The title of this major French costume drama means “Louis, child-king”, and indeed it’s a fascinating fresco about the formative years of the young king Louis XIV, before he became the Sun-king at Versailles. It was a dark and violent period, when the Louvre (meaning ‘wolves hunt castle’, hunting was a major aristocratic pastime), then still the somewhat gloomy royal palace, was the battle field of palace intrigues while the regency was held by queen-mother Anne of Austria but the actual head of the royal government was the aging cardinal Giulio Mazirini (‘Mazarin’), the less-known Italian successor of Richelieu, who also introduced to the court and the kingdom a host of his countrymen from whom Louis would learn the passion for Italian culture, especially music which would flourish under the direction of Lully (but that later story is another movie, “Le Roi danse”). The elaborate script sketches the story of French power politics, too complicate and devious to summarize in any detail, but mainly from the viewpoint of the immature king under maternal guardianship, who probably didn’t comprehend half of the grave troubles focusing on the strife between the official Catholic church and those claiming freedom of religion, especially for the Huguenots, but in reality mainly driven by personal and family ambitions and the grip of nobles on the kingdom at the expense of the royal power, and climaxing in a full rebellion, known as the Fronde, which forces the royal family to flee for their lives, an experience that may have decided Louis to dedicate his reign to preventing a repeat by establishing absolutism as he did. Some narration is done by Louis’s younger brother Philip, the duke of Anjou, who seems smarter but as the spare heir is condemned to life in a golden cage, overshadowed by Louis while any ‘disrespect’ for his crowned sibling is punishable on the spot by strap lashes administered on his bare behind by a servant.
2h 14m | Drama, History | Release date: May 25, 2023 (Italy)
The story of Edgardo Mortara, a young Jewish boy living in Bologna, Italy, who in 1858, after being secretly baptized, was forcibly taken from his family to be raised as a Christian. His parents’ struggle to free their son became part of a larger political battle that pitted the papacy against forces of democracy and Italian unification.
Set in 1940s Australia, The New Boy is the story of a nine-year-old Aboriginal orphan boy (Reid) who arrives in the dead of night at a remote monastery, run by a renegade nun (Blanchett), where his presence disturbs the delicately balanced world in this story of spiritual struggle and the cost of survival.
Germania anno zero 1948
1h 18m | Drama, History, War | Release date: February 2, 1949 (France)
Edmund, a young boy who lives in war-devastated Germany after the Second World War, must do all kinds of work to help his family get food and survive. One day he meets one of his former teachers and hopes to get support from him, but this man’s ideas don’t lead Edmund into a clearer or safer way of living.
2h 2m | Drama, History | Release date: November 12, 2014 (Ukraine)
Peter is a 10-year-old boy living in the midst of turbulent early-1930s Soviet Ukraine. His father, an American engineer, is killed for obtaining secret documents about the repressions, which now are hidden in Peter’s book. The boy flees from the police with a blind kobzar (Ukrainian folk minstrel), Ivan Kocherga. Ivan does everything to help his young guide grow up and survive with a kind and clear soul that will not be hardened by what his eyes have seen. He tells his young guide elaborate stories that make him believe there can be a different reality from what he sees around him. The viewer is challenged to admit that the blind kobzar might see the world with greater clarity than those with perfect eyes.
The Lord of the Ants 2022
Il signore delle formiche (original title)
2h 14m | Biography, Drama, History | 8 September 2022 (Italy)
Based on true events of the late 60s in Italy, poet, playwright and myrmecologist Aldo Braibanti is prosecuted and sentenced to prison for the love he shares with his barely-of-age pupil and friend, Ettore. Amidst a chorus of voices of accusers, supporters and a largely hypocritical public, a single committed journalist takes on the task of piecing together the truth, between secrecy and desire, facing suspicion and censorship in the process.
Red Persimmon 1996
Hong shi zi (original title)
2h 48m | Drama, History | September 1996 (South Korea)
In 1949, the Communists take over mainland. The refugees and the military arrive in the Keelung Harbor in Taiwan. While the father holds secret meetings with other generals in attempt to recover the lost land, the kids still play games with their grandma who still enjoys the harmony and peace in hardship. Gradually, it seems that there was no hope to fight back the fatherland. The general turned father has to run a small business to support the family. He encounters a series of struggles. And finally his kids grow up.
The affectionate story of the lifelong romance between teenagers Tom and Joe, from their first humble meeting in the 1970s, in a world only just waking up to homosexuality, to the sunset of their time together decades later, ‘You Are My Sunshine’ is a refreshingly and apologetically sentimental, sweeping love story set in the British countryside. A romance for the ages, through the ages- bask in the glorious light of ‘You Are My Sunshine’
The Shadow in My Eye 2021
Skyggen i mit øje (original title)
1h 47m | Drama, History, War | 28 October 2021 (Denmark)
On March 21st, 1945, the British Royal Air Force set out on a mission to bomb Gestapo’s headquarters in Copenhagen. The raid had fatal consequences as some of the bombers accidentally targeted a school and more than 120 people were killed, 86 of whom were children.