Cinema Scope

Jafar Panahi

hat would Harry Lime say about today? It feels like the time of the Borgias, but without the Renaissance. Oppression, trauma, and war are omnipresent—and that’s just on my list of the decade’s top films, which includes reflections on the scars left by conflicts past (Christian Petzold’s , 2018; Miyazaki Hayao’s , 2013; Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s , 2017), portraits of traumatized soldiers (Laurent Bécue-Renard’s , 2014; Valeska Grisebach’s , 2017; Paul Thomas Anderson’s , 2012), and works that bear witness to atrocities (Wang Bing’s , 2019; Joshua Oppenheimer’s , 2012, and , 2014). Even a film that didn’t lose its sense of humour amidst the madness—Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson and Galen Johnson’s sly behind-the-scenes look at the war-film machine, (2015)—was still marked by it, as were the Grand Guignol genre-film horrors of Ben Wheatley’s (2011). Makes you appreciate brotherly love and the cuckoo clock.

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