Political Economy and Social Movements:

Race, Class and Gender


 


Film List


 


Higher learning

Roger & Me

Get on the Bus

School Daze

The color of fear

Secrets and lies

The Full Monty

My Brown Eyes, a film about a young Korean-American child's experiences in school. Because both his parents work long hours and come home late at night, the child is left largely to fend for himself. This experience resonates with many Asian-American children whose parents may work in restaurants or garment factories, or run small family businesses that require long, late hours.

DREAMWORLDS II

rambling rose

Laura Dern exudes sexuality as Rose, a young housekeeper/nanny taken in by a wealthy Southern family in 1935. The household is immediately disturbed by the presence of a young, exuberant woman, and both father and son reek with desire for her. As the straight-laced father, Robert Duval turns in an excellent performance, as does Dern's real-life mother Diane Ladd A sultry indie. [us]

cat on a hot tin roof

Essentially the story of family greed over the death of the wealthy patriarch Big Daddy, it's also a fascinating look at the destructive relationship of two beautiful people played by Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman. Taylor is the sensual cat of the title and Newman is her alcoholic husband. Some of the films most charged scenes feature these two. Greed, sex, lust, money, death, and Taylor and Newman to boot. What else do you need? [us]

fire

The rich amber hues of this film slowly reveal the burgeoning relationship between two mistreated sister-in-laws in modern India. The young and rebellious Sita is trapped in an arranged marriage with a sometimes abusive husband who is having an affair. Her barren sister-in-law is punished by a husband converted to celibacy since "they can't have children anyway." The two women begin a covert affair, and fall in love. Surprisingly, despite indications to the contrary, the film has an uplifting ending. This film by Deepa Meeta is the first in a series based on the four elements, Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. (Earth has also been made into a film.) [canada]

bagdad cafe

This haunting and beautifully shot, but quintessentially weird little film, tells the story of a German tourist abandoned at a truckstop in the Mohave desert. A cast of endearingly strange characters befriends her, and an unlikely community is formed. Why did we put it in the "vixens" category? This woman has some secrets that are slowly revealed (unveiled?). [us]

all about my mother

Pedro Almodovar's latest has already won the Golden Globe for best foreign film, and won the Academy Award for best foreign film. Regardless, it's an excellent film about the relationships between unrelated women (and former men) who make their own family. In true Almodovar style, the colors are bright and garish, the dialogue is tongue-in-cheek, yet the subjects are weighty. AIDs, prostitution, organ donation, and plastic surgery are all tackled without the usual melodrama. Highly recommended. In Spanish with subtitles. [spain, 1999]

women on the verge of a nervous breakdown

In this delicious screwball comedy, four women struggle with sex, unfaithful men, police, and terrorists. Pepa, a popular television star, is ending a relationship with a suave but philandering co-star--the catch is, she's pregnant. Add to this problem the fact that her best friend has mistakenly been harbouring Shiite terrorists, and confusion ensues. True to form in this Almodovar film, women who may start out as rivals (for example Pepa and her lover's insane wife) end up helping each other to a relatively happy ending. It's the ridiculous details--like the fully equipped cabbie--that make this film a treat. [spain]

erin brockovich

Finally, a Julia Roberts vehicle where Ms. Roberts doesn't need to be saved by prince charming. Julia (and her breasts) star as the title character, Erin Brockovich, an single mother of three who parlays a simple filing job at a law office into a career as the defender of small-town America against corporate corruption. Ms. Brockovich finds something fishy in a simple real estate deal, and digs further to find a billion dollar cover up involving polluted water, cancer, and the unknowing residents of a small California town. Definitely worth seeing. See it your friend who only likes Hollywood movies, or the guy who doesn't usually like chick flicks. There's something for everyone. Based on a true story (including the breasts). [us, 2000]

the women

This 1939 film based on the stage play by Clare Booth Luce features an all female cast--and we mean all female. There are no male actors in the 100+ cast. Joan Crawford is especially wicked as a social climbing seductress but she meets her match in Norma Shearer. Bitchy, bitter, and beautiful. [us, 1939]

the girl's room

It's an indie teen film with bite. During the last year of college, two polar opposite roommates struggle with identity, relationships, and friendship. Soleil Moon Frye vamps around in a definitely attempt to leave Punky Brewster behind. While this film sometimes drags, snappy lines like "Oh that was my macrobiotic summer" pick it back up again. Recommended for teens looking for something beyond "American Pie." Note: This film currently does not have a distributor, but visit its web site at http://www.girlsroom.net for more information. [us]

chocolat

Take the stunning Juliette Binoche and surround her with the finest Belgian chocolate, and you get this sweet confection of a film. In a familiar story, Binoche plays Vianne who breezes into a conservative and pious French town with her daughter Anouk. Vianne shocks the self-righteous mayor by opening a chocolatiere during Lent and by flaunting Anouk's lack of a father, but soon her chocolaty treats are raising the passions of the townspeople. A beautifully shot fairytale. Delicious! [?, 2000]

thoroughly modern millie

Pure camp, and if you see it any other way you'll hate it. But just imagine the chance to see those paragons of virtue and sweetness, Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore in a musical about white slavery. Yes, it's as ridiculous as it sounds, but the film never takes itself seriously. Be warned, the bad guys in this movie are "evil Chinese opium dealers" however, it does redeem itself in the end with Pat Morita (from Happy Days) as a good guy. Silly bubblegum flick with a few famous show tunes. [us, 1967]

girl, interrupted

Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie star in this overly long film based Susanna Kaysen's memoirs of one year in a psychiatric hospital. After swallowing a bottle of aspirin and a bottle of vodka, Kaysen (played by Ryder) checks herself into a mental institution. Kaysen is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, but many of the underlying themes revolve around perceptions of promiscuity and craziness. Touches of humour keep it from being too melodramatic, but Jolie's character seems to be a stereotype of the bad vixen. Whoopi Goldberg plays the ward nurse, and Vanessa Redgrave has a supporting part as an understanding psychiatrist. You might want to read the book first. [us, 1999]

blue sky

Jessica Lange plays a stunningly sexual woman married to a career military scientist. Their arrival on a backwoods military base in Alabama wakes up the neighbors, and the camp commander who takes an unhealthy interest in Lange's character. In this bittersweet film, Lange turns in a powerful performance as the irrepressible woman, while Tommy Lee Jones is quietly strong as her deeply in love husband. An interesting comment on women's sexuality and men's repression. [us, 1991]

holy smoke

In this Jane Campion film, a nouveau-hippie (Kate Winslet) is brought back from an Indian ashram by her family and sent to the outback with a cult deprogrammer (Harvey Keitel). Tables are turned as Winslet's character seduces Keitel, and leaves him stranded in the desert, a quivering mess in a red dress. The film is disturbing, and the romance/seduction is not entirely believable, but it raises some interesting ideas about sanity. [australia, 1999]

house of mirth

Gillian Anderson turns in a sublime performance in this period piece based on an Edith Warton novel. Anderson plays Lilly Barth, a turn-of-the-century socialite who knows that her lack of money means that she needs to secure a husband. Although she rejects her true love to hold out for a wealthier suitor, Lily can't seem to commit to her plan to marry rich. The film provides strong acting and presents an interesting view of society, truth, and honour, but is marred slightly by some uneven direction. Laura Linney is also excellent as a woman who uses Lily as a scapegoat to cheat on her husband. [us/uk, 2000]

lost and delirious

This well-acted teenage love story is loosely based on the novel "The Wives of Bath" by Susan Swan. Polly and Tori are best friends, roommates, and lovers in a small girls boarding school. The story is told by their new roommate Mouse, which provides some distance and perspective. As with most young love, and especially lesbian love depicted in the movies, things do not run smoothly-Tori starts dating a boy, and Polly faces her own obsession. Featuring Canadian favorites Grahame Greene as the sage gardener and Jackie Burroughs as the compassionate, but slightly ineffectual headmistress. Also notable for featuring our faves Ani DeFranco and Meshell Ndegéocelloon the soundtrack. [canada, 2001]

amy

In this powerful yet quirky celebration of mother/child love, a single mother and her mute, grief-stricken mute daughter, Amy, hide out from child welfare. When eight-year-old Amy starts to hear music and responds by singing, it's the stuff movie magic is made of. [australia]

muriel's wedding

As the Abba-obsessed Muriel, Toni Collette shifts from insecure geek to dancing queen with patented Aussie comic flair. Her quest for a white wedding as an escape from her pitiful small-town existence takes a bizarre turn when she hooks up with a free-spirited gal who knows there's more to life than a walk down the aisle. [australia]

welcome to the dollhouse

Director Todd Solondz sure understands what it's like to be an awkward, annoying, and oblivious 11-year old girl. This film is so real it's painful. As Dawn "Weiner-Dog" Weiner, Heather Matarazzo grumpily stumbles around puberty, while her tutu-wearing younger sister charms everyone. Guaranteed to bring back all scenes of humiliation from your childhood. [us]

clockwatchers

Amid greenish-hued cubicles and syncopated musak four office temps try to break out of the office-caste system and become "full-time." However, in this acme-inspired company being a temp means you're unreliable, untrustworthy, and mostly dispensable. Indie queen Parker Posey teeters on the edge of insanity as the "veteran temp." If you're working at a McJob, this film might just be the impetus to get out while you can. [us]

the piano

Jane Campion proves she's one of the decade's premiere directors in her literate and richly layered movie about cultural conflict, repression, art, and, the role of women in the 19th century. Holly Hunter plays a mute Scotswoman, piano player, and mail-order bride who finds herself repelled by her stolid husband but intensely attracted to the Maori wilderness in which she finds herself. Her expressive face more than makes up for her lack of words, and Anna Paquin, as her on-the brink of adolescence daughter is a real find. [nz]

crossing delancey

Amy Irving stars as Izzy, an intellectual-worshipping bookstore clerk who's Bubby attempts to play matchmaker for her. Despite her protests that matchmaking is not part of her hip Manhattan lifestyle, Izzy agrees to meet the match, who turns out to be the charming and gentle pickle-salesman from across Delancy street. The crux of this sweet little movie is whether Izzy will finally come to her senses and recognize the difference between pompous posers and true love... [us]

career girls

Eons away from the perky babes of Friends come two very real English misfits, warts and all. As the two working girls reminisce on their time together as students, each reveals her hurts, disappointments, vanquished dreams and plans for a sunnier future. Leigh exposes the insecurities, self-consciousness, and meanness of early adulthood so jarringly, it's amazing to think any of us survived, let alone are able to laugh at the absurdity of it all. [uk]

citizen ruth

Laura Dern is all jangled nerves, boozy chatter and bad girl intoxication as Ruth, a pregnant glue-sniffer who gets caught in the cross-fire between the pro-life and pro-choice movements. Jabs are taken at all sides as Ruth finally works the game her way. A provocative and hilarious satire that offers no easy answers. [us]

babette's feast

A group of religious zealots living in an aging and isolated community discovers a lesson of love and forgiveness when a quiet maid prepares a lavish and extravagant feast for them. The stark, barren landscape, and puritan houses provide bas relief to Babette's earthy and sensual banquet. 1987 Academy Award winner for best foreign film. [denmark]

when the cat's away

When the solitary Chole loses her adored cat, she is forced to get to know her Parisian neighbourhood. During her search (the beginning of her personal awakening), she meets a self-centered drummer; a dim-witted man who devotes himself to the search; a network of eccentric, gossipy old ladies full of life despite rapidly changing storefronts and threats of eviction; and finally the prospect of love. Slight, charming and unusually ordinary. [france]

gorillas in the mist

With a towering intensity, Sigourney Weaver inhabits her role Dian Fossey, the primatologist who paid dearly for protecting the mountain gorillas of central Africa. She lost her lover, her sanity and eventually her life. Beautifully shot and occasionally frustrating, the movie soars in its portrayal of the tender relationship between the fierce Fossey and her beloved gorillas. [us]

secrets and lies

The gritty story of a successful black adoptee who tracks down her birth mother only to discover mom is not only psychologically unstable and barely educated, but also white. Add a couple battling infertility, and an unforgettable family reunion, and you have skeletons tumbling out of the closet. Raw, painful, and hilarious, Mike Leigh's film is the most powerful exploration of the fallout of closed adoption records to date. [uk]

the incredibly true story of two girls in love

A quirky, light-hearted tale of first love -- only here it's between two young girls. In a nice stereotype switch, Randi is a wrong-side-of-the-tracks white girl who lives with her granola-eating aunts while the graceful Evie is a wealthy black girl who lives in a manicured neighbourhood and is enroute to Harvard. The film moves fast, and Go Fish director Maria Maggenti, ably depicts the goofy excessiveness of teen love without getting political. [us]

angel at my table

Jane Campion's film is based on the true story of New Zealand's most famous poet Janet Frame. As a child the awkward, shy, yet insightful Janet didn't fit in which lead her to being misdiagnosed as schizophrenic, and committed to a psychiatric hospital where she endured electric shock "therapy." However, Janet endured, was finally released and began winning poetry awards and international acclaim. Although ultimately uplifting this film is quite heavy in places, and is quite long since it was originally a television series. Make sure you're prepared to spend the time and emotional effort when you see it. [nz]

sweetie

Another Jane Campion film, this time her directorial debut, with the story of the dysfunctional relationship between two sisters. Sweetie is the obsessive, demanding, and coddled sister who is the catalyst for all family dynamics, but the story is really about how the other characters deal and interact with her. Quirky and offbeat, this film shows the beginnings of Campion's immense talent. [nz]

life is sweet

An early film by Mike Leigh, champion of working-class British life, this often hilarious portrait of a slightly off-beat family. Dad's dream, much to the chagrin of his family, is to own a chip wagon. The teenage twin daughters can't stand each other. One twin who refers to everyone as "fascist" is also a border-line anorexic. Jane Horrocks [Little Voice, Career Girls] is perfect as the fascism obsessed teen. Believe it or not, this is a wonderfully uplifting film, and true to it's title, life is sweet. [uk]

margaret's museum

A wacky but haunting piece of East Coast Canadiana. The cast of eccentric characters includes Margaret, the snotty nosed whore, a sharp-tongued mother, a dust-infested grand-father who needs a regular thumping, and a bagpipe blowing love interest. It may be bizarre, but it's also a bracingly original and emotionally compelling portrait of a mining town yoked to its death traps like an alcoholic to his bottle. [canada]

hilary and jackie

A tormented tale of sisterly rivalry and love. Hilary is plain and grounded sister. Jackie is a flamboyant and famous Cellist. Yet, despite Jackie's glorious golden locks, sexy way with a cello, and glamorous jetsetting lifestyle, she desperately wants what Hilary has: her husband, her children, her rural life. Emotionally wrenching performances by both talented leads, and, of course, luscious music. [uk]

carrington

This artistic period piece explores the unconventional and unwavering love between a delicate, gay writer and his devoted female companion, painter Dora Carrington. That the love could never be properly fulfilled results in great sadness as each partner dabbles in other love relationships. Emma Thompson provides the movie's soul as foil to the flashier wittier role inhabited by Jonathon Pryce. [uk]

guinevere

Canadian bright light Sarah Polley is so convincing as an awkward and insecure 20-year-old who falls for an aging bohemian that she makes you forget how ridiculously beautiful she is. Directed by Audrey Wells (The Truth About Cats and Dogs), this slight film takes a closer look at May-December relationships revealing what each partner gains from the other. As the sarcastic, socialite mom, Jean Harper provides a brash counterpoint to her daughter's meekness. Her showdown with the man "who's fucking my daughter," is worth the price of admission. [us]

i've heard the mermaids singing

The heroine of this independent Canadian film is such a wallflower that a receptionist job at a small art gallery is the height of success for her. Her overactive dream life has her flying over the skyscrapers of Toronto, yet blissfully unaware of facts in her own life. The slow realization that her boss is a lesbian is enough to rock her world. Quirky and sweet. [canada]

84 charing cross road

This book-lovers film centres on an aspiring New York screenwriter and voracious reader (in an exuberant turn by Anne Bancroft) who befriends the stodgy but warm-hearted owner of an antique book store in London (Anthony Hopkins). Their platonic relationship, which evolves over the years through letters, is marked by kindness and intellectual curiosity. She is an example of a woman who leads an extraordinarily ordinary life. [uk/us]

rosetta

This extremely bleak film--a grim look at the details of a 17-year-old girl's life--is unsettling on all levels. Shot with a hand-held camera, it's physically nauseating as well as mentally disturbing. We are privy to the ungainly Rosetta's harsh life from her life in a trailer park where she deals with poverty and her drunken mother. All she craves is a normal life, but in the outer world, she struggles to find a job and has awkward interactions with the opposite sex. This 1999 Cannes winner is ugly, depressing and raw, but likely true. [belgium]

never been kissed

It's hard not to like Drew Barrymore. Her Boticelli roundness and girlish charm are a welcome reprieve from Ally McBeal's wafer thin flakiness. And she ably inhabits her character as a high school misfit in this goofy comedy about teen humiliation. But in true Hollywood style, she rises above it all, develops poise, and falls for her teacher in a groan-inducing finale. Call it a guilty pleasure. [us]

bastard out of carolina

Be warned: this harrowing tale of childhood abuse and poverty in the Southern US may gnaw away at your restful dreams. Jena Malone puts in a tragic turn as the fragile Bone who suffers at the hands of her unstable stepfather while mom's love wavers between dad and daughter. Luckily, later in the pic, a strong woman, happy with her unmarried life and one that leaves ample time for fishing, offers a teensy glimmer of hope for Bone's future. Overall, hard to like, but impossible to dismiss. [us]

tumbleweeds

A rootless mother-daughter duo flit from man to man and state to state until they wash up in California. Janet McTeer gives a sexy performance as the exuberant Southern mom whose sardonic daughter acts as counterpoint to her own recklessness. The pair shares a deep intimacy rarely found in teen movies where parents are often cast as morons and peers as catty models in waiting. Mom is so wide open, she teaches her daughter how to kiss using an apple, and later the pair gets giddy on the hilarity of menstruation. Neatly averts cliché. [us]

touched

A bitter booze-soaked widow is slowly transformed after she hooks up with a young sensuous wanderer who adores her from the inside out. It's a gritty and magical look at life on a First Nations reserve and the "beauty and the beast" of mental illness. The film provides Lynn Redgrave with a complex role where she reveals the strength and fragility of an aging woman facing life's demons head-on. [canada]

new waterford girl

Hard not to like Mooney Pottie, a surly 15-year-old geek whose every pore screams "get me out of this stinking seaside town!" That is until a spunky big town, New York gal moves in next door and pulls her out of her stifling funk. Thankfully, nothing in this gritty gem unfolds as expected. The headstrong newcomer cheerfully knocks out errant boyfriends. Pregnant teens flee Aunt Agnes's Home for Wayward Girls. And Mooney's unlikely escape plan nearly causes the town a collective nervous breakdown. Full of snarky "go girl" energy, kooky characters, and bleak yet striking scenery. A wicked find. [canada]

bossa nova

Like a sweating pitcher of Sangria on a sun-baked day, this romance is refreshing but not too sweet. Starring Amy Irving, and produced by her husband as a love letter to her, the film centers on an English teacher in Brazil whose students and casual acquaintances fall in love (often with her). Any romance worth its salt doesn't run smoothly and this one is full of missed meetings and mistaken identities. Recommended summer, fun bopping along to a syncopated beat. [us/brazil]

circle of friends

Minnie Driver makes her debut in this quiet coming of age story based on a book by Maeve Binchy. Driver portrays an awkward overweight(!) small-town Irish girl who falls in love with the boy next door (a handsome Chris O'Donnell). Although sometimes overly sentimental, this film is enjoyable for its portrayal of young women struggling with adulthood and a strict Irish Catholic upbringing. [us/uk]

the prompter

A predictable, but sweet film about an opera prompter who marries for romance but not for love. Siv is passionate about her work, even more so than some of the stars she prompts. Her passion makes her a bit naive in other areas, and she marries a cold doctor who is essentially looking for a nanny for his two children. However, things change when she meets the sensitive tuba player...[norway]

dancer in the dark

It's a love it or hate it film. Love it for the exceptional concept and stunning performance by Bjork. Hate it for the overly melodramatic plot and nausea-inducing hand-held camera. Love it or hate it for Bjork's soundtrack. It's powerful, sickening, depressing, and uplifting. Not an easy ride, but definitely worth seeing. [denmark, 2000]

suspicious river

Molly Parker gives another eerie performance for Canadian director Lynne Stopkewich (Kissed). This time shes as a small-town girl whos fresh complexion belies her shattered inside. In a tale worthy of David Lynch, Molly plays a squeaky clean married gal who works the front desk of the local motel while turning rough tricks in the ragged bedrooms. Its not long before a sadistic but charismatic creep is guiding her towards her inevitable soul-crushing destruction. Tough to take. [canada, 2000]

boys don't cry

Pain spills off the screen in this tragic depiction of a boy trapped in a girl's body. Hilary Swank nabbed an Oscar for her ingenuous high-wire act as boy-girl Teena Brandon, and Chloe Sevigny dazzles as the fierce lover who yearns to escape her no-way-out life. It's a bleak portrait of trailer park desperation, and yet it avoids the cheap characters typical of White Trash movies. All the players, from the boozing mom right down to the wounded creeps who commit their brutal acts, are acutely drawn. Intense, graphic, sharply shot, and unforgettable. [us, 1999]

safe

Julianne Moore plays a listless housewife who has it all. Problem is she's allergic to it all...the sleek furniture, the manicured garden, the jammed freeway, and the dead relationship. Her pursuit for a cure to chemical overload acts as a terrifying symbol for the emotional distress, anxiety, anger, and spiritual vacancy of urban life. Moore plays her soul-deadened housewife with sensitivity and restraint, which makes her journey into the heart of mental toxic darkness all the more eerie. [us, 1995]

next stop wonderland

Maybe it's the samba soundtrack. Maybe it's the melancholic sweetness of its lead character. Either way, it's a nice "alone at home without a date movie" (silly Mafia subplot notwithstanding). A single twentysomething woman's over-zealous mother places a personal ad in the paper for her daughter Erin. Erin, who is smart, well read and emotionally balanced, winds up dating a string of losers. She corrects their misquotes and blows holes in their vapid philosophies until she meets...ah go on, rent it and find out. [us, 1998]

little voice

Call it a small victory for shy people. Here the mute-like Little Voice or LV lives in a domestic hell cloistered in her bedroom terrorized by her overbearing mother and aching for her dead father. While Ma tries to get her hands into the local slimeball's shiny pants, LV, who has virtually no speaking voice, belts out tunes by Judy Garland, Billie Holiday, Marlene Dietrich, and other classic divas in her room. Jane Horrocks reprises her stage role singing for real, and pretty much owns the movie. [uk, 1998]

state and main

Rebecca Pidgeon (AKA Mrs David Mamet) makes the already amusing send-up of a sleazy Hollywood crew filming in small town Vermont that much funnier. As the town's eccentric used bookstore owner and local theatre whizkid, the brainy, practical, and unfettered Annie is always three steps ahead of the game. Confident and slightly kooky, she provides the film's moral center and saves at least one soul from Hollywood purgatory when she steers a desperately confused screenwriter towards the second chance he so richly needs. [us, 2000]

parsley days

This quirky look at 20-something life begins where most movies end: with the perfect relationship. Here, secretly pregnant Kate, a bike mechanic, is living with Ollie, a man so endearing her lesbian friends claim he's a lesbian trapped in a man's body. The movie follows Kate as she struggles over whether to breakup with Ollie, while simultaneously attempting to induce abortion by eating massive amounts of parsley. Kate is surrounded by neat friends, a herbalist, a performance artist, a pair of 70-something lovebirds, and a lot of bicycle enthusiasts. And like any good Canadian movie, the canoe is a character unto itself. [can, 2001]

Rachel, Rachel

Joanne Woodward stars in this Paul Newman-directed indie film about a repressed small-town schoolteacher. Rachel is nagged by her lonely mother while she's haunted by memories of her kind but aloof undertaker father. She's resigned to her lonely existence until a series of events including a Christian revival meeting and a chance encounter with a childhood friend shock her out of her complacency. Well-acted. Well-shot. A small gem. [us, 1968]

ghost world

Thora Birch, the rebellious daughter from American Beauty gives smart, misfit teens another shot of cool. As Enid, she struts through a year of post-high school cynicism decked in yard-sale apparel aiming barbs at big business and the dim-witted. She also struggles through a relationship with her best friend, sparks an odd liaison with a bookish 40-ish record collector, grapples with remedial art school, and fails hilariously at working. Like its protagonist, the film is snarky on the surface, but down deep, it's the real thing. [us 2001]

wonderland

This scruffy glimpse of London working class life finds beauty in the ordinary. Wonderland centres on three working class sisters who stumble along seeking fulfillment. One hopes for love, the other wants stability, the third craves pleasure. Circling around their lives are children, ex-husbands, estranged siblings, one-night stands, future lovers, bickering parents, and barking dogs. It's poignant and realistic without being grim. And the cinematography makes wet city traffic look better than all the sweeping velds in Africa. [uk 2000]