Posts Tagged ‘Abu Jandal’

The Last-Minute ND/NF 2010 Preview, Part 3: The Oath to Zanan-e badun-e mardan

March 24, 2010

Don’t cry no tears. All good things come to an end. So do our tardy previews. The New Directors/New Films festival lights up the spring season by bringing to New York the best debuts from festivals like Cannes and Sundance. In the final assortment, there’s a lauded love letter to cinema from Mia Hansen-Løve, the welcome return of Judy Berlin director Eric Mendelsohn and a notable French addition to the “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” genre.

Read the first part of our New Directors/New Films preview.
Read the second part of our New Directors/New Films preview.

The Oath

Abu Jandal and Salim Hamdan are buddies who took very different routes through al-Qaeda’s militant network. Jandal now works with Yemeni youth to temper their fundamentalism. Hamdan sits in Guantanamo, notorious as Osama bin Laden’s onetime chauffeur. The latest film from My Country, My Country director Laura Poitras is another unique look at the Middle East.

Le Pere de Mes Enfants (The Father of My Children)

French film producer Humbert Balsan helped bring works by Bela Tarr and Claire Denis to the public. His life and death inspired this acclaimed new feature from Mia Hansen-Løve, partner of Olivier Assayas. It’s a fresh take on Day for Night, with an overworked producer (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing) juggling family and the fact that there isn’t enough hours in the day to achieve cinematic greatness.

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Sundance 2010 Preview: U.S. Documentary Competition

January 11, 2010

Sundance kicked off in 1985 with a firm appreciation for non-fiction film, bestowing its first documentary prize on Joel Demott and Jeff Kreins’s Seventeen. Since then, it’s been the place to see eccentric portraits and reports from the current events frontline. As you might expect, this year’s line-up contains plenty of hotspots, including Yemen, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. There are also a selection of larger-than-life figures ranging from Jean-Michel Basquiat to the king of the American paparazzi. Expect plenty of discussion over that post-film hot chocolate.

Click here to read our U.S. Dramatic Competition Preview
Click here to read our International Documentary Competition Preview
Click here to read our International Dramatic Competition Preview

Bhutto

No question that Benazir Bhutto was a remarkable political figure. Chosen to lead her family’s political dynasty, the onetime Pakistani PM was on the verge of remarkable comeback before being shot in 2008. This biopic is in good hands. Director Johnny O’Hara won a Sundance Audience Award for his 2008 film Fields of Fuel. But he might have turned the cameras on his producer. Duane Baughman’s consulting firm worked on Hilary Clinton’s presidential run and was due to assist with Bhutto’s campaign. All of which suggests that this doc might skim over charges of corruption against the martyr and her cronies.

Casino Jack and the United States of Money

Filmmaker Alex Gibney leapt to the front rank when his Taxi to the Dark Side won the Best Documentary Oscar in 2008. His latest is a portrait of Jack Abramoff, the political lobbyist found guilty of fraud in 2006. (His Native American clients account for the “Casino Jack” tag.) Gibney has spoken of the fallen politico as a symptom of a wider malaise caused by campaign financing. “Jack is not a rotten apple; he’s proof that the barrel is rotten,” he told Sundance. “It’s a comedy, but the joke is on us.” Tom Delay plays Costello to Abramoff’s Abbott.

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