Aki Kaurismäki’s film of the Leningrad Cowboys’ massive concert in Helsinki’s Senate Square with the 150-member Alexandrov Red Army Chorus and Dance Ensemble is a loving tribute to the rock band he made famous. Seventy thousand people turned out for this megaspectacle; featuring musical selections from Sibelius to Bob Dylan, it crossed genre and national divides.
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