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.
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