Movie Reviews

Movies Reviews of which relate in one way or another to the themes and ideas explored on this site. Movies about the past or the future which relate to human rights. And movies which explore how human beings relate to each other – particularly across boundaries – such as border, gender, race and culture. Movies which deal with peace.

Beginnings Old and New

beginnings

It might seem odd to start an article about beginnings by talking about the end, but that’s the whole point. Our assumption is that time is linear. The beginnings are behind us, and, inexorably, we will arrive at “the end”. And culturally, much of our story telling encourages us to have the sneaking fear that our collective end…

Agora movie – seeing ourselves through an alien past

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Agora movie review The movie Agora (director Alejandro Amenábar) is not history, but perhaps, it rises to allegory. It is well worth watching, despite its ‘interpretative’ approach to history. It is a movie which captures deeper truths about human relationships and its fictionalized past helps us understand the challenges of our conflicted present. The struggles…

Pitch Perfect 2 – Feminist Storytelling

Pitch Perfect 2 promo

Warning, this one has some plot spoilers. Pitch Perfect 2, is a great dose of quirky, catchy and exuberant musical fun. And just for fun here are the Barden Bellas with their re-mix of Just the Way You Are from the first Pitch Perfect movie.   But this fun movie has a serious message, not…

Frontera Movie Review

Frontera movie promo

The Frontera movie is a story about lives shattered by the US-Mexico border. The story unfolds around two families: one from the Mexican side, one from the U.S. side.  Miguel (Michael Peña) crosses the border to find work to support his family, including his pregnant wife Paulina (Eva Longoria).  On the other side lives a…

Elysium – The Future of Human Rights is Now

Matt Damon Jodie Foster Elysium Poster

Like Gattaca, the movie Elysium paints a picture of a dystopian future. Both movies explore questions of human rights and exclusion. That’s pretty much where the similarities end. Elysium’s Social Justice Message Elysium is unashamedly a sci-fi action flick in mainstream Hollywood tradition. It’s heroes and villians ride in guns blazing. If that’s your thing,…

The Hundred Foot Journey

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The Hundred Foot Journey, plays out against a physically short distance, yet the distance that keeps the people involved apart, is vast. The movie tells the story of a meeting between two cooking cultures:  Indian and French. Both are proud of their cooking traditions. An Indian family, displaced some time before to England by political…

Belle

Belle poster

Humans are complex beings.  The movie “Belle” (director Amma Assante) explores human complexity, particularly as it manifests in everyday human relationships. The movie is set in the late eighteenth century at the height of the transatlantic slave trade.  Dido Elizabeth Belle (played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is the central character of the movie.  She was born into…

Gattaca dystopia: future, present or the past?

View from the Space Port

It’s hard to work out if the 1997 movie Gattaca presents a vision of triumph or failure of humanity. It presents a dystopian future which echoes the dystopian elements of our present and past. In this future, people are judged solely by their genetic scorecard.  Those whose parents do not engineer them for success before…

“Crossing Over” – Harrison Ford stars as ICE Agent

Crossing Over is a 2009 American independent film drama exploring the lives of illegal immigrants attempting to “cross the border” literally and metaphorically to achieve legal status in the United States.   The film deals with the border, document fraud, the asylum and green card process, work-site enforcement, naturalization, the office of counter-terrorism and the clash of cultures. …