Orthodox wars in The Women’s Balcony

B Comedy/drama Written by Shlomit Nehama Directed by Emil Ben-Shimon A section of a synagogue collapses, and a war breaks out amongst Orthodox Jews over just how Orthodox they will be. Not surprisingly, it becomes a war of the sexes in this light comedy. I don't know how well non-Jews will understand The Women's Balcony. … Continue reading Orthodox wars in The Women’s Balcony

Paris Can Wait, and it’s a pleasant trip

B- Travelogue romance Written and directed by Eleanor Coppola The best compliment I can give Eleanor Coppola's narrative feature debut is pleasant. Paris Can Wait is not particularly funny or dramatic. Although the plot revolves around whether two people will sleep together, it's not sexy. In a few scenes, it opens modest insights into the … Continue reading Paris Can Wait, and it’s a pleasant trip

Summertime: Lesbian love in 1971

A- Romantic drama Written by Catherine Corsini and Laurette Polmanss Directed by Catherine Corsini Note: I wrote this review almost a year ago, shortly before the film's screening at the 2016 Frameline festival. I assumed that it would receive an American theatrical release. It didn't. I just discovered that the movie is available on several … Continue reading Summertime: Lesbian love in 1971

The Student teaches us about religious fascism

A Drama Written and directed by Kirill Serebrennikov One determined student can manipulate his schoolmates, teachers, and the administration, disrupting an entire high school. All he needs is a fanatical belief and the will to do anything to achieve his goals. Kirill Serebrennikov's powerful drama, The Student, shows exactly how it can be done. It's … Continue reading The Student teaches us about religious fascism

Sonita: A suspenseful documentary about forced marriage

A documentary Directed by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami Note: This exceptional documentary struck a tremendous chord when I saw at the 2016 San Francisco Film Festival. I wrote the review below at that time, but held back publication until until Bay Area viewers could see the picture.Now that Sonita is available on Netflix, I'm publishing my review. Young … Continue reading Sonita: A suspenseful documentary about forced marriage