RECAP: Cinetopia 2016 movie reviews {Detroit + Dearborn}

Another year, and another Cinetopia Film Festival in the books!

This year, I was unfortunately out of town during the festival's second weekend, so I tried to see as many movies as possible during the weekend before and the week previous. The Henry Ford Giant Screen Experience (Dearborn, MI) was a new venue this year, so I was able to see some movies there and some at the Maple Theater (Bloomfield Hills).

Saturday, June 4th: Henry Ford Giant Screen
  • Fatima. This movie was a little slow for me, and was about a divorced immigrant living in France, who has two daughters, ages 15 and 18. The 18-year-old was a med student and Fatima (title character) worked as a housekeeper to put her through med school. The movie would have been stronger in my opinion if it only focused on one daughter, not both. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
  • Speed Sisters. This surprisingly ended up being one of my favorite of the fests, and it focused on Palestinian women who were speed racers. The Henry Ford Giant Screen ended up being a great asset for this film, and the movie had a good mix of racing scenes and scenes about the girls' personal lives. 4.5 out of 5.
        {if you live outside of the US/CAN, you can find it on Netflix, currently; if you're in Canada,      you can find it on iTunes. Still waiting for a US release date.}

Sunday, June 5th: Henry Ford
  • Goat. This was on my most 7 anticipated films list, because of the cast - Nick Jonas stars as one of the fraternity brothers in the film. This was also the Michigan premiere of the movie. The movie was very hard to watch but will stick in your head days after you watch it, due to the film's graphic content. The film is also based on the nonfiction book by Brad Land, one of the main characters here. 3.5 out of 5.
      (according to Variety, it sounds like the film will be released on VOD and in theaters, at             some point.)
  • Black Mountain Poets. This was definitely a meandering film - it went all over the place - but later during the Q&A, we were told that almost 100% of the film was improvised, which is impressive. 3 out of 5.

Monday, June 6th: The Maple Theater
  • Ma ma. Definitely a slow film, and another that was on my top 7 list, mainly because of Penelope Cruz, who I will admit was very good here. However, the movie tends to meander, and have some strange dream sequences. 2.5 out of 5.
Tuesday, June 7th: The Maple Theater
  • Baba Joon. Israeli film, but spoken in Farsi, and was an Oscar nom (but not winner) for Best Foreign Film. The movie was a little bit slow but a nice "slice of life" movie and a good character study, with good music throughout too. 3.5 out of 5.
Thursday, June 9th: The Maple Theater
  • Complete Unknown. Another favorite out of the 7 movies I saw, and it was on my top list as well. Definitely an indie movie but great cast, with Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz in the lead roles; there's a cameo by Kathy Bates as well. This film was also screened at Sundance. 4.5 out of 5.
    (will be released in theaters on August 26, 2016)

Michiganders, were you able to check out the Cinetopia festival this year? If not, have you ever been to a film fest? I'm still hoping to make it to Sundance or TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) at some point.

{To view ALL of my Cinetopia coverage from 2014, 2015, and this year, click here.}

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