Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 9, No. 1, 2010
  Current Issue  
  Back Issues  
Robert J. Lewis
  Senior Editor
Mark Goldfarb
  Contributing Editors
Bernard Dubé
Diane Gordon
Nancy Snipper
Sylvain Richard
Marissa Consiglieri de Chackal
  Music Editors
Emanuel Pordes
Serge Gamache
  Arts Editor
Lydia Schrufer
Mady Bourdage
Marcel Dubois
Emanuel Pordes
  Film Reviews
  Bowling for Columbine
Shanghai Ghetto
Talk to Her
City of God
Magdalene Sisters
Dirty Pretty Things
Barbarian Invasions
Fog of War
Blind Shaft
The Corporation
Station Agent
The Agronomist
Maria Full of Grace
Man Without a Past
In This World
Buffalo Boy
Shake Hands with the Devil
Born into Brothels
The Edukators
Big Sugar
A Long Walk
An Inconvenient Truth
Sisters In Law
Send a Bullet
Banking on Heaven
Chinese Botanist's Daugher
Ben X
La Zona
The Legacy
Irina Palm
4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days
Poor Boys Game
Finn's Girl
Leaving the Fold
The Mourning Forest
Beneath the Rooftops of Paris
Before Tomorrow
Paraiso Travel
Necessities of Life
For a Moment of Freedom
Blood River
By the Will of Genghis Kahn






Sylvain Richard  - Film CriticSo far, A & O film critic Sylvain Richard has seen the following films. Here are his ratings and comments, always out of 4, reserving 2.5 or more for a noteworthy film, 3.5 for an exceptional film, 4 for a classic.



Human Rights -- the most pressing issue facing humanity today. In many areas of the world, minority groups are routinely abused, exploited, oppressed and even massacred. The most effective solution is for us as individual citizens of the world to be aware of what is going on -- be it in our back yards or in a remote part of the world. By immersing oneself in the Montreal Human Rights Film Festival (March 11th- 21st), one can take a giant step towards this sensitization process.

Since 2006, it has been the mission of the festival (FFDPM) to present films that expose systematic ignorance and denial of basic human rights to both individuals and nationalities. Often, these films can be painful to watch, but are prerequisite for the socially responsible viewer. And while a general current of despair links the content of this festival, the FFDPM makes a point of highlighting the brave individuals and groups dedicated to the restauration of human rights. Many films and/or screenings are presented by Amnesty International. Other participatory organizations include Reporters Without Borders, Alter Cine Foundation and Rights and Democracy. This festival rates 3.5 out of 4.0.

3.0 -- THE END, Eduardo Chapero-Jackson
28 minute fiction depicting a bleak and barren world where water is scarce and is more expensive than gas. In a deserted town two families face off for their supply of water. "High Noon" meets "Mad Max."

3.6 -- THE DAY GOD WALKED AWAY, Philippe Van Leeuw
At the beginning of the madness that struck Rwanda (April 1994), a Belgian family leaves. Their young Tutsi nanny is left to hideout until it’s over. She returns to her village only to find that her two children have been murdered. In despair she flees into the forest where she encounters an injured man. Together they try to survive. Appropriately titled, this film, via the eyes and ears of a victim, successfully transmits the horrors of the genocide without the usual accompanying graphics. We register her fear, anger, despair and hopelessness. An often treated subject receives an original and inspired interpretation.

3.2 -- THE 10 CONDITIONS OF LOVE, Jeff Daniels
A powerful 53 min portrayal of Ribaya Kadeer, spokeswoman for the Uyghur people of Zingjiang Province of North-western China (East Turkistan to her people). Like the Tibetans, the Uyghur were assimilated by the Chinese and live under oppressive conditions. Mrs Kadeer is a 63-year-old mother of 11 children, former prisoner and living in exile in USA. The Chinese government considers her as a threat to national security and have arrested four of her children. Though faced with this painful dilemma -- her children or her people -- she continues to speak out for the rights of the Uyghur.

2.8 -- REPORTER, Eric Metzger
Feature length documentary portraying two-time Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof. He almost single-handedly put the Darfur crisis on the world map. We follow the reporter as he visits the Congo in his attempt to do the same in this war torn humanitarian disaster area.

2.6 -- ROUGH AUNTIES, Kim Longinotto
Feature length documentary examining the day to day battles facing an eclectic group of women in South Africa aiding children who have been abused or neglected.

2.4 -- ABYA YALA + BOLIVIA 2008, Patrick Vanier
Two short films (52 and 18 min) depicting the political situation in Bolivia. The first covering the elation among the indigenous population as Evo Morales -- Bolivia’s first indigenous president -- assumes the office in January 2006. The second showing the re-emergence of racism as Bolivia’s richest provinces -- the majority of whom are of European descent -- declare autonomy. Cinematography was raw and grainy.

2.8 -- IRAN: VOICES OF THE UNHEARD, Davoud Geramifard
A film shot in secrecy giving a voice to those silenced by the repressive regime. Three distinct individuals (an aging revolutionary teacher, a tribal villager and a young intellectual) are voicing their sense of alienation and despair.

2.4 -- AFTER THE DOWNFALL, Hiner Saleem
In April of 2003 the regime of Saddam Hussein has fallen. A group of Kurdish exiles in Germany gather to celebrate. Amidst the images of the news being projected we see an evening that began with elation and joy disintegrating as past resentments and closeted secrets surface.

A re-evaluation of the situation in South America 40 years after Uruguayan writer, Eduardo Galeano publishes “Open Veins in Latin America.” The director’s journey begins on the soybean plantations of Brazil to the tin mines of Bolivia and ends in the deep jungles of Ecuador. Archival footage of speeches given by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Brazil’s Lula and Bolivia’s Evo Morales are included.

2.5 -- GHOSTS, Morvary Samare
53 min. film investigating Canada’s complicity in the torture of three of its citizens – Muslims detained and tortured over a period of three years in Syria and Egypt. Powerful and intimate, this film reveals the delicate and fragile balance between democracy, human rights and the fears concerning national security.

2.8 -- WOMEN IN SHROUD, Farid Haerinejad, Mohammad Reza Kazemi
Feature length film exposing the violent injustices inherent in the Iranian legal system which particularly targets women. Many of these women have been falsely accused and face a brutal, even fateful punishment. This film follows the efforts of dedicated human rights activists as they try to protect these women and overturn the sentence passed upon them. This is a brutal and emotionally stirring film that contains disturbing scenes.
 = shared webhosting, dedicated servers, development/consulting
Film Ratings Page of Sylvain Richard, film critic at Arts & Opinion - Montreal
Montreal Human Rights Film Festival
Montreal World Film Festival
Festival Nouveau Cinema de Montreal, Oct. 10-21st, (514) 844-2172
Listing + Ratings of films from festivals, art houses, indie
Festivalissimo Film Festival - Montreal
2008 FANTASIA FILM FESTIVAL (Montreal) North America's Premier Genre Festival July 3-21
Montreal Jazz Festival
Armand Vaillancourt: sculptor
Available Ad Space
Valid HTML 4.01!
Privacy Statement Contact Info
Copyright 2002 Robert J. Lewis