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The Zookeeper's Wife

Has many lovely and moving moments but fails to capture the many layers of this unique story, relying instead on plainly-stated metaphors.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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"Life Itself" Named Best Documentary at American Film Festival in Poland

"Life Itself," Steve James's documentary about the life and work of Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert, won the Best Documentary prize at the 5th American Film Festival in Wrocław, Poland. Hailing the film as "brilliant," the festival chose James's movie out of the ten documentaries screened, adding another accolade to the picture's remarkable streak of worldwide acclaim, which has lasted since its January debut at Sundance. James was honored with a cash prize courtesy of BNY Mellon.

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A total of 70 pictures were screened at the five-day festival, the majority of them making their premiers in Poland. Gillian Robespierre's comedy, "Obvious Child," featuring a breakout performance from Jenny Slate, was named the Best Narrative of the festival's Spectrum section comprised of 20 selections. Whit Stillman was the recipient of the festival's Indie Star Award, celebrating American Independent filmmakers, and a retrospective of his work was screened throughout the festival. 

This award comes mere days after "Life Itself" received a Best Documentary nomination from the Gotham Independent Film Awards. For more info on the American Film Festival, visit its official site.

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