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, leading up to the festival's Opening Night on January 26. Of course, if you can't wait to see his entire write-up, make sure to grab your copy of the official Program Guide.
In the grand tradition of mystery yarns woven with social criticism, this intelligent, twisty, highly entertaining crime thriller provides a painfully honest look at Poland’s longstanding anti-Semitism, particularly the ever-abiding blood libel (the belief that Jews killed Christian babies for holiday rituals). Robert Wieckierwicz gives a terrific performance as ace detective Teodor Szacki who has left Warsaw for the quiet medieval town of Sandomiercz, which, it turns out, is a hotbed of such hatred, and where a series of gory ritual murders keeps Szacki and us guessing while he interviews multiple witnesses and suspects. Think of it as a Polish variation on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo—but A Grain of Truth is a wholly original work that will stay with you for quite some time.
*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