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Documentary ​'For Sama'​ Shows the Courage of Existential Love in War-Torn Syria

For Sama urges the preservation of basic human rights — including the right to parent a child in her birthplace — at all costs, not only for this particular Syrian family's future, but for the survival of the human race.


Sexual Harassment Is Horror in Michal Aviad's 'Working Woman'

Director Michal Aviad's Working Woman treats sexual harassment as an everlasting terror which cannot be blotted out by a successful financial transaction, a cursory apology, or a mere good gesture.


'Hillbilly' Reclaims Appalachia's Identity Against Lasting Insidious Stereotypes

Hillbilly provides a cogent analysis of the connection between the United States' cultural supremacy over its own Appalachian region, and the nation's resultant economic and political exploitation of it.


'Monrovia, Indiana' Merges Impressionistic Humanism with Political Critique

Breaking away from Election 2016 diatribes, Director Frederick Wiseman visually acknowledges Monrovia, Indiana as a tranquil working-class Eden, while still rendering a subtly powerful critique of small town America.


In 'The Times of Bill Cunningham', an Iconic Photographer Marches to the Beat of His Own Drum

The Times of Bill Cunningham is an affectionate portrayal of the beloved fashion and street photographer who maintained his independent voice amid decades of societal conventions.


NYFF 2018: 'Diamantino' Beautifully Satirizes Ugly Politics from the Ethers

Diamantino's astounding surrealistic introduction soon unfolds into an ethereal genre-mashup.


'Hale County This Morning, This Evening', Is a Visually Poetic Critique of American Ideology

RaMell Ross's melange of visuals capture the elucidative intersections between religion and poverty; between life as seen from a child's eyes, and as from those of a young adult; between the present and a horrific history still breathing through America.


'Generation Wealth' Turns Too Soft a Light Upon America's Nouveau Riche

Flamboyance and bombast prove to be Generation Wealth's most common thread, which serves as an upsetting indictment of the American Way.


'Skate Kitchen' Is a Paean to the Lost Youth of New York City

Skate Kitchen gives an impressionistic presentation of city skateboarding as a gritty, tribal ritual where women roar as loudly as men and where wayward souls try to forge distinct personalities through loud dress, comic vulgarity, and the crisp imitation of spins and jumps.


In 'Breath', Surfing Is Captured From a Bookish Introvert's Perspective

It's refreshing, in an era when so many coming-of-age sports films feature devil-may-care extroverts, to instead experience the introverted, quiet, enlightened narrator.


Tribeca 2018: 'When She Runs' Is a Breakthrough in Sports Cinema

When She Runs is a portrait of a typical suburban day which has built-in mechanisms to potentially slow Kristin down a few milliseconds -- more than enough time to end her Olympic dreams.


Tribeca 2018: 'All About Nina'

Played with a provocative mix of caginess, fierce intelligence, anger and unpredictable vulnerability, Mary Elizabeth Winstead's interpretation of standup comedian Nina embodies much of #MeToo's desire to present female artists as wholly realized human beings.


Tribeca 2018:  'Netizens' and 'Every Act of Life'

These important documentaries about online abuse and the works of Terrence McNally attempt to illuminate empathy and social awareness at a time when it is being woefully ignored.


Tribeca 2018: 'Rest in Power:  The Trayvon Martin Story' and 'Call Her Ganda'

These two entries consider the hate crime murders of Trayvon Martin and Jennifer Laude, reinterpret their deaths within historic frameworks, and explore why their stories fade without meaningful changes in US civil rights laws.


Tribeca 2018: 'The Miseducation of Cameron Post' and 'Tully'

The Miseducation of Cameron Post explores a teenager's struggles at a gay conversion therapy camp, and Tully a suburban wife's depression after having a third child. Both aim at empathy.


'The Final Year' Wistfully Recalls The Obama Administration's Final Months in Office

As The Final Year quietly argues, if the United States' electorate fails to elevate itself to a higher level of political vernacular than coarse tweets and reality TV-style colloquies, then 2016 may be the best year the US will have had for a long time to come.


'Glory' Is a Searing Indictment of Social Media Optics Fixation

Anchored by an unflinching cinéma vérité style and a powerful lead performance by Margita Gosheva, Glory (Slava) thrives as a grave parable on the social media economy's corrupting influences against ethics and morality.


'The Force' Explores The Complexities of Law Enforcement Reform

The Force, which details the Oakland Police Department's recent reform efforts, is best viewed as a complementary work to prior Black Lives Matter documentaries, such 2017's Whose Streets? and The Blood Is at the Doorstep.


In 'Quest', Inner-City American Life Is Given the Treatment It Deserves

Director Jonathan Olshefski has made a stirring call for the placement of low-income, inner-city families into our collective consciousness.


'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary at a Time We Need It Most

The nostalgic beauty of Planes, Trains and Automobiles — aside from a delicious '80s synth score — is its fleshy, alive representation of different economic classes having to deal with one another absent easy technological escapes.


In 'Certain Women', Class-Based Identities Are Contended with Under Montana's Vast Icy Skies

A minor masterpiece, Certain Women is a profound meditation on the ways people temporarily buoy themselves from life's banalities, injustices, and disappointments.


Matson Films


In 'Bobbi Jene', a Dancer's Artistic Vision Is Rooted in Personal Sacrifice

While Bobbi Jene often veers too closely to melodrama, seeing an emboldened woman artistically express her sexuality and earn effusive praise for it is inspirational.

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