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Showing posts from September, 2013

Wadjda

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By Moira Sullivan
Wadjda by Haifaa Al-Mansour has the distinction of being the first feature film by a woman from Saudi Arabia and one of the Kingdoms most celebrated filmmakers. The film has won multiple international awards such as Scandinavia and Rotterdam and special awards at the Venice Film Festival. Haifaa Al-Mansour was selected as the president of the Opera Prima jury at the 70th Venice Film Festival in September. The jury chooses the best debut film for the the Lion of the Future Award. It is surprising how much liberty Al Mansour takes with her subject about a young girl who is bound by strict devotion to Muslim practice. All the young Wadjda dreams of is owning a green bicycle and to earn the money for it she enters a contest at school in which she has to memorize and recite parts of the Koran in the traditional fashion. This is not an easy task, and to study for it she buys an interactive video game on the Koran with money she earns by selling her own hand made crafts and…

You Will Be My Son

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It has taken two years for You Will Be My Son (Tu seras mon fils, France 2011) by Gilles Legrand to find its way to San Francisco and the film opens on Sept 20 at Landmark Theatre. The film stars Niels Arestrup as Paul de Marseul, the head of a winery in France who wants to leave his estate to Phillipe Amelot the son of his manager Francois (Patrick Chesnais) who is dying of cancer. This does not set well with his own son Martin (Lorànt Deutsch) who wants to take over some day. Nicolas Bridet as Philippe was nominated for an acting award at the French national awards, the César, for his portrayal of a young man with ambition and questionable morals. This film is on the order of a Greek tragedy with a power struggle that contrasts father and son as abuser and abused.

You Are My Son is technically proficient with many intriguing layers including dream states. You grow to hate Paul,  and that is to the credit of the French Danish veteran actor Nils Arestrup. But you also grow to dislik…