The Second Mother

Brazil 114 min. Drama Rated R

Val spends 13 years working as nanny to Fabinho in Sao Paulo. She is financially stable but has to live with the guilt of having left her daughter Jessica, in Pernambuco, in the north of Brazil, raised by relatives. As college entrance exams roll around, Jessica wants to come to Sao Paulo to take her college entrance exams too. When Jessica arrives, cohabitation is not easy. Everyone will be affected by the personality and candor of the girl and Val finds herself right in the middle of it.

“The Second Mother” is a satisfying contradiction. It’s a soap opera with a social conscience that casually mixes dramatic elements about serious class issues with a crowd-pleasing audience picture sensibility. Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

End of the Tour

USA 105 min. Drama Rated R

THE END OF THE TOUR tells the story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter (and novelist) David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel), which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace’s groundbreaking epic novel, Infinite Jest. As the days go on, a tenuous yet intense relationship seems to develop between journalist and subject. The two men bob and weave around each other, sharing laughs and also possibly revealing hidden frailties – but it’s never clear how truthful they are being with each other. Ironically, the interview was never published, and five days of audio tapes were packed away in Lipsky’s closet. The two men did not meet again.

“An illuminating meditation on art and life with Jason Segel giving the performance of his career…”    Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

We Come As Friends

France 110 min. Documentary NR

WE COME AS FRIENDS is a modern odyssey, a dizzying, science fiction-like journey into the heart of Africa. At the moment when the Sudan, the continent’s biggest country, is being divided into two nations, an old “civilizing” pathology re-emerges – that of colonialism, the clash of empires, and new episodes of bloody (and holy) wars over land and resources. The director of DARWIN’S NIGHTMARE takes us on this voyage in his tiny, self-made, tin and canvas flying machine. He leads us into most improbable locations and into people’s thoughts and dreams, in both stunning and heartbreaking ways.

“…a surreal, moving, infuriating and persuasive argument that in South Sudan, there’s nothing post about colonialism.”  Manohla Dargis, New York Times

China 1 hr. 49 min. Drama PG-13

Lu Yanshi (Chen Daoming) and Feng Wanyu (Gong Li) are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner, just as his wife is injured in an accident. Released during the last days of the Cultural Revolution, he finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife has amnesia and remembers little of her past. Unable to recognize Lu, she patiently waits for her husband’s return.

“Chen and Gong, two of China’s most respected actors, offer two great performances in a film about love, loss and perseverance that will nearly break your heart.”   Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

The Wonders

Italy 1 hr. 45 min. Drama NR

Rohrwacher’s richly textured sophomore feature centers on a family of beekeepers living in stark isolation in central Italy. The dynamic of their overcrowded household is disrupted by the simultaneous arrival of a silently troubled teenaged boy taken in as a farmhand, and a production crew recruiting local farmers to participate in a cheesy televised celebration of ancient Etruscan culture presented by the mysterious Milly Catena (Monica Bellucci). Both intrusions are of particular interest to the eldest daughter, Gelsomina, who is struggling to find her footing in the world, and Rohrwacher manages to convey her adolescent sense of wonder and confusion with characteristically graceful naturalism.

“Ms. Rohrwacher’s strengths here are the tender intimacy of the performances, particularly those of the older child actors, and her gentle meandering, both narrative and cinematographic.” Manola Dargis, New York Times

Labyrinth of Lies

Germany 2hr 4 min Rated R

In “Labyrinth of Lies” the economic miracle is changing the life of Germans in post-war Germany 20 years later. Most of them are sick of the war and prefer to push their guilt to the back of their mind. When a journalist (André Szymanski) identifies a teacher in the playground as a former guard from Auschwitz, no one wants to take notice. But a young prosecutor (Alexander Fehling) takes on the case and can’t even be stopped by his boss. During his research he realizes that some Germans claim that they never heard the expression “Auschwitz,” while others try to forget about it. As the resolute prosecutor doesn’t give up, the Attorney General Fritz Bauer (Gert Voss) retains him to take charge of the investigations. Struggling with an overload of information, the young attorney blunders into a labyrinth of guilt and lies where he almost gets lost.

“A chilly, disquieting study of a society in a state of denial until the truth is bared.” Stephen Holden, New York Times