“No one sees anything. Ever. They watch, but they don’t understand.” So observes Connie Nielsen in Olivier Assayas’s hallucinatory, globe-spanning Demonlover, a postmodern neonoir thriller and media critique in which nothing—not even the film itself—is what it appears to be. Nielsen plays Diane de Monx, a Volf Corporation executive turned spy for rival Mangatronics in the companies’ battle over the lucrative market of Internet adult animation. But Diane may not be the only player at Volf with a hidden agenda: both romantic interest Hervé (Charles Berling) and office enemy Elise (Chloë Sevigny) seem to know her secret and can easily use it against her for their own purposes. As the stakes grow higher and Diane ventures into deadlier territory, Assayas explores the connections between multinational businesses and extreme underground media as well as the many ways 21st-century reality increasingly resembles violent, disorienting fiction.
Wojnarowicz: F**k You F*ggot F**ker is a fiery and urgent documentary portrait of downtown New York City artist, writer, photographer, and activist David Wojnarowicz. As New York City became the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, Wojnarowicz weaponized his work and waged war against the establishment’s indifference to the plague until his death from it in 1992 at the age of 37. Exclusive access to his breathtaking body of work – including paintings, journals, and films – reveals how Wojnarowicz emptied his life into his art and activism. Rediscovered answering machine tape recordings and intimate recollections from Fran Lebowitz, Gracie Mansion, Peter Hujar, and other friends and family help present a stirring portrait of this fiercely political, unapologetically queer artist.
8. FOOD CLUB
Marie recently found herself abandoned on Christmas Eve by her husband and has been falling apart ever since. Berling has been the eternal “bacherlorette” who outwardly denies her age and lives the sweet life, all seems perfect until we find out about her complicated relationship with her daughter. Vanja is still living in the past and has never been able to move on from her late husband. The three life long girlfriends decides to travel to Italy together to attend a cooking course in Puglia and here they each find the opportunity to redefine themselves and acknowledge that the most important thing in life is their friendship and that it’s never too late to live a more fulfilling life.
7. THE GOOD TRAITOR
April 9, 1940: Denmark is invaded by Nazi Germany with demands for immediate and unconditional surrender. The government surrenders after a few hours and begins cooperating with the Nazis. On the other side of the Atlantic is Denmark’s ambassador to the United States of America, a daredevil and a man of the world – Henrik Kauffmann, who is willing to put everything on the line. He refuses to follow the German directives and engineers a rebellious plan to defeat Hitler and give the Danish people their freedom back.
6. THE MARIJUANA CONSPIRACY
Based on a true story, this entertaining and informative film took place in 1972. It’s about an outlandish study on the effects of marijuana on young women. This film centers around five young women who shared a common goal: to make some money and have a fresh start in life.
It began as fun, like Hippiie camp, and many of the young women thrived and at their given tasks despite their “toke times”. The scientists, frustrated and surprised with the women’s motivation, decided to give them ever-increasing THC levels. This didn’t stop most of the women’s productivity until many become zombified by the excessive doses.
The girls used their unique strengths, resilience and friendship in order to overcome this extreme adversity. To this day, the women still do not know the results. They deserve their story to be told, and they deserve answers.
In 2015, a fire at Bucharest’s Colectiv club leaves 27 dead and 180 injured. Soon, more burn victims begin dying in hospitals from wounds that were not life-threatening. Then a doctor blows the whistle to a team of investigative journalists. One revelation leads to another as the journalists start to uncover vast health care fraud. When a new health minister is appointed, he offers unprecedented access to his efforts to reform the corrupt system but also to the obstacles he faces. Following journalists, whistle-blowers, burn victims, and government officials, Collective is an uncompromising look at the impact of investigative journalism at its best.
4. Nawal El Saadawi: A Daring Legacy
Nawal el Saadawi, an Egyptian author, activist and physician who became an emblem of the struggle for women’s rights in the patriarchal Arab world and campaigned against female genital mutilation, which she had endured at age 6, died on Sunday March 21, 2021, in Cairo. She was 89. Muslimish invites you to a seminar titled “Nawal El Saadawi: a daring legacy” with host Wissam Charafeddine, coFounder of Muslimish, and Guests Dr. Ginan Rauf, Barbara Nimri Aziz, and Zeinab Assaf Lecanu on Wednesday, March 24, 2021, at 7PM EST. Join us for the live discussion with your comments and questions.
A tender and sweeping story about what roots us, Minari follows a Korean-American family that moves to an Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. The family home changes completely with the arrival of their sly, foul-mouthed, but incredibly loving grandmother. Amidst the instability and challenges of this new life in the rugged Ozarks, Minari shows the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.
1. THE MAN WHO SOLD HIS SKIN
Sam Ali, a young sensitive and impulsive Syrian, left his country for Lebanon to escape the war. To be able to travel to Europe and live with the love of his life, he accepts to have his back tattooed by one of the World’s most sulfurous contemporary artist. Turning his own body into a prestigious piece of art, Sam will however come to realize that his decision might actually mean anything but freedom.
Films are an educational opportunity that can be worth multiple months of reading. At the same time, film watching is a great family activity because of the shared feelings and emotions, the opportunity for discussions, and the insights we get of each other’s thinking and feelings.
Here are 5 films I recommend for you and your kids this Spring Break.
STRAY explores what it means to live as a being without status or security, following three strays – Zeytin, Nazar and Kartal – as they embark on inconspicuous journeys through Turkish society that allow us an unvarnished portrait of human life — and their own canine culture. Zeytin, fiercely independent, embarks on adventures through the city at night; Nazar, nurturing and protective, easily befriends the humans around her; while Kartal, a shy puppy living on the outskirts of a construction site, finds companions in the security guards who care for her. The disparate lives of Zeytin, Nazar and Kartal intersect when they each form intimate bonds with a group of young Syrians who share the streets with them. Whether they lead us into bustling streets or decrepit ruins, the gaze of these strays acts as a window into the overlooked corners of society: women in loveless marriages, protesters without arms, refugees without sanctuary. STRAY is a critical observation of human civilization through the unfamiliar gaze of dogs and a sensory voyage into new ways of seeing.
2. Captain Abu Raed
When an old airport janitor finds a captain’s hat in the trash, he gets pulled into the lives of children in his poor neighborhood. He weaves imaginary stories of his world adventures to offer hope in the face of their harsh reality.
3. Raya and the Last Dragon
Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the last dragon in order to finally stop the Druun for good. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than dragon magic to save the world—it’s going to take trust as well. From directors Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada, co-directors Paul Briggs and John Ripa, producers Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho, and featuring the voices of Kelly Marie Tran as Raya and Awkwafina as Sisu. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Raya and the Last Dragon” will debut simultaneously on Disney+ Premier Access and in theatres on March 5, 2021.
This film is a Lebanese-Swedish movie, directed by the Lebanese-Swedish Joseph Fares. It’s not the first to show the Lebanese civil war from children eyes (check for West Beirut, and In the Battlefields) but it shows how the war and its consequences follows a kid beyond the country’s borders. So for a boy, once in Sweden, his life is not necessary easier than how it was back in a flaming Lebanon. In fact, I found that in this movie, Zozo’s life in Lebanon was full (relatively) of joy, while when he arrived to Sweden it was reduced almost only to disappointments, some may think that it contradicts expectations, some my not share the same opinion, but either way, it was a beautiful way to present such a transition for a young child. In fact, it goes beyond to show how hard for an immigrant (young or old) to integrate into a foreign society (here the grandfather mark a good example).
From what I could’ve understand, the story is a fiction, but related somewhat to the director’s life since he left Lebanon during the civil war when he was ten years old. Following Danielle Arbid and Ziad Doueiri’s way to make peace with their past.
Globally the film was good, make fair use of special effects (I think that funding films in Sweden is easier than Lebanon). Actors were pretty good as well; Antoinette Turk’s (playing Rita) acted nicely,
Imad Creidi’s (as Zozo) role surprised me with his Swedish language and good performance for a child of his age. And then there is Carmen Lebbos, playing perfectly, as she always do, the mother role model.
The script was nicely written from a child eyes, things go smoothly. Though I should point to some minor flaws that come up when trying to see things rationally. For instance, how can a ten years old child go from east Beirut to the mountains (walking??!), then to the airport that easy in a city shredded into two parts? Then once in Sweden writing to Rita without having her address.
In the end I remind that this feature was the representative for Sweden for the 78th academy awards. It needs to be seen since it’s a nicely done good movie.
5. Ghadi (if you haven’t watched it already)
In a small Lebanese costal village, growing fear by the neighbors towards Ghadi, a young special needs boy in their midst forces his father Leba, the town’s only music teacher to concoct a crazy scheme to convince his fellow townspeople that his son is not the “demon” they fear but rather an angel who holds all the answers to their problems.