The Zookeeper’s Wife
(PG-13) • 124 minutes • On-screen here from 3/31/17 to 4/20/17
Director: Niki Caro
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh, Daniel Brühl
Synopsis: The Zookeeper’s Wife tells the account of keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, Antonina and Jan Zabinski, who helped save hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion.
(R) • 118 minutes • On-screen here from 3/24/17 to 3/30/17
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Starring: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani
Synopsis: Paterson is a bus driver in the city of Paterson, New Jersey – they share the name. Every day, Paterson adheres to a simple routine: he drives his daily route, he writes poetry into a notebook; he stops in a bar and drinks exactly one beer; he goes home to his wife, Laura. By contrast, Laura’s world is ever changing. New dreams come to her almost daily. The film quietly observes the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.
I Am Not Your Negro
2017 Oscar Nominee for Best Documentary Feature
(PG-13) • 93 minutes • On-screen here from 3/17/17 to 3/23/17
Director: Raoul Peck
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, James Baldwin, Dick Cavett, Shumerria Harris
Synopsis: In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, “Remember This House.” The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of this manuscript. Filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and flood of rich archival material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders, Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for.
The Women’s Balcony
(NR) • 96 minutes • On-screen here on 3/18/17 as part of Maine Jewish Film Festival
Director: Emil Ben-Shimon
Starring: Evelin Hagoel, Igal Naor, Aviv Alush
When the women’s balcony in a Sephardic Orthodox synagogue collapses during a bar mitzvah, severely injuring the rabbi’s wife, the congregation is at a loss. Struggling with the reconstruction, the men align with the charismatic ultra-Orthodox Rabbi David, who quickly takes charge. He instructs the men to make their wives follow traditional rules, such as wearing head coverings, and decides to replace the balcony with a small room behind bars. Furious, the women come together to fight back and the battle lines are drawn for Lysistrata, Israeli style. This intimate portrait of a community trying to maintain traditions while resisting extremism, set to a lively soundtrack amid the back alleys of old Jerusalem, is sure to leave you smiling.
A Grain of Truth
(NR) • 110 minutes • On-screen here on 3/19/17 as part of Maine Jewish Film Festival
Director: Borys Lankosz
Starring: Robert Wieckiewicz, Zohar Strauss, Magdalena Walach
Once the star of the Warsaw prosecutors’ office, Teodor Szacki (Polish Academy Award-winning actor Robert Więckiewicz) has ended his career and marriage to start a new life in a small southeast Polish town. Seen as an outsider by the close-knit community, he faces suspicion when called in to investigate the brutal murder of a well-known social activist, her body discovered outside a former synagogue. As more murders occur, a wave of anti-Semitism explodes and Szacki must not only solve the crimes, but also face the hysteria of public opinion and the painful history of Polish-Jewish relations. This noir whodunit is based on the bestselling novel by Polish author Zygmunt Miłoszewski.
(NR) • 91 minutes • On-screen here on 3/19/17 as part of Maine Jewish Film Festival
Director: Job Gosschalk
Starring: Jip Smit, Michiel Romeyn, Daniel Cornelissen
Endearing, smart and relatable, Moos is a romantic comedy that keeps you smiling from the opening scene to the closing credits. Uncomfortably unmarried and without a clear career path, 20-something Moos (pronounced Mohs) attempts to pursue her dream of getting into Amsterdam’s famed acting academy. Will she make it, or will lies, love affairs and a meddling family derail her dreams? Dutch actress Jip Smit’s luminous performance as Moos and a special cameo by Israeli singing star Asaf Hertz make this an unforgettable film.
A United Kingdom
(PG-13) • 111 minutes • On-screen here from 3/10/17 to 3/23/17
Director: Amma Asante
Starring: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Jack Davenport, Tom Felton, Laura Carmichael, Jessica Oyelowo
Synopsis: A United Kingdom is the true story of King Seretse Khama of Botswana and Ruth Williams, a white woman from London, which caused an international uproar when they decided to marry in the late 1940’s just as apartheid was being introduced into South Africa. It was a decision that altered the course of African history.
***Oscar Winner – Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay ***
(R) • 111 minutes • Originally on-screen here from 12/9/16 to 12/15/16, returned 3/3/17 through 3/9/17
Director: Barry Jenkins
Starring: Mahershala Ali, Shariff Earp, Duan Sanderson, Alex R. Hibbert, Janelle Monáe, Naomie Harris, Jaden Piner
Synopsis: Three time periods – young adolescence, mid-teen and young adult – in the life of black-American Chiron is presented. When a child, Chiron lives with his single, crack addict mother Paula in a crime ridden neighborhood in Miami. Chiron is a shy, withdrawn child largely due to his small size and being neglected by his mother, who is more concerned about getting her fixes and satisfying her carnal needs than taking care of him. Because of these issues, Chiron is bullied, the slurs hurled at him which he doesn’t understand beyond knowing that they are meant to be hurtful. Besides his same aged Cuban-American friend Kevin, Chiron is given what little guidance he has in life from a neighborhood drug dealer named Juan, who can see that he is neglected, and Juan’s caring girlfriend Teresa, whose home acts as a sanctuary away from the bullies and away from Paula’s abuse. With this childhood as a foundation, Chiron may have a predetermined path in life, one that will only be magnified in terms of its problems when he reaches his difficult teen years when peer pressure affects what he and many of his peers do, unless he follows Juan’s advice of truly making his own decisions for himself.
(R) • 120 minutes • On-screen here from 2/24/17 to 3/2/17
Director: Taylor Hackford
Starring: Robert De Niro, Leslie Mann, Harvey Keitel, Edie Falco, Danny DeVito, Patti LuPone
Synopsis: An aging comic icon, Jackie Burke (Robert De Niro) has seen better days. Despite his efforts to reinvent himself and his comic genius, the audience only wants to know him as the former television character he once played. Already a strain on his younger brother (Danny DeVito) and his wife (Patti LuPone), Jackie is forced to serve out a sentence doing community service for accosting an audience member. While there, he meets Harmony (Leslie Mann), the daughter of a sleazy Florida real estate mogul (Harvey Keitel), and the two find inspiration in one another resulting in surprising consequences. Through the alchemy of their unlikely friendship, Harmony and Jackie overcome their own emotional damage and emerge as better people.
20th Century Women
(R) • 119 minutes • On-screen here from 2/10/17 to 2/23/17
Director: Mike Mills
Starring: Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup
Synopsis: The story of three women who explore love and freedom in Southern California during the late 1970s.
(R) • 99 minutes • On-screen here from 1/27/17 to 2/9/17
Director: Pablo Larrain
Starring: Natalie Portman, John Hurt, Peter Sarsgaard, Billy Crudup, Greta Gerwig
Synopsis: Jackie is a searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Natalie Portman). Jackie places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband’s assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband’s legacy and the world of “Camelot” that they created and loved so well.
(PG-13) • 118 minutes • On-screen here from 1/13/17 to 1/26/17
Director: Garth David
Starring: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, David Wenham, Rooney Mara
Synopsis: A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family. Based on a true story.