Felipe Cazals recreates this true story with the cold lucidity of a documentary and the creeping dread of a horror movie, showing us how a small-town priest whipped up such anti-communist hysteria in his congregation that he could direct them to murder five young mountain climbers. A chilling example of how fearmongering and otherism can be exploited to drive a community to violence.
The earliest Mike Leigh piece I’ve seen is full of the vivid characterizations and sublimated feeling his process is known for. Ground down by Margaret Thatcher’s austerity, a family on the dole covers their resentment by tearing each other down instead, sabotaging each opportunity any of them have to change their circumstances. Gary Oldman’s manic skinhead is the showy performance, but I found Tim Roth’s debilitatingly shy “Muppet” of a little brother to be captivating.
“We former, present and future colonized people have contributed greatly to the foundation of your industrial and economic capital. Should the interest on that capital not be our right? Please don’t say that we’re costing you dear. The help you’re giving to us is aimed above all at preserving your own markets and maintaining your economic privileges.”
Fifty years ago, Mauritanian filmmaker Med Hondo took on France’s exploitation of African immigrants in an “authentic act of rage and liberation” that cuts deep to this day.
What shook me most about Salomon Perel’s account of the four years he lived among the Nazis by pretending to be an “Aryan German,” was how effective this teenager was at blending in. He not only survived but thrived, becoming beloved by those who would have killed him if they suspected he were Jewish. Agnieszka Holland's adaptation taps into the seductive urge to belong that fuels even the most repugnant ideologies, and she makes us feel for the boy's struggle to keep a tenuous hold of his identity.