Film Reviews

“Unfortunately, none of this happened”: Kirill Serebrennikov’s Leto (Summer), a take on the pre- perestroika period in the USSR

By Clara Weiss, 14 June 2019

Serebrennikov’s new film treats two of Russia’s most famous rock groups, Kino and Zoopark, in the early 1980s, while managing to avoid all the major questions of the time.

Famed film actress Lillian Gish’s name removed from Bowling Green State University theater: The issues raised

By David Walsh, 12 June 2019

The Ohio university’s cowardly decision is a capitulation to the worst sort of ahistorical moralizing and the current obsession with race and gender politics within the affluent middle class.

Rocketman (Elton John) and Pavarotti, about the operatic tenor: Two lives in music

By Joanne Laurier, 7 June 2019

Rocketman is a generally entertaining, fantastical tribute to the music of Elton John, one of the world’s most popular musical artists. Ron Howard has made a documentary about legendary Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti.

All Is True: Kenneth Branagh’s vision of William Shakespeare’s final days

By David Walsh, 5 June 2019

The treatment, unfortunately, is largely leaden and relies on contemporary upper-middle class preoccupations to make sense of—or fail to make sense of—the life of an early 17th century artist.

XY Chelsea: A deeply flawed portrait of US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning

By Jean Shaoul, 4 June 2019

The film charts Manning’s life following Barack Obama’s unexpected commutation in January 2017 of her vindictive 35-year-term jail sentence.

Amazing Grace: A film about American singer Aretha Franklin’s most popular album

By Matthew Brennan, 3 June 2019

Amazing Grace, a concert film currently showing in select theaters around the US, captures the two-day recording of singer-pianist Aretha Franklin’s 1972 gospel concert album of the same title.

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote: Terry Gilliam’s latest tribute to non-conformism

By David Walsh, 31 May 2019

Gilliam has famously been attempting to make a film inspired by Don Quixote, the 17th century novel by Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes, for decades.

The end of Game of Thrones: Spectacle versus art

By Gabriel Black, 27 May 2019

Game of Thrones’ final season was met with a widespread public backlash critical of its simplistic and misanthropic ending.

Knock Down the House and the Democratic Party politics of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

By Genevieve Leigh, 25 May 2019

Knock Down the House reviews the election campaigns of several Democratic Party primary candidates in the 2018 congressional elections, focused on Ocasio-Cortez in New York City.

The author asks: Is America unredeemable? Rachel Kushner’s novel The Mars Room

By Sandy English, 22 May 2019

Rachel Kushner’s new novel centers on the grim conditions in a women’s prison and draws connections between them and the general state of American society.

Avengers: Endgame: A waste of time, money and talent

By Josh Varlin, 20 May 2019

Endgame is more of a business enterprise than a work of art or cultural artifact.

The Eyes of Orson Welles: A markedly political approach to the American filmmaker …

… and John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky (about John Lennon’s 1971 album Imagine )

By Joanne Laurier, 17 May 2019

A generally left-wing figure shaped by the Great Depression and the impact of the Russian Revolution, filmmaker Orson Welles (1915-1985) was artistically demanding and for the most part found Hollywood nightmarish.

Wild Nights with Emily: American poet Emily Dickinson undone by gender politics

By Joanne Laurier and David Walsh, 10 May 2019

By concentrating almost exclusively on Emily Dickinson’s supposed sexual relationship with her sister-in-law, filmmaker Madeleine Olnek and her collaborators recreate the poet in their own petty, self-absorbed image.

Clergy: An uncompromising film about the hypocrisy and corruption of the Catholic Church in Poland

By Stefan Steinberg, 8 May 2019

Wojciech Smarzowski’s latest offering was released in Poland in the autumn of 2018 and broke several box office records.

Red Joan: A British spy story skirts some issues

By Fred Mazelis, 6 May 2019

The film is loosely based on the case of Melita Norwood, arrested in 1999 and accused of passing classified information to the Soviet Union.

Documentary about the brutal 2014 disappearance of teachers’ college students

The 43: A state massacre and cover-up in Mexico

By Rafael Azul and Don Knowland, 4 May 2019

The documentary on Netflix exposes the role of the military in the 2014 disappearance of 43 rural teaching students and the government’s cover-up of this atrocity.

Some films from the 2019 San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 2

Kabul, City in the Wind, Midnight Traveler and What We Left Unfinished: The catastrophe of US intervention in Afghanistan

By Joanne Laurier, 2 May 2019

The San Francisco film festival screened a number of movies from the nation ravaged in the longest conflict in US history.

Some films from the 2019 San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 1

Paper Flags, Tehran: City of Love and Belmonte—Alienation, loneliness and other problems

By David Walsh, 26 April 2019

Paper Flags, Tehran: City of Love and Belmonte—three films from France, Iran and Uruguay, respectively—were screened at the recent San Francisco film festival.

Freep Film Festival 2019 in Detroit—Part 2

Midnight Family from Mexico, The Last Truck and American Factory—about a former GM plant, murderous Detroit police and I Am Richard Pryor: A mixed lot

By Joanne Laurier, 19 April 2019

In some cases, good intentions are mingled with a socially non-committal attitude—in others, an obvious feeling for important issues is marred by middle-class prejudices and conceptions.

Freep Film Festival 2019 in Detroit—Part 1

Glimpses of social life: The Feeling of Being Watched, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool and Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts, among others

By David Walsh and Helen Halyard, 17 April 2019

The Detroit film festival organizers made an obvious effort to program works oriented toward contemporary reality and recent social history, including many of their difficult and painful aspects.

Ash is the Purest White: Finding one’s way in “the new ‘capitalist’ China”

And Working Woman from Israel

By David Walsh, 13 April 2019

Jia Zhangke has demonstrated a concern with the fate of workers and others whose lives have been turned upside down by the full integration of China into the global capitalist economy.

Emilio Estevez’s The Public: The homeless refuse to freeze to death

By Joanne Laurier, 11 April 2019

A group of homeless people in Cincinnati resist being thrown out of a public library onto the streets on an especially frigid night.

Netflix’s Trigger Warning with Killer Mike: Provocation and pessimism from the Atlanta rap artist

By Nick Barrickman, 8 April 2019

With Trigger Warning, rapper Michael “Killer Mike” Render combines occasional flashes of insight and intellectual courage with a tendency to resort to mere shock tactics or juvenile behavior.

Jordan Peele’s horror film, Us: “Us” and them

By Kevin Martinez, 6 April 2019

Director Jordan Peele’s latest horror film tells the story of a vacationing family stalked by their doppelgängers. The results are murky, pretentious and strangely unaffecting.

Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot: The truth hurts

By David Walsh, 3 April 2019

The most recent film by veteran American director Gus Van Sant focuses on quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan (1951-2010), based on the latter’s memoir.

69th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 9

Three Turkish films (A Tale of Three Sisters, Daughters of Two Worlds, Oray)—Hoping for a better life

By Bernd Reinhardt, 25 March 2019

Three films at the Berlinale ​​exude a humanistic spirit of enlightenment and dialogue. They suggest that everyone, regardless of their ethnic, religious or cultural background, has the right to a better life.

69th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 8

Increasing pressures on Chinese filmmakers

By Stefan Steinberg, 21 March 2019

In February, the deputy director of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Propaganda Department declared that the country’s filmmakers “must have a clear ideological bottom line and cannot challenge the political system.”

Captain Marvel: Money, feminism, militarism and previously “independent” filmmakers

By David Walsh, 20 March 2019

The production and release of Captain Marvel, the new science fiction adventure from Marvel and Disney, has a number of remarkable features, but none of them involve the film’s drama, action or characters.

The Widow: Kate Beckinsale’s journey into African danger

By Joanne Laurier, 18 March 2019

Amazon Video and British ITV’s new eight-episode series is a political thriller set primarily in the war-torn and impoverished Democratic Republic of Congo.

69th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 7

German films: Economic and social tensions on the rise

By Bernd Reinhardt, 16 March 2019

The pursuit of naked profit interests and government-imposed austerity dominate an ever broader swath of life. Some of the German films at this year’s Berlinale point to the consequences.

Lady J (Mademoiselle de Joncquières): A scorned woman takes revenge, or attempts to

By David Walsh, 15 March 2019

The film is based on an episode from Jacques the Fatalist and His Master, a novel written by Denis Diderot (1713–1784), the great Enlightenment figure, in the years 1765 to 1780, but not published until after his death.

69th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 6

God Exists, Her Name is Petrunya: A satire from Macedonia “between anger and melancholy”

By Verena Nees, 13 March 2019

This year’s Berlin International Film Festival once again presented a number of documentary and feature films from eastern and southeastern Europe. Some took a new and refreshing approach.

The attacks on Green Book and the racialist infection of the affluent middle class

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 8 March 2019

The decision to bestow the Best Picture award on Green Book (directed by Peter Farrelly) at the Academy Awards on February 24 has triggered a furious and ongoing response in the American media.

Why is there so little media skepticism about Leaving Neverland and its allegations against Michael Jackson?

By David Walsh, 6 March 2019

Leaving Neverland consists principally of two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, detailing their claims that singer Michael Jackson sexually abused them over the course of many years, in the 1980s and 1990s.

69th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 4

Brecht: A new film about the famed left-wing German dramatist

By Stefan Steinberg, 5 March 2019

Interest in the playwright and poet Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) is undergoing something of a revival.

On the Basis of Sex and Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The manufacturing of a “living legend”

By Ed Hightower, 2 March 2019

The two-hour biopic—a tedious cinematic effort—seeks to rally a core constituency of the Democratic Party: upper-middle-class women.

69th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 3

Israeli films, Mr. Jones and Marighella

By Stefan Steinberg, 28 February 2019

This is the third in a series of articles on the recent Berlin International Film Festival, the Berlinale, held February 7-17, 2019. The first part was posted on February 15 and the second on February 22.

Behind the racist backlash against Green Book

By Hiram Lee and Andre Damon, 26 February 2019

Its central crime, the critics declare, is the view that racial prejudice is a social problem that can be solved through education, reason and empathy, and that racial hatred is not an essential component of the human condition.

Shoplifters: The family you choose, and the ones you don’t

Hirokazu Kore-eda’s latest film

By Kevin Martinez, 25 February 2019

Director Hirokazu Kore-eda has made an interesting film about a family living on the fringes of contemporary Japan. Although not a groundbreaking work, its liveliness and compassion make it worth watching.

69th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 2

Midnight Traveler—“Sometimes life takes you through hell”

By Verena Nees, 22 February 2019

The film provides an authentic and moving portrayal of people just like us, who just happen to live in the wrong country at the wrong time.

Prazdnik (Holiday): Film about social inequality in Russia attracts mass audience

By Clara Weiss, 18 February 2019

The film is a poignant indictment of social inequality and has been subject to a campaign of Russian government censorship.

69th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 1

Between identity politics and opposition against the far right

By Stefan Steinberg, 15 February 2019

The fact that festival director Dieter Kosslick decided on short notice to include the film Who Will Write Our History? is a reflection of the growing opposition in the artistic community to the growth of the far-right in Germany.

Velvet Buzzsaw: The horror of the art world

By David Walsh, 12 February 2019

Dan Gilroy is one of the more interesting American filmmakers currently working.

Woody Allen sues Amazon for failing to distribute his latest film and other breaches of contract

By David Walsh, 9 February 2019

Amazon’s refusal to distribute Allen’s film and honor its contract with him is a brazen act of censorship that is the direct product of the #MeToo witch hunt.

Cold War: Many unstated assumptions about politics and history

Also, Capernaum and Stan and Ollie

By Joanne Laurier, 8 February 2019

Cold War, directed by Polish-born Pawel Pawlikowski, is a film about two artists caught up in Cold War culture and politics in the 1950s.

Vanity Fair: A new television adaptation of the great 19th century novel

By David Walsh, 1 February 2019

William Makepeace Thackeray’s work, a remarkable social satire and picture of life, is set during and after the Napoleonic Wars, with the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815 playing a role in the events.

Beautiful Boy: Part of the truth about drug addiction

By Joanne Laurier, 30 January 2019

The movie deals with the subject of drug addiction—a national public health emergency and social crisis, and the source of immense suffering.

Critic-at-large Wesley Morris on the Academy Awards

Why does the New York Times keep pushing pernicious racialism?

By David Walsh, 28 January 2019

The New York Times critic-at-large Wesley Morris published an article January 23 headlined “Why Do the Oscars Keep Falling for Racial Reconciliation Fantasies?”

The 2019 Academy Award nominations: Filmmaking, money and identity politics

By David Walsh, 23 January 2019

The 91st awards ceremony will be held February 24 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

School: BBC documentary reveals impact of education cuts

By Tom Pearce and Paul Mitchell, 21 January 2019

In the documentary, we witness the distress resulting from teacher shortages, large class sizes, dilapidated buildings and insufficient support for children with special needs, all in pursuit of “balancing the budget.”

Bird Box and Hold the Dark: Looking at things in the face or not

By Joanne Laurier, 19 January 2019

Netflix began streaming Bird Box on December 21 and, a week later, reported that the film had the largest seven-day viewership, 45 million accounts, of any of its original productions.

We The Workers: A limited documentary about labour rights groups in China

By Richard Phillips, 14 January 2019

The main problem of We The Workers is not the director’s stylistic approach but the film’s uncritical attitude towards the political agenda of the labour activists.

Steins;Gate 0: A sequel to the popular time-travel anime series

By Matthew MacEgan, 12 January 2019

One of the top anime series of 2018, based on a 2015 video game of the same name, deals with a small group of friends who discover a way to time travel, with dangerous consequences.

If Beale Street Could Talk: A film version of the James Baldwin novel

By Joanne Laurier, 10 January 2019

The film centers on the love between two African American youth, one of whom faces a police frame-up, in New York City’s Harlem.

Netflix’s The Innocent Man: The American injustice system

By Joanne Laurier, 5 January 2019

The six-episode documentary released in December is based on bestselling novelist John Grisham’s only non-fiction effort. The miniseries chronicles the wrongful incarceration of four men in the 1980s in Ada, Oklahoma.

“Life is forbidden to us … do you want to comply with that?”: The rediscovery of Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz’s The Traveler in Germany

By Clara Weiss, 4 January 2019

Though written 80 years ago, The Traveler is not just a remarkable literary document of the Nazi period, but speaks immediately to the major political and historical questions of our time.

Clint Eastwood’s The Mule: The world’s oldest drug courier

By Kevin Martinez, 3 January 2019

Eastwood’s latest film fictionally dramatizes the potentially intriguing true story of Leo Sharp, an elderly World War II veteran and horticulturist who smuggled drugs for a Mexican cartel. However, it is a conformist and clichéd work.

Best film and television of 2018

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 31 December 2018

The film world in 2018 can be viewed and judged in different ways and by distinct standards.

Vice: A portrait of an American corporate-military gangster

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 29 December 2018

In regard to the Bush-Cheney administration, the WSWS pointed in the early 2000s to an unprecedented development, the “rise to the pinnacle of the American political system of elements of a gangster character.”

Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma: Art and struggle

By Rafael Azul, 17 December 2018

Roma is a sensitive portrait of a family breaking apart in the broader context of a social crisis. It follows Cleo, a Mixtec Indian, as she performs her daily chores, which include caring for the family’s four children.

Wildlife: American dreams and discouragement

And Can You Ever Forgive Me?

By Joanne Laurier, 13 December 2018

Set in 1960 in Great Falls, Montana, Wildlife is a relatively somber look at postwar American life. Can You Ever Forgive Me? focuses on an eccentric forger.

Icebox: The US government locks up children

By David Walsh, 11 December 2018

Icebox  focuses on a 12-year-old Honduran boy, Oscar (Anthony Gonzalez), forced by gang activity to flee his home country and head for the US, where an uncle lives.

Maria by Callas: A documentary on the life of the famed opera singer

By Joanne Laurier, 8 December 2018

Tom Volf’s Maria by Callas, about the legendary Greek-American opera soprano, has opened in the US.

A quarter-century since the release of Steven Spielberg’s film

The achievement of Schindler’s List

By David Walsh, 7 December 2018

Schindler’s List opened in movie theaters in the US in December 1993. A restored version is now playing in selected theaters. We are reposting today a review published in the International Workers Bulletin, a forerunner of the WSWS, in January 1994.

The Front Runner: An American political scandal

And Widows, Bohemian Rhapsody

By Joanne Laurier, 6 December 2018

Jason Reitman’s The Front Runner chronicles the downfall of Gary Hart, the leading contender for the 1988 Democratic Party presidential nomination, whose campaign was abruptly brought to an end by a sex scandal.

Submission: A college professor undone by sexual harassment allegations

By David Walsh, 4 December 2018

Given the film’s subject matter, the generally hostile or condescending treatment Submission received at the hands of the major film critics in March 2018 should not have come as a surprise.

Green Book and At Eternity’s Gate: Overcoming racism and painter Vincent van Gogh’s final years

By Joanne Laurier, 29 November 2018

Set in 1962, Green Book is a heartfelt film about the relationship between a famed black pianist and his white, working class chauffeur. In At Eternity’s Gate, artist Julian Schnabel treats the last period in the life of legendary Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh.

Italian filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci dies at 77

By Richard Phillips and David Walsh, 28 November 2018

Bertolucci will be remembered for valuable films he made in the 1960s and 1970s, including La commare secca (1962—English title, The Grim Reaper), Before the Revolution (1964), The Conformist (1970) and 1900 (1976).

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs: Only a fool “expects better” from humanity

By David Walsh, 26 November 2018

The Coens’ latest film is made up of six stories set in a mythical “Old West.” The thread connecting the various episodes is a generally nasty attitude toward humanity, and American humanity in particular.

Showtime’s Kidding with Jim Carrey: Everyone has a breaking point

By Ed Hightower, 20 November 2018

The often humorous drama follows beloved children’s television personality, Mr. Pickles, through personal and social tragedy.

Web television series Homecoming: Everything about America’s wars, corporate elite is “rotten” …

… And two much weaker series, Maniac and Wanderlust

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 17 November 2018

Homecoming, a compelling, disturbing 10-episode web television series, concerns itself with a facility in Florida that supposedly helps Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.

Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old: A devastating depiction of the horrors of war

By Paul Bond, 15 November 2018

Jackson’s documentary, assembled from footage shot in World War I and soldiers’ oral recollections, has resonated with millions of people.

The Hate U Give: Police brutality in America and its consequences

By Nick Barrickman, 12 November 2018

The film addresses itself to the phenomenon of police violence and its effect on a young African-American working class girl and her family.

Orson Welles’s The Other Side of the Wind: A film 48 years in the making

By David Walsh, 8 November 2018

On November 2, Netflix released The Other Side of the Wind, a film directed by Orson Welles, who died in 1985. The footage was shot, with many breaks and delays, from August 1970 to January 1976.

Venom: Childish science fiction and superheroes abound

By Matthew MacEgan, 7 November 2018

The latest Marvel film from Sony serves up a dish of superficial characters and contrived drama for a big box office success.

HBO’s The Night Of: An intelligent, gripping legal drama

By Carlos Delgado, 5 November 2018

The 2016 miniseries, available on HBO’s online streaming service, is an indictment of a criminal justice system that is massively biased against the working class.

The Wife: A Nobel Prize winner exposed

By Benjamin Mateus, 3 November 2018

The Wife is being celebrated, in the context of the #MeToo movement, as further proof that brutish, overbearing men largely exist to crush talented, deserving women’s hopes and dreams.

What do Tamara Jenkins’ Private Life and Jesse Peretz’s Juliet, Naked have in common?

By David Walsh, 1 November 2018

Each is a relatively unpretentious, low-budget, “independent” film. Each follows a group of middle-class adults as they attempt to navigate certain complicated moral or emotional situations. Each film is slight.

Two short films: The Overcoat, based on the Nikolai Gogol story, and Detainment, about the Jamie Bulger murder case

By David Walsh, 29 October 2018

The Overcoat, directed by Patrick Myles, is based on the famed 1842 short story by Russian author Nikolai Gogol. Detainment treats the aftermath of the killing of a toddler on Merseyside, England in 1993.

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s A Season in France: The human cost of the refugee crisis

By Joanne Laurier, 24 October 2018

Having assured his kids they will be welcomed in France, Abbas, a refugee from the Central African Republic, encounters the opposite: a horrible web of bureaucracy and personal abasement.

The Waldheim Waltz: A timely film about the World War II role of the former right-wing Austrian president

By Stefan Steinberg, 23 October 2018

The events surrounding Kurt Waldheim’s campaign and subsequent election in June 1986 played a major role in exposing the foul role played by Austria’s ruling elite during the Second World War.

Paul Greengrass’s 22 July: Neo-fascist mass murder in Norway

By Joanne Laurier, 18 October 2018

The Netflix fiction feature 22 July recreates the attacks in Norway on July 22, 2011, perpetrated by neo-Nazi Anders Breivik, during which he murdered 77 people, including 69 youth.

Toronto International Film Festival 2018: Part 5

Errol Morris provides Steven Bannon a platform (American Dharma), Werner Herzog celebrates Mikhail Gorbachev (Meeting Gorbachev) and other appalling developments

By David Walsh, 12 October 2018

Certain works either conceal critical features of contemporary life, falsify or are overwhelmed by them.

Mack the Knife—Brecht’s Threepenny Film: The famed “play with music,” and the controversies surrounding it, brought to life

By Sybille Fuchs, 11 October 2018

Joachim A. Lang’s film deals with the failed attempts of left-wing German dramatist Bertolt Brecht in 1930 to make a film based on his successful play The Threepenny Opera (1928).

Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born: It’s true, the artist must have “something to say”

By Joanne Laurier, 10 October 2018

Starring Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born is a film about a rising star and a declining one in the music business.

Toronto International Film Festival 2018: Part 4

Damien Chazelle’s First Man: Reduced in space—and opera singer Maria Callas, the Afghanistan war, small-town America

By Joanne Laurier, 8 October 2018

Damien Chazelle’s First Man—which opens in the US October 12—focuses on US astronaut Neil Armstrong and his role in Apollo 11, the first manned mission to the moon.

Toronto International Film Festival 2018: Part 3

Icebox and Twin Flower: The US government locks up children—and, in Italy, an African refugee finds a kindred spirit

By David Walsh, 4 October 2018

At the recent Toronto film festival, several films took up the global issue of the horrendous treatment of immigrants and the desperate conditions facing refugees.

Toronto International Film Festival 2018: Part 2

Capernaum, Screwdriver, Rosie, The Public and Black 47: Socially critical films from the Middle East, Ireland and the US

By Joanne Laurier, 1 October 2018

Film writers and directors live in this world too. There must be those who reject upper-middle class triviality and self-involvement.

Toronto International Film Festival 2018: Part 1

An intriguing film festival—above all, Mike Leigh’s Peterloo

By David Walsh, 28 September 2018

The recent Toronto International Film Festival screened some 340 films (including 255 features) from 74 countries.

Toronto International Film Festival 2018

Fahrenheit 11/9—Filmmaker Michael Moore clings to the Democratic Party

By David Walsh, 21 September 2018

Despite various criticisms of leading Democrats and the American liberal establishment as a whole, Moore urges his viewers to retain—or perhaps regain—confidence in the Democratic Party.

Hal: A documentary about American filmmaker Hal Ashby (The Last Detail, Shampoo, Coming Home)

By David Walsh, 18 September 2018

Hal Ashby (1929-88) was an American film director, generally underrated or unrecognized today, responsible for a number of valuable or, in some cases, provocative works in the 1970s.

Operation Finale depicts the 1960 capture of Adolf Eichmann in Argentina

By Fred Mazelis, 15 September 2018

The film is long on suspense but rather short on history and insight.

Bisbee ’17: The deportation of Arizona copper miners is a “still-polarizing event”

By Joanne Laurier, 10 September 2018

In July 1917, 1,200 striking copper miners in Bisbee, Arizona were illegally kidnapped, loaded in cattle cars and dumped in the southwest New Mexico desert. This episode is the subject of Bisbee ’17.

Leave No Trace: An Iraq War veteran looks to leave the world behind

By Kevin Martinez, 6 September 2018

From director Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone, 2010) comes the story of an Iraq War veteran with PTSD living in the woods near Portland, Oregon with his teenage daughter.

Hostiles: A US soldier accompanies a Native American chief home in 1892 …

… and homelessness in Seattle in The Road to Nickelsville

By Joanne Laurier, 30 August 2018

Scott Cooper’s Hostiles opens in 1892 in Fort Berringer, New Mexico, as the mass destruction of the Native Americans population is winding down.

How well-deserved is the great success of Crazy Rich Asians?

By Nick Barrickman, 29 August 2018

A great deal of fanfare has surrounded the opening of the film, due principally to the fact that Crazy Rich Asians is the first major Hollywood picture since The Joy Luck Club (1993) to feature an all-Asian cast.

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind: “It’s too late to be sane. Too late.”

By Joanne Laurier, 21 August 2018

Robin Williams (1951–2014) was an exceptional comic whose ability to create personalities and move among them seemed at times almost supernatural. He contained within himself an apparently infinite number of human types.

Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman: The illogic of racialism

By David Walsh, 16 August 2018

Lee’s new film takes as its point of departure the infiltration in the late 1970s of the racist Ku Klux Klan by a black police officer, Ron Stallworth, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story—“Do good anyway. … Think big anyway. … Build anyway”

By Joanne Laurier, 6 August 2018

Alexandra Dean’s documentary focuses on 1940s Hollywood movie star Hedy Lamarr’s recently uncovered career as an inventor of technology that paved the way for secure Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?—A new documentary about Fred Rogers and his television program

By Hiram Lee, 2 August 2018

Fifty years after the debut of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on US public television, a new documentary explores its history and influence.