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15 Films to See in April

Written by on April 4, 2018 

10. Ava (Sadaf Foroughi; April 27)

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Synopsis: A high school girl’s life in Iran becomes more complicated when her mother catches her in an act of rebellion.

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Why You Should See It: Although it came to fall festivals, Ava landed on our radar just recent at New Directors/New Films, and it will be one of the few films there arriving soon. Leonardo Goi said in his review, “Sadaf Foroughi’s fulminating debut feature, Ava, may strike a few chords among Persepolis enthusiasts. A role-model schoolgirl turned rebel, its eponymous teenage girl is a rollicking blend between Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s black-and-white punk teen and The 400 Blows‘ Antoine Doinel – a heroine fighting to reassert her freedom in the face of an ultra-conservative environment. Tehran-born, Montreal-based writer-director Foroughi draws from her childhood memories to conjure up a gripping coming-of-age story where the claustrophobic relationship between an overprotective mother and her teenage daughter acts as a synecdoche to expose a patriarchal society eager to chastise whatever falls outside its rigidly policed norms.”

9. The Endless (Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead; April 6)

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Synopsis: Two brothers return to the cult they fled from years ago to discover that the group’s beliefs may be more sane than they once thought.

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Why You Should See It: Doing a lot with a little, the directing duo of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead showed their inventivess most recently with Spring, which tied together romance and horror.  Their next film The Endless riffs on H.P. Lovecraft’s “Unknown,” and arrives this week. “You don’t need to have seen Resolution to enjoy what this new film offers, but it does enrich the experience ten-fold because of the expansion of mythology that’s presented through two minor characters originally dismissed as brief comic relief,” Jared Mobarak said in our review.

8. Psychokinesis (Yeon Sang-ho; April 25)

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Synopsis: A man discovers that he has superpowers and sets out to save his troubled daughter and others.

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Why You Should See It: After his zombie thriller Train to Busan earned over $135 million worldwide — and interest in a Hollywood remake — director Yeon Sang-ho is already back with his next feature. Titled Psychokinesis, it’s an action-packed black comedy film following Ryu Seung-ryong who plays a man who discovers superpowers and intends to use them to save his daughter. After getting a release in its native country earlier this year, Netflix picked it up for a worldwide debut, which will happen in a few weeks.

7. Pass Over (Spike Lee; April 20)

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Synopsis: Two young men pass the time dreaming of the promised land.

Why You Should See It: Spike Lee’s next feature Black Klansman, produced with Jordan Peele, is one of our most-anticipated films of the year, but first we have his capturing of an acclaimed play, which turned out to be one of our favorites of Sundance. Dan Schindel said in his review, “Once again, Spike Lee has found an innovative theatrical production and brought it to blistering cinematic life. Antoinette Nwandu’s Pass Over, produced in 2017 by Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, combines Waiting for Godot, Biblical lore, and contemporary American race issues into a story that’s at turns funny, suspenseful, and bizarre. ”

6. Disobedience (Sebastían Lelio; April 27)

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Synopsis: A woman returns to the community that shunned her for her attraction to a childhood friend. Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality.

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Why You Should See It: Following up his Oscar win for A Fantastic Woman, Sebastían Lelio’s next drama will arrive this month, featuring Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz. “The complex character study born from such volatile and public history erupts through the pleasantries of habit,” Jared Mobarak said in his review. “Disobedience‘s journey is one of authentic emotional honesty excelling in instances of insecurity and fear. No matter how raw Esti and Ronit’s love and passion, the abject horror of being discovered trumps their pleasure. It’s this depiction of repression that will break your heart because it has the potential of grabbing hold so strongly that free will becomes buried forever.”

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