Ida

A black and white Polish film about nuns. It’s about a novice, who finds out before she takes her vows that she is ethnically Jewish, and that her parents were killed in the Holocaust. She goes on a roadtrip with her only surviving relative, a lush partygirl aunt, to find her parents’ remains and decide who she is.

A Thousand Times Goodnight

The first scenes are so beautiful the rest of the film couldn’t help but be a let down. It was actually a bit hokey, despite excellent performances from Juliet Binoche and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (that’s Jaime Lannister to you and me). It’s about a photojournalist trying to get a good work-life balance, which is actually incredibly boring compared to the questions of culpability thrown up in the first scene.

The Congress

Best movie of the festival I’ve seen so far. Psychedelic sci-fi about copyright and consciousness, switching between animation and live action. Simply, it’s a surreal fairytale, ideal for those that enjoyed something like Spirited Away. But the plot’s springboard is more about the idea of marketable fantasy, not celloid but chemical, a sort of lo-fi Matrix.

The Last of the Unjust

A 4 hour documentary on the Holocaust. Is it okay to say it was boring? There were four other people in the cinema with me, one of whom fell asleep and started snoring over the film.

To me it felt bloated, overlong and self-indulgent. Just because the subject is important doesn’t mean your three thousand panning shots of fields and building exteriors are. It’s one of the few movies I’ve seen that might as well have been on the radio, for all the visuals added to it. And it didn’t even have the coherent quality of simply allowing the central figure to speak, to make it a 4 hour long monologue, because of the constant interruptions for this date, that date. The whole way it was made just irritated me.

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