Filters & Sorting

DPAC screens Ukrainian teen drama ‘Stop-Zemlia’ //

“Stop-Zemlia,” which was screened at DPAC this past weekend, is a tender coming-of-age film following 16-year-olds in Ukraine. The film’s protagonist is Masha, a girl with pale, bleached hair cropped short and a vaguely vacant air about her. Though she seems quiet and out of place compared to the boisterous students in her class, Masha has found a home in two other indie kids — Yana and Senia. The film, like its adolescent subjects, doesn’t know where it wants to end up.

‘No Bears’: A meta-film about dissent in Iran

Iranian auteur Jafar Panahi’s latest film “No Bears” is an exploration of life under Iran’s authoritarian government. Like a lot of Panahi’s recent work, it has been shaped by his experiences with the government that has censored his art and placed him under house arrest. Since July 2022, he has been in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison for standing in solidarity with two other Iranian filmmakers who spoke out against the government for their violent crackdown on protestors.

‘Bergman Island’ and the paradise of Scandinavian cinema

“Bergman Island” (2021) is wonderfully meta — Chris and Tony’s relationship breaks down in the same house where Bergman filmed “Scenes From a Marriage” (1973), the series that caused many couples to divorce. The characters themselves seem to mirror the director’s own life — Mia Hansen-Love was in a long-term relationship with Olivier Assayas, the established French filmmaker who, like Tony, has an uncomplicated love for Bergman.

Movie Review: In Malayalam Film '19(1)(a)', the Personal Is the Political

The complexity of the idea of freedom of speech is generally not reflected in films tackling the subject that generally take the hackneyed form of a political courtroom drama or a crime thriller. 19(1)(a) is impactful because it puts the focus on how an ordinary person quietly taking agency over her own life is an extremely political act. It depicts the true power of free speech: that words are inherently agents for change, and they don’t need the sheen of social media or the urgency of sensationalism.

Anything's Possible review: Superficial and sunny

At first glance 'Anything’s Possible', seems like any other modern rom-com with its aggressively fashionable characters (blue hair, bold patterns, teenage boys in pastels). The film revolves around the relationship between Khalid (Abubakr Ali), a shy 17-year-old cisgender boy, and Kelsa (Eva Reign), a transgender girl in his art class. The teenagers realize that even their own friends were not fully comfortable with Kelsa’s gender identity when Khalid asks her out.

Shut Up Sona review: Breaking soundproofed ceilings

Towards the end of Shut Up Sona, singer Sona Mohapatra drifts across a river in a boat, uncharacteristically quiet as sexist quotes from politicians populate the screen. The scene seems to be commenting on her life as a female artist in a society that undermines women. The film, however, doesn’t give us much background about her trajectory as a singer or her upbringing and without this context, it’s hard to feel invested in the minutiae of her activism

Houseless not Homeless: Nomadland

The Academy Award winning “Nomadland” will make you slow down. The film took me on a journey with Fern, the protagonist played by Frances McDormand. Fern is part of a loose constellation of nomads, elderly Americans who’ve lost their livelihoods and have had to vacate their homes due to a combination of economic factors including the 2008 recession. These nomads opt to make their home in vans or recreational vehicles and do temporary jobs wherever they go.

A meditation on memory: Chris Marker’s ‘Sans Soleil’

“Sans Soleil” is a 1983 film that defies explanation. It could be called a documentary, but it contains neither a singular thesis nor a clear subject area. The film largely consists of footage of Japan and Guinea-Bissau. This footage is supplemented by a voiceover in which a female narrator reads out various letters written by the director, Chris Marker, detailing his reflections on culture and the passage of time.

‘Moxie:’ A feel-good, feminist film

“Moxie,” a recently released Netflix original movie, tells the story of girls at a high school in Oregon standing up to sexist norms. The film, directed by Amy Poehler, is based on the young adult novel by Jennifer Mathieu. “Moxie” brings up a lot of the issues which have plagued high school girls for years: unfair dress codes, objectification by their male peers and girls’ sports teams not being taken as seriously as their male counterparts’ teams. The protagonist Vivian (Hadley Robinson) is a