Les Misérables is the well-known Victor Hugo’s story but presented in a modern way. Ladj Ly’s film once again shows that epochs change, but people do not. Nowadays, as well as in the distant past, on the outskirts of Paris, much like in any other place, human beings continue to hurt themselves and others. Yet, sooner or later, every crime will be punished.

Illustration by Christina Cook

At first, Ladj Ly made a short film ‘testing’ Les Misérables plot. The short film of the same name has earned a large number of nominations and awards, including the Best Film award in a national competition…

The film has a distinctive French flavor and is somewhat old-fashioned. It is really light-hearted and is all about love. And yet it is fascinating and can easily bring you to tears.

Illustration by Christina Cook

Many viewers may recognize La Belle Époque director Nicolas Bedos in the movies like Love Is in the Air (Amour et turbulences) or Love Lasts Three Years (L’Amour dure trois ans). Still, he is first and foremost a writer and a director, and he is as good at those crafts as in the romantic films being an actor.

His new film combines drama and comedy, restraint and passion…

It’s a drama of one fictional family, but it’s also a problem of plenty of real families all over the world. Nobody will write about struggling families in the news. Maybe that is why films need to be made about them.

Illustration by Christina Cook

Ken Loach won the Palme d’Or Award multiple times. At the 72nd Cannes Film Festival, he stunned the audience with a new feature film Sorry We Missed You.

The film resembles the director’s previous work I, Daniel Blake. Both films address the issue of social distress and frailty of a person who faces personal and social challenges.

What do…

This movie is a collection of flashbacks and episodes from the life of Salvador, a director who no longer makes films.

Illustration by Christina Cook

The premiere of the latest Pedro Almodóvar’s film was really moving taking place in a homely atmosphere. The film crew walked the red carpet to the accompaniment of dreamy Come Sinfonia performed by Mina Mazzini. After that, they were welcomed by Thierry Frémaux, the director of the Cannes Film Festival. As soon as the showing was over, no one held back their emotions — there was a huge round of applause, a lot of tears, gratitude and recognition.


How to come to terms with each other’s imperfections and rebuild your lives if everything went awry?

Illustration by Christina Cook

A Son (Bik Eneich/Un Fils) is a feature film debut from Tunisian filmmaker Mehdi M. Barsaoui. The film premiered in the Horizons (Orrizonti) section of the Venice Film Festival. During the year the film won a number of awards. Having been presented in Venice, it was also honored at the Cairo Film Festival, Hainan and Hamburg.

It is a story of the members of one family whose lives fall into pieces. However, it does not mean they cannot be rescued. In Japan, there…

War in Afghanistan, lonely children and their hiding places — an orphanage and Bollywood movies where you can get away from the cruelty around.

Illustration by Christina Cook

The Orphanage is the second film directed by Shahrbanoo Sadat. It was screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the Cannes Film Festival. Last year’s nominees for the European Film Awards including such films as And Then We Danced (directed by Levan Akin) and Oleg (directed by Juris Kursietis) were also featured in the above-mentioned Section at the 72nd Festival.

Shahrbanoo Sadat’s works intend to create a chain which has to consist of 5 separate films…

The director showed us the threat of Nazism — something that is considered to be obvious and dangerous. But he has imposed it on modern society.

Illustration by Christina Cook

The film Transit directed by Christian Petzold competed in the Main Competition Section at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival. It is not the first time the festival has welcomed the director; more than once has he been the Berlinale nominee. In 2012, he won the Silver Bear for Best Director for the drama film Barbara.

Nazism and its consequences for Germany and the world is a deep German wound that has left an…

Romanian director Adina Pintilie won the 68th Berlinale jury’s hearts with the frankness and openheartedness of her pseudo-documentary film.

Illustration by Christina Cook

In Touch Me Not (Nu mă atinge-mă) the line between art and documentary is barely noticeable. The events that are often presented by the director herself are devoid of any cinematic effects and look all too real on camera. Obviously, professional actors were involved in the creation of Touch Me Not. However, many of the actors play themselves in the movie, which makes you believe them, empathize, understand and accept.

The given film is deservedly scandalous. Adina Pintilie shows us the…

Annie Silverstein shows us provincial America where everything is too straightforward, too obvious and too cruel.

Illustration by Christina Cook

Bull is the debut feature film of Annie Silverstein. She has come a long way from being a youth program coordinator to a Cannes Film Festival nominee. In 2014, she presented her short film Skunk in Cannes. The director has now returned with the premiere of her new movie in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival.

The film is set on the outskirts of Houston, in a small town with its weirdos and losers. The town itself conforms to all…

The story of a young Welsh journalist, Gareth Jones, who was one of the first in the early 1930s to tell the world about the Holodomor in Soviet Union.

Illustration by Christina Cook

Mr. Jones (Obywatel Jones) is a film directed by Agnieszka Holland, which premiered at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival. It is not the first time the Polish director has taken up filming a drama about Ukraine. For example, the movie In Darkness (W ciemności) is set in Lviv (West Ukraine) during the Second World War. The issue of genocide is common for both films. In Darkness explores the topic of…

Khrystyna Yavna

Cinephile: visitor of 71st/72nd Cannes Film Festival, 69th/70th Berlinale, Stockholm FF, etc.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store