KIDNAPPED: THE ABDUCTION OF EDGARDO MORTARA FEATURES ITALIAN HISTORY Director Marco Bellocchio has filmed a history of Italy in which the fate of one person—Edgardo Mortara (played at age 6 by Enea Sala, as an adult by Leonardo Maltese)—galvanized opposition to rule over parts of the country known then as the Papal States. During the […]

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I Am Gitmo

I AM GITMO TELLS THE TRUTH ABOUTTHE BUSH ADMINISTRATION’S WAR CRIMES As a title at the end of the film attests, 86 percent of those at Guantánamo should not have been there. What happened is that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld had thousands of leaflets dropped in Afghanistan after 9/11, encouraging Afghans to rat on their rivals,

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The Old Oak

THE OLD OAK SHOWS HOW RELICS OF THE PAST MIGHT ENJOY THE FUTURE Director Ken Loach has a knack for depicting how forgotten people view their worlds. In his The Old Oak he focuses on a pub called The Old Oak in a small town near Durham, northeast England, during the year 2016. Once upon

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ORIGIN EXPLAINS HOW ISABEL WILKERSON CONDUCTED RESEARCH Isabel Wilkerson’s book Caste: The Origin of Our Discontents, published in 2000, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. Director Ava DuVernay decided to make a film to demonstrate not only the thesis of the book but how she did her field research to derive insights stated in the book.

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La Cyndicaliste

LA SYNDICALISTE EXPOSES ONE OF CHINA’S QUESTS TO DOMINATE THE GLOBAL MARKET Directed by Jean-Paul Salomé, La Syndicaliste is a biopic with three stories. The first is how Maureen Kearney (played by Isabelle Huppert) spent twenty years as a trade union firebrand (whence the title), fighting on behalf of 50,000 union workers to relieve their

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The film Napoleon has brought to the screen the rise and fall of Napoléon Bonaparte (played by Joaquin Phoenix) with particular emphasis on his military career and his love life with Empress Josephine (Vanessa Kirby). Financed by Cinémathèque Français and Netflix, the film is a modern restoration of a 1927 French film classic. His early

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WAIKIKI MOURNS THE LIVES OF MANY NATIVE HAWAIIANS Christopher Kahunahana, the first Native Hawaiian to direct a film, has decided to portray how some people occupying islands for more than a thousand years now feel strangers in their own land. The focus is on Kea (played by Danielle Zalopany), who is employed as a hula

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RUSTIN CELEBRATES THE ORGANIZERS OF THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON A biopic of Bayard Rustin (played by Colman Domingo), the film Rustin reveals that the March on Washington of August 28, 1963, was a goal he sought since 1941. He was frustrated that nothing much happened in Congress after the 1954 Supreme Court ruling that schools

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Miranda’s Victim

MIRANDA’S VICTIM FOCUSES ON THE WOMAN RAPED BY MIRANDA A lawyer for Ernesto Miranda (Sebastian Quinn) successfully argued that his kidnapping and rape confession was coerced because he was denied an attorney before and during interrogation. The case was the most prominent of four similar cases that were reviewed in which the U.S. Supreme Court

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