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CineVue

Film reviews and more

Ben Nicholson

Film Review: Utama

★★★★☆ Alejando Loayza Grisi’s award-winning debut feature, Utama is an understated but spectacularly mounted drama about an ageing Quechua couple tending llamas on the edge of civilisation. They live in a very modest stone house that looks out onto the Bolivian altiplano.

KVIFF 2019: Our festival highlights

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival returned to Bohemia this year with another feast of cinema from Europe and beyond. Running from 29 June to 7 July, this year’s festival was notable for two excellent retrospective strands to complement their competitive programmes, including the always interesting East of West Competition.

KVIFF 2018: Our festival highlights

Radu Jude’s film claimed the top prize at this year’s festival and it’s easy to understand why. It embraces the kind of boldly political stance of classic Polish cinema from the Communist era like a riff on both Wajda and Zanussi. The result is a formally loose, but dizzyingly dense and morally forthright examination of national attitudes and the myopia of nostalgia.

KVIFF 2018: Winter Flies review

★★★★☆ Olmo Omerzu’s follow-up to 2015’s Family Film is another tale of children left to their own devices by negligent parents, but this time takes the form of winning road movie caper Winter Flies. The title perhaps refers to resolute dipterans that have refused to be cowed by seasonal colder weather and are attempting to make the very best of harsh conditions.

KVIFF 2018: Profile review

★★★☆☆ Timur Bekmambetov’s new thriller Profile seeks to explore the murky world of how social media is used to recruit vulnerable young women to ISIS. The results are as compelling as they are silly. Back when the entirely desktop-based Unfriended was released in 2014, Bekmambetov was candid about wanting to expand the conceit into an entire genre unto itself.

KVIFF 2018: I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians review

★★★★☆ Following 2015’s Aferim!, Radu Jude returns to the topic of historical Romanian anti-Semitism in his furious new satire “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians” which picked up the top prize at the 53rd edition of Karlovy Vary. Where Aferim! was a shaggy-dog road trip through 19th century Wallachia, Barbarians turns its scalpel to more recent events.