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Year: 2023

‘Let It Be Morning’ advises escape from our self-made prisons

‘Let It Be Morning’ advises escape from our self-made prisons

“Let It Be Morning” (“Vayehi Boker”) (2021 production, 2023 release). Cast: Alex Bakri, Juna Suleiman, Maruan Hamdau, Samer Bisharat, Yara Elhan Jarrar, Arin Saba, Doraid Liddawi, Salim Daw, Izabel Ramadan, Ehab Elias Salami, Nadib Spadi, Costa Kaplan. Director: Eran Kolirin. Screenplay: Eran Kolirin. Book: Sayed Kashua, Let It Be Morning (2004). Web site. Trailer. No one likes feeling trapped by his or her circumstances (at least not overtly), but sometimes we find ourselves unwittingly confined by the walls that physically and/or metaphorically surround us. These “cages” or “prisons” keep us locked in place, preventing us from moving forward in our lives. And no matter how much we may want to see our way clear, sometimes we’re unable to figure out how to proceed. What’s most distressing, though, is that, while we’re stuck, we often can’t help but grow progressively anguished and frustrated by the lack of progress, conditions explored on a variety of levels in the wry Israeli comedy-drama, “Let It Be Morning” (“Vayehi Boker”). Present-day Israel is a nation made up of a patchwork of complex constituencies, much more so than is generally widely known or openly discussed in the media. However, the complicated interplay among these various communities ...
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Taking Flight on The Cinema Scribe

Taking Flight on The Cinema Scribe

Tune in for the latest Cinema Scribe segment on Bring Me 2 Life Radio, beginning Tuesday March 28, available by clicking here. You can also catch it later on demand on Spreaker, Spotify, Apple, iHeartRadio, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Deezer, Podchaser and Jiosaavn ...
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‘The Blue Caftan’ celebrates love in all its colors

‘The Blue Caftan’ celebrates love in all its colors

“The Blue Caftan” (“Le bleu du caftan”) (2022). Cast: Lubna Azabal, Saleh Bakri, Ayoub Missioui, Abdelhamid Zoughi, Zakaria Atifi. Director: Maryam Touzani. Screenplay: Maryam Touzani and Nabil Ayouch. Web site. Trailer. Love is such a precious gift, one that often seems elusive to those looking for it. But it’s out there if we know where to search for it, and, ironically, that usually begins inside each of us. Unfortunately, when it emerges, we frequently don’t recognize it for what it is, or we unduly place obstacles in our own way that keep us from embracing it. This can lead to longing, anxiety and dissatisfaction, conditions that can linger for prolonged periods. But, these considerations aside, love is nevertheless a powerful force that will find us, provided we leave ourselves open to it, even under the most trying of circumstances. Such are the dynamics at work in the moving new Moroccan romantic drama, “The Blue Caftan” (“Le bleu du caftan”). As the owners of a tailoring shop specializing in custom-made classic Moroccan caftans, Halim (Saleh Bakri) and his wife, Mina (Lubna Azabal), have made quite a name for their handiwork. The elegance and beauty of their lovingly crafted outfits speak volumes, ...
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Wrapping Up the 2023 CEUFF Film Festival

Wrapping Up the 2023 CEUFF Film Festival

If it’s March, it wouldn’t be complete without the Gene Siskel Film Center Chicago European Union Film Festival. After several years of adjustment, abbreviation and cancellation due to COVID-19 concerns, the festival finally returned to normal form this year for its 26th annual edition. I managed to screen 10 of the event’s 24 offerings, which are summarized below. Check out what’s new in cinema across the pond! “Exodus” (Sweden) (4.5/5); Imdb.com (9/10) Web site Trailer The refugee crisis (especially those escaping from Syria) is an issue that is finally getting its due cinematically, first with the Netflix fact-based offering “The Swimmers” (2022) and now with this impressive debut feature from writer-director Abbe Hassan. The film follows the odyssey of a young Syrian girl (Jwan Alqatami), travelling alone, who flees to Turkey from her homeland on her way to Sweden for a reunion with her sisters and parents. But, upon exiting the crowded shipping container that transported her on the first leg of her journey, she’s met with a raid by Turkish immigration authorities, barely escaping in the unexpected company of one of the exploitive smugglers who organized her flight to freedom (Ashrof Barhom). Thus begins a trek through Europe as ...
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‘The Quiet Girl’ explores reversing neglect

‘The Quiet Girl’ explores reversing neglect

“The Quiet Girl” (“An Cailín Ciún”) (2022). Cast: Catherine Clinch, Carrie Crowley, Andrew Bennett, Michael Patric, Kate Nia Chonaonigh, Joan Sheehy. Director: Colm Bairéad. Screenplay: Colm Bairéad. Book: Claire Keegan, Foster (2010). Web site. Trailer. Everything in life requires attention. And, the more precious, special or complex something – or someone – is, the more crucial the provision of that kind of regular care and consideration becomes. But, regardless of how much attention is supplied in any of these cases, the one thing that absolutely cannot be tolerated is neglect, particularly when applied willfully or when it involves anything or anyone of a vulnerable nature. Such disregard is capable of being overcome, though, as seen in the touching new Irish domestic drama, “The Quiet Girl” (“An Cailín Ciún”). Life can be lonely in a rural setting, especially for children and particularly for those who don’t exactly live up to what others expect of them. Such is the case with Cáit (Catherine Clinch), a young girl of few words who lives with her family in the Irish countryside. Her parents, Mam (Kate Nia Chonaonigh) and Da (Michael Patric), don’t seem to understand her, but, then, they also don’t make much of ...
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This Week in Movies with Meaning

This Week in Movies with Meaning

Reviews of “All That Breathes” and “Chrissy Judy,” as well as a trifecta of Oscar coverage, are all in the latest Movies with Meaning post on the web site of The Good Media Network, available by clicking here ...
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