January 2015

Leviathan

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


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


Timbuktu

Mauritania 97 min  Drama  Unrated

Not far from Timbuktu, now ruled by the religious fundamentalists, Kidane lives peacefully in the dunes with his wife Satima, his daughter Toya, and Issan, their twelve-year-old shepherd. In town, the people suffer, powerless, from the regime of terror imposed by the Jihadists determined to control their faith. Music, laughter, cigarettes, even soccer have been banned. The women have become shadows but resist with dignity. Every day, the new improvised courts issue tragic and absurd sentences. Kidane and his family are being spared the chaos that prevails in Timbuktu. But their destiny changes when Kidane accidentally kills Amadou, the fisherman who slaughtered “GPS,” his beloved cow. He now has to face the new laws of the foreign occupants.

Mauritania’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards

Nominated for Academy Award - ”A Masterwork, Extraordinary” – New Yorker

Libertador

Venezuela 119 min  Drama/Bio Rated R

LIBERTADOR – THE LIBERATOR journeys through the impassioned struggle of Simón Bolívar’s (Édgar Ramírez) fight for independence in Latin America from Spain and his vision of a united South American nation. Bolívar fought over 100 battles against the Spanish Empire in South America. He rode over 70,000 miles on horseback. His military campaigns covered twice the territory of Alexander the Great.
 His army never conquered -
 it liberated. Soundtrack by Gustavo Dudamel.

Venezeula’s Official Selection for Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards