Clashes of cultures and filial bonding in “THE PERSIAN VERSION” | MOVIE REVIEW

Starring Layla Mohammadi, Niousha Noor and Arty Froushan
Directed by Maryam Keshavarz

Using narration, sprightly pop music, animation and a buoyant dance number, Maryam Kesharvarz's semi-autobiographical "The Persian Version" announces its unabashed free spirit from the opening moments. Leila (an electrifying Layla Mohammadi) tells the story of her experiences being an openly gay woman in a Persian-American family. Comparing Iran and America to divorced parents, the young woman ... more >

Leading the Iceni Peoples in defiance of the Roman Empire; Olga Kurylenko stars in “BOUDICA: QUEEN OF WAR”

Starring Olga Kurylenko, Clive Standen, Peter Franzén and Rita Tushingham
Directed by Jesse V. Johnson

Director Jesse V. Johnson has directed action movies that are more than respectable. He understands the advantage of working with skilled stunt teams and performers and knows how to create good action sequences. His films with Scott Adkins are fun, 2009’s “Triple Threat” was a career highlight as it starred some of the best martial artists alive today in dramatic fight sequences. Mostly setting ... more >

Ken Burns returns with “THE AMERICAN BUFFALO,” along with trusted colleagues | INTERVIEW

At the start of the twentieth century, it was estimated that fewer than 1,000 bison were left on the Great Plains following two centuries of unchecked extermination. Today, thanks to conservation efforts, they number approximately 450,000—but still far, far below the tens of millions of animals that once roamed the continent.   In “THE AMERICAN BUFFALO,” master documentarian Ken Burns traces ... more >

The world is changing quicker than ever; “OLD DADS” | MOVIE REVIEW

Starring Bill Burr, Bobby Cannavale and Bokeem Woodbine
Directed by Bill Burr

Bill Burr is one of the funniest comedians working today. Along with colleagues Greg Proops and Marc Maron, Burr completes the modern trifecta of thinking man’s comedy, existing as that rare gem, a man who speaks his mind most truly. Never kowtowing to social climates, nor suffering fools, his act reflects his life and how he sees a country and a world that has gone askew. Burr’s voice is strong ... more >

A frightening tale of a real-world battle against the “devil”: “THE DEVIL ON TRIAL”

Arne Cheyenne Johnson, Foster Hamilton, Susannah Spearin and Adam Hunt
Directed by Chris Holt

The use of reenactments cheapens certain documentary films. These moments are sometimes shot haphazardly and cause even the best documentaries to lose their impact. Chris Holt does indeed pepper his new film, “The Devil on Trial'', with scripted re-enactments, but the director breaks the mold, using the operating mode sparingly. Though successfully used (more than once) in England, there has ... more >

Land grabs, the search for justice and remembrance in “SILVER DOLLAR ROAD”

In the last century, more than ninety percent of Black farmers lost their property, often in schemes that dispossessed them of decades or even centuries of ties to their land. Greed, as it often does, plays a part, especially when backed by a corporate machine intent on seizing property for development. Just one such example of land grabbing is documented in the new film “Silver Dollar Road” ... more >

The emotional power of stock taking and self-examination: “JOAN BAEZ I AM A NOISE” | INTERVIEW

Co-directed by Miri Navasky, Karen O'Connor and Maeve O'Boyle

Joan Baez I Am a Noise” is less a travelogue of Joan Baez’s six decades in music than it is an exploration of her personality, her hopes, her tragedies, her triumphs and her political advocacy on behalf of the cause of peace.  In addition to the music she made early on with Bob Dylan, the film tells of Baez’s difficulties with anxiety as well as her later-in-life wish to confront her parents about ... more >