The hand of ISIS, Al-Qaeda or whatever other radical Islamic group you can think of, reaches deep into the heart of Africa with its peculiar brand of hate and intolerance.
In documentary filmmaker Lutz Gregor’s Mali Blues, which will be making its domestic DVD debut on July 25 courtesy of Icarus Films, we learn firsthand of one frightful bit of insanity perpetrated by adherents to radical Islam.
The film worked the festival circuit internationally throughout 2016 and had a limited arthouse run domestically earlier this year … the ARR works out to 165 days.
In the land of fabled Timbuktu, musical instruments, song and dance were banned. The penalty for defiance was torture or death. Musicians were forced to flee … their instruments were smashed.
Gregor’s film speaks of these outrages and the Mali musicians who now defy those who would silence them. Performances from international recording star Fatoumata Diawara, Ahmed Ag Kaedi, Bassékou Kouyaté and Master Soumy are included as counterpoint to the terror.
Also announced for DVD delivery on July 25 is the latest film release from the Distrib Films distribution deal reached between Distrib Films and Icarus Films earlier this year.
French filmmaker Thomas Lilti’s The Country Doctor is the next entry in Icarus Films’ ever-growing library of French-language imports.
Jean-Pierre Werner (François Cluzet — Little White Lies, The Intouchables, Tell No One, etc.) is the doctor, the country doctor, who services the health needs of villagers in this rural area of France. For him it is a “vocation;” a way of life. Filmmaker Thomas Lilti, who is himself a doctor, uses his unique understanding of the profession to weave this story about a man, Dr. Jean-Pierre, and his extended family … his patients.
When he is diagnosed with a brain tumor, things need to change. He has to moderate his pace … his daily rounds of patient care need to be trimmed. In short, he will need help and that help arrives in the form of a new “city” doctor by the name of Nathalie (Marianne Denicourt).
She is competent in her skills, but she is not “one of the them” … not a member of the community. Her understanding of medicine and Jean-Pierre’s practice of medicine are two very different things and if she is to succeed she will need to learn the difference between the two.
The Country Doctor is a lovely slice-of-life film, especially so since filmmaker Thomas Lilti’s patient vignettes seem to be based on experiences in his own life. They ring true, as does the professional, but well-meaning, “conflict” between Jean-Pierre and Nathalie.
The Country Doctor is presented in French with English subtitles.