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  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

    Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

    ★★★★

    This film's sensitive and well-informed script places its characters in moral dilemmas that are as much personal as they are political. How does one choose between assimilation and resistance? Between hoping for mere survival and risking death to preserve one's dignity? An excellent film about the American west and perhaps the very best film to examine the cultural attitudes underlying the Plains Indian Wars.

  • Being John Malkovich

    Being John Malkovich

    ★★★★★

    From the singular mind of Charlie Kaufman comes this, one of the most novel concepts ever for a film. Hilarious, touching, thrilling, and mind-bending, with a dynamic central performance from Malkovich himself, this served as a portal from mainstream movies to challenging cinema upon its theatrical release, and I'm happy to say I've never looked back.

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  • No Regrets for Our Youth

    No Regrets for Our Youth

    ★★½

    Given the director's pro-government propaganda work just two years prior, this film's congratulatory, populace-absolving story rings a bit false. Nevertheless, Hara's appearance as a female lead is a welcome change from Kurosawa'a typical M.O.

  • The Lower Depths

    The Lower Depths

    ★★

    I've seen enough spiteful, delusional and destructive behavior to know this is a valid representation of the lives of a certain portion of those living in the purgatory of poverty. However, the tone here is too miserable and the attitude too misanthropic to derive any entertainment or even enlightenment. Kurosawa regularly confronts suffering but rarely is he so pessimistic.