Favorite films

  • Tonkin Jasmine Flower
  • In Search of Famine
  • Tea and Sympathy
  • Gilsoddeum

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  • Benediction

  • Fire Island

    ★★½

  • Sing a Song of Sex

    ★★★

  • Tea and Sympathy

    ★★★★½

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  • In the Name of the People

    In the Name of the People

    ★★★½

    Way too soft on US imperialism in Central America. The reason why the US government supports a far-right military dictatorship with both economic and military aid is not really because of the false promises from that regime, like land redistribution, to stabilize the society and temporarily misdirect the class struggle, then easily overturned by the landlords and capitalists since the power has never been in the hand of the proletariat. No, the legitimacy of that regime in the eyes of…

  • The Assassination

    The Assassination

    ★★★½

    Along with Francesco Rosi's Illustrious Corpses, it's another film based on leftist conspiracy theory at the time that turns out to be true (the case of Mehdi Ben Barka). Very realistically grim, to the point that we actually witness on screen the portrait of a CIA agent under the cover of an American "leftist" participating in the chilling and nasty plot of the imperialists, and works as an absolutely potent assault on nonsensical bourgeois fantasies of some Western leftists (what…

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  • In Search of Famine

    In Search of Famine

    ★★★★½

    An actress plays a game where she asks the film crew about some photos of starving people and from which famines they are taken. A villager mocks how this filmmaking group accidentally causes a famine in the village where they shot a movie about famine. With just a few minor details but these have already established what maybe the most sardonic yet politically sensitive work I have seen from Mrinal Sen so far. In the treatment of 1943 Bengal famine,…

  • East Palace, West Palace

    East Palace, West Palace

    ★★★½

    I always have my doubts about gay films written by straight filmmakers, especially since the portrait of queer character in this one is rife with stereotypes. He (A Lan) definitely has to go through lots of shit here, with the constant intimidation and humiliation from the nosy policeman, Xiao Shi. But surprisingly, this drama never turns into a play of misery or uses the basic story of a sad, lonely queer man who has been oppressed in his entire life…