Two worthwhile movies you never saw

31 Jan

I streamed two very good films on Netflix last weekend.

1. Welcome. This fictional French film depicts the very real crisis of undocumented migrant workers in Calais (a port city on the north coast of France), where refugees congregate after escaping oppression in their home countries. Only 30 miles from the United Kingdom (where it is supposedly easier to obtain refugee status and receive aid), Calais is a magnet for people trying to sneak across the border. There is a Nazi-like atmosphere in the town, where anyone who is even suspected of helping “clandestines” can be prosecuted. Under these disturbing politics, even humanitarian workers come under attack. The main tale is told through the unlikely friendship between a French swim coach and an Iraqi boy who wants to swim across the English Channel. I felt real empathy for him—and others like him—who will stop at nothing to better their lives. Trailer

2. Lymelife. Set in the ’70s during a lyme disease scare, this indie dark comedy features a powerhouse cast: Alec Baldwin, Cynthia Nixon, Jill Hennessy, Timothy Hutton, Emma Roberts and Kieran/Rory Culkin. The plot is your basic coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of suburban angst, with unraveling dysfunctional families tearing each other apart. But I found it witty, thoughtful and full of black humour. Apparently, first-time director Derick Martini based it on his real-life experiences. Trailer

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