Insiang tries to wrest back control of her life from her spiteful mother, her mother’s predatory boyfriend, and her own deadbeat suitors. Brocka grounds the melodrama with a stark portrayal of everyday life in Manilla’s slums, making Insiang’s desperation and resolve tangible.
On the surface, Lucrecia Martel’s unsettling portrait of a family watching their summer estate rot relies on no discernible plot machinations. But as her characters subtly torture each other, the mysterious undertow of her invisible storytelling mesmerized me.
An all-time classic I finally caught. Apu’s beleaguered mother struggles to care for his aspiring-playwright dad, rebellious sister, and ancient, impish aunt. We take in the village through the boy’s eyes, and Ray’s keenly observed, beautifully shot, tiny moments of revelation.
A college student races across late-Communist Romania trying to help her roommate get an abortion. The severe laws prohibiting the procedure force the two friends to harrowing extremes, and make them question their relationships and values.