October 26 2015 Drama Movies Newsletter
Epstein could also have mentioned that filmmakers sometimes create fictitious country names or locations in order to avoid cultural conflicts or having to submit their scripts for approval. If a film is striving for authenticity, as "Child 44" does, that is not an option. "Child 44" is set in the Soviet Union but was filmed in the Czech Republic, either for political or monetary reasons. One of the film's themes is the legacy of violence. The main characters are orphaned survivors of the 1933 Ukrainian famine, orchestrated by Joseph Stalin. Leo Demidov, the protagonist, is a perpetrator of violence until he realizes that a serial killer is murdering children. This is the point at which he rebels against the system. Although the story is dark, it also exhibits some optimism about humanity and the ability of people to maintain their individualism in spite of crushing repression.
Documentaries are in the news this week. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that 124 films were submitted for consideration in this year's Oscars. The Academy will pare the list down to 15 films, then down to 5 for the Oscar nominations on Jan. 14th, 2016. (The awards will be handed out on Feb. 28th.) The competition seems especially strong this year. One of the front runners has to be "He Named Me Malala", about the Pakistani campaigner for girls' education who was shot by the Taliban, but survived. There are films about musicians Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, and Nina Simone. Michael Moore's "Where To Invade Next" is up for consideration, as well as "Hitchcock/Truffaut". "Cartel Land", about the drug problem that plagues both Mexico and the US, is getting plenty of attention. Interesting films that deserve an audience as much as the feature films, this year.
Here's the latest article from the Drama Movies site at BellaOnline.com.
Child 44 Film Review
An authoritarian state allows criminality to flourish because it refuses to acknowledge the truth. Tom Hardy stars in this dark and gripping tale, based on the best-selling novel by Tom Rob Smith.
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