Film Reviews

Sri Lankan filmmaker Lester James Peries dies at 99

By Pani Wijesiriwardane and Gamini Karunatileka, 23 May 2018

Peries’s best films, like the great dramas directed by India’s Satyajit Ray and Japan’s Akira Kurosawa, have left their mark on Asian and world cinema.

#MeToo at the Cannes Film Festival: All about money and power

By Stefan Steinberg, 21 May 2018

An examination of recent movies by prominent women filmmakers reveals that they share the problems of their male counterparts.

Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard: The cruelty of the motion picture business

By Joanne Laurier, 18 May 2018

The story of a struggling Hollywood screenwriter and his deadly encounter with a delusional silent film star.

Revisiting Hollywood’s Censor: Joseph I. Breen & The Production Code Administration (2007)

How the American establishment censored Hollywood during its “Golden Age”

By Charles Bogle, 17 May 2018

The bulk of Thomas Doherty’s work covers the period from 1934 to 1954, when his subject was the enforcer of the Production Code.

Machines: An unflinching look at an Indian textile mill

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 15 May 2018

Rahul Jain’s austere but effective documentary focuses on one of the hundreds of textile plants in Gujarat state on India’s west coast.

1945: The horrors of the Holocaust in Hungary

By Joanne Laurier, 11 May 2018

It soon comes to light that certain townspeople had a hand in the deportation of Jews from the Hungarian village to concentration camps and benefited in the confiscation of their property.

Christian Petzold’s Transit: The condition of refugees as hell on earth

By Stefan Sternberg, 9 May 2018

The fate of refugees is the subject of Transit, the latest film by prominent German director Christian Petzold, which featured at the 2018 Berlinale and is now on public release in Germany.

Is The Changeover just Twilight set in New Zealand?

By Tom Peters, 8 May 2018

The Changeover, highly praised in New Zealand, is a formulaic supernatural teen romance imbued with definite class prejudices.

Tully, A Quiet Place, You Were Never Really Here: Every poor film is poor in its own way

By Joanne Laurier, 7 May 2018

It’s not clear that good movies resemble one another, but recent history certainly suggests there are many different ways in which films can be weak.

Unequivocally, FOR Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs and AGAINST Avengers: Infinity War

By David Walsh, 5 May 2018

The blindness and stupidity of the identity politics-obsessed upper middle class knows no bounds. This issue comes up most recently in connection with the different critical responses generated by Isle of Dogs and Avengers: Infinity War.

2018 San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 5

The generally—and genuinely—inadequate character of global filmmaking

By David Walsh, 2 May 2018

The impact of years of stagnation and official reaction still sharply influences artistic work.

2018 San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 4

Documentary about singer M.I.A. (“Use your art to say something!”) and Paul Schrader’s First Reformed (small-town preacher struggles with life and death)

By Toby Reese, 30 April 2018

Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., a feature-length documentary about rapper-songwriter, “M.I.A.” is a breath of fresh air. First Reformed is a dismal, confused film about a middle-aged former military chaplain turned preacher.

2018 San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 3

Poverty, war and right-wing politics—and the lives of two artists

I Am Not a Witch, The Workshop, The Distant Barking of Dogs, Garry Winogrand and Louise Lecavalier

By Joanne Laurier, 27 April 2018

I Am Not a Witch in particular is an elegantly crafted tale that comments on the exploitation of Zambia’s poor by an elite that shamelessly promotes superstition and backwardness.

Final Portrait: Geoffrey Rush stars in affectionate film about Giacometti

By Richard Phillips, 24 April 2018

Stanley Tucci’s film, set in 1964, two years before Alberto Giacometti’s death, is about the artist’s portrait of James Lord, a young American writer.

2018 San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 2

How are striking miners (Bisbee ’17), a great painter (Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti), Native Americans (The Rider) and others treated by the filmmakers?

By Joanne Laurier, 20 April 2018

A further look at the recent San Francisco film festival and its variety of films. Interesting, complex subjects may still receive inadequate or uneven treatment.

2018 San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 1

Contemporary life, and those who make films about it (in Iran, the US, Russia, Switzerland, Kyrgyzstan …)

By David Walsh, 18 April 2018

The San Francisco International Film Festival, founded in 1957 and one of the longest-running such events in the Americas, this year screened some 180 films from 45 countries.

Director of The Loves of a Blonde, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus

Filmmaker Milos Forman (1932-2018), one of the leading figures of the Czech New Wave

By David Walsh, 16 April 2018

Forman was originally identified with the so-called Czech New Wave, a group of directors whose lively and honest films came to international prominence in the mid-1960s.

Restored version of Fassbinder’s working class drama Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day showing in US

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 9 April 2018

The result is surprisingly optimistic and confident, not what one might have expected from Fassbinder, known for his emotionally dark, harsh and even cynical films.

68th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 8

Brothers (1929) and Comradeship (1931): Two films dealing with the workers movement

By Bernd Reinhardt, 6 April 2018

Two feature films, part of the Berlin International Film Festival retrospective section, reflect a militant mood among workers in the late 1920s, in particular their striving for a common struggle and international solidarity.

68th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 7

A fresh look at German cinema in the Weimar Republic era (1919-1933)

By Bernd Reinhardt, 3 April 2018

The major retrospective at this year’s Berlinale, “Weimar Cinema Revisited,” presented films—along with their directors in many cases—that have been forgotten for decades.

Babylon Berlin: A lavish television series about 1920s’ Germany

By Sybille Fuchs, 2 April 2018

Babylon Berlin’s action takes place in the German capital, then the third largest municipality in the world, at the end of the so-called Golden Years of the Weimar Republic (1919-1933).

Vertigo: Sixty years since the release of Alfred Hitchcock’s disturbing classic

By Joanne Laurier, 30 March 2018

Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, Vertigo, endures as one of the most troubling American films of the postwar period.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread: Art for the artist’s sake

By David Walsh, 28 March 2018

Set in London in the 1950s, Anderson’s film concerns the relationship between a celebrated fashion designer, Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis), and a young woman, Alma (Vicky Krieps).

68th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 5

Central Airport THF: In Berlin, the end of the road for many refugees

By Verena Nees, 26 March 2018

Karim Aïnouz’s impressive documentary about the mass housing of refugees at the former Berlin Tempelhof Airport was awarded the Amnesty International Film Prize.

Shedding light on the conditions of “millions of women in the shadows of mainstream America”

Hold Me Down: A day in the life of a single mother in the Bronx

By Norisa Diaz, 24 March 2018

The 28-year-old Swedish director, Niclas Gillis, represents a new generation of artists and filmmakers responding to inequality and social misery.

Washington Post fulminates against Black Panther’s white supremacist supporters

By Nick Barrickman, 23 March 2018

Far from rejecting Black Panther’s “pro-black” message, white racists have endorsed its depiction of a feudal African monarchy whose rulers have sealed the borders.

68th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 4

Styx and Eldorado: Once again on the plight of refugees

By Stefan Steinberg, 22 March 2018

A handful of movies at the 2018 Berlinale dealt powerfully and insightfully with the European Union’s criminal policy toward refugees.

68th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 3

The Waldheim Waltz: A timely film about the World War II role of former Austrian president

By Stefan Steinberg, 20 March 2018

The events surrounding Kurt Waldheim’s campaign and subsequent election in 1985-86 played a major role in uncovering the real role played by the Austrian ruling elite in the Second World War.

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.