True Review



by Ranjan Das March 14 2024, 12:00 am Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins, 51 secs

From Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, Kinatay & the Filipino Underbelly, to Justine Triet, Kieslowski and an American-Iranian, check out all the films Ranjan Das recommends for you to see!


In this post-truth world where everything is suspect, where emotion scores over facts and vicious disinformation proliferates under vested interests, where history is challenged and increasingly replaced by falsehoods, it is interesting to revisit INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009). Helmed by Quentin Tarantino, who undoubtedly is the most radical game changer post-Godard, the film conjures up a revisionist history (in an extremely playful, post-modernist manner) where the entire top brass of the Nazi hierarchy, including Hitler and Goebbels is burnt to death inside a Parisian cinema hall by a dedicated bunch of Jewish American soldiers who call themselves ‘basterds’, with the help of a young Jewish woman who runs the theatre. The device that they use for the conflagration is a huge pile of flammable film stock that is lit up behind the screen featuring a Nazi propaganda fiction film – the subtext being that it is CINEMA that causes the downfall of the most nauseous ideology, signalling the end of the 2nd World War.

And to inspire you, here is the trailer:


You can revisit the film on Amazon Prime.


A newly-married 21-year-old student of criminology in need of money is roped in for a clandestine operation one night by a criminal syndicate engaged in collecting drug money. Tagging along with them, he witnesses the abduction and brutal torture of a nightclub dancer who had defaulted on her payments. Can he save the woman from the clutches of her perpetrators and save her from potential death?

New Wave Filipino filmmaker Brilliante Mendoza reduces the plot of KINATAY (The Philippines, 2009) to its barest essentials, milks the situations to their fullest potential, and delivers a sucker punch by subverting all cinematic expectations.

This is a film definitely not for the weak-hearted. Roger Ebert was so repulsed by it that he gave it a zero rating, but it went on to fetch its maker the Best Director Award at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival 2009.

Check out the trailer here:

Streaming on MUBI.


Victoria is a Paris-based criminal lawyer with two kids. As she goes about her days, she has to juggle between fighting her ex-husband who is writing a book on their relationship, exposing all their secrets, defending a friend accused of physical assault by his partner, trying to seek sexual relationships through dating sites, and a potential love affair, which she does not know how to deal with – apart from sundry other issues, all screwing up her life. IN BED WITH VICTORIA (France, 2016) by Justine Triet is a whirlwind of a film that looks at a modern woman caught in the vortex of a demanding urban life, trying to arrive at a balance that eludes her.

Check out the trailer here:

This vibrant and charming film is streaming on MUBI.


What seems like a desolate industrial town serves as the setting for this atmospheric film populated with drug addicts, drug dealers, prostitutes – and a young female vampire in hijab executing vigilante justice on corrupt individuals. Debutant Ana Lily Amirpour, an American of Iranian descent works up a strange world that is soaked in cinematic influences ranging from horror, spaghetti western, noir, and grunge to graphic novels. Shot in high contrast black and white, the incidents are supposed to be taking place in a fictional Iranian city appropriately called Bad City, but shot somewhere in California.

Soak up this unique cinematic experience on MUBI.


In BLIND CHANCE (Poland, 1987), Krzysztof Kieslowski’s biting criticism of Communist Poland did not go down well with the authorities; so a film made in 1981 was finally released in 1987 after heavy censoring, but still makes its point through a style that is quite unique in that the outcome of the plot hinges on whether the protagonist is able to catch a train or not.

There are three stories: in the first, he joins the Communist Party but is disillusioned, in the second he becomes a Catholic and anti-communist, and in the third, he decides to remain neutral.

With a dense plot that presupposes a little bit of knowledge of modern European history, BLIND CHANCE shuttles between the two elements that play a vital role in the life of an individual: chance vs. choice.


A restored and uncensored version as it was originally envisioned is streaming on MUBI.  

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