The film based on a play by Wajdi Mouawad is about the journey of teen twins in search of their roots as per their dead mother’s will. What follows is a powerful, intense and nail-biting drama which unfolds the never- ending hatred, love, war and terrorism of the Middle East. The film excels in all categories — script, direction, editing, music, cinematography and acting particularly the performance of Lubna Azabal as the mother. The film is gripping from the start and the end will haunt you for years.
The Circle is by Iranian independent film director Jafar Panahi and is an indictment of the institutionalised oppression faced by many women in Iran. The film does not have a central protagonist: instead, it is constructed around a sequence of short interconnecting stories that illustrate the everyday challenges faced by the women. Each story intersects, but none is complete, leaving the viewer to imagine both the background and the ending.
The Syrian Bride
The story takes place on the wedding day of a beautiful bride, a Druze woman in Majd Alshams, a pro-Syrian village located in the Golan Heights. She is to marry a Syrian TV soap opera celebrity and she knows that this will be the last time that she sees her family as once she crosses the border she can never return to the Golan Heights. To make matters worse, the paperwork at the border does not allow her to cross over. Makram Khoury as the bride’s father and Hiyam Abbas as the bride’s sister lift the film to new heights with their performances.
Beyond the Gates
Of all the films based on the Rwandan genocide, this film is considered one of the most accurate portrayal of the happenings because it is based on the experiences of BBC news producer David Belton, who worked in Rwanda during that time. Belton is the film’s co-writer and one of its producers. The film was shot in the original location of the scenes it portrays.
Juan, a con artist, successfully steals money from a department store, but later messes up by attempting the same again in the next shift. Marcos another con man steps in pretending to be a police officer and takes Juan away. Then both tried to sell counterfeit copies of some rare stamps called The Nine Queens to a rich Spaniard. As the two try to set up a deal, other mobsters learn of the job and try to wedge in. The final scene is a surprise ending.
Those that almost made it:
The Lemon Tree: Eran Riklis
El Aura: Fabián Bielinsky
Paradise Road: Bruce Beresford
Twin Sisters: Ben Sombogaart
Vincere: Marco Bellocchio
The Flowers of War: Zhang Yimou
Der Tunnel: Roland Suso Richter
S. Subramanian retired as AGM BSNL. He is a great lover of world cinema, books and music.