EL REINO (2019)

A film by  Rodrigo Sorogoyen

Cast: Antonio de la Torre, Mónica López, Josep Maria Pou 

English title: The realm

Manuel López-Vidal is an influential politician in his region. While he must enter the national leadership of his party, he finds himself involved in a corruption case that threatens one of his closest friends. Trapped, he sees in career going to hell…..

Here is an awesome political thriller from Spain with high caliber actors with a fast ride to hell. Regional vice-secretary Manuel Lopez Vidal (de la Torre) devised an illegal system to fill his pockets fast, as well as his friends, but is unmasked when his close friend, Paco (Nacho Fresneda) is accused of corruption. A recorded conversation has leaked out into the media Suddenly, Manuel ‘s life is turned upside down by a thorough investigation that can send him to jail. Manuel is trying to keep a float and his family safe. One of his friends even told him to keep quiet and do nothing to see if this his going to blow over, He does not listen and makes sure that everyone is not going to talk. Well here is a fast past thriller of this political man and his corrupted friends who are going to turn on each other. A beautiful ending here like I said with terrific actors who plays the part very well. Let me tell you something do not miss this one. The game that politician plays and the corruption that goes with it which brings me that they will stop at nothing . Here is a well-crafted scenario with great dialogue.

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BIRDS OF PASSAGE (2019)

A film by  Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra

Cast:  Carmiña Martínez, José Acosta, Natalia Reyes 

In the 1970s, in Colombia, a Wayuu family of natives found themselves at the heart of the flourishing sale of marijuana to American youth. When the family honor tries to resist human greed, clan warfare becomes inevitable and endangers their ancestral lives, culture, and traditions. This is the birth of the drug cartels.

A girl named Zaida (Natalia Reyes) has just completed her ritual period of isolation and her people are celebrating her emergence, which symbolizes her readiness for marriage. And the prospect soon after the announcement tells her you “you are going to be my wife”  announced by Rapayet (José Acosta), from an other family. Zaida’s mother, Ursula (Carmiña Martínez), who seems to be the leader in her family , seems suspicious of Rapayet as soon as makes his intentions known.  She ask for a dowry that she seems to assume is way beyond the man’s means; it includes scores of goats and cows the main thing that one will ask as well as some valuable necklaces that are not easy to find. Not long after that he returns with all the dowry items. The way he enriched himself enough to afford his pretty and pricey bride is where the film’s crime story begins. Birds of Passage is based on actual events from the 1960s-’80s and is told in four chapters, followed by a epilogue.

The Wayúu family believes in traditions and also in ghosts and are superstitious. But the new young members does not believe in tradition and resist the old way of doing things. They value honor but soon became to understand that greed, power, violence and death will follow. The director here took an approach non Hollywood , they did not glorify the violence. The filmmakers avoided direct, up-close depictions of violence. Sometimes we see only its results. Here is an independent film done right which is how the cartel took over back in the day. Now days the Cartel is going to take a hit because Marijuana is beginning to be legal in some countries. Do not miss this one.

BALLON (2019)

A film by  Michael Herbig 

Cast:  Friedrich Mücke, Karoline Schuch, David Kross 

In the midst of the Cold War, two ordinary families from East Germany dream of going west. Their plan is to build a hot air balloon and fly over the border. An incredible true story.

Here are two families who had enough living in the East side of Germany who has a crazy idea to build a balloon to go to the west side. I knew a friend back in the late 80’s who went to the East side of Germany he is an American he went by train and the Stasi (Homeland security) went on the train and told the passengers to get their passport out which followed by a question if they had anything that they are not suppose to have in their suitcase. My Friend was talking to this English guy who the Stasi search his suitcase and found playboy magazines in it. The Stasi took him and my friend never saw him again. The Stasi does not mess around if you try to go over the wall they will shoot you down that you are man, woman, or a kid. My friend told me that on the East side it is depressive as hell? Nobody smile everyone minds their own business, you could smell fear in people as you walk by them. Here the director has done a colorful film like if it was an American movie from the 60’s except we are in 1979. And the Stasi is film in this grey color here the director has done this purposely. The heroes are as colorful as the balloon that they are going to take to go to the west side. It is like a ray of hope. Are they going to make it? The thing is the director didn’t not let up the tension as well as the suspense. The Stasi here are their trail and they are coming closer. It is amazing that they were smart to figure out how to build it even to saw the fabric together. Everyone had a job to do in this in order to leave as quickly as they can. A terrific film not to be missed.

TEL AVIV ON FIRE (2019)

A film by  Sameh Zoabi

Cast:  Kais Nashif, Lubna Azabal, Yaniv Biton

Salam, 30, lives in Jerusalem. He is a Palestinian and an intern on the set of the hit Arabic series “Tel Aviv on Fire!” Every morning he crosses the same checkpoint to work in Ramallah. One day, Salam is arrested by an Israeli officer Assi, fan of the series, to try to get away, he claims to be the scriptwriter. Taken to its own trap, Salam will be imposed by Assi a new scenario. Obviously, nothing will happen as planned.

Salam (Kais Nashif) a Palestinian living in Israel, he’s working as a production intern on the TV series named Tel Aviv On Fire, set in 1967 on the verge of the Six-Day War, it is clear that he is here because his uncle is a producer of the series and tries to rekindle the relationship of an ex girlfriend. Salam is here on the set as a person who reviews the authenticity of the language spoken. When he goes back home, Officer Assi , fan of the series ask him if he is the screenwriter, and bang Assi read the latest script and demand that he writes the story as he sees fit. To top it all off the next day the original writer had enough and leaves the set. Salam’s uncle promote Salam to screenwriter. Ho! boy. Salam here has no inspiration and has writer’s block. but you will not believe that is going to happen.

The director here is being conscious and careful about the ongoing issues about the Israeli and the palestinian, and balances the humour and the narrative perfectly well. Here Palestinians and Israelis has to live together regardless of the past and it is not an easy thing to do. Salam here is in his neck but seems to try to get his head above water. He is trying to get his old flame back in the process. Making a series is a hard thing to do and is a lot of work. Nobody seems to be on the same page. Here Salma is trying to make everybody happy will he succeed at getting his old flame back and will he succeed in writing a successful ending. Well see the movie.

MON BÉBÉ (2019)

A film by  Lisa Azuelos

Cast:  Sandrine Kiberlain, Thaïs Alessandrin, Victor Belmondo

English title : Sweetheart

Heloise is the mother of three children. Jade, her “youngest daughter”, has just turned eighteen and will soon be leaving the nest to continue his studies in Canada. Jade’s departure approaches, and in the stress that this represents, Heloise remembers their shared memories, those of a tender and fusional mother-daughter relationship, and anticipates this departure by playing the apprentice filmmakers with her IPhone, so she has memories to look back to when Jade is gone …

Nearly three years after “Dalida”, more than ten years after “LOL “, the director Lisa Azuelos returns with Mon Bébé going back to the family theme that she does so well especially the mother daughter relationship. It is filmed with ease and grace and I so love that. Extremely well writing, entertaining, well casting need I say more. Ok I will say more first Sandrine Kiberlain delivers the role beautifully well has great chemistry with Thaī Alessandrin who is a new comer I think and to top it all off Victor Belmondo the grandson of Jean-Paul Belmondo is in this film. A bit of a autobiographie in there somewhere like her film LOL. The director here admitted that she was faced with the departure of her own daughter who like in the film has decided to study in Canada. So she decided to write it finally but under a form of fiction. It is an emotional film but not too emotional with some moments of pure beauty. We know that the last child that is going to leave it is going to be difficult for the mother to let her go. It is hard for a mother to let go her child into to the world the mother wants always to protect her child don’t matter what. Azuelos avoid the clichés here and what a terrific film she directed. You will have a good time guaranteed.

LA NOCHE DE 12 ANÕS (2019)

A film by  Álvaro Brechner

Cast:  Antonio de la Torre, Chino Darín, Alfonso Tort

English title: A twelve year night

1973, Uruguay falls into dictatorship. Three political opponents are secretly imprisoned by the new military power. Thrown into small cells, they are forbidden to talk to each other and badly nourished with barely have the essential toiletry , three men whose limit is pushed to madness, three hostage where the punishment is to break them of their humanities. The film tells the 12 years of imprisonment lived by three the most famous figures of contemporary Uruguay.

Here are twelve men who are confined in a small cell and submit to the atrocities that are inhuman. Solitary confinement is the worse case scenario they said you can not go more than 30 days without talking with to someone or you will go crazy. A haunting story of 12 years of incarceration in the life of Jose Mujica (Antonio de la Torre) and his two camarade, Mauricio Rosencof (Chino Darín) and Eleuterio Fernández Huidobro (Alfonso Tort). In 1973, Uruguay in taken by a military dictatorship. Members of the guerilla known as Tupamaros are considered traitors to the country. They are caught and thrown in jail and persecuted. Some of them were kidnapped by the military to subject to inhuman condition and psychological torture. They are moved from time to time to different cells. But those three men are finding ways to even talk to each other sort of and to not submit to those atrocities. There was one funny scene in the toilet with a prisoner who wanted to take a shit but could not squat do to one arm was in cuff high by the pipe. You will laugh your ass off, how stupid are the military. Álvaro Brechner here made sure not to let up on the tension throughout the film. There are the occasional flashback that does not revealing to much which was a smart move here. Keep in mind that those men were incarcerated for twelve years of pure psychological torture. Those are men you will not see men like them now. Great film here not to be missed.

SYNONYMES (2019)

A film by  Nadav Lapid

Cast:  Tom Mercier, Quentin Dolmaire, Louise Chevillotte 

Yoav, a young Israeli, lands in Paris, hoping that France and the French language will save him from the madness of his country.

Here is a film when you will get out of the theater you will feel amazed, seduced, marked, impressed, shaken, moved or you are going to hate it period. Here is a man who is a soldier lands in Paris. He is running away from his country and the crazy things that is going on there. he want no part of it. Yoav wants to be French and learn French. The first scene when he walks in this empty apartment has this beautiful meaning. He gets undressed takes a shower when he is done he goes to get his clothes but his backpack and clothes are gone. he is freeing and looks for his clothes from room to room nothing. he gets down the stairs and want to go outside but hold off and goes back upstairs knocks on doors to see if someone will help him, but no one does. He goes back in the bathtub and passes out. when he gets naked he is going toward a new identity, taking the shower washes out what he lived in Israel. A young rich couple finds him in the bathtub and shelter him give him some clothes and food. Now Yoav is some ready to survive in Paris and to try to be a French citizen. Dressed (often in an orange coat) in the streets of Paris, he wanders through words, synonyms that he shouts. He tries to stop and rest but he is restless wanders between Caroline and Emile. The film here is full of energy and Nadav Lapid finds the right balance to give it some new energy because a story about an immigrant has been done before so many time, but this one I got to admit is a little weird at times like when A photographer and makes him do things that are strange. The film is full of energy and Yoav is trying to find an identity in his quest but is he going to find it? Yes, the film has a perfect ending.