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The 5 Indie Films You Must See This February

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire February 1, 2013 at 12:24PM

So while it's true that February isn't exactly the prime month for quality independent filmmaking to find release (and many of us are still catching up on the plethora of such that was released toward the end of last year), the month ahead most definitely has a few high quality options, two of them Oscar nominees finally making their way to theaters. From Steven Soderbergh to William Shakespeare, check out Indiewire's picks for February's 5 best options, and then head over to the full month's calendar, as there are many worthy films (including studio offerings) that didn't end up making this list.
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3. The Gatekeepers (February 1)

Director: Dror Moreh
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Current Criticwire average: A- (see all grades)

Why Is It a "Must Sees"? Another Oscar nominee (this time in the documentary feature category, though like "No" this a Sony Classics release), Dror Moreh's "The Gatekeepers" hits theaters the first weekend of February after a string run on the fest circit.  The film looks at the Israeli/Palestine conflict through talking to six men who have run Shin Bet, Israel's Secret Service, from 1980 through 2011. Backed by Israel, France, Germany and Belgium, this very strong doc sheds extraordinary light on a very current world issue.

Check out the trailer below:

4. Ceasar Must Die (February 6)

Director: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani
Cast: Cosimo Rega, Salvatore Striano, Giovanni Arcuri, Antonio Frasca
Distributor: Adopt Films
Current Criticwire average: B (see all grades)

Why Is It a "Must Sees"? A year after it won the Golden Bear in Berlin, Italian directors Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani's not-quite-adaptation of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar," "Caesar Must Die." hits US theaters (it was also Italy's submission for the Oscars, but didn't make the cut).  "The prospects of criminals performing Shakespeare has been explored in conventional terms by the 2005 documentary 'Shakespeare Behind Bars,'" Indiewire's Eric Kohn wrote in his Berlin review; "Sibling directors Paolo and Vittorio Taviani's 'Caesar Must Die' takes a far more provocative approach. Following a beautifully shot introductory sequence that captures the finale of the 'Julius Caesar' production in glorious, dazzlingly colorful detail, 'Caesar Must Die' flashes back to six months earlier, at which point the imagery shifts to expressive black-and-white, appropriately evoking the drab interiors."

Check out the trailer below:

5. Lore (February 8)

Director: Cate Shortland
Cast:  Saskia Rosendahl, Kai Malina, Nele Trebs
Distributor: Music Box Films
Current Criticwire average: B (see all grades)

Why Is It a "Must Sees"? Like "Caesar Must Die," Cate Shortland's "Lore" was a foreign language Oscar submission that would not be as Australia submitted the German language film (which premiered at Locarno) but missed out.  The film -- set in southwestern Germany during the dying days of World War II -- follows five siblings who must travel nearly 1,000 kilometers to their grandmother's home after their Nazi parents are arrested by Allied Forces.

Check out the trailer below: