In 2000, Kiarostami traveled to Africa at the request of the United Nations to document a humanitarian crisis unfolding in Uganda, where 1.5 million children had been orphaned by civil war and AIDS. Working outside of Iran and shooting on digital video for the first time, he returned with this disarmingly hopeful look at a country where death hovers ever-present yet life— embodied by the playful spirit of the kids who peer curiously into his camera’s searching, humane lens—flows on undiminished. Part idiosyncratic travelogue, part ode to childhood wonder, ABC Africa is quintessential Kiarostami in its movingly philosophical reflection on human resilience in the face of adversity.
With his lush and sensual visuals, pitch-perfect soundtracks, and soulful romanticism, Wong Kar Wai has established himself as one of the defining auteurs of contemporary cinema.
Four charming comedies from Eric Rohmer.
Melvin Van Peebles’s edgy, angsty, romantic first feature could never have been made in America. Unable to break into a segregated Hollywood, Van Peebles decamped to France, taught himself the language, and wrote a number of books in French, one of which, La permission, would become his stylistically innovative feature debut.
Melvin Van Peebles
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
A triumph at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival, the revelatory debut feature from codirectors (and twin brothers) Arie and Chuko Esiri is a heartrending and hopeful portrait of everyday human endurance in Lagos, Nigeria.