Lydia Ogwang

Black Picture Show: On Khalik Allah’s Black Mother

By Lydia Ogwang / December 6, 2018

By Lydia Ogwang Khalik Allah has staged two homecomings in as many documentary features. In Field Niggas (2015), the New York-based photographer and filmmaker took his camera to the streets of Harlem, capturing slow-motion footage of nighttime life at 125th and Lexington. The scene was familiar to Allah, who frequented the area in his adolescence…

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Canadiana | Hometown Horror: Robin Aubert’s Les affamés

By Lydia Ogwang / March 16, 2018

By Lydia Ogwang It’s an epidemic: the populist appeal of genre cinema is undeniable, even here at home. In a bit of a surprise, Robin Aubert’s Les affamés won Best Canadian Feature at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, and then the Temps Ø People’s Choice Award at the Festival du nouveau cinéma in Montréal.…

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Never Steady, Never Still (Kathleen Hepburn, Canada)—Discovery

By Lydia Ogwang / September 16, 2017

By Lydia Ogwang Determining the sum total of Kathleen Hepburn’s formally accomplished feature debut is daunting arithmetic. Protagonist Judy, a longtime sufferer of Parkinson’s disease, lives with her husband and 18-year-old son in warm domesticity. The film’s opening moments deliver a soft, rose-coloured naturalism, but a prologue delivered in voiceover establishes loss and vulnerability as…

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Tigre (Silvina Schnicer & Ulises Porra Guardiola, Argentina) — Discovery

By Lydia Ogwang / September 12, 2017

By Lydia Ogwang The feature directorial debut by Silvina Schnicer and Ulises Porra Guardiola’s centres on matriarch Rina, a woman in her sixties who is returning to her rundown family home to stage a sort of family reunion. Among her guests are an estranged son whose help she has enlisted in maintaining the family land…

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Cardinals (Grayson Moore & Aidan Shipley, Canada) — Discovery

By Lydia Ogwang / September 12, 2017

By Lydia Ogwang Canadian newcomers Grayson Moore and Aidan Shipley strike gold with veteran Sheila McCarthy in the lead role of Cardinals. McCarthy is masterful as the damningly self-convicted Valerie, a mother of two recalibrating to free civilian life after serving time for apparent alcohol-induced vehicular manslaughter. While her daughters (played by Grace Glowicki and…

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Nina (Juraj Lehotský, Slovakia/Czech Republic) — Contemporary World Cinema

By Lydia Ogwang / September 8, 2017

By Lydia Ogwang The spark at the heart of Nina is kindled by faith in forms. Slovakian director Juraj Lehotský meets us here with a mostly modest coming-of-age film, trusting that the spectacle of adolescent growth still holds enough weight to make the case for its existence just this once more. Lehotský’s eponymous subject is…

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