Sunday, 17 April 2016

All of the four films this week are pretty serious in their own way and all come highly recommended! Three of the four are docos. Two from the recent Melbourne Queer Film Festival have been released exclusively at Cinema Nova and both are important documentaries which should have wide appeal. The haunting A Tale of Love and Darkness is exclusive to the Classic and the Lido.

A Tale of Love and Darkness  
Director: Natalie Portman
Length: 98 mins

© Lido / Classic cinemas
Amos Oz, one of Israel's most notable writers, grew up at the time the British left Palestine and the state of Israel was created. In this haunting film he recalls his young life with a loving father and a depressed mother.  Portman shines as writer/director and in the role of Amos's mother. The film is a revealing story of a turbulent time that contributed to conflict inherent in the Middle East still today, but it is also a moving and insightful look at a troubled family life that nevertheless gave rise to a major writing talent.

4 - Wholeheartedly recommended!

For my full review:

Wide Open Sky 

Director: Lisa Nicol
Length: 78 mins

Short and sweet, this oh-so charming documentary is the story of composer/conductor  Michelle Leonard, who travels thousands of kms every year to remote and disadvantaged outback communities. From the children she auditions, she chooses 130 to be part of a choir which performs to open the Moorambilla Music Festival. Michelle is a totally committed and engaging personality who leaps off the screen, and so are the six children chosen to be featured throughout the film. I fell instantly in love with all of them. As well as entertaining us to the max, the story reminds us of how critical it is for kids to have a creative outlet and literally find their voices, as well as how influential one dedicated teacher can be. 

4 - Wholeheartedly recommended!

For a full review from Chris Thompson:

Director: William Fairman / Max Gogarty
Length: 83 mins

A deeply disturbing portrait of recreational drug use among gay men in today's London. Young men talk about loneliness, fear, alienation, HIV, and the terrible effect drugs are having on their lives, while health workers discuss what can be done to help. This is a confronting documentary.

3.5 - Recommended!

For a full review from Bernard Hemingway:

Remembering the Man 
Director: Nickolas Bird / Eleonor Sharpe
Length: 83 mins

If you loved Holding the Man (which I did) you mustn't miss this doco about the lives of Tim Conigrave and John Caleo, two young boys from a private Catholic school who fell in love in the homophobic 1970s. To add to their challenges they then had their lives destroyed by the AIDS virus. With precious archival video footage, insightful commentary by friends, this is a moving and poignant documentary.

4 - Wholeheartedly recommended!

For my full review:

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