Oftentimes in life we’re presented with turning points that put us in a position of having to make some crucial decisions, including those involving hard choices. They represent significant developments that will likely affect us for a long time to come in myriad profound ways. Yet the power of choice in these matters rests with us, essentially making us the masters of our destinies.
“Spider” (“Araña”) (2019). Cast: María Valverde, Mercedes Morán, Gabriel Urzúa, Felipe Armas, Pedro Fontaine, Marcelo Alonso, María Gracia Omegna, Mario Horton. Director: Andrés Wood. Screenplay: Guillermo Calderón. Web site. Trailer. Truth can be a powerful weapon, one that can both avenge wrongs and operate as a force of devastating destruction, sometimes simultaneously. The power associated with it can have tremendous ramifications and in a variety of contexts. And, when evidence of truth in both its aspects surfaces, the implications can be staggering. So it is for three individuals whose stories are rooted in the past and thought forgotten until they’re unexpectedly revived in the present, an intense saga depicted in the taut Chilean political thriller, “Spider” (“Araña”). In 1970, socialist [...]
“Papicha” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Lyna Khoudri, Shirine Boutella, Amira Hilda Douaouda, Yasin Houicha, Marwan Zeghbib, Zahra Doumandji, Meriem Medjkrane, Samir El Hakim, Nadia Kaci, Lina Boudraa, Khaled Benaissa, Malek Ghellamat. Director: Mounia Meddour. Screenplay: Mounia Meddour and Fadette Drouard. Web site. Trailer. Taking risks can be a scary prospect, and the bigger the risk, the greater the potential peril. However, the same is true when it comes to the prospective rewards involved. Of course, it takes considerable resolve to face such conditions, but that’s entirely possible, as showcased in the inspiring new period piece drama, “Papicha.” For those who lived through the perils of the 1990s Algerian Civil War – a time that came to be called “the [...]
“Les Misérables” (2019). Cast: Damien Bonnard, Alexis Manenti, Djebril Zonga, Issa Perica, Al-Hassan Ly, Steve Tientcheu, Almamy Kanoute, Nizar Ben Fatma, Raymond Lopez, Jeanne Balibar, Fodjé Sissoko. Director: Ladj Ly. Screenplay: Ladj Ly, Giordano Gederlini and Alexis Manenti. Book: Victor Hugo, Les Misérables. Web site. Trailer. Many of us often look upon the world and wonder why it exists in the state that it does. Some elements seem so patently unfair and incapable of being made better. What’s more, the task of rectifying them is so daunting that it appears to be an impossible undertaking, one clearly beyond our abilities. However, if we make the effort to scrutinize the underlying cause of these conditions, it might not be so difficult [...]
‟On the Basis of Sexˮ (2018). Cast: Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Sam Waterston, Kathy Bates, Cailee Spaeny, Jack Reynor, Stephen Root, Chris Mulkey, Gary Werntz, Francis Xavier McCarthy, Ben Carlson, Angela Galuppo, Callum Shoniker, Holly Gauthier-Frankel, Moira Wylie, Lily Mitchell, Violet Mitchell. Director: Mimi Leder. Screenplay: Daniel Stiepelman. Web site. Trailer. Patently unfair circumstances ultimately hurt everyone. Allowing the perpetuation of double standards harms those who are innately disadvantaged, but the damage seldom stops there; at some point, those who seemingly benefit from those arrangements can ironically be undone by them, their advantages wiped out by a fate that they likely view with incredulity as some kind of weird, unfathomable joke. Which is why everyone is better off [...]
“Tom of Finland” (2017). Cast: Pekka Strang, Seumas F. Sargent, Lauri Tikanen, Taisto Oksanen, Jessica Grabowsky, Niklas Hogner, Jakob Oftebro, Hayman Maria Buttinger, Manfred Böll, Fabian Puregger. Director: Dome Karukoski. Screenplay: Aleksi Bardy. Story/dialogue: Aleksi Bardy, Dome Karukoski, Mark Alton Brown, Noam Andrews, Kauko Röyhkä, Mia Yiönen and Susana Luoto. Web site. Trailer. Regrettably, it’s often all too easy to subvert the emergence of our true selves. Whether we doubt our ability to bring it into being, fear the ramifications involved in its expression or allow ourselves to be intimidated into submission, we may find it easier to roll over and let things slide than to act upon our genuine impulses. But where is the satisfaction in that? Can we [...]