L. A. RAEVEN: BEYOND THE IMAGE; Netherlands, 2 &1/2 STARS!! Interesting but at times problematic documentary about twin sisters, both artists (Lisbeth & Angelique Raeven) living, working, eating, thinking in tandem. A unique premise, but unfortunately an unsatisfying, disquieting conclusion.
PATANG (THE KITE); India, FOUR & 1/2 STARS!!!! A superior film by Chicago director, Prashat Bhargava, highlighting a two day episode in the lives of a family during the kite flying festival in Ahmedabad, India. Intriguing, compelling, beautiful.
MACHETE LANGUAGE; Mexico, THREE STARS!!! Young, disenfranchised revolutionaries coming to terms with the vicissitudes and bleakness that comprise and compromise their existence. Dark, daring and pivotally performed.
FLYING FISH; Sri Lanka; FOUR STARS!!!! Lacking in dialogue, but endowed with a powerful narrative, the film succeeds in portraying without sensationalism, the tragedy of people living, bereft of options, or hope; the misery, frustrations of the individuals are shrouded in one of the most luminous landscapes ever filmed; destitution thriving in glorious, celestial beauty.
HOTEL SWOONI; Belgium, FIVE STARS!!!!! The hotel is the setting for one of the most creative, heartwarming movies of the festival; laughing, crying and rejoicing as the guests and staff entwine, their scenarios comingle. Few films make you feel as ebullient, alive and happy; exiting, yearning to squeeze, hug anyone, everyone!