Directed by: Srdan Golubovic

Written by: Srdan Golubovic, Ognjen Sviličić

Cast: Goran Bogdan, Boris Isakovic, Nada Sargin, Milica Janevski, Muharrem Hamzic.

The movie Father portrays the ungrateful struggle of an ordinary man against the system and the corruption to regain the custody of his two children.

The drama, filmed with the concern of portraying reality, begins with a shocking opening. A woman, desperate with the hunger she and her children face, protests on the company that fired her husband and did not pay all the money owed to him. In the courtyard, she sets herself on fire, but is saved in time.

The head of the local secretariat of the small town decides that she and her husband Nikola do not have the necessary economic conditions to raise their children. Therefore they, a pre-teen boy and a girl as a child, are sent to a family that receives government subsidies to care for them. When the father discovers that it is a scheme of the civil servant to receive a part of the subsidy, he decides to walk for 300 km to Belgrade, to personally deliver his appeal to the minister.

The film is a punch in the stomach. Nikola's city secretary does not follow the minister's recommendation letter that he obtained with so much effort in Belgrade. His struggle was in vain, and yet when he returns to his home, discovers that the neighbors, believing that he would no longer return, broke in and took the few things he had inside.

And since Father is not a Hollywood movie, his conclusion does not fall into the mass grave, nor the tearful melodrama, nor the happy ending. The script by Srdan Golubović and Ognjen Sviličić chooses the most realistic route, and the main character Nikola remains firm, without feeling sorry for himself. The final plan shows him sitting in the center of the screen as if ready to continue his fight, even though victory is almost impossible.

Eduardo Kaneco

Film Critic, the founder of Leitura Filmica

Watch the trailer and read the Portuguese version on:

2020, Serbia/France/Germany/Slovenia/Croatia/Bosnia and Herzegovina. 120 min

Along the way, the film shows signs of the economic decay in Serbia's smaller cities. The protagonist Nikola gets hungry, and even faints and stops in the hospital. But he is not the only one in this situation, other people also suffer from poverty, in the various abandoned establishments that the character walks through. The setting resembles the post-war depicted in Italian Neorealism.

In Belgrade, Nikola needs to sleep on the street until he is received by the minister - in fact, by the minister's assistant. The press, by exploring his story, generates pressure on the government to help him. The situation of the simple man against the uncompromising power refers to the protagonist facing the church in the Brazilian movie The Given Word (O Pagador de Promesas, 1962), directed by Anselmo Duarte.

Veins of the world

2020, Germany/Mongolia, 96 min

Directed by: Byambasuren Davaa 

Written by: Byambasuren Davaa, Jiska Rickels

Cast: Bat-Ireedui Batmunkh, Purevdorj Uranchimeg, Algirchamin Baatarsuren

Veins of the World, directed by Byambasuren Davaa from Mongolia, is tearfully moving while also a serious complaint against the predatory mining in her country.

The story takes place in the steppes of Mongolia, where small farmers suffer from the gradual destruction of natural resources caused by mining companies. In one of these families, eleven-year-old boy Amra dreams of singing on stage for the show called Mongolia's Got Talent. Despite the critical situation in the region, Amra's father manages to support his son to participate in the local qualifiers.

However, before the results of the selection is announced, a tragedy happens. Amra feels guilty and takes on adult responsibilities to help his mother.

Veins of the World assertively portrays the sense of being the center of the world that makes the boy punish himself for the tragedy. The accident was not a direct result of his will, however, for being too immature, he does not realize that he is forcing a relationship of cause and effect. His ingenuity, moreover, makes him vulnerable to the exploitation of adults.



The moment of tragedy has the right ingredients to make the viewer cry with emotion. First, because it involves a child protagonist, a good boy played by Bat-Ireedui Batmunkh with great appeal to the public's empathy. Moreover, the accident happens right after a moment of extreme happiness. The disappointment, the contrast between the two moments, is irresistibly sad.

The conclusion resumes an equivalent emotion, but already with the boy transformed, overcoming his loss. Amra approaches his mother and discovers he was being deceived by mining adults.

Director Byambasuren Davaa, who has already made an Oscar-nominated documentary (The Story of the Weeping Camel, 2003), films with distinction this story she co-wrote with filmmaker Jiska Rickels.



2020, Portugal/Brazil/France, 122 min

Directed by: João Nuno Pinto

Written by: Fernanda Polacow, Gonçalo Waddington

Cast: João Nunes Monteiro, Sebastian Jehkul, Filipe Duarte, Josefina Massango, Miguel Moreira

The film Mosquito presents an attractive theme: the focus on Portugal's participation in World War I in one of its African colonies. This is the setting for an exciting solitary adventure of survival and maturity.

The first mission of the young Zacarias, after enlisting in the Portuguese army, takes him to Mozambique in 1917 to face the German enemies who invaded the colony.

The movie script has a non-linear narrative. So, the viewer discovers the story gradually, through quick excerpts of flashbacks scattered throughout the film. The oldest stretches reveal the voyage on the ship that departed from Portugal to Africa.


And at the end of this painful adventure, the boy is transformed. His self-imposed duty to find the platoon now seems a tremendous folly.

The film shows how Zacarias is amazed by what he discovers on this journey. At one point, he realizes that he behaves like an heir to the culture of black slavery and pays a high price for it.

Gradually, he realizes that the side by which he enlisted to fight is far from being the good guys. The captured enemy seems to have more humanity than his fellow soldiers, who behave like savages.

The central line of this narrative is Zacarias's obstinate journey to re-encounter his Company. The 17-year-old lad was left at the outpost by his platoon because he contracted malaria. Three weeks later, he leaves to try to catch up, accompanied by two black helpers.

A virgin in every way, Zacarias will experience unprecedented experiences along the way, without being sure that he will reach his destination. He makes several mistakes, runs out of his assistants and gets lost, starves, becomes a slave to an all-female tribe, takes a German deserter soldier hostage.

Eduardo Kaneco

Film Critic, the founder of Leitura Filmica

Eduardo Kaneco

Film Critic, the founder of Leitura Filmica

Watch the trailer and read the Portuguese version on:

The film Malmkrog, by the Romanian director Cristi Puiu, adapts for the cinema the book of the philosopher Vladimir Solovyov.

To convert the philosophical clashes of the characters of "Three Conversations" into a movie challenges the filmmaker's ability to put the viewer within the discussions, without losing interest or understanding of the arguments involved. After all, the author of the original work created it to be read and not heard or watched. A book allows the reader to take the time it takes to digest what has just been presented. However, in moving pictures this is not possible, comprehension is urgent as it must keep pace with the conversations.

And the text is dense, in fact. Five characters, in late 19th century Russia, discuss the themes of war, progress and Christianity, according to the point of view of that time. They are all in the higher class. They are gathered in the mansion of one of them.

In order not to provoke distractions, director Cristi Puiu films mostly long plans, with few cuts. The camera moves only when necessary.

Cristi Puiu, on the other hand, does not ignore the advantages of cinematic language. In the first scene, the perfect framing and exploration of the depth of field stand out. A beautiful example is the scene in which some characters are in the room of the old man bedridden. In the foreground, outside the room, there is a character, who watches from afar. Inside the room, through the open door, we see him in bed, and another character next to him. Behind the bed, there is a mirror on the wall that reflects the housekeeper providing some assistance. And then one more character appears next to the mirror. These multiple layers enrich the scene, and this resource is used multiple times during the movie.


2020, Romania/Serbia/Switzerland/Suécia/Bosnia and Herzegovina/Northern Macedonia, 200 min

Directed by: Cristi Puiu

Written by: Cristi Puiu

Cast: Frédéric Schulz-Richard, Agathe Bosch, Diana Sakalauskaité, Marina Palii, Ugo Broussot, István Téglás

Eduardo Kaneco

Film Critic, the founder of Leitura Filmica

Structurally, the narrative is divided into six chapters, each with the subtitle of one of the characters – apparently, of the character featured in the segment. Each stretch is ended with an intentional fade-out.

The audiovisual resource also allows it to reveal how the nobles treated their employees. The host hired a great number of them, so they would spare him of any effort. The servants served drinks, opened doors, carried coats, i.e., even the simplest routine activities of the nobles. This would collapse in the near future, with the Russian Revolution, and the final excerpt of Chapter III seems to make that reference, in a brief segment in which the employees rebel and the nobles fall to death.

This fact is shown on the screen but has the impact of an illusion or a dream, because in the next chapter all characters return to discussions, including those who had been murdered.

Malmkrog is a dense film, focused on the philosophical arguments of the characters, which will delight those who appreciate these deep discussions. The distancing of time brings a greater interest in the movie, as it allows the analysis of these ideas with another perspective. As a cinematographic work, the talent of director Cristi Puiu is evident, but he needs to contain any mannerism so as not to interfere in the fluidity of the central theme of the film.

Watch the trailer and read the Portuguese version on:

Baghdad's look matches her contesting attitudes. Despite being small, she is not afraid to defend her friends. For example, the elderly salon owner who undergoes chemotherapy treatment and suffers from assaults because he is transsexual.


But the director Caru Alves de Souza does not restrict to characterizing the protagonist with a single facet. Baghdad is beyond the cliché of the macho girl who can handle every challenge. In a raid on skateboarders, she is abused, manually searched by the policeman even though she is a woman, and even cowardly insulted because of her masculinized look. And at a party, when one of the skate guys tries to kiss her by force, she cannot defend herself because she is weaker physically. In both situations, she suffers quietly, without the strength to react.

Then, in its final part, My Name is Baghdad presents another key in its plot. Until that moment, the film worked on the portrait of everyday life in the lower suburbs of this lower-class character that immediately catches the empathy of the viewer. And it does work. But the film grows even more with the idea of empowerment that come from the skater girls from another neighborhood. They lend their brave attitude to Baghdad and all other girls in the world who suffer abuse. With this force of unity, they do not have to tolerate this kind of situation anymore.

Eduardo Kaneco

Film Critic, the founder of Leitura Filmica

Watch the trailer and read the Portuguese version on:

My Name Is Baghdad

Directed by: Caru Alves de Souza

Written by: Caru Alves de Souza, Josefina Trotta

Cast: Grace Orsato, Karina Buhr, Marie Maymone, Helena Luz, Gilda Nomacce, Paulette Pink, Emílio Serrano, William Costa, João Paulo Bienermann, Nick Batista

2020, Brazil, 109 min

My Name is Baghdad uses the microcosm of the suburban skateboarding crowd to signal the female empowerment.

The setting is the suburb of São Paulo, in a lower-class neighborhood. The film follows during some days the protagonist Tatiana, nicknamed Baghdad. The 17 years old girl is not the delicate little princess type; she wears short hair and loose clothes and lives on the streets skateboarding with the boys.

In addition to the skater brotherhood, Baghdad cultivates strong emotional ties with the two sisters and their mother and with the colleagues from the hair salon where her mother works. The neighborhood itself is portrayed in the film as a character, it is the backyard of the house and niche of other friendships with the residents and merchants of the region. That's why there are two excerpts in the movie that focus on some shopkeepers who are not even part of the story but they belong to the neighborhood.

Mosquito, based on the story of the grandfather of director João Nuno Pinto, holds the viewer's attention because their events are not obvious. In addition, the maturing process of the protagonist is never verbally expressed, letting the viewer draw his conclusions. This reflection can be exercised comfortably during the time available by the never hurried scenes of the film.

Entertainment for adults, Mosquito is as exciting as the Indiana Jones movies, but with a much greater depth.

Watch the trailer and read the Portuguese version on: