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April 2020

Soliciting Sexual Healing

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Daniella Nowitz/Tribeca Film Festival

MOVIE REVIEW
Asia (2020)

The Israeli entry to the Academy Awards, “Asia” often feels like a Lifetime movie gone wrong. It’s got all the trappings: dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship, irresponsible mother, rebellious daughter, disability and terminal illness. Russian nurse Asia (Alena Yiv) is too busy to attend to her sick teenage daughter, Vika (Shira Haas), but she manages to find time to lure her married doctor colleague to come out to the car for a quickie. Meanwhile, Asia deploys fellow nurse Gabi (Tamir Mula), a Palestinian who can’t get enough shifts at the hospital, to care for Vika.

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Ritual Sacrifice

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Sean Price Williams and Takeshi Fukunaga/Tribeca Film Festival

MOVIE REVIEW
Ainu Mosir (2020)

“Ainu Mosir” tells the coming-of-age tale of an indigenous Japanese teenager shouldering the weight of preserving a way of life. Kanto (Kanto Shimokura) lives with his widowed mother (Emi Shimokura) in a tourist-trappy northern Japan tribal reserve, where residents run souvenir shops and delight visitors with ritual ceremonies performed with clockwork precision. No spoilers, but Kanto has a very personal stake in a controversial village tradition. His coming-of-age isn’t the typical rite of passage for indigenous youngsters. Instead of his survival skills being put to the test, Kanto is confronted with an adult decision pitting his personal values against communal responsibilities.

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