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Jugu Abraham

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Three very important films from three different countries were made this year with the common themes of poverty, family and children--Capernaum (Lebanon), Shoplifters (Japan) and Roma (Mexico). My review of Capernaum makes a case for the Lebanese film to be the superior work among the three and arguably the best film of 2018.

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233. Lebanese director Nadine Labaki’s third feature film “Capernaum” (a.k.a. Caphernaum; and Chaos)(2018) (Lebanon): A film that puts Lebanon on the world cinema map by presenting truth, humanism, and issues often swept under the carpet, in many parts of the globe
“Why are you attacking
your parents in court?” —Lebanese judge/magistrate to Zain, a 12-year-old
Lebanese, already behind bars for a crime he has committed  “ For giving me life ”—Zain’s
response T he year 2018 has seen the release of three interesting

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232. Danish/Irish director David Noel Bourke’s third feature film “Bakerman” (2016) (Denmark) based on his original story: An interesting tale of a quiet and introspective Dane facing career threats from his employer who is an immigrant, and unprovoked and unconnected vandalism from other immigrants, sparking off an unusual chain reaction
B akerman is an
award-winning Danish film that has surprisingly not been picked up for
screening by international festivals beyond western Europe and the American
east coast. Few critics seem to have either seen the film or discussed it. Yet
it is better th...

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231. Indian director Praveen Morchhale’s third feature film “Widow of Silence” (2018) (India), based on his original story: A lovely tale woven by the director’s observations on the no-win situation for the women in Kashmir
T here is always an unusual distinct flavour when a director
makes a film on a tale that he or she has written from scratch. Praveen
Morchhale’s three films are such films and have shown an ability to highlight
positive bonding of people in ordinary situati...

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One of the most gorgeous and remarkable films of 2018: "The Third Wife." A debut film of a Vietnamese director that has already won top honours at the Chicago and Kolkata int'l film fests and other honours at Toronto and San Sebastian.
Movies that make you think
Movies that make you think

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230. Vietnamese director Ash Mayfair’s debut feature film “The Third Wife” (2018) (Vietnam) based on her original story: Gorgeous cinematography, interesting visual allegory, female characters and actresses add value to a film, which ought to make Vietnam proud!
D ebut films of several directors worldwide have often been
unforgettable, even when compared to their later works:   Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, Satyajit Ray’s Pather
Panchali (Song of the Little Road), Ridley Scott’s The Duellists, Steven Spielberg’s Duel...

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A depressing look at China today. "An Elephant Sitting Still" a debut and final film of Director Bo Hu, who committed suicide at age 29 after writing the novel and making his debut feature film based on his novel
Movies that make you think
Movies that make you think

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229. The late Chinese director Bo Hu’s debut and final film “Da xiang xi die er zuo ” (An Elephant Sitting Still) (2018) (China): A realistic film on the lives of the marginal urban population in China, a perspective rarely presented to foreigners, based on a novel written by the director
I t is not easy to sit through any feature film that is
nearly 4 hours long; more so if the characters in the film are dour,
unexceptional, and behave like the dregs of society . An Elephant Sitting Still would challenge the average viewer to keep on watchi...

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228. Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s film “Ahlat agaci” (The Wild Pear Tree) (2018) (Turkey): A slow-paced, contemplative stunner, yet another Ceylan tale of an adult male member within a traditional family, touching on several contemporary problems in Turkey
D irector Nuri Bilge Ceylan is one of the most distinguished
filmmakers alive and The Wild Pear Tree is arguably one of his best works to date, currently on show at the Denver Film
Festival after its premiere at Cannes in the competition section earlier thi...

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227. Italian director Valerio Zurlini’s last film “Il deserto dei tartari” (The Desert of the Tartars) (1976) (Italy), based on the Italian novel "The Tartar Steppe" by Dino Buzzati: An unforgettable film where cinema proves to be almost as effective as the novel
“ In life, everyone has
to accept the role that was destined for him ”  –words spoken in the film The Desert of the Tartars , words that
best describe the essence of the film T he film Desert of
the Tartars , when released in 1976 did not win accolades at f...
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