VANAJA (Rajnesh Domalpalli, 2007)

A Columbia University student, Rajnesh Domalpalli made this film independently in Andhra Pradesh, in the Telugu language, as a study of rigid class division in rural South India. When this social melodrama begins, its protagonist, Vanaja, is 14. The film covers three years.      Excellent films rarely fall into the category of visual storytelling; Vanaja has […]

MOTHER OF KINGS (Janusz Zaorski, 1976)

“A person may give his life for some undefined hope because he does not control his fate.”      From Kasimierz Brandys’s novel Sons and Comrades, writer-director Janusz Zaorski’s Matka Królów charts the life of Lucja Król (Magda Teresa Wójcik, tremendous), a Polish washerwoman, the widowed mother of four sons, from the mid-1930s through 1956, when destalinization […]

CAMOUFLAGE (Krzysztof Zanussi, 1977)

The following is one of the entries from my 100 Greatest Films from the Soviet Union, Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe list, which I invite you to visit on this site if you haven’t already done so. — Dennis A summertime graduate student linguistics competition is underway. Philosopher-physicist Krzysztof Zanussi’s satirical comedy Barwy ochronne (literally, […]