Movies: I Am Not Your Negro, 2017 Oscar Nominated Live Action Shorts, The Salesman

I am Not Your Negro

This is an extraordinary film about what was called “race relations” in the 1960s.  It is, in fact, about the life work of James Baldwin and his personal account of the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.  It is important to note that Mr. Baldwin died in 1987 only having completed 30 pages of his manuscript.

It is no less than a history of black and white relations in the US spanning over 400 years but with a sharp focus on the last 50 years.  It is a compelling and powerful reminder of the historic and current racial divide that still exists today.

Samuel L. Jackson narrates the story.  The screenplay is creditied to James Baldwin and Raoul Peck.  It was Oscar nominated as Best Documentary Film for 2016.  It is rated PG-13 and runs 1 hour, 35 minute.  Don’t miss this one!

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2017 Oscar Nominated Short Subject Films, Live Action

All of these films are particularly good this year.  As you know by now, Sing won the Oscar in this category.  The Short Subject, Live Action Films and Animated Films were released later than usual and some are still in the theaters.

Sing (Hungary)

This 25 minute film about a children’s school choir is challenged when the teacher tells some of the children to mouth the words and not sing.  When the competition begins, the children have a different idea on the situation with stunning results.  Hungarian with English subtitles.

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Silent Nights (Denmark)

A Danish shelter worker befriends a homeless Ghanian refugee and forge an attraction for each other.  With time, the truth comes to light about the refugee’s life and family in Ghana with shattering effects.  This is a compelling and compassionate story with a powerful message in a 30 minute film.  Danish and some Ghanian with English subtitles.

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Timecode (Spain)

This is an unusual story about a parking garage and its two shift workers who barely speak to each other and yet incrementally create an extraordinary modern dance that delights the viewers.  It is charming, surprising and creative.  Spanish with English subtitles.  15 minutes.

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Ennemis Interieurs (France)

An Algerian born man is seeking French citizenship in this intense story.  It takes place as the French examiner presses the Algerian on social, political and religous issues to a breaking point.  It is intense, insightful and challenging.  French and Arabic with English sustitles.  28 minutes.

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La Femme Et Le TGV (Switzerland)

This is a charming story about an old widow whose only pleasure is to greet a TGV train every morning from her house only a few yards away from the train tracks.  It is a colorful film, and has a fairy tale quality about it.  It is apparently based on true events.  French with English subtitles.  30 minutes.

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The Salesman

You may recall we predicted this film would win the 2017 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.  Our prediction notwithstanding, this was the first time we viewed an Oscar winning foreign film a month after the Academy Awards with a two globe rating.  Go figure.

This film is about an Iranian couple struggling after a home invasion results in an assult on the wife.  The after effects ripple through their lives with devistating impact.

Director Asghar Farhadi is an accomplished film maker who also won an Oscar for his 2012 film A Separation.  Leading the cast is Shahab Hosseini as the husband, Taraneh Alidoosti as the wife, with Mina Sadati and Mehdi Koushki to round out the leading characters.

It is rated PG-13 and is listed as a Drama/Thriller with a run time of 2 hours, 5 minutes.  Farsi with English subtitles.

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