Kauffmann: Films Worth Seeing

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Ajami.  Not a documentary though it was made with residents of the district, this film concentrates on a multi-ethnic troubled area in the city of Jaffa.  Fast and skillfully integrated, it  races along the paths of drugs and prejudice, of love and rivalry that criss-cross the place.  (3/11/10)

Harlan.  Veit Harlan was a leading film director in Nazi Germany who made one of their most vicious anti-Semitic films, Jew Suss.  This documentary interviews in an incisive and revealing way what it is like to be one of his descendants today.  Sons,. niece, grandchildren speak frankly and disturbingly.  (3/25/10)

Lourdes.  A paraplegic young woman visits the shrine of Lourdes in hope of a miracle that will cure her.  Unpredictable things do happen, but the chief interest, even for viewers who are not Catholic, is in the integrity with which this huge and complex place  is treated. (3/25/10)

The Messenger.  About Iraq though it never leaves the U.S.  Two Army veterans are assigned to the Bereavement Notification Service and, through their duties, go through war experiences different from what they have seen over there.  Skillfully directed and intelligently written, it is not a tear-jerker, just very moving.  (12/30/09)

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