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Review: The Great Green Wall

— by BEV QUESTAD — Inna Modja, a wildly popular Malian-French singer, takes a stunning journey across Africa, from Senegal on the Pacific to Djibouti on the Red Sea. As she travels, she and her band create music and collaborate with other singers and instrumentalists along the way. Her i[...]

Review: The Fourth Kingdom

— by BEV QUESTAD — Most films at DOC NYC are shown once, but “The Fourth Kingdom” is scheduled for two screenings. Why? In the first minutes of this documentary cinema verité, it looks like we are in for a story about garbage in Mexico and the people who take care of it. But as [&he[...]

Review: Brooklyn Inshallah

— by BEV QUESTAD — A normal guy with a pastor’s collar is walking on a Brooklyn street in New York City. We hear him greet a passer-by, “Wa alaykumu as-salam. My name is Khader El-Yateem, a candidate for City Council.” How El-Yateem got to this sidewalk is actually more fascinating[...]

Review: Cory in Brick City

— by BEV QUESTAD — “We are modern day freedom fighters. We are the people that have to somehow rescue what we claim to stand for,” says Cory Booker in prescient rhetoric back when he was mayor of Newark, New Jersey. Booker was elected mayor of Newark, New Jersey, in 2006 when gang wa[...]

Review: Sheep Hero (aka Schapenheld)

— by BEV QUESTAD — Soft, gorgeous, blue fog rests in a thin line on the meadow as the sun rises on a shepherd and his flock. He has slept the night in the field and greets the day praising his situation: “Openness, peace, space, freedom, my own choices, not someone else’s. That’s i[...]

Review: Mr. Toilet

— by BEV QUESTAD — “When you turn 007 upside down it spells LOO and it’s such a perfect opportunity not to be wasted,” declares Jack Sim, activist and social-environmental clown. The film’s title is embarrassing and silly, but if you thought something like cancer, heart disease, [...]

Review: Adopt a Highway

— by BEV QUESTAD — Ethan Hawke delivers an intricate, internal, virtuoso performance as a man freshly released from jail after 21 years. He’s not angry, bitter or resentful, but socially slow and afraid. Russell Millings (Hawke) is a victim of the Three Strikes Law. His third offense w[...]

Review: Cold Brook

— by BEV QUESTAD — “Cold Brook” is about two best friends who are coping with getting older. Ted and George’s marriages are humdrum and the waitress at the diner doesn’t treat them like she used to. Ted is losing some coordination and it’s a worry. Reliving their youth, they jo[...]

Review: Ága

— by BEV QUESTAD — Would any normal, healthy young adult choose to live with parents in an animal-hide yurt out on the freezing tundra of northern Russia with no other sign of human life? Isn’t being self-sufficient, melting a block of ice for water and ice fishing for dinner, a dream [...]

Review: Collisions

— by BEV QUESTAD — Coming home from school, 12-year old Itan and her younger brother, Neto, are shocked to find their house ransacked and their mother missing. Itan knows something bad has happened, but there is no one there to explain just what. A dangerous shift occurs when precocious [...]

Review: Running with the Devil

— by BEV QUESTAD — Opening with the brutalization and burning of a fully unfortunate man, “Running with the Devil” is a graphically violent and decadent account of drug smuggling, from a farmer in the lush green low mountains of Colombia to a wealthy CEO sitting comfortably at his de[...]

Review: Don’t Be Nice

— by BEV QUESTAD — This is Shakespeare on steroids, a poetic banquet of color, action, rhythm and sound that transcends expectations. Featuring The Bowery Poetry Club, new director Max Powers reveals the revolutionary bedrock of Slam Poetry through an energized pace, smashing colors and [...]

Review: Imprisoned

— by BEV QUESTAD — The great Laurence Fishburne is a master, wielding a haunting script with the finesse of a graceful predator in seemingly complete power over his prey. From the opening scenes of trailer house poverty and wretched nightmares to the flashbacks of his cruelty as prison w[...]

Review: Becoming Nobody

— by BEV QUESTAD — Through 1968-71, while the US was blasting up Vietnam, I was searching for the ideal country and the perfect place to live. I learned different languages and attended foreign schools. I joined the many young people who were searching for something better. Inevitably we[...]