Film

Rojo

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Rojo is set in Argentina just before the right wing military coup that took place in 1976.

A man arrives in a restaurant and starts to attack and insult Claudio, a respected lawyer and the main character of the film. The altercation continues later in the evening. From that moment on Claudio will be dragged into a nightmare. And then a Chilean inspector arrives to investigate…

The film capably explores one the darkest pages in Argentina’s history.

Benjamin Naishtat on Rojo and the disappeared of Argentina

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Director Benjamin Naishtat spoke to Socialist Review about his new film Rojo and Argentina in the 1970s and now.

What inspired you to make this film now?

I wanted to make a film about the 1970s, but frankly there were already many films about those years and about the “desaparecidos” [disappeared], the torture and the political activism against all of this. I discovered, however, that there were not films about the silent majority of Argentinians that went through these times either without doing any political activity at all or being accomplices of the regime.

Peter Fonda, uneasy icon

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The actor Peter Fonda, who died last month aged 79, was Hollywood royalty. His father was Henry Fonda, star of classic films such as Twelve Angry Men and The Grapes of Wrath. Fonda senior’s sensitive performances established the idea of the American as a thoughtful liberal, intent on rooting out prejudice and injustice and bringing about a better way of life for all.

The Brink

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The Brink follows far-right icon Steve Bannon and chronicles his activities for over a year. The film aims to see past the idea that Bannon is a complete mastermind, and it does this well, as it shows how the far-right movement has many flaws. Moreover, it also shows the many contradictions within the far-right.

Gwen

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Set amid the slate-filled landscape of mid-19th century Snowdonia, this gothic tale of black-hearted capitalism features powerful performances from Eleanor Worthington-Cox and Maxine Peake.

It is a powerful story of grief, adolescence, suspicion and superstition that builds an atmosphere of intense dread, broken only by the realisation that the truth of industrialisation is more brutal than anything young Gwen (Worthington-Cox) can conjure in her imagination.

The Flood

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The Flood opens with these words: “Currently some 70 million individuals have been forcibly displaced by persecution, conflict, and violence around the world… Over 18,000 have died while trying to reach Europe in the last five years alone.”

Based on interviews with migrants and ex-Home Office officials, this dignified and dramatic film describes the horrors and risks endured by people seeking refuge in Europe, and the chilling, politicised calculations of the UK border agency.

Booksmart

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Molly and Amy are best friends who have spent their high school careers focusing on getting the best possible grades so they can get into the best possible colleges and kickstart their bright futures.

The day before graduation Molly is in a toilet cubicle and overhears some students joking about her nerdy status. She challenges them, boasting that she will be heading off to Yale while they will probably end up in crappy jobs because they’ve spent their time partying.

Avengers: Endgame

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2019 marks the year of Avengers: Endgame the final instalment in Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). After the previous film Avengers: Infinity War audiences were left with the losses of many characters and the uncertainty of what was to come.

Endgame is a three-hour epic that pulls audiences through every emotion there is, from sadness and grief to exhilaration and triumph.

Love Sonia

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Love Sonia comes at a time when a 200 million-strong strike was held in India and 5 million women formed a wall of protest. The correlation between films about resistance and women’s rights in India and the explosive movements on the streets that the country has seen is not necessarily direct. But it is no surprise that the struggles that occur in the real world force the film industry to adapt to reflect and embolden the mood for change.

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