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    A scene from the documentary Darwin's Nightmare. in New Directors / New Films
    A scene from the documentary "Darwin's Nightmare."

    Chew on this

    The New Directors / New Films festival delivers unexpected stories from around the world, from the occupied Palestinian territories to the Budapest subway.


    Typically one of the city's two most tantalizing film festivals of the year (the other being the Human Rights Watch festival, with which it has a venue and an ethic in common), the New Directors / New Films festival returns from its MoMA-renovation exile with at least a few exciting discoveries.


    Related links: Official site
    Walter Reade Theater Lincoln Center, 65th St. between Broadway and Amsterdam (212) 875-5600 Museum of Modern Art 53rd St. (between 5th and 6th Ave.) (212) 708-9400

    New Directors / New Films 2005
    • Overview
    • The Hero
    • Private
    • South of the Clouds
    • Official site
    Hosted jointly by the Museum of Modern Art and Lincoln Center, ND/NF offers rather few of the obvious calling-card pictures that come with the new-director territory, and is usually peppered with at least a couple very strong, original-minded surprises.

    One of this year's most off-kilter offerings is the Hungarian film "Kontroll," about the misadventures of a crew of second-rate ticket inspectors loosely on the trail of a Budapest subway killer and a collection of lesser underground miscreants.

    A weightier work is the Italian-made, Palestinian-set, Dogme-esque film "Private," which puts a comfortable Palestinian family under sudden, intense pressure as their house is occupied by Israeli soldiers. It works both as a tense thriller cooped up inside one family's walls and as an obvious microcosm of the whole Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Festival articles



    The Hero

    A bit forced but heartfelt, this Angolan film airs some of the serious social problems of the physical and emotional wounds that war leaves behind.



    A modest movie about a Southern family's foibles, made quite watchable by its affectionately conceived characters and subtle portrayals.



    Elemental fear and the struggle for dignity thicken the air in a Palestinian family's house taken over by Israeli soldiers in this tense thriller.


    South of the Clouds

    Noteworthy Chinese filmmaker Zhu Wen explores his country's remote southern region.

    MARCH 24, 2005

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