The Innocents

Poland  1hrs 40mins  Drama  NR

Warsaw, December 1945: the second World War is finally over and Mathilde is treating the last of the French survivors of the German camps. When a panicked Benedictine nun appears at the clinic one night begging Mathilde to follow her back to the convent, what she finds there is shocking: a holy sister about to give birth and several more in advanced stages of pregnancy. A non-believer, Mathilde enters the sisters’ fiercely private world, dictated by the rituals of their order and the strict Rev. Mother (Agata Kulesza, Ida). Fearing the shame of exposure, the hostility of the new anti-Catholic Communist government, and facing an unprecedented crisis of faith, the nuns increasingly turn to Mathilde as their belief and traditions clash with harsh realities.

A complex social allegory, delivered in a film of masterful restraint and great compassion. Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com

 

 

Hearing Is Believing

USA Music

“Hearing Is Believing”, the new feature documentary from award-winning Ventura producer/director Lorenzo DeStefano, introduces the world to the astonishing young musician and composer, and Oxnard resident, Rachel Flowers. Filmed primarily in Oxnard and elsewhere in Ventura County, DeStefano and his team have created a dynamic and engaging portrait of a year and a half in the life of a tight knit American family, a single mom and her two kids, living paycheck to paycheck, with Rachel’s stunning music as the soundtrack. Hearing is Believing revels in Rachel’s joyous and free-flowing love of song, illuminating the bonds of family and the divine mysteries of creativity.

Among the great musicians appearing with Rachel in the film are Grammy winners Stevie Wonder, Dweezil Zappa, Arturo Sandoval, two-time Grammy nominated jazz pianist, Taylor Eigsti, Progressive Rock icon Keith Emerson, and 50 members of the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony.

Q/A with Director, Lorenzo DeStefano and Rachel Flowers after screening.

 

 

IXCANUL

Guatemala  1hrs 31mins  Drama  NR

The brilliant debut by Guatemalan filmmaker Jayro Bustamante is a mesmerizing fusion of fact and fable, a dreamlike depiction of the daily lives of Kaqchikel speaking Mayans on a coffee plantation at the base of an active volcano. Immersing us in its characters’ customs and beliefs, Ixcanul chronicles with unblinking realism, a disappearing tradition and a disappearing people.

**** (Four stars) “A fascinating blend of modernity and ritual.” -The Guardian

Guatemala’s entry for the Academy Awards, Best Foreign Language Film

 

Hunt For the Wilderpeople

New Zealand  1hr 41mins  Comedy/Adv

Raised on hip-hop and foster care, defiant city kid Ricky gets a fresh start in the New Zealand countryside. He quickly finds himself at home with his new foster family: the loving Aunt Bella, the cantankerous Uncle Hec, and dog Tupac. When a tragedy strikes that threatens to ship Ricky to another home, both he and Hec go on the run in the bush. As a national manhunt ensues, the newly branded outlaws must face their options: go out in a blaze of glory or overcome their differences and survive as a family.

“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” is a hoot with heart.” – Tom Long, Detroit News

 

 

Our Little Sister

Japan 2hrs 8mins  Drama  Rated PG

Three sisters Sachi, Yoshino and Chika live together in a large house in the city of Kamakura. When their father absent from the family home for the last 15 years dies, they travel to the countryside for his funeral and meet their shy teenage half-sister. Bonding quickly with the orphaned Suzu, they invite her to live with them. Suzu eagerly agrees, and a new life of joyful discovery begins for the four siblings.

“It’s a movie that, by its serene final scene, changes its viewer. You leave happier, honored to have been, for two hours, part of this family.” – Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times