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Review: You Are All Captains

Oliver Laxe's jaunt lands in a semi-rural Moroccan school for orphans
By MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  November 8, 2011
3.5 3.5 Stars

A sublime meta-fictional trifle that evokes Abbas Kiarostami's '90s mirror-films of children, Oliver Laxe's jaunt lands in a semi-rural Moroccan school for orphans, where he purports to be teaching a filmmaking class to the 11-year-olds. But is the film Laxe is making the film we're watching, or a film at all? Is anything we see completely "real" or completely fictional? The kids, ideas of their own movies in their heads, grow dissatisfied, and midway through, Laxe is fired. Supposedly. But the film continues, with a questionable agenda, erratic provenance and, finally, a sense of how cinema and life are reflections of each other that occasionally merge. Is there a there there? Even if not, that would make this gorgeously shot black-&-white tissue of mysteries all the more revelatory. Meanwhile, with its echoes of Jean Vigo's Zero de Conduite, it's one of the most moving of recent films about being a kid and the evanescence of childhood.

Related: Review: Orphans become family at Seacoast Rep, Boo-ya!, Rare treats, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Morocco, orphans
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