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Speeding Up with Family Businesses


By Roger Costa


A father arrives home, exhausted, drained after a 16-hour shift work, humiliated by his boss, pressured by his competitors, and smitten by unjust policies, just to find more tempest under his own roof. His wife is doing all sacrifices imaginable to support him as he invests on a self-employed delivery franchise; his precocious teenage son is experiencing the rebel age of youth, engaged on graffiti, avoiding school and committing small crimes; their youngest daughter observes the chaotic situation as her childhood is forced to mature. A master of storytelling with focus on the struggles of the British minority communities, two-time Palme d’Or-winner, 83-year-old director Ken Loach’s follow-up to his extraordinary “I, Daniel Blake” turns the lenses on a modern family in Newcastle dealing with financial disaster and stirred emotions. He deeply observes the family’s motives, anger, despair, strong bond and compassion for each other with his usual, sensible, efficiently moving techniques. His extreme sensibility and depth have made him a notorious working-class filmmaker, comparable to Rossellini and De Sica. Kris Hitchen and Debbie Honeywood are in perfect chemistry as the couple dealing with the effects of an economic crisis, the changes and conflicts of parenthood, and the shapes of now-a-days working exploitation. Heartbreaking, naturally absorbing and perfectly convincing, Loach continues to be one of the greatest filmmakers of out time with this powerful meditation on the strength of family perseverance. (Zeitgeist Films, Kino Lorber. 3/4. Film Forum.)


Rain falls hard over a remote area where a mobster-on-the-run awaits instructions from a mysterious woman; the camera captures the dazzling, stylish and inventive visions of director Diao Yinan as he opens this action-packed thriller demonstrating how poetically he conceives a scene. Bleeding, hurt and wanted, Zenong has wrongly shot a cop, while on a competition with other gangster families, in order to claim control over the drug/theft most profitable streets. Aiai is a hustler and “bath lover”- a Chinese modern version of prostitution- who is working on both sides, struggling to survive as a mediator on the bloodshed war between the gangsters’ families and the police seeking to avenge their colleague. As they wait for their next move, they both narrate in flashbacks the prior circumstances, when the street war sparkled a revolution on the local criminal business. An electrifying, fast-paced, ultra violent and seductive Neo-noir thriller, Yinan brilliantly understands of visual techniques, conceiving each frame as a piece of art in movement, with lyrical, glamorous observations on the details, on the silent moments embracing the unexpected, the subtle eroticism, the rain, the neon lights on the roads, but most impressive, how he extracts poetry from the bloody confrontations and its uncontrollable shootings. Addressing male rivalry and dominance, pride and greed, it’s a riveting, visually-arresting and superbly crafted mobster-on-bikes tale. (Film Movement. 3/6. Film Forum)

Léa Campos: Troféu Telê Santana

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