Jacqui Freeman

Caramel

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Director: Nadine Labaki; Release date: 16 May

Set in Beirut, Caramel explores the contrast between the supposedly "open, free and emancipated" nature of present-day Lebanon and the reality of life for five working class women. Written and directed by, and starring, Nadine Labaki, the film depicts the guilt and frustration these women experience when their aspirations conflict with social expectations.

The Savages

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Director: Tamara Jenkins; Release date: Out now

The Savages is a humorous and brutally honest look at the death of a parent as experienced by a highly dysfunctional family. The parent in question is Lenny Savage (Philip Bosco), an angry old man long estranged from his two grown-up children and recently diagnosed with dementia. Called upon to care for him are warring siblings Wendy (Laura Linney, last seen in Jindabyne) and John (Philip Seymour Hoffman, who starred in Capote).

Jean Renoir

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Jean Renoir Collection, Optimum Releasing £44.99, Jean Renoir at the Barbican, 2 to 30 September 2007

Jean Renoir is arguably one of the greatest French film makers of the 20th century. The son of impressionist painter Auguste Renoir, his work is often associated with the rise and fall of the Popular Front government in France between 1936 and 1938, with which he strongly identified.

The Darker Nations

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Vijay Prashad, The New Press, £16.99

Vijay Prashad's comprehensive and engaging book The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World adopts as its central theme Frantz Fanon's idea of the Third World as a political project. By charting its historical and political trajectory, Prashad illustrates how this project may be summarised in the following five words: "growth and hope - then disillusionment".

Moroccan Portrait

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Review of 'For Bread Alone', Mohamed Choukri, Telegram £9.99

Mohamed Choukri's autobiographical novel, For Bread Alone, is a richly descriptive and engaging portrayal of Moroccan society on the eve of independence. He offers an honest and vivid account of ordinary people striving to find food, work, sex and love against a backdrop of famine and colonial subjugation.

Choukri's skill lies in the way that he combines personal narratives with references to the wider struggle for national liberation without turning his characters into mere representatives of a political ideal.

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