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Film Reviews

Cannes Review: Kirill Serebrennikov’s arthouse crowdpleaser ‘Leto’

Kirill Serebrennikov’s LETO is a tribute to music, dreams of youth and the power – and beauty of ambition. Despite a masterful and at times stunning musical sequences, an aspect rarely seen in Russian cinema, the film scores low on characterization while impressing visually with Kirill Serebrennikov’s inventive eye and fantastic production design work. The story is strangely underdeveloped and …

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Cannes Review: A.B. Shawky’s gripping and emotional debut ‘Yomeddine’

Rarely do debut features play in competition at Cannes. In fact, of the debut features that played in the festival’s most prolific sections in its 71-year history, only two have made the cut in recent years. First was SON OF SAUL and now YOMEDDINE, an emotional roller-coaster that engages, touches and grips its audience with its genuine approach. An ode …

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Cannes Review: Wanuri Kahiu’s touching if familiar lesbian romance ‘Rafiki’

Kena, short for Makena (played by Samantha Mugatsia) lives in the Slopes district of Nairobi, Kenya with her at-home mom and politician father (Jimmy Gathu). He’s running for public office in their small area with the slogan “The People’s Choice.” She’s best friends with Blacksta (Neville Misati), a motorcycle-riding tough guy with a thing for Kena. He’s always trying to …

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2018 Cannes at a Glance

The 2018 Cannes Film Festival is this week and this page will be your updated Cannes at a Glance featuring links to reviews from myself and Mina Takla, videos, podcasts, interviews, press conferences and more. You can check out pre-festival Cannes coverage here. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram for live thoughts and reactions. One of the more interesting things …

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2018 Berlin Film Festival Review: Malgorzata Szumowska’s masterful and uncompromising ‘Mug’ (‘Twarz’)

Synopsis: Story of the first Polish citizen to undergo a face transplant. Malgorzata Szumowska’s MUG is a fascinating, unflinching and dark look at Polish society today. Never exploitative, melodramatic or weepy, Szumowska delivers what is one of the best films of the Berlinale this year, a film that’s as brutal as LOVELESS in its harsh critique of Polish society and …

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