Number 5 A Hidden Life (dir Terrence Malick)
As ever, Terrence Malick took his time in bringing this to audiences, but it was worth it. It’s long, yes, coming in at just under three hours, but it is beautiful, profound and sad. Although religion or spirituality is present in the decision-making of the characters, Malick’s true question is about the philosophy of right and wrong which, 75 years after the events depicted were set, is sadly still a pertinent one.
Number 4 So Long My Son (dir Wang Xiaoshuai)
Another lengthy film, but this too rewards the viewer’s patience. From Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai, So Long My Son follows the lives of two families over decades, set against the backdrop of a changing China. It’s a sad, uplifting, heart-breaking, heart-warming tale told in broken narrative and jumping time frames; every performance is a gem and the changes in China over the decades are fascinating. Make time for it.
Number 3 The Long Goodbye (dir Aneil Karia)
A film written and performed by the extremely talented Riz Ahmed, I’ve included a short film on my list for the first time ever because of the impact this had on first viewing. It’s probably better watched with no prior knowledge, but the message it sends is powerful. You can watch the whole film here.
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