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The 6 Indie Films You Must See This February

By Peter Knegt and Eric Kohn | Indiewire February 5, 2014 at 2:18PM

Not going to the Berlin Film Festival? Well, there's plenty of fantastic cinema from around the world about to hit US theaters this month, which should more than make up for that. From India to Palestine, Quebec to Japan, check out Indiewire's very world cinema-minded picks for February 2014's best

4. Omar (February 21)

Director: Hany Abu-Assad
Cast: Adam Bakri, Eyad Hourani, Samer Bisharat, Leem Lubany, Waleed F. Zuaiter
Distributor: Adopt
Current Criticwire average: B+ (see all grades)

Why Is It a "Must See"? The gripping and heart-rending thriller “Omar” had its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival back in September and is now a somewhat surprise nominee in the Oscar's best foreign language film race (the only film on this list to manage that). The film achingly captures the emotional struggles of a young Palestinian baker whose loyalty to family and country are complicated by his love for Nadia, a beautiful young student. Following the assassination of an Israeli occupation soldier, Omar, a co-conspirator and friend of the suspected sniper, is arrested. Facing a life sentence, he is coerced by the Israeli authorities and enlisted as a collaborator to find the killer in exchange for his freedom. Powerful stuff.

Watch the trailer below:

5. Child's Pose (February 19)

Director: Calin Peter Netzer
Cast:Luminita Gheorghiu, Bogdan Dumitrache, Ilinca Goia, Natasa Raab, Florin Zamfirescu, Vlad Ivanov
Distributor: Zeitgeist
Current Criticwire average: B+ (see all grades)

Why Is It a "Must See"? Submitted by Romania but not making Oscar's cut was Calin Peter Netzer's "Child's Pose," which debuts in U.S. theaters almost exactly a year after it premiered at the Berlinale. Starring in Luminita Gheorghiu (in a remarkable performance that should end up on many critics' lists of 2014's best) as an upper-class Bucharest architect who is determined to keep her thirtysomething troubled (to say the least) son out of jail after a deadly car crash. Taking on social commentary and psychological realism, "Child's Pose" is another great offering from Romania, and should not be missed. 

Watch the trailer below:

6. Vic and Flo Saw a Bear (February 7)

Director: Denis Côté
Cast:  Pierrette Robitaille, Romane Bohringer, Marc-André Grondin, Marie Brassard
Distributor: KimStim
Current Criticwire average:  B+ (see all grades)

Why Is It a "Must See"? Montreal-based filmmaker Denis Côté's work is always both cryptic and heavy with meaning, but his latest narrative feature, "Vic and Flo Saw a Bear," stands out because at first it seems deceptively simple. From the purely avant-garde "Bestiare" to the restrained father-and-daughter portrait "Curling," Côté's movies invite viewers to search for clues to his motives. "Vic and Flo" is no exception. Sharply drawn characters and fine-tuned performances follow a meandering trajectory that finally upends expectations at the very end. Côté puts viewers at ease before throwing them off. In the first shot, newly released 61-year-old prison convict Victoria (Pierrette Robitaille) arrives at the isolated countryside where she will live with her catatonic uncle. There, she encounters a young boy playing an offkey rendition of "Frere Jacques" on his horn. The notes are all there but the entire thing sounds off -- much like "Vic and Flo," which initially takes the form of a pedestrian relationship drama before twisting into odder, darker directions. Read Indiewire's full review here.

Watch the trailer below:

This article is related to: The Wind Rises, Omar, Vic and Flo Saw a Bear, Child's Pose, The Lunchbox, Lists

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