As she roams the streets of Tehran in her car, a recently divorced woman (Mania Akbari) chauffeurs a rotating cast of passengers, from her combative young son to a heartbroken wife abandoned by her husband to a defiant young sex worker going about her job. Fully embracing the minimalist freedoms of digital filmmaking by shooting entirely on two cameras fixed to the vehicle’s dashboard, Kiarostami crafts a miracle of slice- of-life docufiction that probes the experiences of women in contemporary Iran. Capturing revealing moments of everyday human interaction, Ten uses its simple premise as a vehicle for a remarkably rich, perceptive look at the tension between the strictures of a patriarchal society and the universal need for personal freedom.
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