"The Task" will inevitably divide audiences. As it stands, it’s near the top of my ranking of this year’s True/False lineup, but many people walked out of the screening I attended, and I heard a lot of muttering on the way out afterward among those who stayed. This division is appropriate for a film designed to provoke both its subjects and its audience.
To watch these monks in their life is to exclaim with the poet W.H. Auden: “How beautiful it is,/that eye-on-the-object look.” These men, with their focused vision, radiate that beauty.
"Black Panther" engages in a kind of unabashed truth-telling that is less about being prophetic or preachy than it is about being honest. Through Ryan Coogler’s deft directing and writing, the story makes a brilliant move to set the film’s primary conflict within Wakanda itself. The film comments on racism, representation, and black power by its mere existence, and refuses to apologize.
"Una Mujer Fantástica" interweaves human grief and sexuality in ways I haven’t seen on screen, while managing to dynamically portray the strength and bravery of the trans community.
Often a documentary can be used to create awareness and focus the conversation in the midst of what seems like a tide of status−quo maintaining market forces. "The Devil We Know" seeks to take on one of these large issues, and the task is quite daunting indeed.
"A Boy, A Girl, A Dream" is so much more than a single shot. It is a portrait of hope, despair, and of hard-won love all set against the backdrop of election night 2016.
Director Marina Zenovich looks to use the traditional biopic format to do two things: on the one hand shed some light on the tragedy and reveal a little bit more of who Robin Williams really was, and on the other, to celebrate the life and work of such an amazing performer.
Through spoken word, beatboxing, dance, and imaginative indie set design that would make David Lynch jealous, the film provides a complex glimpse of a young black woman, her interests, and her opinions.
In "Human Affairs," a New York power couple – playwright Sidney and his fiancée/lead actress Lucinda – want to have a child. With other options exhausted, they turn to a surrogate to help them become the parents they dream of being.
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According to Director RaMell Ross, images are always in dialogue with previous images, and by displaying what is essentially a montage of lived experience, day to day moments, often mundane but nearly always poetic, he seeks to re−represent the black experience in America.