Leyla Bouzid’s French-Tunisian drama goes above and beyond the traditional coming of age story, using one girl's journey to adulthood to explore politics, revolution and state sanctioned violence. As I Open My Eyes, gaining international attention for its portrayal of the Arab Spring, seeks to tackle such a prominent and life altering event through the eyes of its young protagonist: Farah.
Chevalier is the uncomplicated story of six men on a diving expedition in the Aegean sea, and how their competitiveness is almost the undoing of all of them. Named as Best Film at the London Film Festival in 2015, it is an extraordinary film and one that is unmissable for anyone who enjoys a deeply disturbing comedy. Despite having no female characters, Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Greek comedy speaks from an authoritative feminist voice, forcing hyper-masculinity under the microscope with hysterical consequences.
In the beautiful desert landscape of Gujarat, India, director Leena Yadav introduces us to a world of friendship, suffering and heartbreak within a story of four women, trying their best to overcome their individual struggles. Parched explores the ideas of tradition, culture and misogyny in the heart of rural India but with a compelling characters and strong friendships that feel universal to us all. Tradition & Culture The story centers around four women:
In part one of 'Gender at War', we looked at several films which have changed the perception of women in war. Traditionally, women have been pushed to the side - presented as Madonnas (wives, mothers or whores) with no space for them in the gritty action. The increased presence of women as soldiers in war films (instead of passive grieving objects) has forced other questions about the act of war to arise.
We have plenty of excellent and notable films about women in wartime, but their narratives are all too familiar. Often the female protagonist is waiting for the return of her husband or lover, or she is grieving at sending her sons off to war (The Marriage of Maria Braun, Private Peaceful). Sometimes, the war itself exploits and manipulates the nature of our protagonists leading them to betray their country (Rome Open City, to name but one).
Varda Bar-Kar’s latest documentary Big Voice follows the lives of a Santa Monica school choir over the course of a year, under the instruction of their inspirational yet no-nonsense teacher. Mr Huls, teacher extraordinaire, is an intriguing character - full of passion and with motivation to make the choir bigger and better than ever before. Whilst Mr Huls is certainly the driving force in the documentary, it is Bar-Kar's interviews with the students which are arguably most interesting.