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Sister

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    Barbara (2013)

    Christian Petzold's Barbara manages to depict horror and heroism in the East Germany of the early 1980s, without resorting to hysterics or preaching. This is a remarkably subtle movie, spending most of its energy zeroing in on the clenched face of its heroine, looking for cracks. read more...
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      Barbara (2013)

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      • With: Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, Rainer Bock, Chrstina Hecke, Claudia Geisler, Peter Weiss, Carolin Haupt
      • Written by: Christian Petzold, Harun Farocki
      • Directed by: Christian Petzold
      • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sexual material, thematic elements and smoking
      • Language: German, with English subtitles
      • Running Time: 105 minutes
      • Release Date: 02/10/2012
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      A Separation (2011)

      Longtime and loyal readers know that I am a fan of Iranian cinema. I saw my first Iranian film, Gabbeh, back in 1997 and I have been seen some 50 of them since then; in a culture of repression and censorship, certain filmmakers have found amazing ways to express personal and poetic visions. I'm always happy when one of these films goes beyond a small circle of cinephiles. For example, the great director Abbas Kiarostami's latest film, Certified Copy, recently won the Best Foreign Language Film award from my group, the San Francisco Film Critic's Circle. (Although, to be fair, it was not made in Iran.) read more...
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        A Separation (2011)

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        • With: Peyman Maadi, Leila Hatami, Sareh Bayat, Shahab Hosseini, Sarina Farhadi, Merila Zare'i, Ali-Asghar Shahbazi, Babak Karimi, Kimia Hosseini, Shirin Yazdanbakhsh, Sahabanu Zolghadr
        • Written by: Asghar Farhadi
        • Directed by: Asghar Farhadi
        • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic material
        • Language: Persian, with English subtitles
        • Running Time: 123 minutes
        • Release Date: 02/14/2011
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        Silent Light (2009)

        The controversial, elusive Mexican director Carlos Reygadas (Japon, Battle in Heaven) returns with his third, and most affecting, feature film. read more...
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          Silent Light (2009)

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          • With: Cornelio Wall Fehr, Maria Pankratz, Miriam Toews, Peter Wall, Jacobo Klassen
          • Written by: Carlos Reygadas
          • Directed by: Carlos Reygadas
          • MPAA Rating: Not Rated
          • Language: Plautdietsch, or Mennonite Low German, with English subtitles
          • Running Time: 142 minutes
          • Release Date: 05/21/2007
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          Three Identical Strangers (2018)

          This documentary tells the incredible story of three triplets who were separated at birth and raised by adoptive families, and how they coincidentally found each other again. The reason for their separation provides another wrinkle in the drama, as does the ongoing nature-vs.-nurture argument; the twins undoubtedly have much in common despite never having met during the first 19 years of their lives, but, at the same time, they are very different. Director Tim Wardle does a fine job doling out the story elements, keeping little surprises for every turn, and he provides a satisfying cross-section of interviews, probing into the mystery. The brothers themselves are the center, though, expressing joy and exasperation in their interviews as if they were movie stars. read more...
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            Three Identical Strangers (2018)

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            • With: Edward Galland, David Kellman, Robert Shafran
            • Written by: n/a
            • Directed by: Tim Wardle
            • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some mature thematic material
            • Running Time: 96 minutes
            • Release Date: 06/28/2018
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            Embrace of the Serpent (2016)

            One of the 2015 nominees for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, Ciro Guerre's Embrace of the Serpent — from Colombia — never stood a chance of winning, but it's a beautiful, stirring, and thoughtful film, well worth seeing. It's set during two time periods, both of which feature the character Karamakate, a shaman in the Amazon jungle, the last of his people. In 1909, young Karamakate (Nilbio Torres) reluctantly agrees to help a sick white man, German explorer Theo (Jan Bijvoet) and his faithful guide Manduca (Miguel Dionisio Ramos), find a special flower that could heal him. Years later, an elderly, and forgetful Karamakate (Antonio Bolivar) meets another white man, an English botanist, Evans (Brionne Davis), who is also in search of the plant. Shot in black-and-white, the mesmerizing movie could easily have fallen into peaching or relied on liberal guilt, but instead it builds a complex character out of Karamakate, who is wise and righteous as well as outraged and untrusting. It's a respectful, poetic movie, and highly recommended. read more...
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            Embrace of the Serpent (2016)

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            • With: Nilbio Torres, Antonio Bolívar, Jan Bijvoet, Brionne Davis, Luigi Sciamanna, Yauenkü Migue, Nicolás Cancino
            • Written by: Jacques Toulemonde Vidal, Ciro Guerra
            • Directed by: Ciro Guerra
            • MPAA Rating: NR
            • Language: Spanish, Portuguese, German, Catalan, with English subtitles
            • Running Time: 125 minutes
            • Release Date: 03/10/2016
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