A Canadian rock satire condemning the efforts to scapegoat a mythical “Patient Zero” at the beginning of the AIDS outbreak, and celebrating the activist movement that beat back disinformation with facts and advocacy to save lives. John Greyson’s ghost/love story features singing buttholes, a Busby Berkeley blood smear, and a taxidermy ballet. It is righteous, defiantly tasteless, and joyful.
After a hard-line imam urges a young teenager to renounce the secular values of his family, the boy clumsily tries to kill the liberal Muslim schoolteacher that the imam has labeled an apostate. The Dardennes make clear that the Muslim community is not monolithic, and through their fierce empathy for this boy, they show the role that a compassionate society can play in untangling violent ideology.
Time for another exquisite Satyajit Ray film. A nobleman and classical music fanatic lounges in his music room, refusing to engage with a changing world. Chhabi Biswas’s compassionate performance–and the astonishing musicians that Ray fills the film with–make you appreciate this man’s obsession, even as he allows his relationships and ancestral palace to crumble around him.
A story in two chapters of an engineer and a young hairdresser from the same Nigerian community who each seek a path to migrate to Europe. By illustrating the simple, basic services that require payment to keep the wheels of bureaucracy spinning, filmmakers Arie and Chuko Esiri confront us with the suffocating absurdity of any system that makes you pay for dignity out-of-pocket. At the same time, they offer cautious hope by showing how the kindness of your neighbors can help you break free from a cycle.
The Bri-terion Collection
I’m loving the Criterion Channel streaming service, so every week I’m going to share my favorite new find.