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'Disobedience' follows a woman as she returns to the community that shunned her decades earlier for an attraction to a childhood friend. Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality.

Friday Flicks: ‘Disobedience’, ‘Kings’, ‘Traffik’

TGIF, folks! We hope you’ve been having a killer week. It’s certainly been a good one for TV, as we’ve had the return of Westworld and The Handmaid’s Tale, both with second seasons and both showing strong female leads rebelling against their oppressors. From Sweetwater to Gilead, the female warriors of TV are taking action!

While we’re on the topic of TV, Netflix had an interesting week (as always). Following the whole Cannes conundrum, celebrities have been offering their two cents on the situation, arguing for and against the streaming behemoth’s role in indie cinema. Dame Helen Mirren (Winchester) really showed her age by hitting out at Netflix for the “devastating” effect it has had on her husband Taylor Hackford and how it’s “ruined” the cinema-going experience. “It’s devastating for people like my husband, film directors, because they want their movies to be watched in a cinema with a group of people.”

Elizabeth Olsen (Kodachrome) on the other hand had the right idea, stating that instead of killing cinema, it’s actually helping indie filmmakers find an audience. The once all-powerful studios of Hollyweird are dying! Long live the streaming sites and the platforms they provide for indie obsessions!

Speaking of Hollyweird, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released its new rule tweaks this week ahead of the 2019 Oscars, and while they might not be as ridiculous as the six-step envelope plan, there were a few additions that have been met with criticism. The most ridiculed being the reduction of Q&A screenings to just four, regardless of the category or country in which the event takes place. The Playlist perfectly summarized: “To say this may force less members to see these films in a theater is an understatement and, frankly, a mistake.”

But enough about small-screen heroines and Dames’s dated views and rulebook ridicule. It’s time to turn your attention to all the great indie cinema hitting the big screen this weekend. FD’s got you covered with our picks of the best movies to catch at the theater. Explore religion and forbidden love in Disobedience; experience the conflict of the LA riots in Kings; and battle an angry group of bikers in Traffik.  

Disobedience (Bleecker Street Media)

on limited theatrical release now

From a screenplay by Sebastián Lelio (A Fantastic Woman) and Rebecca Lenkiewicz (Ida) and based on Naomi Alderman’s book, Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener) & Rachel McAdams (The Notebook) have gained acclaim for their performances in this tale of religion and forbidden love. Disobedience follows a woman as she returns to the community that shunned her decades earlier for an attraction to a childhood friend. Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality.

Kings (The Orchard)

on limited theatrical release now

In writer-director Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s first English-language film, Halle Berry (Gothika) and Daniel Craig (Casino Royale) star as citizens of the same South Central Los Angeles neighborhood. Set in the early 90s during the racially tense and explosive period in and around the LA riots, Kings is a dramatic story of the lengths a mother will go to bring her children home. The film focuses on the fragility of family bonds and touches on the turbulence and tensions of an era in LA history that seems more relevant than ever in today’s social and political climate.

Backstabbing for Beginners (A24 Films)

on limited theatrical release now

Based on a true story, this impactful drama centers on the uncovering of the Oil-for-Food scandal that plagued the United Nations around the time of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The narrative follows an idealistic young employee working at the UN as he investigates the shocking murder of his predecessor and uncovers a huge global conspiracy (that may or may not involve his own boss). Stars Theo James (Underworld Awakening), Ben Kingsley (Schindler’s List), Belçim Bilgin (The Butterfly’s Dream), Jacqueline Bisset (Bullitt), Rossif Sutherland (High Life), and Rachel Wilson (The Glass House).

Traffik (Codeblack Films)

on limited theatrical release now

From Deon Taylor (Supremacy) comes this gripping thriller about a couple – Brea (Paula Patton) and John (Omar Epps) – who set off for a romantic weekend in the mountains. After encountering an intimidating group of bikers during a stop-off, they manage to escape without a fight. However, what they do (accidentally) escape with turns out to be far worse – a mobile phone filled with damning evidence that the bikers are desperate to retrieve. Gulp!

In the Last Days of the City (Big World Pictures)

on limited theatrical release now

This mesmerizingly beautiful film from Tamer El Said (Eye of the Sun) tells the fictional story of a filmmaker from downtown Cairo played by Khalid Abdalla (The Kite Runner) as he faces the loss of his own life. With the help of his friends – who send him footage from their lives in Beirut, Baghdad, and Berlin – he finds the strength to keep going through the complexities of living life. With much of the film shot during the two years previous to the revolution in Egypt, In the Last Days of the City is a multi-layered and visually stunning portrayal of friendship, loneliness, and life in cities shaped by conflict and adversity.  

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