Sunday, February 21, 2010

Extraordinary Films You Probably Haven't Seen

The Edukators
Hans Weingartner's masterpiece about three rebel oriented youth who break into mansions to scare the rich. They don't steal anything, but they rearrange furniture and toss expensive art into the toilet, leaving a note warning, "your days of plenty are numbered." Events take a dramatic turn when wealthy businessman Hardenberg returns home early to find them, one of whom he recognizes, so they kidnap him, sort of. Burghart Klaußner's performance as Hardenberg makes the film an unforgettable gem.

The Tunnel
Loosely based on the true of story of the 1961 tunnel dug under the Berlin wall by Hasso Herschel. What starts as an effort by four people to rescue five or six expands to a project involving dozens all seeking to rescue loved ones trapped in East Berlin after the wall was built. The story offers a pulse raising nail biter as the GDR State Security (Stasi) race to learn the details and thwart the effort before the tunnel can be finished.

Winged Migration
A stunningly brilliant documentary where filming took over four years and occurred on all seven continents. They used in-flight cameras to obtain aerial footage that has the viewer flying alongside birds of successive species. In the context of all this migration, it is painful to watch when some birds end up in the wrong place at the wrong time and the shotguns start.

Y tu mamá también
Luisa gives the film its poignancy and power. Julio and Tenoch are the "bestest" of friends who take Luisa on a road trip while their girlfriends vacation in Italy. On the road, Julio confesses he had sex with Tenoch's girlfriend. Screaming and fighting ensue. The next day, Tenoch admits he had sex with Julio's girlfriend. Screaming and fighting ensue. The sex in this film is realistic and hilarious. At the bar scene near the end, alcohol fueled confessions inform us that just about everyone has had sex with just about everyone, thus the title of the film, “And your mama, too!” A great film for Republicans.

God Grew Tired of Us
Based upon John Bul Dau's hard hitting memoir as one of the lost boys of Sudan, this deeply powerful documentary shows Africans from Sudan who emigrate to the United States and struggle with their efforts to integrate into American society. Watching them shop at grocery stores, live in apartments, deal with employment, and learn about money is powerful enough, but what delivers the jaw dropping and heart stopping impact is the flawless distinction of the isolation ingrained into American culture as compared to their own.

Every single one of these films is serious cinema by serious artists who have something to say, say it, and say it well. Films such as these and the people who make them are what give me hope for the species when the news makes me think all is doomed and I was born on the wrong planet.

Eleven Great Films Few Have Seen



Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right about the Edukators. It's a great film, and Hardenberg is awesome. A common thread of all the films you listed is their realism and their intelligence.

These are really great films. I would encourage anyone else reading this to see them.

2/21/2010 8:43 PM  

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