films

Sorry to Bother You
Written & directed by Boots Riley
In cinemas now

This review includes mild spoilers.

As an Australian living abroad, incidents of Australians being racist and/or misogynistisic that attract attention from international media outlets are frequently forwarded to me in anticipation of a seething refrain.

Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist
Directed by Lorna Tucker
In cinemas

In the 1970s, punks astounded Britain with their T-shirts worn inside out and torn clothes with safety pins.

Vivienne Westwood was the person responsible for most of that look. Not only did she tear clothing apart, she lived a similar life.

Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist is a raw, unpredictable and unapologetic documentary about the punk icon and fashion designer. 

Watching it was a whirlwind. At times I was smiling, others I felt frustration.

BlacKkKlansman
Directed by Spike Lee
Starring John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier & Topher Grace.
2018, in cinemas now

BlacKkKlansman is based upon the 2014 memoirs Black Klansman by former Colorado Springs police officer Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) telling the real-life story of his operation to infiltrate the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).

Two new documentaries that screened at the recent Sydney Film Festival shine a light, in contrasting but powerful styles, on an important, yet often neglected story in the refugee narrative — why people seek asylum.

David Bradbury is an iconic left-wing filmmaker who has been at the forefront of telling the stories of people fighting against injustice and oppression for the past four decades.

In the Fade
Director Fatih Akin
Starring Diane Kruger, Denis Moschitto & Johannes Krisch
Released in 2017
www.inthefadefilm.com

Between 2000 and 2011, Nazi terrorists murdered and bombed immigrants in Germany without the authorities even noticing. The police were convinced it was just rival ethnic gangs quarrelling.

This film is based on that period, though not drawn from a particular event. 

The filmmaker Taika Waititi said racism is very pronounced in New Zealand, explaining he faced blatant discrimination as a Te Whānau-ā-Apanui youth.

In a recent interview, "Thor: Ragnarok" director and sometimes actor says his native New Zealand is “racist as fuck.”

"People just flat-out refuse to pronounce Maori names properly. There’s still profiling when it comes to Polynesians. It’s not even a colour thing – like, ‘Oh, there’s a black person.’ It’s, ‘If you’re Poly then you’re getting profiled.’”

Golden Years
Directed by Andre Techine
Starring Pierre Deladonchamps, Celine Sallette, Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet & Michel Fau
Showing as part of the nation-wide Alliance Francaise Film Festival

This is a gender-bending true story of how a French man fled World War I trenches and — at the urging of his wife — survived in hiding by passing as a woman.

Margaret Atwood is blessed and/or cursed with the credit for this year’s go-to feminist analogy. Any time an old white man makes it clear that women are best kept silent and pregnant, someone says that it’s “just like The Handmaid’s Tale”.

The Sydney Latin American Film Festival (SLAFF) is on again for the 12th year running. Featuring a specially curated program of captivating contemporary Latin American cinema, the festival has several films that progressive filmgoers won’t want to miss.

An important feature of this year’s program is that 50% of the films feature female directors, festival programmer Lidia Luna said.

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