On Monday, an American (Hutcherson) moves to Havana to start film school, connecting with a friend (Cruz) who takes him for a night on the town. Tuesday, filmmaker Kusturica arrives to accept an award, then escapes to a jazz club with his driver (Abreu). Wednesday, a Spaniard (Bruhl) tries to recruit a Cuban singer (Estevez) to work in Europe, but her baseball-player boyfriend (Benitez) has other plans. Thursday, a Palestinian (Suleiman) struggles to make sense of the local culture. Friday, a teen (Herrera) is put through a ritual to cure her lesbian tendencies. Saturday, a woman (Ibarra) tries to hold her family together by working two high-pressure jobs. And Sunday, a woman (Amore) obeys the Virgin and gets her family to install a pond in her sitting room.
Continue reading: 7 Days In Havana Review
When Israel "liberates" Nazareth, one Arab family quietly stands firm. Young husband Fuad (Bakri) makes guns as part of the resistance and is constantly harassed by Jewish militia, while his wife (Qudha Tanus, then Bajjali) tries to make life as normal as possible for their young son Elia (Hanna, Espanioli, then Suleiman). Over the years the situation changes, but their home remains constant, as do their colourful neighbours. And for every act of violence, there are at least five absurd events that keep things in perspective.
Continue reading: The Time That Remains Review
The non-narrative storytelling references back to E.S., tending to his ailing father (Nayef Fahoum Daher) and meeting a beautiful Palestinian freedom fighter (Manal Khader) for unspoken hand-holding, seen discreetly on the Jerusalem border under the watchful eye of soldiers. If E.S. is the observer (he's too inactive to truly function as a conscience), he's also maybe the dreamer. His fantasies serve as comical outbursts, seamlessly interwoven into his mundane life. The freedom fighter transforms at one point into a cloaked ninja, beating the hell out of Israeli soldiers to a kitschy pop jingle. One of E.S.'s apricots also functions as a hand grenade, blowing up an enemy tank. A colorful balloon emblazoned with the picture of Yasser Arafat flies over an Israeli checkpoint unhindered. Any dream will do.
Continue reading: Divine Intervention Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.