Author: Jay Weissberg

Film Review: ‘A Maid for Each’
Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘A Maid for Each’

The disturbingly caste-like treatment of foreign domestic workers in Lebanon is dissected with artful formalism in Maher Abi Samra’s sophomore documentary. Maher Abi Samra’s disturbing documentary “A Maid for Each” takes a cool-headed look at a Beirut agency that traffics — a charged word but a pretty accurate one — […]

Film Review: ‘Nut$’
Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘Nut$’

Tarantino vibes permeate this amusing, at times outlandish tale of a couple of beauties getting mixed up with a deadly gambling ring. French director Henri Barges blasts a cartoonish Tarantino vibe into Lebanon’s film scene with his enjoyably outre sophomore feature “Nut$.” Set in a privileged world of bored housewives, […]

Film Review: ‘Befikre’
Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘Befikre’

Smooches galore and impressive gym definition are more notable than the plot in this overly energetic twist on the old friends with benefits theme. Bollywood’s weakness for foreign locales gets the ultimate French twist in “Befikre,” a Paris-set contemporary romance that asks the age-old question: Can casual sex between friends […]

Film Review: ‘The Dark Wind’
Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘The Dark Wind’

A woman from the Yazidi minority in Kurdistan is rejected by community elders after being raped by ISIS fighters in this rare drama about this much-persecuted people. Until ISIS invaded Iraqi Kurdistan, either enslaving or massacring the Yazidi population, few outside the region were even aware of this much-persecuted people. […]

Film Review: ‘Little Eagles’
Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘Little Eagles’

Courtesy of Dubai Film Festival A deeply personal docu-essay that combines reflections on the director’s unhappy relationship with his father with musings on Egypt’s failed political activism. A raw, deeply personal essay on director Mohamed Rashad’s relationship with his cold father is combined with broader musings on the Egyptian political […]

Film Review: ‘The Preacher’
Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘The Preacher’

Courtesy of Dubai Film Festival A moderate Muslim preacher is manipulated by government agents in Magdi Ahmed Ali’s forthright critique of corruption and fundamentalism. This year’s notable run of Egyptian films that engage with meaty topics ends on an intriguing note with “The Preacher,” certain to be one of the […]

Film Review: ‘A Kid’
Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘A Kid’

A solidly crafted family drama by ace storyteller Philippe Lioret that offers the right amount of psychological depth with a rewarding quasi-tearful glow. Calling “A Kid” a nice family drama may sound faintly damning, but the fact is the film is just that, a solidly crafted story about a man […]

Turin Film Review: ‘Scribe’
Film Reviews

Turin Film Review: ‘Scribe’

A timely political thriller involving a mild-mannered bookkeeper sucked into a nightmare of uncertain loyalties, told with edgy flair. The political thriller genre gets a very timely infusion of life with Thomas Kruithof’s debut “Scribe,” a lean, edgy drama about an outwardly bland middle-aged factotum hired to transcribe taped conversations […]

Film Review: ‘A Flickering Truth’
Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘A Flickering Truth’

Courtesy of New Zealand Film Commission New Zealand’s Oscar submission is a poetically elegiac documentary about the vulnerability of Afghanistan’s cinematic heritage, and the determined efforts to safeguard what remains. A documentary about Afghanistan’s at-risk film archive may seem like an unlikely submission as New Zealand’s Oscar candidate, but “A […]