Foreign Policy Blogs

Global Film Review

Before the Rain (1994)

Before the Rain (1994)

“Time never dies – the circle is not round.” That is the thread that unites the three parts of this story. Set in Macedonia during the time of the Balkan wars of the 1990s, “Before the Rain” is a study in how ethnic strife can appear in a place that is apparently at peace. [kml_flashembed […]

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Is Russian Cinema Dead?

FPA Russia blogger Vadim Nikitin tackles that question in his latest blog entry: “In the 1990s, the Russian film landscape had come to resemble something straight out of Tarkovsky’s Stalker, with stray dogs wandering through Mosfilm studios in Eisenstein’s footprints and actors and directors stumbling around a menacing no man’s land in search of money […]

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Baraka (1992)

Baraka (1992)

This film is visually stunning. Filmed in 70mm in 24 countries, it is one long montage of scenes. The viewer has to be in the right frame of mind to watch “Baraka” – there is no dialogue or narration. All of the images are set to New Age music. [kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/XO1nSVy8q8I” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /] […]

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Darshan: The Embrace (2006)

Darshan: The Embrace (2006)

This movie is a snooze fest. Which is unfortunate because the subject, Amma, is fascinating. What director Jan Kounen appears to have tried is to provide a documentary about the life of Amma, a mahatma in India. However, it falls short somehow. There are long periods of film showing the thousands of people who line […]

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Sin Nombre (2009)

Sin Nombre (2009)

Right from the start this film draws the audience in. It is a movie about a young Honduran woman named Sayra who rides on top of trains hoping to reach Texas through Mexico. It is also about Casper (a.k.a. Willy), a Mexican gang member in trouble who meets up with Sayra along the way. Casper’s […]

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Under the Bombs (2007)

Under the Bombs (2007)

In the summer of 2006, southern Lebanon was under a barrage of Israeli firepower. The war was nominally between Israel and Hezbollah operating out of Lebanon. What this film does – and does well – is to humanize this war story. [kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/YbabkJPcTts” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /] It shows a woman, Zeina, who has come […]

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Romero (1989)

Romero (1989)

“Be a patriot – kill a priest.” That was a bumper sticker seen on vehicles run by the national guard in El Salvador in the 1980s. The reason is that the entrenched elite of that country believed that Roman Catholic priests were becoming radicalized and increasingly political and who therefore threatened their interests. [kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/ILCZh1SIypA” […]

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Beyond the Gates of Splendor (2004)

Beyond the Gates of Splendor (2004)

The story behind this documentary is fascinating. Several missionaries travel to eastern Ecuador in the 1950s and make contact with the Waodani, a Stone Age tribe. Five of the missionaries – all men – are brutally murdered by the Waodani. [kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/qBF-AQe7lzk” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /] What happens next is fairly unbelievable: the wives and […]

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I Have Never Forgotten You (2007)

I Have Never Forgotten You (2007)

Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal is lionized – and rightfully so –in this documentary. The film follows him from his life in a German concentration camp until his death in 2005. It shows how relentless he was in tracking down war criminals and how scrupulous he was. [kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/Z8pW6dr_Fy4″ width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /] While many jumped […]

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The Age of Stupid (2009)

The Age of Stupid (2009)

History was made tonight. With screenings in more than 550 cinemas in more than 45 countries, the global premiere of “The Age of Stupid” has made a Guinness world record. It would appear that this film might pack less of a wallop because of former United States Vice President Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.” But […]

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The Age of Stupid (Preview)

The Age of Stupid (Preview)

This film is being shown in more than 550 cinemas and more than 45 countries on September 21 and September 22. Go here to see if it’s playing near you. ‘The Age of Stupid’ is the new cinema documentary from the Director of ‘McLibel’ and the Producer of the Oscar-winning ‘One Day in September’. [kml_flashembed […]

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No End in Sight (2007)

No End in Sight (2007)

After the fall of Baghdad in 2003, chaos and lawlessness prevailed. How and why that happened is what this documentary tries – convincingly – to explain. Through interview after interview, director Charles Ferguson shows how mistakes were made in the highest levels of the United States government. [kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/vINM0CAysc8″ width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /] Former Deputy […]

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Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion (2002)

Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion (2002)

It took director Tom Peosay 10 years to make this documentary. The film covers Tibet’s history and focuses mostly on its occupation by China in the last 50 years. It is clear from the beginning that the makers of this movie side with those calling for a free Tibet. Chinese officials who are interviewed about […]

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Which Way Home (2009)

Which Way Home (2009)

It is no shock that many people try desperately to reach the United States to attain a better quality of life for themselves and their families in their home countries. This documentary focuses on children who ride atop a train they call “The Beast” in order to reach their “Promised Land.” Some of the kids […]

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Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi (2009)

Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi (2009)

This film paints a grim picture of life in Afghanistan. It starts with Naqshbandi’s relationship with American journalist Christian Parenti. Naqshbandi is also a journalist and is called a “fixer” because he facilitates interviews and translates for foreign journalists. Naqshbandi is later kidnapped by Taliban forces along with Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo and a driver. […]

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