MARINA
2013, Media Luna, 110 min, Belgium, Dir: Stijn Coninx

Director Stijn Coninx’s film tells the true story of Rocco Granata (Matteo Simoni), who moves with his family to Belgium in the late-1940s when his father (Luigi Lo Cascio) takes a job mining coal. The young man struggles in his new home until his dad encourages him to latch onto a dream. That dream is music, and the singer/accordionist goes on to top charts around the world with his song “Marina.” Based on the popular performer’s childhood memories, this rags-to-riches biopic has romance, laughs, drama and, of course, plenty of music. In Flemish, Italian and French with English subtitles.


THE WIND RISES
KAZE TACHINU
2013, Disney, 126 min, Japan, Dir: Hayao Miyazaki

Director Hayao Miyazaki’s final film is a typically glorious animated affair, a celebration of art, science, and the impulse to create. Based on Miyazaki’s own manga, it tells the true story of Jiro Horikoshi, designer of two famous aircraft used by Japan during World War II. The film has already won dozens of critics’ and film festival awards, and is a fitting finale to a triumphant career. In Japanese with English subtitles.


12 YEARS A SLAVE
2013, Fox Searchlight, 133 min, USA, Dir: Steve McQueen

Based on the 1853 autobiography of a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery, this exciting historical drama stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup, whose struggle to regain his liberty is thwarted by pitiless plantation owner Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender) and aided by Canadian carpenter Samuel Bass (Brad Pitt). Costarring Alfre Woodard and Paul Giamatti.


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