South Korean filmmaker Chung Ji-young has followed Unbowed, his powerful film on judicial misconduct, with a searing look at repression under the military rule of Chun Doo-hwan in the 1980s. Released in its home country at the end of last year, National Security is among the most remarkable films to come out South Korea in recent years. Since South Korea’s film industry ranks among the most vibrant and creative, that is another way of saying that National Security is a major event in world cinema. Read More »
It was with great anticipation that I greeted the announcement by Edition Filmmuseum last year of the imminent release of a DVD set entitled Female Comedy Teams. Having recently discovered the joys of a handful of short films Thelma Todd made with Zasu Pitts and Patsy Kelly in the early thirties, I was keen to see more of them, particularly as the prints I had seen were in battered condition.
An Interview with Boris Malagurski
Who in their right mind would actually want to be a colony? That is the question asked in the opening section of The Weight of Chains, the latest film directed by Boris Malagurski. His film demonstrates how the South Slavs emerged from centuries of colonial rule under the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires, and unified to form an independent Yugoslavia. In sharp analytical detail, Malagurski’s film dissects how Western intervention systematically undermined that independence and helped destroy Yugoslavia, plunging the region into war in the process.
At a time when the Iraq war continues to be a defining issue on the American scene, it is ironic that the most powerful and uncompromising documentary on the subject remains almost entirely unknown and unseen in this country. It took Japanese filmmaker Takeharu Watai a year and a half to film more than 123 hours of footage in Iraq, which he managed to edit down to two unforgettable hours. The result is the stunning Little Birds, which plunges the viewer into the middle of the war, in all its sorrow and horror, and never lets up.
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