USA 114min Documentary Rated R
In January 2013, Poitras (recipient of the 2012 MacArthur Genius Fellowship and co-recipient of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service) was several years into making a film about surveillance in the post-9/11 era when she started receiving encrypted e-mails from someone identifying himself as “citizen four,” who was ready to blow the whistle on the massive covert surveillance programs run by the NSA and other intelligence agencies. In June 2013, she and Greenwald flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The film that resulted from this series of tense encounters is absolutely sui generis in the history of cinema: a 100% real-life thriller unfolding minute by minute before our eyes.
Academy Award Nominee “A fascinating film that’s also a crucial social document.” – NY Daily News
Two Days, One Night
Belgium 95min Drama Unrated
For the first time, Belgian directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne team up with a major international star, Marion Cotillard, to create a universal story about working-class people living on the edges of society. Sandra (Cotillard) has just returned to work after recovering from a serious bout with depression. Realizing that the company can operate with one fewer employee, management tells Sandra she is to be let go. After learning that her co-workers will vote to decide her fate on Monday morning, Sandra races against time over the course of the weekend, often with the help of her husband, to convince each of her fellow employees to sacrifice their much-needed bonuses so she can keep her job. With each encounter, Sandra is brought into a different world with unexpected results in this powerful statement on community solidarity.
“Ms. Cotillard’s performance is as fine a piece of screen acting as you will ever see.” AO Scott, NYT
Russia 2hr 20min Drama Rated R
The latest drama from Andrey Zvyagintsev, the acclaimed director of The Return (Venice Film Festival Golden Lion winner and Golden Globe nominee). Kolya (AlexeÏ Serebriakov) lives in a small fishing town near the stunning Barents Sea in Northern Russia. He owns an auto-repair shop that stands right next to the house where he lives with his young wife Lilya (Elena Liadova) and his son Roma (SergueÏ Pokhodaev) from a previous marriage. The town’s corrupt mayor Vadim Shelevyat (Roman Madianov) is determined to take away his business, his house, as well as his land. First the Mayor tries buying off Kolya, but Kolya unflinchingly fights as hard as he can so as not to lose everything he owns including the beauty that has surrounded him from the day he was born. Facing resistance, the mayor starts being more aggressive…..
“Impeccably Made.” Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
Last Days In Vietnam
USA 98min Documentary Rated NR
In April of 1975, the North Vietnamese Army was closing in on Saigon as South Vietnamese resistance was crumbling. Approximately 5,000 Americans remained with roughly 24 hours to get out. Their South Vietnamese allies, co-workers, and friends faced certain imprisonment and possible death if they remained behind, yet there was no official evacuation plan in place. Still, over the last days in Vietnam, with the clock ticking and the city under fire, 135,000 South Vietnamese managed to escape with help from a number of heroic Americans who took matters into their own hands, engaging in unsanctioned and often makeshift operations in a desperate effort to save as many people as possible.
Academy Award Nominee “Masterpiece” The New Yorker
Gett: The Trial of Viviane Ansalem
ISRAEL 1hr 55min Drama Rated NR
An Israeli woman (Ronit Elkabetz) seeking to finalize her divorce from her cruel and manipulative husband finds herself effectively put on trial by her country’s religiously-based marriage laws, in this riveting drama from sibling directors Shlomi and Ronit Elkabetz (Late Marriage and The Band’s Visit) who is also one of Israeli cinema’s most acclaimed actresses. In Israel there is neither civil marriage nor civil divorce; only rabbis can legalize a marriage or its dissolution, which is only possible with the husband’s full consent. Viviane Amsalem has been applying for a divorce for three years but her husband Elisha (Simon Ebkarian of Casino Royale and Persepolis), will not agree. His cold intransigence, Viviane’s determination to fight for her freedom, and the ambiguous role of the judges shape a procedure in which tragedy vies with absurdity, and where everything is brought out for judgment, apart from the initial request
“Gripping cinema from start to finish, almost implausibly so.” Manohla Dargis, New York Times