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by Peter Knegt
February 1, 2013 12:24 PM
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The 5 Indie Films You Must See This February

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:

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1 Comment

  • Tracey | February 4, 2013 1:29 AMReply

    You should also go see "The Playroom" - Julia Dyer's amazing, 70's set family drama starring John Hawkes and Molly Parker. Saw it at Tribeca and was so impressed! I think it opens next weekend in NY and LA - you should check it out. Sad not to see it on this list!