The Secret Ways (1961) Phil Karlson, Richard Widmark, Sonja Ziemann, Charles Regnier, Adventure, History, Mystery
Vienna, 1956. After Soviet tanks crush the Hungarian uprising, soldier-of-fortune Mike Reynolds is hired to help a threatened Hungarian scientist (Prof. Jansci) escape from Budapest. He and Julia, the professor’s daughter, cross the boulder posing as journalists, but they encounter a problem. The staunch freedom fighter doesn’t want to go!
Bilkis Banu, lost her husband Hasan on the bloody night of 25th March 1971. She tries to forget him and concentrate on the urban guerrilla movements of Dhaka with Altaf Mahmud, Shahadat, Mrs Khan and many more. But the when spies and the razakars inform on them, most of their people get arrested and Bilkis has to run for her lives, towards her village.
Abbas Kiarostami: A Report (2013) Bahman Maghsoudlou, Kurosh Afsharpanah, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Godfrey Cheshire, Documentary, History
An analysis of the style and vision of Abbas Kiarostami, the world’s most iconic Iranian filmmaker, through the lens of his earliest work, including his first short film (Bread & Alley, 1970) and, particularly, his first feature, The Report. This early example of Kiarostami’s work gives insight into his poetic, humanistic tendencies, combining allegorical storytelling with a documentary, neo-realist sensibility, and often exploring the very nature of film as fiction, that have pervaded his work ever since, including such recent international sensations as A Taste of Cherry and Certified Copy. Exclusive interviews with film critics, historians and scholars (including the late great Andrew Sarris) and those directly involved in the making of The Report provide a look at how the career of this master independent auteur began and was shaped.
Joe Hill (1971) Bo Widerberg, Thommy Berggren, Anja Schmidt, Kelvin Malave, Biography, Drama, History
In the early 1900’s, the legendary Joe Hill emigrates with his brother to the United States. But after a short time, he loses touch with his brother. Joe gets a few jobs but is struck by all the injustice and tragedy going on. He becomes active in the forbidden union IWW, a union for workers without trades. It is forbidden to demonstrate and to speak in public but Joe gets around that by singing his manifests with the Salvation Army. He manages to get more and more people to get on strike with him but he also makes powerful enemies doing that. Finally he gets connected with a murder and during the trial he fires his lawyer and takes upon himself to become his own defender.
American journalist John Reed (Warren Beatty) journeys to Russia to document the Boleshevik Revolution and returns a revolutionary. His fervor for left-wing politics leads him to Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton), then married, who will become a feminist icon and activist. Politics at home become more complicated as the rift grows between reality and Reed’s ideals. Bryant takes up with a cynical playwright (Jack Nicholson), and Reed returns to Russia, where his health declines.
Allegheny Uprising (1939) William A. Seiter, Claire Trevor, John Wayne, George Sanders, Adventure, History, Western
In British colonial America, Captain Swanson’s adherence to the rules results in Trader Callendar’s selling to the Indians under cover of a government permit. Jim Smith won’t sit still for that. He organizes troopers to dress up as Indians and intercept the shipments which, of course, gets him thrown in jail.
Set in Fenyang, Shanxi Province, the film focuses on a group of amateur theatre troupe performers whose fate mirrors that of the general population in China as massive socio-economic changes sweep across the mainland. The film commences in 1979 with the troupe performing numbers idolizing Mao Zedong, ending in the ’80s when the shows reflect the strong Western influences pervading China, covering a decade in which China saw tremendous changes.
The Robin Hood of El Dorado (1936) William A. Wellman, Warner Baxter, Ann Loring, Bruce Cabot, Biography, Drama, History
In the 1840’s Mexico has ceded California to the United States, making life nearly impossible for the Mexican population due to the influx of land and gold-crazy Americans. Farmer Joaquin Murrieta revenges the death of his wife against the four Americans who killed her and is branded an outlaw. The reward for his capture is increased as he subsequently kills the men who brutally murder his brother. Joining with bandit Three Fingered Jack, Murrieta raises an army of disaffected Mexicans and goes on a rampage against the Americans, finally forcing his erstwhile friend, Bill Warren, to lead a posse against him.
The Dictator (1935) Victor Saville, Clive Brook, Madeleine Carroll, Emlyn Williams, History, Romance
The story opens in Copenhagen in the year 1776 on the wedding night of the King and Princess Caroline Mathilde. But the marriage was a political alliance, and the Princess felt only repugnance for her dissolute husband. On the night of their marriage the King leaves Copenhagen on a pleasure trip abroad, but his fast life proves too much for his weak constitution. Summoned to attend him, an ambitious young doctor realises that here is a great opportunity. He revives the King and, tremendously impressed, the King takes him back to Copenhagen. A love affair develops between the doctor and the Princess – but it is to have terrible consequences.