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ReelPolitik

"My Neighbourhood" Exposes Israelis Brutal Displacement of Palestinian Families

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • May 17, 2013 2:55 PM
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  • 0 Comments
"I hate them, I hate them for a reason," says Mohammed El Kurd, the young boy who is at the center of Julia Bacha's Peabody-winning short film "My Neighborhood," which bracingly shows the experiences of Palestinian families being displaced from their homes in East Jerusalem by brutish Orthodox Jewish settlers. Making the film all the more topical, on the day of the film's award this coming Monday, the Supreme Court in Israel will prepare a hearing on another eviction of a Palestinian family.

Jia Zhang-ke's "A Touch of Sin" Divides Critics, Adds Bloodshed to Critique of Capitalist China

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • May 16, 2013 9:22 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Jia Zhang-ke's latest "A Touch of Sin" is dividing critics in Cannes, but the bigger surprise is that Chinese officials haven't censored the film. This more mainstream depiction of Jia's trademark themes of dislocation, alienation, and social and economic inequality in the "new" China will only get further potential international play and more attention, given the film's genre elements.

Who is "Politizane" and What's Next for the Income Inequality Viral Video

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • May 15, 2013 12:56 PM
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  • 2 Comments
I'm a little late to pseudonymous filmmaker Politizane's viral income inequality video, which peaked in March and has now ratcheted up more than 6 million views on YouTube. Thanks to Errol Morris's Twitter feed, I finally caught up to the vide, and I can see why this powerful but simple use of digital tools coupled with some solid and alarming facts has made such powerful waves in cyberspace. But who made it? And will he strike again?

Abrams' New "Star Trek" Loaded with Political Parallels: Kirk as Obama

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • May 14, 2013 8:14 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Oops, Hollywood did it again. It seems every big-ticket summer movie these days gets loaded with overt political content. First, it was "Iron Man 3"; now it's the latest "Star Trek" installment. You people sometimes think I make this shit up. But judging from the early reviews, "Into Darkness" is the most obvious popcorn appropriation of international geopolitics since, well, "Iron Man."

Will "Gatsby"'s Anti-Semitism Cost it Oscar Noms?

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • May 14, 2013 9:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Movies with racist portrayals of African Americans haven't hurt their Oscar chances much--consider "Secretariat" or "Million Dollar Baby" or any number of well-meaning racially-charged movies that had problematic representations of African Americans ("The Help," "The Blind Side," "Crash," "Driving Miss Daisy"). But anti-Semitism is a different story. Remember the campaign against "A Beautiful Mind" because its character John Nash was an alleged anti-Semite?

All Tomorrow's Parties: "The Great Gatsby" Meet "Spring Breakers"

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • May 12, 2013 9:11 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Within the span of a couple months, audiences and media have witnessed the debauched excess of the American Dream gone sour, of attractive young men and women imbibing themselves to delirium, violence and self-destruction. If there ever were a comment on the failed hopes and ideals of our current generation, "Spring Breakers" and "The Great Gatsby" – those strange fraternal twins of apocalyptic party cinema -- would not be it.

Anti-Abortion Groups Attack "After Tiller" and Its Subjects

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • May 9, 2013 9:42 AM
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  • 0 Comments
An anti-abortion group has released an uncover video, it is being widely reported, that attacks the acclaimed documentary "After Tiller" and one of its subjects, Dr. LeRoy Carhart. The video begins with a quote from co-director Lana Wilson, who says, "For the doctors, it was about putting a human face on their profession, they are proud of what they do." But the video, of course, attempts to demonize the doctors, singling out an inappropriate comment made by Dr. Carhart.

End Times: Violence and Destruction at Cannes 2013

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • May 9, 2013 9:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments
There's nothing like the world's most prestigious film festival to take the pulse of our collective consciousness. And if you look closely at this year's films, the results are downright brutal, with themes of violence, collapse and destruction dominating at least half of this year's competition films, most notably Nicholas Winding Refn's latest study in human cruelty and quasi-redemption, "Only God Forgives," and Takashi Miike's "Shields of Straw," a violent story of vigilante justice,

LGBT Film Fests Drawn Into International Political Disputes

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • May 8, 2013 4:26 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Two stories received over the transom today reveal the tricky international politics of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender film events, and the activist beliefs they stand by. While San Francisco's venerable Frameline event is being pulled into a debate about Palestinian rights, Russian prosecutors have notified an international LGBT film festival, Side by Side, that they are violating Russia's law on “foreign agent."

From Michael Haneke to David Lynch, Filmmakers Protest to Protect Local Film Markets Before U.S. Trade Negotiations

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • May 8, 2013 12:35 PM
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  • 1 Comment
More than 150 filmmakers, mostly from Europe, are demanding that movies and other audiovisual media be excluded from negotiations on a free trade agreement between the European Union and the U.S.. Treaty talks are scheduled to begin this summer. And filmmakers, including Haneke, Pedro Almodovar, Michel Hazanavicius, as well as David Lynch and Jane Campion are fighting to defend Europe's so-called "cultural exception," which allows restricting the free trade of culture and allows each country to promote its own works.

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