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Exploring Unknown Cultures, Emotional Transitions, Modern Solitude, and Community Needs


By Roger Costa


One of his most personal documentaries, master director Werner Herzog’s latest project traces the travelling footsteps of his beloved friend and collaborator, the renowned writer, adventurer and explorer Bruce Chatwin.

Set to his usual affecting style of gathering testimonies and delicate, inclusive narration, Herzog travels to many exotic, exuberant places in the world, examining the nomadic life, through tribal zones, rituals, landscapes and memories.

Herzog kicks off the project in Patagonia, where Chatwin wrote his book “In Patagonia”, investigating the existence of dinosaurs. Then he moves to Australia where he introduces us to some Aboriginal traditions, and later he listens to Chatwin’s wife’s revelations sitting at their beautiful mansion in the Welsh.

A celebration of living among unknown cultures and having empathy for mysterious traditions found on the corners of the planet, as well as a fabulous personal journey connecting both men’s passions, interests and adventurous spirits, Herzog takes the audience to an enthusiastic, inspiring and unique environmental experience, visiting enchanted places and discovering amazing communities. He also made a touching homage to the value of friendship.

(Music Box Films. 8/26. Film Forum’s Virtual Cinema. Go to ) for details and Live Q&A schedule.)


Writer-Director Isabel Sandoval’s personal and intimate drama follows the on-the-edge life of a Transgender Filipina caregiver who becomes involved with the ex-con grandson of the elderly lady she works for.

Erotic, provocative and courageous, she gives a superb performance as the protagonist, an undocumented immigrant struggling to get a Green Card through an arranged/paid marriage, after living in the US illegally for several years.

She inclusively and delicately builds up compassion, tension and suspense around her characters, first observing the emotions and obstacles surging for each of them: the fading memory of grandmother, the effects of on-probation anxiety experienced by Alex and his affecting return and attempts to make it right, the accomplishment of her friend’s much-awaited wedding. Despite her hopelessness, Olivia plays a major figure of strength and reliability within, inspiring them to reach for their goals and step forward, while she herself is still dreaming of Mr. Right and mostly running against time, civil laws and bureaucracy to gain rights and freedom.

Nominated for the Queer Lion Award at last year’s Venice Film Festival, Sandoval scored a relatable, timely and moving drama.

(Array Releasing. 8/26. Select Theaters and On Netflix.)


An exquisite, delightfully wild romantic comedy connecting the lives of a lonely police officer and a broken-hearted traveler, as they desperately seek for a soulmate. Colorful, absurdist and hilarious, Writer-Director Erwan Le Duc’s feature debut puts him on the radar as an intellectually promising comic force. His contagiously funny aesthetic blends elements of Wes Anderson (the design and introduction of the cop’s family) and Buñuel (the dreamlike atmosphere, the all-nude revolutionary movement, the bitter poetry in everyone’s dialogs) with sophisticated, fresh results. Delivering fine performances, with the right balance for satirical and slapstick tones, this prestigious Cannes selection is also a smart and gentle examination on relationships between parents and children, authorities and community, and anxious lovers.

(Kino Marquee. 8/24. Symphony Space’s Virtual Cinema and other platforms. Go to for details.)


Renowned actress Jeanne Balibar’s solo directorial debut is a fabulous comedy of manners filled with eccentric, utopian characters. A social-political satire, the film chronicles the process of development of a new Mayor and her associates, as they mingle among community in order to fulfill everyone’s needs with their naturalistic ideas and unusual public programs. The only apparent obstacle is the divorce of a couple who serve as her best collaborators in the project. Their dispute interrupt their progress, and stimulate others to express their inner secrets and desires (such as the obvious crush the mayor has over the guy), creating a crowded, debaucherous and irresistibly funny mosaic of modern-France’s society. A surrealist allegory of behavior and communion, Balibar brings together a stellar cast (Ramzy Bedia, Emmanuelle Béart, Mathieu Amalric, and herself) in perfect chemistry and humor, as they visit refugees, migrants and other minorities seeking improvement and house development (some of the interviews with refugees feel so honest, it seems part documentary). Metaphorical and magical, it’s a satisfying and hallucinating Avant-Garde comedy, a huge first step for a new filmmaker.

(Kino Marquee. 8/24. Symphony Space’s Virtual Cinema and other platforms. Go to for details.)

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