“Un Traductor” is a fascinating True Story in the Wake of the Chernobyl Disaster

In the wake of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, a man named Malin, a Russian literature professor at the University of Havana, is sent to translate for the Soviet children who have been brought to Cuba for medical treatment. While adapting to this emotionally demanding job, the Berlin Wall falls and a deep economic crisis hits the island. But Malin is so entrenched in the lives of the Chernobyl Children that he fails to notice his own family suffering. Now he must find a way to put the fractured pieces of his life back together and become a better person along the way.
We offer Un Traductor (Film Movement), a flick that was nominated for a 2018 Sundance Grand Jury Prize in World Cinema competition. It also captured the Best Director Golden Goblet for the Barriuso brothers at the Shanghai International Film Festival.

Rodrigo Santoro, one of Brazil’s most acclaimed actors, plays Malin. And he plays the role brilliantly!

In the mood for some horror? Play “Possum” . . . and pray for the best

It’s been called “the unforgettable horror masterpiece”. Do you dare watch the flick?

Possum, coming to DVD on February 12 from Dark Sky Films, tells the terrifying tale  of Philip (brilliantly played by Sean Harris), a disgraced children’s puppeteer, returning to his dilapidated childhood home and lecherous stepfather, Maurice (portrayed by Alun Armstrong). Philip is intent on destroying “Possum,”a hideously malformed spider-puppet he carries with him in a brown leather case. Unfortunately, and horrifically, Possum refuses to be abandoned.

Philip’s mind is flooded with painful half-memories and nightmarish visions, and when he finds himself embroiled in a local investigation surrounding a missing boy, he grows progressively unsure of what’s real and what’s not. All the while Possum seems to mock his suffering at every turn.
A hallucinatory venture into a truly damaged psyche, Matthew Holness’ Possum is a twisted trip of terror where both nothing and everything is exactly as it seems. Adding to the film’s eerie atmosphere is an original soundtrack by the iconic electronic research lab The Radiophonic Workshop.

“I Am Not a Witch” is a striking satire about witchcraft in contemporary Zambia

And the winner is . . .
The U.K.’s official submission for Best Foreign Film for this year’s Academy Awards is I Am Not a Witch.  The movie,  now on DVD from Film Movement, from the Zambian-born Welsh director Rungano Nyoni, is a striking satire about witchcraft in contemporary Zambia.
Quite good.

When nine-year-old Shula is accused of witchcraft, she is exiled to a witch camp run by Mr. Banda, a corrupt and inept government official. Tied to the ground by a white ribbon, Shula is told that she will turn into a goat if she tries to escape. As the only child witch, Shula quickly becomes a local star and the adults around her exploit her supposed powers for financial gain. Soon she is forced to make a difficult decision – whether to resign herself to life on the camp, or take a risk for freedom.
At times moving, often funny and occasionally surreal, I Am Not a Witch offers spellbinding storytelling with flashes of anarchic humor, showcasing Nyoni as the birth of a significant new screen voice. Festival audiences and juries also agreed, bestowing more than 20 nominations on the film, including the AFI Fest Audience Award and a BIFA nod for “Best British Independent Film”.

“A.I. Rising” is a mind-blowing, visually sumptuous space journey that takes viewers deep inside their souls.

On a lonely mission to Alpha Centauri, Sebastian is teamed up with Nimani 1345, a female cyborg designed to fulfill his every need. At first thrilled to be able to control her, Sebastian grows tired of having his desires fulfilled so easily. Longing for human intimacy, Sebastian alters Nimani’s programmed responses, but in doing so he risks the mission’s security—and his own life. This mind-blowing, visually sumptuous space journey will take you both beyond the stars and deep inside your soul.
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Welcome to A.I. Rising, arriving on DVD, Digita, and On Demand March 12 from Lionsgate. Porn actress Stoya, Sebastian Cavazza, and Maruša Majer star. 
The DVD includes deleted scenes, an interview with Stoya, and the featurettes Behind the Scenes of A.I. Rising and A.I. Rising: About the Movie.

Have no reservations about checking into a Copenhagen hotel, “Room 304”

Sex! Betrayal! Corruption! Such facts of life unravel in a Copenhagen hotel, where nine disparate lives intersect by chance or fate.

A hotel manager peers into the abyss of his empty life, leading to devastating consequences for himself, his wife and his mistress.

A Spanish stewardess reaches out for intimacy and finds it in a most unexpected way.

A reserved concierge is forced out of his shell by a shocking event, and an Albanian refugee gets a chance to avenge his wife, but ends up discovering something surprising instead.

An Official Selection in Competition at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Room 304 (Film Movement), director Birgitte Staermose’s debut feature, will make home audiences think twice before booking a hotel room again.

The graveyard shift in a morgue: A series of bizarre, violent events caused by an evil entity in one of the corpses! Welcome “The Possession of Hannah Grace”

Some say death is the end, but we say death is only the beginning in the heart-pounding horror thriller The Possession of Hannah Grace, debuting on Digital February 19 and on Blu-ray and DVD February 26 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Shay Mitchell stars as a cop just out of rehab, who takes the graveyard shift in a city hospital morgue where she faces a series of bizarre, violent events caused by an evil entity in one of the corpses. The flick also stars Grey Damon, Kirby Johnson, Louis Herthum and Stana Katic.

The Possession of Hannah Grace Digital, Blu-ray and DVD releases come loaded with bonus content, including a deleted scene and two behind-the-scenes featurettes. Take a deep dive with the killer cast and get to know the film’s characters a little better.  In An Autopsy of Hannah, go behind the scenes with head makeup artist Adrien Morot and uncover the transformation process, learning Adrien’s vision for the character, tricks for nailing the look, and what it took to get into the creepy mindset of Hannah Grace. Slashes and gashes and cuts, oh my! Finally, it must get lonely spending night after night alone in a morgue—see how Megan (played by Shay Mitchell) keeps herself entertained during the long shifts in Megan’s Diaries.

A Trio of Must-See NOVA Programs, Now on DVD

Three new Nova programs, now on DVD, from PBS Distribution, all must-see viewing.

Nova: Thai Cave Rescue
In this program viewers will follow the dramatic rescue of the 12 boys and their soccer coach from the Tham Luang Cave in Thailand, where they had been trapped for 18 days. This program  features interviews with key people that were involved in the search and rescue and explains how the team became trapped in the cave.

After multiple failed attempts to find the boys and their coach, an international team of rescuers was called upon to find them and ultimately bring them to safety. Nova: Thai Cave Rescue is a stunning example of innovation, teamwork and human endurance in one of the most hostile environments on earth–a flooded cave.

Nova: Last B-24
Seventy-four years ago, an American B-24 Liberator bomber known as the Tulsamerican fell from the sky and disappeared beneath the waves of the Adriatic Sea. Seven crew members survived the crash and were rescued, three men were never found.

Seven decades later, the bomber was discovered by amateur divers, nearly 135 feet beneath the water’s surface at the bottom of the Adriatic Sea. A specialized group within the Pentagon, The U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) was alerted and quickly formed a specialized expedition team. Viewers join the Croatian Navy and some of the world’s leading underwater archaeologists as they investigate the wreckage and try to find remains of the lost crew members. Later the team of archaeologists joins a team of forensics experts as they work to identify the remains that are recovered from the wreck.

Nova: Operation Bridge Rescue
The Blenheim Covered Bridge in New York State is an icon of 19th century American engineering. Built in 1855, it was the longest single span covered bridge in the world, but in 2011 the bridge was destroyed by Hurricane Irene. The program follows a team of elite bridge builders and engineers as they faithfully reproduce the intricate timber structure under immense pressure—spring floods are coming and threaten to destroy the worksite.

Viewers then travel to China to witness traditional craftsmen restoring thousand-year-old covered bridges, all based on their ingenious frameworks of woven timber beams. These ancient bridges are the heart of their communities and allow for trade and worship in other villages, but typhoons are destroying these bridges as well. Viewers discover how Chinese artisans are keeping traditional skills alive to ensure the bridges survival.

Having “Tea With the Dames” is a Wonderful Adventure, times four

There is nothing like a dame. Make that four dames.

What happens when four legends of British stage and screen get together? Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Eileen Atkins and Dame Joan Plowright are among the most celebrated actresses of our time, with scores of iconic performances, decades of wisdom, and innumerable Oscars, Tonys, Emmys and BAFTAs between them. They are also longtime friends who here invite you to join them for a weekend in the country as they catch up with one another, reminisce, and share their candid, delightfully irreverent thoughts on everything from art to aging to love to a life lived in the spotlight.

Bursting with devilish wit and whip-smart insights, Tea With the Dames is a remarkable opportunity to spend time in the company of four all-time greats, up close and unfiltered. The IFC Films theatrical release was directed by BAFTA award winner Roger Michell. We aren’t the only one who loves the flick; Matt Fagerholm, writing at RogerEbert.com, gushes that  said the film “delivers more laughs than any mainstream comedy I’ve seen in 2018.”

Tim Daly, Natalia Dyer and Kyra Sedgwick highlight the sci-fi thriller “After Darkness”

What happens when it turns dark?

Hope begins at the end of the world in After Darkness, available on DVD, Digital, and On Demand January 15 from Lionsgate.

Natalia Dyer and Kyra Sedgwick highlight this sci-fi thriller about a family’s fight to survive a solar disaster. As skies darken and hopes grow dim, the Beatys try to stay sane in a lavish home with every possible comfort . . .  except sunshine.

Raymond (portrayed by Tim Daly) plans to have his family transported to a secure underground bunker. But as he makes a gruesome discovery, the greatest threat to the Beatys’ survival may be near—or inside—their home.

PBS Distribution new DVD, “Nature: Super Cats”, is the cat’s meow!

Everyone is intrigued by big cats, but how much do we really know about them? In Nature: Super Cats (PBS Distribution), viewers get a never before seen glimpse into the lives of these wild creatures. Presented in three parts, this series uncovers the secret lives of wild cats with groundbreaking technology, never used before to film our feline friends.

Filmed over a span of 600 days in 14 different countries, this program features 31 cat species, including the Iberian Lynx, the Margay from Central and South America, and the deadliest cat of them all, Africa’s Black-Footed Cat.

Super Cats also reveals the social sides…their complex communication, devoted parental care, courtship rituals, hunting patterns and more. Remote cameras and low-light technology help capture rare moments in the lives of wildcats including a swamp tiger taking a bath in the sea, never before revealed on screen.

The three episodes included in the program are: Extreme Lives, where we meet the planet’s ultimate cats, including the Cheetah, the Snow Leopard, the Canada Lynx, and the African Leopard.  Using the latest scientific research, we are exposed to the inner life of these cats like never before. In episode two, Cats in Every Corner, we discover how cats thrive in almost every landscape on earth from the wetlands of Asia to the world’s oldest desert in Africa to the forest of Central America and in the secluded beaches of California. Episode three, Science and Secretsreveals how new approaches and technologies are helping to uncover some of cats most intimate secrets including the cheetah’s remarkable gymnastic abilities and why lions are able to hunt so cooperatively.

Narrated by Oscar winning actor F. Murray Abraham, (“Amadeus”) “NATURE: SUPER CATS” unveils the various lives these creatures lead from the solitary bachelor snow leopard in the Himalayas to the elusive swamp tiger of South Asia. It follows exquisite predators such as one exceptional Californian bobcat, blind in one eye yet able to capture airborne prey.

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