I wish

From  Ellen  Druda
Author:  Kore-Eda   Hirokazu
Title:   I wish [videorecording DVD]
Think back to those great family movies starring plucky kids, like Escape to Witch Mountain, or Flipper, or even The Parent Trap, and you’ll get the same feeling watching I Wish. Set in Japan, this is the story of two brothers separated by divorce, who plan to reunite with the help of their pals.  The new bullet train service is coming, and brothers Koichi and Ryunosuk believe your wish will come true if you shout it when the first trains pass each other at top speed.  The kids spend time planning exactly where this will occur and how they will get there.  They also share their wishes.  The performances by Kouki Maeda and Oushiro Maeda, brothers in real life, bring tons of charm to this movie, which was originally conceived as a promotional film for Japan Railways. VERDICT: A heart-warming Japanese language film that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

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Jaffa

From Alicja Feitzinger
author: Yedaya, Keren
 Jaffa [videorecording]
This is a compelling drama about a young Jewish woman, Mali Wolf. Her father owns an auto repair shop in the heart of Jaffa. Mali and Toufik, a Palestinian mechanic, have been in love for years and now she is pregnant. As they plan their future together, an unexpected tragic incident changes
their lives. Mali is making tough choices as she is forced to deal with her unhappy family life and her uncertain future. This movie received mixed reviews, but I happen to like it. Mali’s strong character and the ultimate outcome made this story memorable and I would recommend it.

Welcome

From Alicja Feitzinger
titl: Welcome [videorecording]
Welcome is a story about Bilal (Firat Ayverdi) and Simon (Vincent Lindon).  Bilal is a 17-year-old Kurdish refugee. He spent the last three months of his life traveling across Europe in an attempt to reunite with his girlfriend who recently emigrated to England. Simon (Vincent Lindon), a middle-aged swimming instructor, is dealing with a divorce from his wife (Audrey Dana).  They meet at a local swimming pool at Calais, France. Simon works there and eventually trains Bilal, so he can attempt to swim across the English Channel and find his girlfriend. Both men have a lot in common, despite their differences.  They develop a strong bond, which will ultimately alter their lives.  This movie left me with a strong impression and a lot to think about. I highly recommend it.

The Inheritance

From Chris Garland
The Inheritance
A tense drama from Danish director Per Fly, The Inheritance is the story of a man transformed by power. Christoffer, heir to a vast industrial fortune, has given up the stressful family business for a peaceful life with his actress wife in Stockholm. When his father commits suicide, Christoffer must return to Denmark and confront a situation he wants no part of. He finds the family steel business on the verge of collapse and his mother insisting he assume control. Thus begins Christoffer’s struggle to balance what he really wants in life with what he has to do. This conflict will bring him to the breaking point.

Departures

from Chris Garland
Departures, Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film 2008
‘Departures’ is a deeply moving film about death, a subject we don’t
like to confront,  but this film does it with grace, dignity, humility and
beauty.  It is about saying goodbye to loved ones for the last time and
thereby evoking the value of life.  How do we honor those who have passed?
How do we confront our own lives and the act of living?  ‘Departures ‘ is
the story of a young man’s spiritual journey as he is faces death every
day in his work.  It is through this that that he begins to understand the
joy and value of life.  All of us have been touched by the loss of someone
we love and this film honors and celebrates those feelings.