Sunday, October 08, 2006

Chess Widow's Top Five

I had mentioned before that we drop by our local Blockbuster's often. Whether it is having an afternoon to myself or spending an evening together with Guillermo, I've found a few off-beat gems which I'd love to share with you.

Magdalene Sisters (English)/ En el nombre de Dios
The film is based on true events which took place throughout the 60s and 70s in Ireland. Girls deemed to have misbehaved were sent away to convents run by a catholic order named the Magdalene Sisters. The nuns used these young girls as captive labour in their profitable laundry business. These torturous sweat shops, in the name of God, were only shut down in 1996 when the nuns' dark deeds were discovered. The film provides great insights into moral values of Irish society then and the gross duplicity of catholic clerics. A brilliant film.

Tanguy (French)/ Grupo de Familia
This one may have the Argentines and the Italians scratching the heads with incomprehension...Tanguy is 28 years old and still lives at home with his parents. His parents tried various ways to get their adult son to move out while smart Tanguy beats them in their plots each time. Very funny.

Dear Frankie (English)/ Mi Querido Frankie
After having responded to her 9 year-old son's numerous letters in the guise of his father, the single mother, wanting to protect her deaf son from the truth that they've run away from his father, invents a story that he is away at sea on HMS Accra. When the real HMS Accra is due to dock in their hometown, the single mother must choose between telling her son the truth or finding the perfect stranger to play his father for just one day...An ordinary yet touching story with excellent acting, the antithesis of Hollywood.

La Stanza del Figlio (Italian)/ La Habitación del Hijo/ The Son's Room
The son of a family dies from a diving accident. The parents try to understand their dead teenage son through his now vacant room. While the couple struggle to deal with the shock and grief of their loss, they also have to learn to live for their surviving daughter.

The Statement (English)/ 7 Crimenes
Michael Caine plays a French catholic who was involved in Hitler's ethnic cleansing of the Jews in France. A Jewish group tries to kill him while a French judge wants to bring him to justice so he goes on the run with the financial help and protection from the Catholic Church and public figures from the high places within the government. Intriguing story and makes me wonder even more about Benedict and the Vatican...
Happy viewing!!

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