2015 Film

A poignant film directed by 36-year-old Yared Zeleke and Ethiopia’s first entry in France’s prestigious Cannes International Film Festival, warmly received at its première, was shot in the highlands and forests of northern and central Ethiopia. Lamb tells the story of nine-year-old Ephraim (Rediat Amare) and his beloved pet, a sheep named Chuni. The animal follows Ephraim around like a devoted dog, and plays the role of best friend, albeit one who can only say “ba-ah”.

Being  raised by strong and beautiful Ethiopian women, such as 36-year-old Yared Zeleke his grandmother, the film is dedicated to the director’s grandmother, and women are portrayed sympathetically.

In 2015 there were no films which could get me to drive many kilometres to go to a cinema. At home I was pleased to find some very good films, edited and distributed before 2015.

Thomas Vinterberg who made his name in 1998 with Festen (aka The Celebration), one of those family reunion dramas that culminate in savage blood-letting, with his 2nd film, made in 2012, screened at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and competed at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival where Mads Mikkelsen (le Chiffre, Casino Royale, Hannibal series) won the Best Actor Award for his role, got many caught to the screen. In an idyllic rural Denmark, in a small tight-knit, lower middle-class community a man becomes the target of mass hysteria after being wrongly accused of sexually abusing a child in his kindergarten class. With good reason Jagten (the Hunt) won also the 2013 Nordic Council Film Prize and was selected as the Danish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards making the final nomination, and was nominated in the same category at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards.



Monsieur lazhar.jpgAn other film about a teacher is the one were teacher and novelist François Bégaudeau plays a version of himself in a very touching film where at a Montréal public grade school, an Algerian immigrant is hired to replace a popular teacher who committed suicide in her classroom. While helping his students deal with their grief, his own recent loss is revealed.

The 2011 Canadian French-language drama film directed by Philippe Falardeau “Monsieur Lazhar” or “the Teacher” brings the clashes between culture and between the way people can cope with trauma’s. Developed from Bashir Lazhar, a one-character play by Évelyne de la Chenelière Mohamed Saïd Fellag as Bachir Lazhar has a marvelous cast around him who managed in  28 days of shooting, a marvelous product which for the first time in the history of Canadian cinema brought, alongside the Polish-Canadian co-production In Darkness, two films with Canadian connections as finalists for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in the same year, at the 84th Academy Awards.

Monsieur Lazhar was the most rewarded film at Quebec’s own Jutra Film Awards, winning seven out of nine categories for which it was nominated, a finalist in the most categories at the Jutra awards. It also won the City of Toronto Award as the Best Canadian Feature Film at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.

At Canada’s Genie Awards it gained six Genie Awards (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, Achievement in Direction, and Achievement in Editing).

Philippe Falardeau won the UPS Audience Award at the 2012 Rotterdam International Film Festival.

This nearly perfect gem is a film you may not miss.



Adapting an award-winning play by Évelyne de la Chenelière, acclaimed Québécois writer-director Philippe Falardeau has crafted an indelible and universal story of compassion that earns every one of its extraordinary moments through insight, empathy and eloquence.


An other film about death and how a person manages with a trauma (or not) is the 2004 English-language Spanish-American dark psychological thriller film directed by Brad Anderson and written by Scott Kosar which I only came to see in 2015. Again this is a movie which I would recommend to see.

Bale lost more than 28 kilograms (62 lb) for his role.

Christian Bale who dieted for over four months prior to filming, puts down an incredible performance as Trevor Reznik a machinist whose insomnia and psychological problems lead to a serious workplace accident involving a co-worker (Ironside).

The Route 66 driving and the scenes at the police station bring many answers in very well dramatically staged scenes.

The director Brad Anderson, working from a screenplay by Scott Kosar, wants to convey a state of mind, and he and Bale do that with disturbing effectiveness. The photography by Xavi Gimenez and Charlie Jiminez creates very well an intriguing mysterious atmosphere of despair but also of a search to find loving kindness. The loneliness and the way of hiding what really happened is shown along the way by Trevor’s world through his eyes and distorted mind.




Winter on Fire.pngA very interesting theme is the way how people cope with suppression and how a revolution sometimes get them where they did not want to end up. Ukraine‘s Fight for Freedom is nicely documented in Winter on Fire, where the unrest in Ukraine during 2013 and 2014 is shown, as student demonstrations supporting European integration grew into a violent revolution calling for the resignation of President Viktor F. Yanukovich. In a gripping way is shown how Maidan is the voice of that nation. It is a co-production of Ukraine, United States, and United Kingdom, shown on several television channels and able to get the won the Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival,.



The Walk (2015 film) poster.jpgLife might sometimes be like walking on a high cable, for young dreamer Philippe Petit and a band of unlikely recruits it is a reality which brings us goose pimps, though sometimes the voice over distracts and makes it too much an banal American movie, aiming at a sensation eager public. Together they achieve the impossible with an illegal wire walk in the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. With little more than nerve and blind ambition, Petit and his ragtag crew overcome daunting physical obstacles, betrayals, countless close calls and overwhelming odds to beat the system and execute their mad plan.

Philippe Petit personally trained Gordon-Levitt how to walk on wire. He optimistically predicted that the actor would be able to walk on the wire alone after an elaborate workshop of eight days, which the actor did.

The madman’s dream who looked for the most perfect place to hang his wire and to walk without a safety line is sometimes presented in a sometimes shot too dark 3D biographical drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Christopher Browne and Zemeckis. Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Philippe Petit had no formal high-wire experience but got a quick training directly with Petit. Along with a stunt double, the actor shot the climactic wire-walking scenes on a soundstage; it had reconstructions of the top two stories of the tower and a wire approximately twelve feet off the ground, which was connected out across a green abyss and was anchored on a pole. Charlotte Le Bon as Annie Allix helped him to speak French fluently, perfecting a Parisian accent.


The film “The Walk” premiered at the New York Film Festival on September 26, 2015 and was released by TriStar Pictures on September 30, 2015, in the United States in IMAX 3D, and on October 9 in regular 2D and 3D.  Attempting a tricky balancing act between thrilling visuals and fact-based drama – the film was dedicated to the victims of the September 11 attacks in 2001.

About this French dare devil, Philippe Petit, magician from the age of six and former street juggler, I watched in 2015 a nice documentary where he performed in 1999 a 1,200-foot walk over a Little Colorado River branch of the Grand Canyon. This time, 1,600 feet separated the man on wire from the earth, where most of us can only stand and gape.



On February 22, 2015 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) looked at the best films of 2014 presented Academy Awards (commonly referred to as Oscars) in 24 categories.

Robert Duvall 2014 (cropped).jpg

Duvall at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), and The Grand Budapest Hotel tied for the most nominations with nine each and got four awards, with the former film earning the Best Picture honour. At age 84, Robert Duvall [Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird (196); The Twilight Zone (1963),  The Godfather (1972), The Godfather Part II (1974), The Conversation (1974), Network (1976), Apocalypse Now (1979)] was the oldest male acting nominee in Oscar history for his role in The Judge (2014).

Selma poster.jpgI did not have the chance to see the American historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb “Selma“, which received four Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, and Best Actor, and won for Best Original Song. Also at the 87th Academy Awards it was nominated for Best Picture and won Best Original Song.

The theme is close to my heart, bringing in the picture the matter of discrimination in the United States of America, Martin Luther King, Lyndon Baines Johnson and the civil rights marches that changed America.

Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for blacks to register to vote. In 1965, an Alabama city became the battleground in the fight for suffrage. Despite violent opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, and their efforts culminated in President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

“That’s why Rosa sat on a bus. That’s why we walked through Ferguson with our hands up.”

Being it an American movie I am very curious to see if the makers were willing to be historically accurate, something which seems to be very very difficult for the American film and television industry.

But such films should be made and the American youths do have to learn about the segregation, gender, race and class and how people had to come up for their rights and how politics often can be a dirty game.

When we look at the news and often see what happens in the U.S.A. we in Europe think they still have to walk a long distance and should be ashamed still discriminating so much on skin colour and on culture and race. Unwarranted police brutality on blacks seems still to be of daily concern. Civil Rights are still and always will be an ongoing issue with no foreseeable conclusion, and because it still being an ongoing issue today such sorts of films should be made and screened.




A little-bit connected with film is photography where on EyeEm Photography Awards Finalists, National Geographic Daily Travel Photo: Best of 2015 and in the Winners of the 2015 First Annual ‘Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards’ you may find some smashing photographs. some of them you also may find in my selection on my Pinterest site.


In the review of 2015 Preceding articles

2015 In the Picture

2015 Economy

2015 Technology and development


Please do find additional background information

  1. Ethiopia’s First Film at Cannes Gives Moving View of Childhood, Gender
  2. The Hunt (Danish title “Jagten,” 2012)
  3. The Hunt (Jagten) (2012)
  4. Movie: The Hunt (Jagten)
  5. The Hunt
  6. The Hunt – review
  7. The Hunt — January 17, 2016
  8. Best of Netflix – The Hunt
  9. Monsieur Lazhar
  10. In ‘Monsieur Lazhar,’ Grief Lingers In The Classroom
  11. Review: Monsieur Lazhar
  12. Philippe Falardeau casts a vote for political comedy with Guibord s’en va-t-en guerre
  13. Monsieur Lazhar
  14. The Machinist review
  15. The Machinist
  16. Trevor Reznik
  17. The Machinist / John Wick
  18. Movies To Help You Survive Valentine’s Day
  19. Quick Take: Winter on Fire (2015)
  20. Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom — Capsule Review
  21. ‘Winter on Fire’ Director Awarded by Ukrainian President
  22. Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom (2015) Review
  23. Documentary Review: Winter on Fire
  24. Daily Dose. Opening Titles “Winter On Fire”
  25. “Winter on Fire” review. Oscar documentary series
  26. Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom (2015)
  27. Winter on Fire
  28. Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom (2015)
  29. Review: Winter on Fire
  30. Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom — Capsule Review
  31. 2016 Academy Awards Predictions – Best Documentary
  32. The Heartbreaking Irony of ‘Winter on Fire’
  33. Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom (2015) – 5/5
  34. The Walk review: twin towers tight-rope drama topples when subtlety in sight
  35. Walking ‘The Walk’: The True Story Behind the Movie
  36. Oneida County Historical Society to Screen ‘Selma’, Host Guest Speaker
  37. The Duality of Non-Violence: An Analysis of Selma
  38. Selma
  39. Glory – The war isn’t won… yet.
  40. 4 more movies that celebrate African American culture
  41. Feature: Awards Special: #BlackFilmsMatter, especially at the Oscars
  42. Jonathan C. on Selma
  43. Thoughts on Selma, the Oscars, and the “Race Card”
  44. Selma Movie Screening with the WGSS Department
  45. Thoughts on Selma
  46. Today is the Anniversary of Historic Voting Rights March from Selma to Montgomery
  47. Troy C. on Selma
  48. Kim E. on Selma
  49. Leslie H. on Selma
  50. Hannah K. on Selma
  51. Jordyn L. on Selma
  52. Austin L. on Selma
  53. Abigail S. on Selma
  54. Cameron S. on Selma
  55. Da Zhané S. on Selma
  56. Tom S. on Selma
  57. Max T. on Selma
  58. Ali V. on Selma
  59. DeJa’ W. on Selma
  60. Film Review: Colonia 2015
  61. Veteran – Film Review
  62. Mustang (2015)
  63. The Best Films of 2015
  64. TOP 10: A film student’s look at 2015 cinema
  65. The Peanuts Movie: Review


About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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