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A LA VIE

All Holocaust survivors carry within them individual traumas, memories and burdens from their dark past. Based on his mother’s experiences, director Jean-Jacques Zilbermann's A La Vie explores the complexities of life, love and friendship after the Holocaust by following what happens when three friends from Auschwitz reunite after 15 years. Although Zilbermann intertwines delicate moments of truth…

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ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

Screenwriter Linda Woolverton brings Lewis Carroll’s beloved characters back for a second live action installment in the sequel to the 2010 adventure Alice in Wonderland. In Disney’s highly anticipated, yet underwhelming film, Alice Through the Looking Glass, “Alice” (Mia Wasikowska) returns to Wonderland, beckoned back to the fantastical world to save the Mad Hatter. In…

CHEVALIER

In 2000, Claire Denis made Beau Travail, a heart-rendingly beautiful film on men and their impossible quest for male perfection. The unpredictable landscapes of Djibouti and the harsh regiments of the French Foreign Legion put masculinity to test: boys have to become men and men sweat, hit, compete, and kill. In Chevalier, director Athina Rachel…

UNLOCKING THE CAGE

With a timely release date given the events of the tragedy at Cincinnati Zoo, D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus' new documentary Unlocking the Cage is a smart, engaging look at gaining legal rights for animals. (BKP: 4/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Spanning the course of five years, the film centers on animal advocate…

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MARGARITA WITH A STRAW

Shonali Bose’s Margarita with a Straw tackles multiple issues through main protagonist, teenage “Laila,” (Kalki Koechelin) an aspiring writer with cerebral palsy. The unique approach to sensitive issues, ranging from disabilities and sexuality to cancer and parenting, is initially intriguing but needs a jolt of energy to keep viewers invested. (BKP: 3/5) Review by Associate…

THE OTHER SIDE

Director Roberto Minervini and writer Denise Ping Lee create a raw, hard-to-watch picture about life in a poor Louisiana town of West Monroe. This depiction of America’s lower class is jarring, bizarre hybrid of documentary and feature that will leave your soul completely drained. (BKP: 3/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Viewers initially…

SONG OF LAHORE

Filmmakers Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Andy Schocken bring audiences an inspirational documentary about the power of music and the bond it creates between cultures. Lahore, the second largest city in Pakistan, has rich history as one of the country’s artistic hubs. But when bans were placed upon music and musical expression starting in 1977, the city…

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WEINER

Timely documentary about the implosion of Antony Weiner's promising political career, first as a Congressman from Brooklyn's 9th District and then as a candidate for mayor of New York City. After six years as an aide to Chuck Schumer (then serving his own stint representing the 9th), Weiner became a member of the New York City Council…