FILMS about saving the rainforest, Idris Elba vs an angry lion and the love story of a man in the midst of dementia

This week’s big film event is Dragon House. It’s the long-awaited prequel to the hugely successful Game thrones. He goes back 200 years earlier to tell more about House Targaryen and unlike Game does not deal with several families vying for power, but only with the disputes within the same family. One of the creators calls it “Shakespearian”. It also comes from a novel by George RR Martin. Names like Olivia Cooke, Matt Smith, Rhys Ihfans and Bill Patterson are in it so we’ll see. Its first of 10 episodes starts Sunday on HBO, CRAVE here in Canada, and I’ll have to wait too. I received a few preview episodes, but I couldn’t open them. Maybe next week.

In the meantime, these are new…

The Territory: 4 stars

Beast: 3

Dear Audrey: 3 ½

Girl picture: 4

THE TERRITORY: The second film in two weeks about threats to the Brazilian rainforest is the better of the two. Ainbo who came last week is for the kids; this one is more serious, and detailed. Its push towards activism is stronger and even plays like a thriller. He’s been here before, briefly at festivals, and has another chance to be seen. It should be.

Alex Pritz, the New York director who also studied environmental science in Montreal, made it over a three-year period. He won the trust of the indigenous people, the Uru-eu-wau-wau. They were numbered in the thousands. Today there are about 200.

They were only discovered by the national government in the 1980s, but they are not primitives. They have cell phones, motorbikes and drones which they fly to prove from above what is happening on their land. Mainly encroachment, by farmers, loggers and apparently miners. Film makes this clear, hears President Jair Bolsonaro promise there will be no additional land for indigenous people and officials say there is no evidence white people are taking any of what is there .

Courtesy of Impact Series

The film shows a resistance building, led by a 20-year-old firebrand named Bitate and inspired by longtime activist Neidinha Bandeira. But remarkably, he also listens to the other side. A group called Rio Bonito supports farmers like Sergio, who says “I consider this land mine”. The natives have too much and they don’t do anything about it. They just live there. That’s the argument. The movie is fair on both sides, though his true sympathies seem pretty clear. (A few cinemas) 4 out of 5

THE BEAST: Summer time, holidays, threatening animals, extreme tension, thrills. They all combine wonderfully in this adventure and at the same time reaffirm an environmental message that has already been transmitted to us. Don’t mess with nature. There is bound to be a big price to pay. Idris Elba discovers it in this film shot in South Africa. The poachers kill an entire family of lions except for the alpha male who goes rogue and goes after every human he sees in revenge. It repeatedly attacks and rushes in a series of incidents that will keep you on edge and feeling unsafe anywhere, including in your vehicle.

Courtesy of Universal Films

Idris is a doctor who takes his two teenage daughters to Africa where he met his wife. She is now deceased and one of the girls has resentments about it. She blames her father for having abandoned her. He also regrets it: “I wasn’t there, he admits. This is soon pushed aside when they join an old friend (Sharlto Copley), a wildlife officer, who takes them on a tour of the area and tells them about the poachers and thugs. “We are in his territory now. No waiting: he comes to stalk, attack and repeatedly engage in what looks like a wrestling match with Idris. (Real lion? Special effect? ​​Not for me to say but it looks very real). And the problems keep piling up. Wounds need to be healed. The car is destroyed. Can they find a key to seize the poachers’ vehicle? Do you like suspense? It’s here, deliberate yet fun under the direction of action enthusiast Baltasar Kormákur. (In theaters everywhere) 3 out of 5

DEAR AUDREY: Coping with Alzheimer’s disease is the theme cited for this National Film Board film. I think it’s more than that. Yes, it gets emotional a few times, but it’s not a tear-filled depressing one. It’s quite optimistic and basically a love story, complicated, but still a love story. Martin Duckworth recounts his life and his love for Audrey, who at the time of the film was suffering from a form of dementia, but did not seem to show much suffering. She did not speak and was prone to sleepwalking, even wandering the streets at night. But not, as often happens, to complain or become aggressive. Martin, who cared for her until she needed a nursing home, says her illness has reminded her of what a great companion she was.

Courtesy of the NFB

He is a famous filmmaker in Montreal. He met Audrey, a photographer, while they were covering a protest in Vietnam in the 1960s. They woke up in bed together the next morning. This is the tone of the story he tells, loving and energetic. She was fearless, he says, when covering civil rights marches and taking creative photos of their children. We see examples everywhere; his photos, excerpts from his films and certain events of their lives presented in animation. And we understand the whole story. Three marriages for him, an affair with her before the end of the second, 42 years together and feelings like this: “She’s still here.” For him, it is a sincere tribute. For us, it’s a drama well directed by Jeremiah Hayes. (In theaters in Calgary, Vancouver, two in Montreal and next week in Edmonton) 3 ½ out of 5

GIRL PICTURE: Teenagers and sex. In other movies, it might be loud and obscene. Not here. This is a mature look at the growth phase of young women. It’s friendly and understanding. And it feels real. Only the language, shall we say, salty tells you. And also what they are looking for, that they don’t make up for euphemisms. We get this from three friends, three Friday nights. Mimmi and Rönkkö are best friends, looking for thrills and even dramatic adventures, but, for now, they’re stuck working at a smoothie stand. Rönkkö has a lot of sex but not a lot of love. Mimmi hopes to find a love story that’s real and wonders if that’s what it’s all about when she meets Emma, ​​a figure skater. She is obsessed with sports but prone to anxiety which causes her to miss her lutz jumps. The two meet. Go to a party and start a relationship.

Courtesy of Photon Films

That’s the basic story outline, but there’s so much more hanging down at every level. You get to know these girls. What they expect from life, what worries them, how they can make mistakes. The film comes from Finland. The two screenwriters and the director (Alli Haapasalo) are all women, they imbued this film with a truthful atmosphere. You won’t find what you usually get: a villainous rival, moralizing elders, or, you know the tropes well. What you get is an exact reflection of modern teenage life. The girls (Eleonoora Kauhanen, Linnea Leino and Aamu Milonoff) and their friends talk a lot about sex. It also seems genuine. (It lasts a second week in Toronto and now starts in Ottawa. Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver) 4 out of 5

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