DVDs of the week

The Herald Magazine - - Arts CINEMA -

THE BREAD­WIN­NER (12) £19.99 THE EYES OF OR­SON WELLES (E) £15.99

Eleven-year-old Par­vana (voiced by Saara Chaudry) lives in Kabul with her fa­ther Nu­rul­lah, mother Fat­tema, older sis­ter So­raya and baby brother Zaki. The Afghan cap­i­tal is un­der the yoke of the Tal­iban, which en­forces re­stric­tions on women’s free­dom of move­ment, for­bid­ding wives and daugh­ters from leav­ing the fam­ily home with­out a male com­pan­ion. Af­ter an al­ter­ca­tion in the mar­ket­place with a spite­ful Tal­iban en­forcer, Nu­rul­lah is in­car­cer­ated and Fat­tema and her brood be­come pris­on­ers in their home. Con­se­quently, Par­vana cuts off her hair and dons the garb of a boy to pose as her cousin Aatish so she can buy pro­vi­sions and earn enough to bribe a guard at the prison to speak to her fa­ther. Based on the book by Deb­o­rah El­lis, The Bread­win­ner is a beau­ti­fully crafted and deeply mov­ing cel­e­bra­tion of the frag­ile hu­man spirit as seen through the tear-filled eyes of a fam­ily strug­gling to make ends meet un­der a bru­tal regime that sub­ju­gates women.

Di­rec­tor, writer and ac­tor Or­son Welles seized 1940s Hol­ly­wood by the scruff of the neck with his de­but feature Cit­i­zen Kane. Nom­i­nated for nine Academy Awards, in­clud­ing best pic­ture and di­rec­tor, the film col­lected a golden stat­uette for best orig­i­nal screen­play, which Welles shared with Her­man J Mankiewicz. Critic and film­maker Mark Cousins ex­poses a pre­vi­ously un­seen side of Welles in this doc­u­men­tary, which has been granted ex­clu­sive ac­cess to hun­dreds of Welles’ pri­vate paint­ings and draw­ings. Through th­ese works of art, it re­flects the pol­i­tics and pas­sions of the film­mak­ing ti­tan in his own brush­strokes and sketches, draw­ing par­al­lels be­tween Amer­ica of the past and con­cerns of the present day un­der Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

APOS­TASY (PG) £15.99

For­mer Je­ho­vah’s Wit­ness Daniel Koko­ta­jlo writes and di­rects this strik­ing Bri­tish drama, which ex­plores the sim­mer­ing ten­sions in a fam­ily af­ter a trans­gres­sion. Eigh­teen-year-old Alex (Molly Wright) is deeply em­bed­ded in her com­mu­nity’s Je­ho­vah’s Wit­ness con­gre­ga­tion along­side her mother Ivana (Siob­han Fin­neran) and sis­ter Luisa (Sacha Parkin­son). As a baby, Alex was forced to have a blood trans­fu­sion to sur­vive, which con­tra­dicts the edicts of her church, so she de­votes her­self to her faith and is dili­gently learn­ing Urdu in the be­lief this will help her to con­vert Mus­lims to the Je­ho­vah’s Wit­nesses’ cause. Her sis­ter Luisa shocks the fam­ily by an­nounc­ing that she is preg­nant and the church’s el­ders de­cree that Alex and her mother must shun Luisa for her sins. The strain on the fam­ily is con­sid­er­able and Alex seeks guid­ance and emo­tional sup­port from an el­der called Steven (Robert Emms), who har­bours ro­man­tic in­ten­tions to­wards her.

Michael Caine, Tom Courte­nay, Paul White­house, Jim Broad­bent and Ray Win­stone have a team meet­ing be­fore go­ing to work in Hat­ton Gar­den Michelle Yeoh, Henry Gold­ing and Con­stance Wu in Crazy Rich Asians

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