Radu Jude won the Best Director award at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival for this grim depiction of Romania in the early 19th century. Policeman Costandin and his son Ionita travel the country in search of a fugitive Gypsy slave, revealing along the way a primitive and brutal society ruled by ruthless landowners and petty functionaries. Conditions are harsh and injustice routine in this barbarous world of arbitrary killings and cruel punishments in stark contrast to the picturesque beauty of the countryside through which the pair pass. Aferim! powerfully evokes this nightmare world and the attitudes and prejudices which shaped it. Not to be missed!
Aim High in Creation: Dir Alison Broinowski ($32.95)
A unique, sideways step into one of the most secretive nations on earth: North Korea. With a personal mission to make her own protest film against plans for fracking in her neighbourhood, acclaimed film maker, Anna Broinowski, gains unprecedented access into the notorious communist country to learn the principles of movie making as taught by late ‘Dear Leader’, film fanatic & master propagandist, Kim Jong Il. Her experiences gradually reveal a surprising warmth & shared humanity that transcend political differences.
Putuparri & the Rainmakers ($26.95)
This film spans ten transformative years in the life of Tom ‘Putuparri’ Lawford as he navigates the deep chasm between his Western upbringing and his growing determination to fight for his family’s homeland. Putuparri is a man caught between two worlds: the deeply spiritual universe of his people’s traditional culture and his life in modern society where he struggles with alcoholism and domestic violence. As he reconnects with his ancestral lands and learns about his traditional culture he begins to accept his future as a leader of his people and shoulders his responsibility to pass this knowledge onto the next generation.
Versailles: Series One ($59.95, Region 2)
George Blagden plays French monarch Louis XIV in this 10 episode series. In a bid to strengthen his weakening position among the country’s elite, Louis decides to move the French court from Paris to Versailles. However, with the Parisian nobility deeply opposed to the move, Louis is faced with negotiating a dangerous cycle of lies, deceit and vicious political manoeuvrings as he attempts to exert his authority.
The Big Short ($21.95)
This film follows eccentric financial analyst Michael Burry (Bale) as he uncovers an impending crash in the housing market and puts together a plan to profit from it. As Burry’s predictions are spread by those who believe he is mad, a small number of people, including Jared Vennett (Gosling), Ben Rickert (Pitt) and Mark Baum (Carell), get on board with his idea in the hope of saving their assets. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (Bale), winning for Best Adapted Screenplay, and won the BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Stephen Fry:Today’s Russia—A Literary Landscape
‘I think I was about 14 years old when I first read Alexander Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin & Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. It was the beginning of a life-long love affair with great Russian literature’. Like many youthful infatuations, Stephen Fry moved on to other interests, and lost touch with Russian writing. He was not alone. After the collapse of the USSR in 1990, we in the West stopped reading Russian literature. But that does not mean that the Russians stopped writing. This programme introduces six of the biggest stars of Russian literature—with new works, including original English translations, read by Fry, who is inserted into award-winning original animations of these fictional worlds. ($21.95)
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