Vera Dreams of the Sea is Kaltrina Krasniqi’s timely, subdued first feature; an engrossing look at patriarchal malignance and the untold costs of burying the dead.
Jacques Audiard’s plainspoken triptych Paris, 13th District is an easily digestible portrait of the convolutions of modern-day sex, love, and new relationships.
Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s love-letter to classic genre films radically integrates a stark stylistic departure from his inspirations.
The legendary Japanese actor Kōji Yakusho invigorates Miwa Nishikawa’s Under the Open Sky, a sturdy but meandering adaptation of crime writer Ryūzō Saki’s novel “Mibuncho”.
Captains of Zaatari is a sympathetic portrait of Syrian refugees, but it leaves the thorniest details of its subject on the sidelines.
In Athanor – The Alchemical Furnace, czech animator Jan Švankmajer makes for a fascinating subject in an otherwise routine about-the-artist documentary.
In Caterpillars, documentarian Elvis Sabin Ngaïbino tells a slight but powerful story in the seldom-filmed Central African Republic.
Bay area director Peter Hsieh’s debut Drive All Night nails its neon noir aesthetic but suffers from an underdeveloped script.
The Funeral Home, the debut feature from Argentinian director Mauro Iván Ojeda, is well-tuned in fits, but remains somewhat indistinct.