An update on Panahi plus more

If you have been wondering what you can do to help free Jafar Panahi, look no further than Amnesty International (you were expecting maybe Paul Wolfowitz?). They have an active petition campaign going on behalf of the imprisoned Iranian filmmaker, and you can sign on here. If you are reading this, then I know you care about cinema, so you should be doing this.

In the meantime, the last of my NY Jewish Film Festival pieces is here, and my review of Barney's Version is here. I'll have a few additional words to offer on the festival shortly.

In the meantime, let me recommend a program that will include some excellent Hungarian films that are not available on DVD at the moment. The Museum of Jewish Heritage is doing double-bills of Jewish-themed Hungarian films on consecutive Sundays starting next weekend. Among the films they are showing are Istvan Szabo's Confidence and the Gyongassy-Kabay Revolt of Job. The former is easily the best work Szabo has done; it has a claustrophobic quality that later, sprawling work like Mephisto could have used more of. Revolt of Job is one of the best films about the 'hidden children,' and tough-minded enough to get your tears honestly. I don't know which is the bigger shame, that this film isn't available in the States or that none of Gyongassy and Kabay's other features have been shown here.

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