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SOUND OF METAL
2019, Amazon Studios, 120 min, Belgium/USA, Dir: Darius Marder

During a series of adrenaline-fueled one-night gigs, itinerant punk-metal drummer Ruben (Riz Ahmed) begins to experience intermittent hearing loss. When a specialist says his condition will rapidly worsen, Ruben thinks his music career - and with it his life - is over. His bandmate and girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke) checks the recovering heroin addict into a secluded sober house for the deaf in hopes it will prevent a relapse and help him learn to adapt to his new situation. But after being welcomed into a community that accepts him just as he is, Ruben must choose between his equilibrium and the drive to reclaim the life he once knew. Utilizing startling, innovative sound design techniques, director Darius Marder takes audiences inside Ruben’s experience to vividly recreate his journey into a rarely examined world.


BLACK
2015, 95 min, Belgium, Dir: Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah

This gripping (and violent) look at Brussels’ street gangs centers on a teen girl, Mavela (Martha Canga Antonio), who meets a boy (Aboubakr Bensaihi) from a rival Moroccan crew at a police station; as an attraction grows between the two, so do the dangers of this forbidden love. A Discovery Award winner at the Toronto International Film Festival. “The first of its kind in Belgian cinema, this easily exportable, minority-driven drama has the potential to launch the careers of its young directors and cast, driving its star-crossed ‘West Side Story’ formula into the 21st century.” - Peter Debruge, Variety. In Arabic, Lingala, French and Dutch with English subtitles.


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