My Films of the Week #5: Totally Under Control, True Mothers & More

As a lifelong cinephile, I have always consumed a copious amount of films. In this new feature, I keep track of the films I watch during the week.

Faithful
(Hélier Cisterne, 2020, France/Belgium/Algeria)

A tale of love and revolution set in late colonialist Algeria. Beautiful cinematography enhances the poetic power of what could also be considered an alternate take on the theme of terrorism at large.

The Shift
(Alessandro Tonda, 2020, Italy/Belgium)

Despite being content with dealing with the theme of terrorism in quite a superficial way, this thriller features a nice contrast of frantic rhythm and claustrophobic space, as most of it takes place within the confines of an ambulance.

True Mothers
(Naomi Kawase, 2020, Japan)

A relatively unoriginal adoption drama plagued by narrative clumsiness. The typical mediocre Naomi Kawase movie.

Climbing Iran
(Francesca Borghetti, 2020, Italy/France)

Fascinating documentary on an Iranian woman defying social and natural obstacles as a free climber. Redefines the meaning of the term “trailblazer.”

Il Cielo da una Stanza
(Virginia Valsecchi, 2020, Italy)

Almost unbearable ensemble documentary portraying the lives of a different people in Italy during lockdown. May become more valuable with time.

Totally Under Control
(Alex Gibney, 2020, USA)

A worrying investigation on Donald Trump’s handling of the COVID crisis. Released during the pandemic, manages to be quite clear-headed and frighteningly revealing.

‘Til Kingdom Come
(Maya Zinshtein, 2020, Israel/UK/Norway)

An investigation of the controversial link between U.S. Christian Evangelicals and Isreali Jews, and the political implications of said link. Reveals a hidden truth but does so in a ponderous and refreshingly respectful way, rather than aggressively.

Long Live Love
(Sine Skibsholt, 2020, Denmark)

Up close and personal documentation of the relationship between a mother and her health-ridden, rebellious teenage daughter. Warm and honest, speaks universal truths.

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