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Starless Dreams: Trailer

— by BEV QUESTAD —

Award-winning director Mehrdad Oskouei was given access to an incarceration facility for girls 18 and under in Iran. Gently asking them why they were there and what their hopes for the future were, he discovers a greater societal transgression than the girls’ crimes.

The girls wash their own clothes and hang them in the outside courtyard to dry. In the winter, as they take them down, they are frozen stiff – like their own hearts. Yet as the spring thaw comes and the icicles drip, there is hope that through their gentle camaraderie they can find peace. (CONTINUED)


Raising Bertie: First Clip

— by BEV QUESTAD — Thought-provoking as well as deeply disturbing, this slice of North Carolinian life for the working poor makes a case for at least one intervention – by Vivian Saunders. Fueled by love and a sense of responsibility, Saunders is a source of common strength for Bertie County. Margaret Byrne, director and […][...]


Nakom: Trailer

— by BEV QUESTAD — The Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) wins another 10/10 with “Nakom,” a story about a young man, remarkably played by Jacob Ayanaba, with drive, initiative and intelligence who has the choice to take over his father’s farm or proceed on his university path to become a doctor. A collaboration between […][...]


Heidi: Festival Trailer

— by BEV QUESTAD — With her spunky nature, the title character of Alain Gsponer’s new version of “Heidi” uncannily represents our time. Though picturesquely set in the 1880s, this new rendition of an old classic celebrates the child, curiosity, learning and following dreams – no matter the gender or class. Heidi (Anuk Steffen) lives […][...]


The Son of Joseph: Official UK Trailer

— by BEV QUESTAD — Vincent (Victor Ezenfis), a teenage boy consumed with an identity crisis, learns who his father is. Then he has a key made to fit his bio-contributor’s office where he hides under a divan. In revulsion at the immorality he witnesses and in long-burning resentment for abandoning him, Vincent sets a […][...]


The Distinguished Citizen: Trailer

— by BEV QUESTAD — Excelente! This Oscar nominee from Argentina for best foreign film is brimming with insight about the human condition. Daniel Mantovani (Oscar Martínez), an Argentinian ex-pat, is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. A bit like Bob Dylan, he thinks he won’t go. But in the end, he does because the […][...]


The Ornithologist: Teaser

— by BEV QUESTAD — This year’s Portland International Film Festival features an odd entry from Portugal’s Joao Pedro Rodrigues. “The Ornithologist” is as weird as its screeching music. Set in the scenic grandeur of mountainous Portugal, a bird watcher (Paul Hamy) gets frustratingly captivated by birds rather than taking care of himself. Soon he […][...]


A Quiet Passion: Festival Trailer

— by BEV QUESTAD — The biographical story of Emily Dickinson, “A Quiet Passion” is one of the 166 films being shown Feb. 9 to 25 as part of the 40th annual Portland International Film Festival. Cynthia Nixon excels as Dickinson and deserves tremendous credit for her performance in Terence Davies’ painstakingly careful study of […][...]


Review: The Draft and the Vietnam Generation

— by BEV QUESTAD — Here are a couple hypothetical questions for you. If this were 1968 and you were of draft age, would you volunteer to fight in Vietnam? If you were of conscription age today, would you volunteer to fight in Syria or any other country our President might send our army? Back […][...]