In occupied France, German-run Continental Films calls the shots in the movie business. Assistant director and Resistance activist Jean Devaivre works for Continental, where he can get “in between the wolf’s teeth and avoid being chewed up”. Fast-living screenwriter Jean Aurenche uses every possible argument to avoid working for the enemy. For both, wartime is a battle for survival.
When the Soviet Union on 17 September 1939 invades Poland, Anna Aleksandrowna leaves her home in Krakow to search for her husband, the Polish captain Andrzej. She finds him together with other officers captured by the Red Army, but some minutes later he is pushed into a train, which will take all the Polish officers to a prison camp in Kozelsk in Russia. Anna and her daughter Nika is now stuck in the Soviet occupied zone, unable to go back to Krakow in the German zone, not until a brave Russian captain helps them to flee. 3 April 1940 Andrzej is transported from the prison camp in Kozelsk to the Katyn Forest, where thousands of Polish officers are killed. In 1943 the Germans capture this area and find the mass graves. 13 April 1943 they start announcing the names of the identified corpses through loudspeakers in Krakow. Anna is happy that Andrzej is not in any of the Katyn lists, which gives her some hope. 18 January 1945 the Red Army liberates Krakow from the Nazis.
Il Decameron / The Decameron (1971) Pier Paolo Pasolini, Franco Citti, Ninetto Davoli, Jovan Jovanovic, Comedy, Drama, History
An adaptation of nine stories from Bocaccio’s “Decameron”: A young man from Perugia is swindled twice in Naples, but ends up rich; a man poses as a deaf-mute in a convent of curious nuns; a woman must hide her lover when her husband comes home early; a scoundrel fools a priest on his deathbed; three brothers take revenge on their sister’s lover; a young girl sleeps on the roof to meet her boyfriend at night; a group of painters wait for inspiration; a crafty priest attempts to seduce his friend’s wife; and two friends make a pact to find out what happen= s after death. Pasolini is up to his old tricks satirizing the Church, and throwing in liberal doses of life and love.
Joel-Peter Witkin: An Objective Eye (2013) Thomas A. Marino, Joel-Peter Witkin, Eugenia Parry, Baudoin Lebon, Documentary, Biography, History
A new documentary from director Thomas Marino, taking a profound and introspective look into the life and art of the controversial artist, Joel-Peter Witkin. Along with in-depth interviews with Joel-Peter Witkin, the film features interviews from prominent artists, musicians, photographers, and scholars who share insight into the impact of Witkin’s work and influence on modern culture.
Nackt unter Wölfen / Naked Among Wolves / The Camp (2015) Philipp Kadelbach, Florian Stetter, Peter Schneider, Sylvester Groth, Drama, History, War
Taking place at the Concentration camp Buchenwald at the end of March 1945, prisoner Hans Pippig discovers in a carrying case of an incoming prisoner a Jewish child. If reported the three-year-old is sure to die. On the other hand, a violation of the rules of the camp would threaten the long prepared uprising of the concentration camp prisoners against the SS.
La faute à Fidel! / Blame it on Fidel (2006) Julie Gavras, Nina Kervel-Bey, Julie Depardieu, Stefano Accorsi, Drama, History
Hello, my name is Anna and I am nine years old. I wish you had known me before – I mean before my aunt Marga and my cousin Pilar came to my parents’house -, I was such a happy little girl. Before their coming life was a bed of roses. Of course my little brother could be a pain in the neck – little brothers always are, aren’t they? – but there was that wonderful big house, there was my Cuban-born nanny who cooked so well, there was the bath before dinner, not to mention this wonderful catechism class at the catholic school. But they did come, those Spanish intruders. And now never heard before names like “Franco”, “Allende”, “Women’s Lib”, “abortion”, the lot, have got into my life. Daddy and Mummy have suddenly become “communists”, although this a term that Bon Papa and Bonne Maman (my grandparents from Bordeaux, in fact) just hate. Because of the intruders not only did we move to a tiny apartment but the place is invaded day and night by “barbudos” (bearded men). No more bath before …
Machuca (2004) Andrés Wood, Matías Quer, Ariel Mateluna, Manuela Martelli, Biography, Drama, History
Santiago, capital of Chile during the Marxist government of elected, highly controversial president Salvador Allende. Father McEnroe supports his leftist views by introducing a program at the prestigious “collegio” (Catholic prep school) St. Patrick to allow free admission of some proletarian kids. One of them is Pedro Machuca, slum-raised son of the cleaning lady in Gonzalo Infante’s liberal-bourgeois home. Yet the new classmates become buddies, paradoxically protesting together as Gonzalo gets adopted by Pedro’s slum family and gang. But the adults spoil that too, not in the least when general Pinochet’s coup ousts Allende, and supporters such as McEnroe.
Pad Italije / The Fall of Italy (1981) Lordan Zafranovic, Daniel Olbrychski, Ena Begovic, Gorica Popovic, Drama, History, Romance
A partisan commander had to shoot one of his comrades because he had neglected the struggle and turned to a life of lust and vice. When Italy capitulates in September of 1943 and the war seems over for many Partizans, the commander follows the very same path.
The Iron Horse (1924) John Ford, George O’Brien, Madge Bellamy, Charles Edward Bull, Romance, Western, History
As crews labor to finish the first transcontinental railroad, Pony Express rider Davy Brandon (George O’Brien) returns to his hometown. There a childhood friend, Miriam (Madge Bellamy) – fiancée of the chief engineer (Cyril Chadwick) and daughter of the principal contractor – convinces him to aid in the project’s completion. Although his father, a murdered railroad surveyor, passed on the knowledge needed for the job, a slew of saboteurs attempt to thwart Brandon in his efforts.
Lloyd’s of London (1936) Henry King, Tyrone Power, Madeleine Carroll, Freddie Bartholomew, Drama, History, Romance
Lloyds of London traces the rise to prominence of the venerable British insurance company, as seen through the eyes of fictional 19th-century Londoner Jonathan Blake (Tyrone Power, in his first starring role). A lifelong friend of naval hero Lord Nelson, Blake puts his job (and the future existence of Lloyds) on the line when he announces Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar – before it takes place.