Good Manners ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Good Manners is a modern fairy tale and an exploration of a mother’s love when the child you are parenting has challenging developmental needs. Clara (Isabel Zuaa), a black woman from a favela district, secures a job as a maid / nanny for Ana (Marjorie Estiano), a white woman from a privileged background who is …

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The Nile Hilton Incident ⭐⭐⭐⭐

In the days immediately before the Arab Spring, a woman is killed in a bedroom at Cairo’s Nile Hilton hotel.  Noredin (Fares Fares), a casually corrupt police detective, is given the case to investigate. At first, he treats the case as just another opportunity to take a few more bribes, but as things develop his …

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Most Beautiful Island ⭐⭐⭐½

Luciana (played with authentic cash-strapped anxiety by director-writer-producer Ana Asensio) is an undocumented Spanish immigrant who has moved to New York to put space between her and a family tragedy.  She has to take work where she finds it, so when her Russian friend Olga tells her about a highly paid no-questions-asked mystery job that …

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Our Time Will Come ⭐⭐½

Lan (Xun Zhao) is a schoolteacher living with her mother in Japanese-occupied Hong Kong.  After helping some intellectuals boarding in her mother’s house escape to mainland China, she is drawn into the resistance movement. The film follows the stories of Lan, her mother, the rebel leader Blackie Lau (Eddie Peng) and Lan’s would-be fiancé, now …

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The Hungry ⭐⭐⭐½

An elegantly gruesome retelling of Titus Andronicus set in modern-day India.  Sunny Ajuha, the hapless older son of Tathagat Ahuja (Naseeruddin Shah) is about to marry Tulsi Joshi (Tisca Chopra), a woman several years her senior.  It’s a wedding that brings two wealthy Delhi business families together, but the guests are left wondering what the …

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King of Peking ⭐⭐⭐1/2

King of Peking is an unashamedly nostalgic and delightfully charming film about a father and his young son in 1990s Beijing (Peking for the purposes of this review).  It’s a time when private enterprise is just taking off, but the old Communist-command economy is still very much in evidence. Big Wong is a travelling projectionist, …

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Have a Nice Day ⭐⭐⭐½

When Xiao Zhan, a delivery driver for a construction company, steals a bag of money from his gangster boss in order to take his girlfriend to South Korea for corrective cosmetic surgery after an original operation went wrong.  Not surprisingly, his boss wants it back and gets his enforcer onto the case. To complicate matters, …

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Equilibrium ⭐⭐⭐½

Father Giovanni is an idealistic Catholic priest who secures a posting to an impoverished district of Naples.  Believing that a good priest should minister to the community, and at first he is welcomed by the local people. But Father Giovanni (an almost preternaturally calm performance by Mimmo Borrelli) also wants to take practical steps to …

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