VENICE19 REVIEW: Les épouvantails [The Scarecrows] [2019]

You’re not lost. It begins in a prison cell with a despondent Djo (Joumene Limam) scribbling words on paper as Zina (Nour Hajri) implores her to stand so they may leave. Salvation comes in the form of a lawyer (Afef Ben Mahmoud‘s Nadia) and doctor (Fatma Ben Saïdane‘s Dora) desperate to figure out what has happened and how they were able to return to Tunisia. Details about this question only start to come into focus as Nouri Bouzid‘s Les épouvantails [The Scarecrows] progresses with the explanation that the two women…

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VENICE18 REVIEW: Why Are We Creative? [2018]

That’s the only question. The question that Hermann Vaske has asked for over two decades is a large one. Why Are We Creative? There’s no blanket answer—no right or wrong notion of the philosophical ramifications trying to put your own personal interpretation into words conjures. So it’s interesting that he would end his film with a statement explaining how the thousand-plus subjects he asked changed the way he looks at the world. It’s interesting because we don’t know if that is true. After traveling the world to confront geniuses in…

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VENICE18 REVIEW: Tumbbad [2018]

Wake her up and ask yourself. As the Hindu folktale at the start of Rahi Anil Barve and Adesh Prasad‘s Tumbbad states: while the Goddess of Plenty birthed 160 million deities from her womb (Earth), the one she loved most is also the one that’s been erased from memory. His name is Hastar and he was her first. As such, he saw the wealth and food she provided mankind and coveted it for himself. He reached for the gold and his brother and sisters allowed it for money was merely…

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