FORBIDDEN GAMES
JEUX INTERDITS
1952, Rialto Pictures, 86 min, France, Dir: René Clément

When her parents are killed by an air strike while fleeing Paris during the German invasion, 5-year-old Paulette (Brigitte Fossey) wanders into the French countryside, where she encounters 11-year-old peasant boy Michel (Georges Poujouly). As they build a special, secret friendship, the adults around them play their own games of buffoonish peasant feuds. Ultimately beautiful, hilarious and disturbing, this masterpiece of French postwar cinema won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and the Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film.


PAN’S LABYRINTH
EL LABERINTO DEL FAUNO
2006, Warner Bros., 118 min, Spain/Mexico/USA, Dir: Guillermo del Toro

In 1944, Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) arrives at the home of her new stepfather, a brutal Spanish army captain (Sergi López). While skirmishes between Franco’s forces and republican rebels rage in the surrounding countryside, Ofelia is drawn to an ancient maze, where a mysterious creature assigns her three tasks. As dazzling as its Oscar-winning art direction, cinematography and makeup are, what makes this multilayered fairy tale one of the greatest films of the new millennium is the masterful way it pushes viewers’ emotional buttons, evoking wonder, fear and relief at all the right moments.


COME AND SEE
IDI I SMOTRI
1985, Janus Films, 140 min, Soviet Union, Dir: Elem Klimov

Its title drawn from a chilling passage in the Book of Revelation, this nightmarish, fact-based WWII drama is told through the eyes of 14-year-old Florya (Aleksey Kravchenko), a Belarusian boy eager to join the fight against Nazi invaders. But Florya’s dreams of heroics are quickly replaced by the litany of horrors he witnesses from the moment he joins the army to the film’s unforgettable conclusion. “One of the most devastating films ever about anything. … I have rarely seen a film more ruthless in its depiction of human evil.” - Roger Ebert.


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