1) What Maisie Knew
Difficult to watch at times but painfully honest throughout, What Maisie Knew is an excellent film dealing with divorce and how it can affect young children. Bolstered by strong performances and an emotional and touching tale, this is a film that truly deserves a spot on this list.
Movies showcasing how children deal with divorce are nothing new, and this particular one isn’t exactly that different from the countless others we’ve seen. What sets it apart is not its story, but rather the way in which it is told. Directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel spin their story in an intimate and authentic fashion and at the center of it all is little Onata Aprile, who plays Maisie.
The young actress is a revelation in the role, offering so much for such a young performer and bringing a suitably nuanced and subtle performance to the table. She’s surrounded by fantastic talent too, with Julianne Moore and Alexander Skarsgård also doing some of their best work in the film.
Full of complex characters and heartfelt emotion, What Maisie Knew is a winner in my books. You’ll find yourself deeply invested in little Maisie’s tale and as far as films dealing with divorce go, this is one that is rather remarkable.
2) The Gatekeepers
The Gatekeepers is a documentary that explores the Shin Bet, (the Israeli secret service) from the perspective of six former heads of the agency.
Made up of a series of candid interviews, each former agency head speaks his mind about their experience and the most significant events that occurred during their time at the Shin Bet. They also speek freely about hot topics like torture, terrorism and their home country itself, Israel. Spliced in is archival footage of the various events they discuss and hearing them talk so bluntly and honestly is truly a moving experience.
To watch the footage of various military and covert operations taking place, with commentary by the men who were involved in their planning and execution, well, that’s something that you can’t find in many places. Some of the stories these men tell are fascinating and their viewpoints are sometimes shocking. To hear what it’s like on the inside and about some of the decisions that you have to make when you’re at the top, it’s really interesting stuff and you’ll definitely walk away with some food for thought.
For one of the most eye-opening documentaries from this year, check out The Gatekeepers.
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