Firebrand auteur Nagisa Ōshima offers a devastating vision of moral rot within postwar Japanese society in the form of a hauntingly sad family tragedy. Inspired by a scandalous true story, Boy follows ten-year-old Toshio (Tetsuo Abe, an orphan whose real life mirrored the tumultuous upbringing of his character) whose grifter parents use him as a pawn in a scheme to stage car accidents and then extort money from the drivers. As the family crisscrosses Japan in an increasingly desperate attempt to elude the law, Toshio escapes into an imaginary world of science fiction fantasy and space aliens that he dreams will deliver him from his harrowing existence. Applying the blistering stylistic experimentation of his earlier Japanese New Wave touchstones with newfound restraint, Ōshima adopts a relatively sober docudrama approach that proves no less shocking and subversive in its emotionally annihilating portrait of a stolen childhood.
This widely acclaimed film from Soviet director Elem Klimov is a stunning, senses-shattering plunge into the dehumanizing horrors of war. As Nazi forces encroach on his small village in present-day Belarus, teenage Flyora (Aleksei Kravchenko, in one of the screen’s most searing depictions of anguish since Renée Falconetti’s Joan of Arc) eagerly joins the Soviet resistance.
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
Mathieu Kassovitz took the film world by storm with La haine, a gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically the low-income banlieue districts on Paris’s outskirts.
DCP, 35 mm, Blu-ray, DVD