VENICE22 REVIEW: Aus meiner Haut [Skin Deep] [2022]

What is this place? What makes a person? Mind or body? Take that line of inquiry even further and ask what it is you love about your significant other. Is it how they look or who they are? The combination of answers to these questions are infinite because we as people are too. Maybe looks or humor or generosity got you through the door, but those things can’t stop you from leaving alone. At some point you must dig deeper to discover it’s the indefinable essence beneath their skin and…

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VENICE22 REVIEW: Goliath [2022]

I totally understand you. If a local village warlord discovers he’s in a movie titled Goliath, he better watch his back. It doesn’t matter what his origin story is—and Poshaev (Daniyar Alshinov) has a bloody one—since power is never absolute. Yes, the villagers hail him as a hero for using his formidable presence to extort jobs for the community at a foreign investment firm’s tungsten mine. Yes, he works to keep drugs out of his domain by ruthlessly gunning down any rival gangs who dare to bring it across his…

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VENICE22 REVIEW: Dogborn [2022]

You’ll cope. The twins (Silvana Imam‘s Sister and Philip Oros‘ Brother) have nothing since their mother passed away. No house. No jobs. No money. Brother doesn’t even have a voice—not since they left Syria long ago. It’s therefore up to Sister to manage for them both. Finding places to squat, talking their way into odd jobs to get paid, and making connections that she can hopefully lean on when things get even tougher than they already are. That’s why it’s nice to have someone like their cousin Petri (Lukas Malinauskas)…

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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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VENICE19 REVIEW: Boże Ciało [Corpus Christi] [2019]

Silence can also be a prayer. Faith is inherently about putting your complete trust in something or someone without knowing whether the object deserves such blind allegiance. We have faith in God because believing there’s purpose to atrocities is easier than accepting a nihilistic outlook on life just like the presence of miracles proves good fortune is earned so you won’t feel guilty upon realizing how you have it better than someone else. It’s therefore impossible not to let it warp your morality until everything possesses the need for black…

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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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