One of the highlights of every annual Program Guide is Professor Matthew Bernstein’s* must-see films list. He painstakingly reviews a slew of films in each year's lineup, and 2016 has him as enthusiastic as ever.
We'll be featuring his picks, one-by-one. Of course, if you can't wait to see his entire write-up, make sure to grab your copy of the official Program Guide.
News of American captives in the Middle East too often have filled our headlines, but this utterly involving documentary compels us to consider the story behind one particularly awful instance. Iran imprisoned three internationally and socially active American hikers, one of them Jewish, for 781 days beginning in summer 2009, for accidentally straying over the country’s unmarked border with Iraq. The insights provided here by experts and diplomats into the workings of Iran’s government have obvious relevance to the recent nuclear arms deal. But the heart of this film resides with the hikers themselves, their families and friends—who endured their indescribable ordeal with extraordinary perseverance and courage as they worked tirelessly to achieve the hikers’ freedom. What they have done with their lives since is similarly inspiring, and makes one ponder the nature of prison policies and practices worldwide. As with Sabena Hijacking: My Version, though we know the outcome of the story, this retelling, including its effective musical score, is mesmerizing.
*Dr. Matthew Bernstein is the Goodrich C. White Professor of Film and Media Studies and department chair at Emory University.
Previous Must See Films of 2016
- Atomic Falafel
- By Sidney Lumet
- Censored Voices
- East Jerusalem West Jerusalem
- Fire Birds
- A Grain of Truth
- The Midnight Orchestra
- Rabin in His Own Words
- Rabin, The Last Day