missing.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi—The further business of the Disney franchise

By Matthew MacEgan, 19 December 2017

The third Star Wars film released by Disney does little to break with the prescribed formula. Bombast and some surprises fail to carry good talent to meaningful places.

Mudbound and life in post-World War II Mississippi: Dreaming “in brown”

… and a word on James Franco’s The Disaster Artist

By Joanne Laurier, 15 December 2017

Dee Rees’s Mudbound centers on two families, one black and one white, in rural Mississippi, immediately following World War II.The Disaster Artist is a decidedly slight effort.

Film Review

“Grenfell changed everything”—Failed by the State: The Struggle in the Shadow of Grenfell

By Paul Bond, 14 December 2017

A new three-part documentary shows how the Grenfell Tower inferno exposed the realities of class oppression and social inequality in the most brutal way.

The Man Who Invented Christmas: Charles Dickens and the writing of A Christmas Carol

By Joanne Laurier, 8 December 2017

Directed by Bharat Nalluri, the film is a biographical fantasy that brings a reinvention of A Christmas Carol (1843), with Dickens as a central character, to the screen.

Roman J. Israel, Esq.: Rebel with a cause

By Joanne Laurier, 2 December 2017

Dan Gilroy’s Roman J. Israel, Esq. is a legal drama with an anti-establishment slant.

James Cameron’s 1997 film showing in the US for one week

What the WSWS said about Titanic 20 years ago

Why are the critics lauding Titanic?

By David Walsh, 29 November 2017

To mark 20 years since its release in December 1997, James Cameron’s Titanic is being shown in 87 theaters in the US for a week, starting December 1. We are marking the occasion by re-posting two comments on Titanic that appeared on the WSWS in January and February 1998.

What the WSWS said about Titanic 20 years ago

Titanic as a social phenomenon

By David Walsh, 29 November 2017

Originally posted February 25, 1998

LBJ and Marshall: Film biographies deal with mid-20th century US struggle for racial equality

By Fred Mazelis, 25 November 2017

In seeking to bolster illusions in the Democratic Party and the myth of an unsullied American democracy, both of these films obscure more than they reveal.

75 years since the release of Hollywood classic Casablanca

“And what if you track down these men and kill them? ... Even Nazis can’t kill that fast”

By Joanne Laurier, 22 November 2017

Michael Curtiz’s 1942 beloved melodrama, Casablanca, celebrating its 75th anniversary, was recently shown in select cinemas nationwide in the US.

Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049: A dreary future

By Carlos Delgado, 20 November 2017

The film, a sequel to the 1982 original, stars Ryan Gosling as a police officer who hunts down “synthetic humans” in futuristic Los Angeles.

An artist’s eye view of the Russian Revolution

1917: The Real October—An animated documentary by Katrin Rothe

By Sybille Fuchs, 17 November 2017

The two-time Grimme Award-winner Kathrin Rothe portrays the events of February to October 1917 in Russia from the viewpoint of a number of artists.

Cottbus Festival of Eastern European Cinema

From Slovenia, Jan Cvitkovič’s The Basics of Killing: “We are all alone in capitalist society, especially when things go wrong”

By Stefan Steinberg, 16 November 2017

The “basics of killing” are the social measures and pressures that can destroy the lives of entire families in a short time.

Ai Weiwei’s Human Flow is a major work, but what does the defense of immigrants entail?

By Eric London, 15 November 2017

The film is an aesthetic and political milestone and Ai’s imagery is unforgettable because it is real. But in its political orientation, Human Flow lags far behind.

Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying: The great pressure on artists to pull their punches

By David Walsh, 14 November 2017

The new film, which involves two Vietnam War veterans who help a third bury his son, killed in Iraq, is set in December 2003. It is an indirect sequel of The Last Detail (1973).

The Last Hour (La Hora Final) and Peru’s ongoing glorification of its military and intelligence forces

By Armando Cruz, 13 November 2017

A superficial and cliché-ridden work, the film’s most fatal weakness is its complete lack of seriousness in dealing with the historical and social forces that gave rise to Shining Path.

Thank You for Your Service: How many victims are there of America’s ongoing wars?

By Joanne Laurier, 9 November 2017

Jason Hall’s directorial debut, Thank You for Your Service, is a drama about three soldiers returning from the Iraq War and their difficulties adjusting to civilian life.

George Clooney’s Suburbicon: A misanthropic take on 1950s’ America

By David Walsh, 7 November 2017

A would-be “black comedy,” directed and co-written by George Clooney, Suburbicon is set in 1959 in a bland suburban community.

Sean Baker’s The Florida Project: “The joy and heart and humor of being a child”

By Joanne Laurier, 2 November 2017

The Florida Project focuses imaginatively and sympathetically on the “hidden homeless” who eke out a bare-bones existence in the shadow of Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Flint: How much of the social crime does the film present?

Lifetime movie on the water disaster will air October 28

By Joanne Laurier, 27 October 2017

The film, directed by Bruce Beresford, was inspired by the ongoing Flint water crisis and bases itself more immediately on a February 2016 Time magazine report, “The Poisoning of an American City.”

The genuine achievement of Loving Vincent, and its limitations

By Joanne Laurier, 19 October 2017

The Polish-UK production is a tribute to the great artist and an attempt to bring his life and work to a wide international audience.

An interview with a Loving Vincent painter-animator

By Joanne Laurier, 19 October 2017

Natalie Gregorarz, a 27 year-old artist from the Detroit area, was one of the artists involved in the making of Loving Vincent.

Star Trek: Discovery—The latest incarnation of the popular science fiction series

By Tom Hall, 18 October 2017

The seventh show in the long-running science fiction franchise is a grim and militaristic special-effects extravaganza that largely repudiates the optimistic view of the future of earlier Star Trek television shows.

Toronto International Film Festival: Part 5

African American playwright Lorraine Hansberry, a revolution betrayed in Portugal and other matters

By Joanne Laurier, 4 October 2017

The Hansberry documentary presents a straightforward and enlightening picture of a woman who was smart, sensitive and rebellious, tragically dying of pancreatic cancer at the age of 34.

Toronto International Film Festival: Part 4

The Death of Stalin, The Other Side of Everything, Insyriated—The filmmakers’ inability to deal with complex questions, or worse

By David Walsh, 30 September 2017

Several films on political and historical questions underscore ongoing intellectual and artistic difficulties.

Toronto International Film Festival: Part 3

The Current War—about Edison, electricity and the 1880s—and Alexander Payne’s Downsizing—about “downsizing”

By Joanne Laurier, 28 September 2017

The Current War deals with the conflict between Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla. Downsizing is a semi-comic attempt to treat the earth’s ecological crisis.

Darren Aronofsky’s mother!: Entirely misconceived

By Kevin Martinez, 27 September 2017

Dehumanizing and brutal, Aronofsky’s new film fails on nearly every conceivable level.

Toronto International Film Festival 2017: Part 2

Directions, Disappearance, A Drowning Man: Realistic about harsh conditions

By David Walsh, 26 September 2017

Certain films at the recent Toronto film festival depict reality in important ways.

Toronto International Film Festival 2017

An interview with Stephan Komandarev, director of Directions: “The first step is to have a clear picture of what’s happening. I don’t see any other way.”

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 26 September 2017

We spoke with Bulgarian filmmaker Stephan Komandarev, the writer-director of Directions, in Toronto.

Toronto International Film Festival 2017: Part 1

Trouble in paradise: A comment on the economics and politics of the Toronto International Film Festival

By David Walsh, 22 September 2017

This year’s event screened 255 feature films, a 14 percent decline from a year ago, when the festival presented 296 features, and the lowest number of full-length films in a decade.

The Last Tycoon: Hollywood in the 1930s

By David Walsh, 13 September 2017

The Last Tycoon is an American television series about Hollywood and the film industry in the 1930s. The first and last season of the series, which emanates from Amazon Studios, comprises nine episodes.

Sean Penn’s The Last Face and Hollywood’s “August Death March”

By David Walsh, 31 August 2017

The Last Face, about relief workers in Africa, met with a savage critical response at the Cannes film festival. Meanwhile, the American film industry is deservedly suffering through one of its worst summers in decades.

Ingrid Goes West and Wind River: Hardly scratching the surface

By Joanne Laurier, 30 August 2017

Two current films, Ingrid Goes West, a cautionary tale about social media, and Wind River, a murder investigation near a Native American reservation, skirt around significant issues.

Logan Lucky: Steven Soderbergh returns from retirement

By David Walsh, 26 August 2017

The new film is set in West Virginia and North Carolina and involves the robbery of the Charlotte Motor Speedway during a major race.

Early Women Filmmakers: An International Anthology—A largely untold story

By Charles Bogle, 17 August 2017

This collection samples the work of 14 early women directors (1902-1943). International in scope, the anthology brings to light the important contributions that these directors made to the development of film as an art form.

Rescue Under Fire (Zona hostil): Propaganda in the service of Spanish militarism

By Alejandro López, 14 August 2017

The glorification of the military is a response to the growing inter-imperialist tensions and the drive to war, which have been intensified by the installation of an aggressively nationalist and protectionist administration in the US.

Barbet Schroeder’s Amnesia: The trauma of German history

By Joanne Laurier, 7 August 2017

Set in the early 1990s, Amnesia is an exploration of German historical memory and the impact of the legacy of Nazism on sections of the middle class after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Atomic Blonde: The last days of the Cold War

By Kevin Martinez, 5 August 2017

In 1989, before the fall of the Berlin Wall, MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton is sent to retrieve a secret list hidden in a wristwatch that has the names of every active agent in the Soviet Union.

The Handmaid’s Tale: Resistance is not futile

By Ed Hightower, 1 August 2017

In a number of ways, Hulu’s serialization of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel challenges the viewer to oppose the status quo.

Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit: Mind-numbing violence and racial politics

By Joanne Laurier, 28 July 2017

Bigelow’s film is a fictionalized account of an incident that occurred during the July 1967 rebellion in Detroit, the cold-blooded murder of three young black men by police at the Algiers Motel.

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City—Documentary on the life and times of urban activist Jane Jacobs

By Clare Hurley, 27 July 2017

The subject of Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary is journalist and activist Jane Jacobs, perhaps best known for her crusades against several large-scale infrastructure projects in New York City in the 1960s.

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk: The outbreak of World War II without history or politics

By David Walsh, 26 July 2017

British director Nolan’s new film is about the famed evacuation of large numbers of British and French troops from northern France in May-June 1940.

Lady Macbeth—a bored, unhappy young wife “ready to go through fire”—and Mali Blues

By Joanne Laurier, 17 July 2017

Lady Macbeth is an adaptation of the well-known novella by Russian writer Nikolai Leskov, transposed to northeast England. Mali Blues offers a glimpse of that country’s remarkable musical scene.

Netflix series on Elizabeth II

The Crown: Sentenced to be queen

By David Walsh, 13 July 2017

The Crown is a biographical drama series, created and written by Peter Morgan (The Queen, The Damned United), about the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The first season covers the years 1947 to 1955.

Beatriz at Dinner: Not the sort of resistance that amounts to much

By Joanne Laurier, 12 July 2017

Directed by Miguel Arteta (Cedar Rapids) and featuring Salma Hayek and John Lithgow, the new film promotes a New Age-type opposition to a Trump-like figure.

Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled: Historical drama with hardly any history

By Joanne Laurier, 7 July 2017

Along the way, the film demonstrates once again how contemporary gender and racial politics tyrannizes over much of current cultural life.

The Jazz Loft According to W. Eugene Smith: A film about music, photography and the postwar world

By David Walsh, 27 June 2017

Between 1957 and 1965 or so, American photographer Eugene Smith took some 40,000 photos and recorded nearly 4,000 hours of audio tape, many dedicated to jazz and jazz musicians, in a New York City loft.

Megan Leavey: Oblivious to Iraqi suffering

By Joanne Laurier, 23 June 2017

Set during the Iraq war in 2006, Megan Leavey deals with the relationship of a female Marine corporal and her military dog companion. It is an unvarnished pro-war film.

My Cousin Rachel: Was she innocent or guilty—and what would it signify?

By David Walsh, 17 June 2017

Roger Michell’s film, based on the 1951 novel by Daphne du Maurier set in the 19th century, follows a callow young man who falls for his sophisticated, perhaps calculating older “cousin.”

Wonder Woman: Humanity is pretty rotten, but the Germans are the worst of the lot

By David Walsh, 13 June 2017

The story involves an Amazonian princess/demigoddess who makes her way, in the company of an American Allied spy, from her island paradise to Europe toward the end of the First World War.

Three intriguing new films that should not disappear unnoticed: Sami Blood, Past Life and Radio Dreams

By David Walsh, 10 June 2017

Most of the films in movie theaters in the US at the moment are poor, or worse. As a result, the public is increasingly turning away. But there are exceptions.

Silence in the Courts—a film about judicial corruption in Sri Lanka

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 3 June 2017

Prasanna Vithanage’s documentary deals with the sexual assault of two village women by a magistrate and the subsequent cover-up.

Barry Levinson’s The Wizard of Lies on HBO: The tame, New York Times’ version of the Madoff scandal

By David Walsh, 1 June 2017

The HBO film is an account of the downfall of Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff, whose multi-billion-dollar stock and securities fraud unraveled in December 2008.

Conversations with Joseph Goebbels’s secretary

A German Life: A glimpse into the Nazi inner circle

By Bernd Reinhardt and Verena Nees, 27 May 2017

The Austrian-made documentary centres on Brunhilde Pomsel (1911-2017), who worked as a secretary in the office of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels from 1942 to 1945.

ABC’s Designated Survivor: The US government in crisis, onscreen and off

By Carlos Delgado, 20 May 2017

The series stars Kiefer Sutherland as Tom Kirkman, a low-level cabinet member who ascends to the presidency after a devastating attack on the US government.

Risk: Laura Poitras’ confused, superficial documentary about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 11 May 2017

The film broaches a dozen subjects and avoids treating any of them in depth, and often fails to take a clear position of any kind.

13 Reasons Why: The unhappiness of youth

By Genevieve Leigh, 10 May 2017

The new Netflix series treats the background to the decision by Hannah Baker, a high school student in a more or less average American suburb, to kill herself…and its consequences.

San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 4

Dziga Vertov’s The Man with a Movie Camera: One of the films you must see!

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 6 May 2017

A highlight of the recent San Francisco film festival was the screening of Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov’s masterpiece, The Man with a Movie Camera (1929), at the historic Castro Theatre.

National Bird, about drone warfare, currently available on PBS “Independent Lens”

By Joanne Laurier, 5 May 2017

Sonia Kennebeck’s disturbing documentary, National Bird, can be viewed until May 16 on PBS’s “Independent Lens” web site.

San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 1

By David Walsh, 26 April 2017

The 2017 San Francisco International Film Festival screened some 180 films from 50 countries or so. This is the first of several articles.

Edward Yang’s Taipei Story (1985) depicts a city of sadness and alienation

By Fred Mazelis, 18 April 2017

One of the early films of major Taiwanese director Edward Yang was recently screened in the US for the first time.

The Coming War on China: A pacifist appeal

By Richard Phillips, 14 April 2017

Pilger’s documentary exposes something of Washington’s escalating war plans against China but suggests that protests can prevent a nuclear conflagration.

“Nothing is entirely serious”—least of all Pablo Larraín’s Neruda

By Emanuele Saccarelli, 12 April 2017

Pablo Larraín’s Neruda is a highly unconventional and dissatisfying biopic of the Chilean poet.

San Diego Latino Film Festival—Part 3

On the assassination of Leon Trotsky, Latin American death squads and pictures of immigration

By Toby Reese, Kevin Martinez and Andrea Ramos, 10 April 2017

El Elegido (The Chosen) dramatizes the role of Ramon Mercader in the assassination of Leon Trotsky in 1940. El Amparo recounts the 1988 massacre of innocent fishermen in Venezuela. Lupe Bajo el Sol and X500 look at immigration and immigrants.

San Diego Latino Film Festival—Part 2

Conditions in Latin America, treated concretely…and more abstractly

By Kevin Martinez and Toby Reese, 6 April 2017

Films from Ecuador, Mexico, Colombia and the Dominican Republic were shown at the festival, including a tense political drama, a dialogue-free drama and two documentaries.

The Zookeeper’s Wife: Life and heroism in wartime Warsaw

By Joanne Laurier, 5 April 2017

The Zookeeper’s Wife recounts the true story of the rescue of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto during the Nazi invasion of Poland that began in 1939.

Lyrical and left-wing film

Nicholas Ray’s They Live by Night (1948): “They’re thieves, just like us”

By Joanne Laurier, 29 March 2017

A viewing of Nicholas Ray’s iconic 1948 film They Live by Night is a refreshing antidote to the current trivia, social indifference and identity politics.

Get Out: The horror of racism, and racialist politics

By Hiram Lee, 28 March 2017

With Get Out, Jordan Peele has said he wanted to make a film to “combat the lie that America had become post-racial.” The monster at the heart of this horror film is racism itself.

Bitter Harvest: Ukrainian nationalist fantasy as film

By Jason Melanovski, 18 March 2017

Russophobia and historical misrepresentation abound in George Mendeluk’s pseudo-historical drama.

Revolution: New Art for a New World—A careless, unserious treatment of Russian Revolutionary art

By Joanne Laurier and David Walsh, 17 March 2017

British filmmaker Margy Kinmonth is out of her depth in her documentary about Russian avant-garde art.