Category: Film

Burnt to the core: A paean to investigative journalism

Sometimes it takes a relatively small conflagration to set the whole world on fire and let it burn to the ground. Alexander Nanau’s brilliant documentary Collective tells a story that will trigger your sense of urgency as it will trouble your gut. It features on this year’s Encounters […]

How to live one day at a time

SHE SQUINTS HER beautiful eyes and frowns gloriously. Her tan body is health and lithe, playful, watchful, vulnerable, tough. This is Zeytin, a mixed breed large dog in Istanbul, central to an extraordinary piece of filmography called Stray, made by Elizabeth Lo, which features on this year’s Encounters […]

Ella’s story: So near and yet so far

BEHIND THE FEISTY face and wry sense of humour of 98-year-old Capetonian Ella Blumenthal is a history that underpins the life of many European Jews who lived through the scourge of the Holocaust, bereft, broken and with scant wherewithal to pick up pieces and start life all over […]

Last scene of all

WHEN THE TRADITIONAL lines of documentary are allowed to blend into the messy whimsy of what fictional tales are about, real magic happens.  A kind of universal sacred magic that speaks to what all of us are, as human beings. This is what you can anticipate in Maite […]

Boy in the wood

PICTURE THE SCENARIO: It’s the time of the American Civil War. An exclusive coterie of Southern virginal young women live together in an isolated house on the brink of a wood. One day one of them discovers a wounded soldier among the mushrooms. Garbed in blue, he’s of […]

The Shining, dulled

DO THE THINGS that go ‘boo!’ in the night still have fresh value of their own to curdle your blood and populate your nightmares? This is a question you may ponder when you see Doctor Sleep, a film marketed with horror novelist Stephen King’s name, which turns out […]

How to be at home in the world

WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER the crisp freshness in John Crowley’s Brooklyn, a filmic interpretation of Colm Toibin’s novel of the same name, you will realise that it is all pervading. From the use of dress to the understanding of light, colour, narrative and performance, this 2015 film is nothing […]

Where Fortune smiles (and weeps)

WELCOME TO THE Oasis, where bad feelings lie in everyone’s heart, and money is too tight to mention. No whores, no drugs, no gambling, this club is a ‘rite of passage’ jazz venue for many young people, and it values its squeaky clean reputation, but everyone, it seems, […]

Itchy foot, generous flukes

YOU’RE NEVER TOO small for great big adventures, is one of the empowering messages in Max Lang and Daniel Snaddon’s completely gorgeous animation, The Snail and the Whale, recently released on Showmax. But more than just a lovely story with a lump-in-the-throat truism as its moral, it’s a […]