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Religious Principles, Sexual Awakening and A Man’s Journey

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By Roger Costa

YES, GOD, YES

After writing the winsome comedy “Obvious Child”, Karen Maine puts her talent to work behind the cameras with this satisfying directorial debut. An irreverent satire on religious principles and hormonal behavior, the film follows the sexual awakening of a High School Catholic teen girl whose explicit online interaction with a stranger arises her curiosity towards the prohibited. Her quest for understanding herself, the pleasures of sexuality, and acceptance increase and gain shape during a Christian Camp where she witnesses some unusual, scandalously freaky encounters. Natalia Dyer is fantastic, funny and relevant as the heroine trying to figure out herself while observing and learning from the hypocrisy surrounding her. Winner of the Special Jury Award at SXSW it’s a refreshing, provocative and smart little gem.

(Vertical Entertainment. 7/24 on VOD.)

SHINE YOUR EYES

Brazilian Director Matias Mariani returns with this gorgeously shot, atmospheric and abstract look at brotherhood, melancholy and family values. Arriving in Sao Paulo from Nigeria, in search of his older brother, Amadi mingles in the African immigrants community discovering aspects of compassion, struggle, comradeship and solitude among them. As he puts up the pieces of an enigmatic puzzle, with the help of sophisticated technology skills, he unveils the mysteries of a frenetic, over-populated but lonesome metropolis, while looking for reasons for the disappearance. The cinematography brilliantly captures the sense of abandon and loss throughout the speedy city, reflecting our tumultuous modern era, and the cultural and language barriers experienced by Amadi. An acclaimed selection at this year’s Berlin, Mariani conceived an exuberant, vibrant, poetic, and inventive “one man’s journey” drama.

(Netflix. 7/29.)


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