OVID’s March Lineup: Bas Devos’ Berlin Grand Prize-winner VIOLET, Palestinian perseverance, your favorite French spy, and Jim Finn on Paul the Apostle!

This month OVID presents 20 new films. 

Five films are from our new collaboration with the distributor Altered Innocence, including films by Jean-Claude Brisseau, Pirjo Honkasalo, and the stunning feature debut from Here director Bas Devos, Violet

Documentaries include Little Palestine: Diary of a Siege, following the harrowing daily lives of Palestinian refugees under threat, a “stark, yet beautiful, view of life inside Syria’s Yarmouk refugee camp” (Middle East Eye).

Radioactive: The Women of Three Mile Island is a thrilling feminist documentary about indomitable women fighting back against the nuclear industry, and Stewart Udall: The Politics of Beauty, on the life and legacy of one of America’s most effective environmentalists.

Jim Finn’s latest oddity on Paul the Apostle, timed for Palm Sunday, joins his extensive filmography on OVID. The New York Times says Finn’s films are “meticulous, deadpan… unearthed artifacts from an alternate universe.”

There are several music docs in the mix, one titled Fiddlin‘ — which you might guess is about the Appalachian folk instrument and the oldest Fiddler’s Convention. 

And if you need a laugh after all that, our favorite French spy is back in OSS 117: Lost in Rio — our 2nd OSS 117 film!

Full details on March’s complete lineup are below!

(Image from Abdallah Al-Khatib's Little Palestine: Diary of a Siege, premiering on OVID on March 7th)
Beautiful Beings (2022)

Friday, March 1

Beautiful Beings
Directed by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson
With Birgir Dagur Bjarkason, Áskell Einar Pálmason, Viktor Benóný Benediktsson
Altered Innocence | Feature | Iceland | 2022

Addi, a boy raised by a clairvoyant mother, decides to adopt a bullied misfit into his gang of outsiders. Left to their own devices, the boys explore aggression and violence but also learn about loyalty and love. As the group’s behavior escalates towards life-threatening situations, Addi begins to experience a series of dreamlike visions. Can his newfound intuition guide him and his friends back to a safer path, or will they dive irrevocably into further violence?

Iceland’s official submission to the Academy Awards® for Best International Feature Film.

“An outstanding juvenile ensemble cast… there is a freshness and an inhabited vibrancy that makes this painful coming of age story feel exactly its own.” —Variety

Tuesday, March 5

Penelope, My Love 
Directed by Claire Doyon
Lightdox | Documentary | France | 2021

For 18 years, director Claire Doyon has been filming Pénélope, her daughter with autism. Composed of DV tapes, Super 8 reels and HD archives, Penelope My Love traces the relationship between mother and daughter through different stages – the shock of the diagnosis, the fight against it, the resolve, the acceptance and discovery of a different mode of existence.

“Doyon’s bio-doc charts the rich but deeply challenging experiences of being a parent to daughter Pénélope and the intense bond that changes as they both grow older.” —The Guardian


Wednesday, March 6

Never Too Late for Love
Back by popular demand!
Directed by Gianni Di Gregorio
With Gianni Di Gregorio & Stefania Sandrelli
Distrib Films | Feature | Italy | 2022

A tender and lighthearted romantic comedy set against the backdrop of Southern Italy’s countryside. After being evicted from his long-time apartment in Rome, retired professor Astolfo returns to his childhood village of Abruzzo, where any plans for a quiet retirement are derailed by a series of comedic misadventures. As Astolfo builds unlikely friendships, he falls for a charming local woman.

“A brilliant comedy casting a tender and disenchanted eye over the loves, ailments and infinite annoyances of the third age.” —Cineuropa

“Picturesque…[an] enjoyable bit of whimsy!” —Yes Weekly

Little Palestine: Diary of a Siege (2021)

Thursday, March 7

Little Palestine: Diary of a Siege
Directed by Abdallah Al-Khatib
Lightdox | Documentary | 2021

Abdallah Al-Khatib’s brave debut is a love letter to his fellow citizens and their humanity amidst a profoundly inhuman situation, following the lives of Palestinian refugees living in the district of Yarmouk in Damascus, Syria. As the Syrian revolution breaks out, the biggest Palestinian refugee camp comes under siege and its inhabitants finish up cut off from the world, without food, medicine and electricity.

The film premiered in Vision du Réel’s platform in the main International Feature Competition.

“A record of the past, but an almost unbearable warning of agony yet to come.” —The Guardian

Friday, March 8

Directed by Bas Devos
With Cesar De Sutter, Koen De Sutter, Mira Helmer, Brent Minne
Altered Innocence | Feature | Belgium, Netherlands | 2014

A grand prize winner at the Berlin Film Festival, Violet tells the story of 15-year-old Jesse who bears witness to his best friend’s seemingly random murder at the mall. A carefully calibrated character study in the tradition of Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park, filmmaker Bas Devos’ meticulously calculated debut explores the process of coping amid senseless violence. 

“Intensely stylized, highly original and utterly mesmerizing.” —Variety

Tuesday, March 12

Mister John
Directed by Joe Lawlor, Christine Molloy
With Aidan Gillen, Zoe Tay, Molly Rose Lawlor, Michael Thomas
Visit Films | Feature | UK | 2013

Escaping his floundering marriage in London, Gerry (Aidan Gillen) goes to Singapore to sort out the estate of his brother John, who owned a hostess bar there and has just died in mysterious circumstances.

“Gillen is great, his laconic stance thrown off-balance by tragedy, his face apparently struggling to find itself, uncertain of its own expression. Stephen McKeon’s score is spine-tingling too, a series of aching suspensions heavy laden with loss.” —The Guardian

Wednesday, March 13

Before Summer Ends
Directed by Maryam Goormaghtigh
Lightdox | Documentary | Switzerland, France | 2017

After five years of studying in Paris, Arash is fed up with France. Haunted by feelings of unhappiness and despair, the sensitive Iranian student firmly believes that the French are a breed of their own. His friends Hossein and Ashkan persuade him to join them on one last trip, hoping to change his mind. The trio hit the road, heading to the sun-kissed South of France with a jam-packed car. Sleeping on campsites, drinking beer at street festivals and frolicking in the fresh sea air, they meet two musicians Charlotte and Michèle, and Arash is left to decide whether he really wants to return to Iran after all.

Before Summer Ends is a documentary playing with the boundaries of fiction.

“Goormaghtigh made the film with a few thousand dollars and one assistant, but her poised, ample images and her wryly tender regard for her characters give the film dramatic grandeur to match its global embrace.” —Richard Brody, The New Yorker

Thursday, March 14

Concrete Night
Directed by Pirjo Honkasalo
Altered Innocence | Feature | Finland | 2013

A stunning, dream-like odyssey through a beautiful and otherworldly Helsinki over the course of one evening, the film follows the impressionable 14-year-old Simo as he keeps his soon-to-be incarcerated brother company. The film captures the pain and joy of youth through exquisite, eye-popping black-and-white cinematography. This film joins top Finnish filmmaker Pirjo Honkasalo’s The 3 Rooms of Melancholia available exclusively on OVID.

“Poetic and stirring.” —Chicago Reader

“Black-and-white bleak has never looked more beautiful.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

Sound and Fury
Directed by Jean-Claude Brisseau
Altered Innocence | Feature | France | 1988

Jean-Claude Brisseau’s searing portrait of disaffected youth follows the vicissitudes of thirteen-year-old Bruno, who has to stay on his feet in a poor suburb of Paris and finds himself in a classroom of pupils who all share similar learning problems. There he meets Jean-Roger, the “terror” of the teacher and the rest of the school, who befriends him and introduces him to his eccentric family and the violent gang-infested suburbs Bruno now has to live in.

“Thoroughly compelling… François Négret’s intense and provocative performance makes this one of cinema’s most harrowing portrayals of adolescence.”

Friday, March 15

OSS 117: Lost in Rio
Directed by Michel Hazanavicius
With Jean Dujardin, Louise Monot, Rüdiger Vogler, Alex Lutz
Music Box Films | Feature | France | 2009

The pride of French intelligence, Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath – code named OSS 117 – has a new mission that takes him to the Bossa Nova Brazil of the 1960s. Teaming up with a sexy Mossad agent, he is tasked with capturing a Nazi blackmailer with an embarrassingly long list of World War II French collaborators.

“A classic comic creation!” —Vogue

“Sparkling production design, a jubilantly retro score and a genuine flair for using the film and TV vocabulary of the ’60s to revisit colonial arrogance put pic in the same conceptual ballpark as Austin Powers or The Naked Gun series.” —Variety

Tuesday, March 19

Looking for Horses
Directed by Stefan Pavlović
Lightdox | Documentary | The Netherlands, Bosnia & Herzegovina | 2021

A film about a friendship between the filmmaker and a fisherman. One lost his mother-tongue because of a stutter, the other lost his hearing during the Bosnian civil war. They look for ways to communicate, while the camera mediates their growing bond.

“Even when language fails in the face of psychological turmoil and disconnect, moments of intimacy and care between the two men beautifully convey an understanding that is beyond words.” —The Guardian


Museum of the Revolution
Directed by Srđan Keča
Lightdox | Documentary | Serbia, Croatia, Czech Republic | 2021

Inside the remnants of an abandoned utopian project, a young life persists in the form of a fierce little girl. As the city around her transforms, so looms an end to childhood dreams.

“This is an engrossing documentary, and one that raises questions about the ethics of intervening (or not) in the lives of people struggling to get by. That these queries hover unresolved may leave viewers uneasy, but it also positions us alongside the subjects, waiting for a solution that’s yet to arrive.” —The New York Times

After Blue (Dirty Paradise) (2021)

Thursday, March 21

After Blue (Dirty Paradise)
Directed by Bertrand Mandico
Altered Innocence | Feature | France | 2021

In a faraway future, on a wild and untamed female-inhabited planet called After Blue, a lonely teenager named Roxy unknowingly releases a mystical, dangerous, and sensual assassin from her prison. Roxy and her mother Zora are held accountable, banished from their community, and forced to track down the murderer named Kate Bush. Playing like a lesbian El Topo (in space!) with stunning 35mm in-camera practical effects, otherworldly set pieces, and a dazzling score by Pierre Desprats.

“A deliciously perverse psychedelic post-apocalyptic intergalactic sci-fi Western that appears like something you’d hallucinate after mixing DMT and Blue Chew.” —Filthy Dreams

“A kaleidoscopic fantasy warped through the lens of a 1970s sci-fi Western… a synthetic siren song for the freaks of the future and the past.” —IndieWire

Friday, March 22

Radioactive: The Women of Three Mile Island
Directed by Heidi Hutner
With Jane Fonda
First Run Features | Documentary | USA | 2023

In this thrilling feminist documentary, indomitable women fight back against the nuclear industry to expose one of the worst cover-ups in U.S. history. The award-winning film is about the 1979 Three Mile Island meltdown – the worst commercial nuclear accident in U.S. history – and its aftermath. It uncovers the never-before-told stories of four intrepid homemakers who take their local community’s case against the plant operator all the way to the Supreme Court – and a young female journalist who’s caught in the radioactive crossfire.

“A compelling and significant documentary in the grand tradition of such trailblazing women filmmakers as Kimberlee Acquaro, Christine Choy, and Barbara Koppel… this is a film that should be rated in supernovas, not stars.” —Cinema Daily


Stewart Udall: The Politics of Beauty
Directed by John de Graaf
Bullfrog Films | Documentary | USA | 2023

The life and legacy of Stewart Udall, one of America’s most effective environmentalists in his role as Secretary of the Interior protecting our shared natural heritage and beauty. Examining his dedication as Secretary of the Interior under the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, the documentary then looks at his fight to win compensation for Navajo Indians and “downwinders” who acquired cancer from their exposure to radiation during the Cold War atomic bomb testing – without being warned of the dangers. Udall called on all Americans to move away from our emphasis on economic growth and consumerism toward quality of life, and a recognition of Earth’s limits – a message that still resonates today. 

“A visually stunning journey through US environmental history.” —Bob Manning, Prof Emeritus, Environment, Univ. of Vermont

The Apocalyptic is the Mother of All Christian Theology (2023)

Sunday, March 24

The Apocalyptic is the Mother of All Christian Theology
Directed by Jim Finn
With Usama Alshaibi & Linda Mary Montano 
Video Data Bank | Feature | USA | 2023

A psychedelic portrait of the founding theorist of Christianity, Paul the Apostle. His life, ideology and influence are reconstructed by piecing together 16mm footage, cassettes, animation, and Catholic liturgical music. Jim Finn’s movies have been called ‘utopian comedies’ and ‘trompe l’oeil films.’

“Steeped in the obsolete language of revolutionary art, Mr. Finn’s meticulous, deadpan mockumentaries often play like unearthed artifacts from an alternate universe.” —The New York Times 


Tuesday, March 26

Looking for Sunshine
Directed Niccolo Castelli
Lightdox | Documentary | Switzerland | 2019

A year in Swiss alpine ski racer Lara Gut-Behrami’s universe, from the victory of the Alpine Ski World Cup Overall title to the comeback after an injury at the peak of her career. Competing in all disciplines and specializing in the speed events of downhill and Super-G, here we see the human behind the champion trying to find self-fulfillment amid public expectations.

Thursday, March 28

Martha: A Picture Story
Directed by Selina Miles
Utopia Films | Documentary | USA | 2020

“1977, the Bronx was burning down. No one really wanted to write that graffiti was an interesting thing. But I don’t want to shoot something that’s done with permission. It’s an outlaw art. That’s what makes it thrilling.” —Martha Cooper

In 1970s New York, trailblazing street photographer Martha Cooper captured some of the first images of graffiti at a time when the city had declared war on it. Decades later, Cooper has become an influential figure in the global movement of street artists.

“Directed with infectious zeal, it’s a photographer bio-doc that always feels to be in motion, especially given its excellent editing, fascinating subject, and narrative ambition.” —RogerEbert.com

Friday, March 29

Directed by Julie Simone & Vicki Vlasic
Utopia Films | Documentary | USA | 2018

Sister filmmakers Julie Simone and Vicki Vlasic return to their Appalachian roots to film at the world’s oldest Fiddler’s Convention. With multiple generations jamming together, Fiddlin’ is a love letter to American roots and the uplifting power of music.

“Enduringly heartfelt.” —Los Angeles Times

The Unicorn
Directed by Isabelle Dupuis & Tim Geraghty
Music by Peter Grudzien
Factory 25 | Documentary | USA | 2017

The late outsider singer-songwriter Peter Grudzien was the one-man musical force behind ‘The Unicorn,’ possibly the first gay country album from 1974. Peter composed, performed and recorded the album entirely in his childhood home in Queens. He sold the 500 pressed copies out of a suitcase on the streets of New York. To quote music critic Paul Major, “The Unicorn is not an LP, it is life itself.” Despite failing to make any commercial impact, Grudzien continued to record albums and perform well into the ’00s, circulating his tapes of original music and covers among local stores in Astoria. 

“A grim and haunting documentary about what it means to burn bright, then die alone.” —The New York Times


Complete list of films premiering on OVID this month (in alphabetical order):

After Blue (Dirty Paradise), Bertrand Mandico (2021)
Beautiful Beings, Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson (2022)
Before Summer Ends,Maryam Goormaghtigh (2017)
Concrete Night, Pirjo Honkasalo (2013)
Fiddlin’, Julie Simone & Vicki Vlasic (2018)
Little Palestine: Diary of a Siege, Abdallah Al-Khatib (2021)
Looking for HorsesStefan Pavlović (2021)
Looking for Sunshine, Niccolo Castelli (2019)
Martha: A Picture Story, Selina Miles (2020)
Mister John, Joe Lawlor & Christine Molloy (2013)
Museum of the Revolution, Srđan Keča (2021)
Never Too Late For Love, Gianni Di Gregorio (2022)
OSS 117: Lost in Rio,Michel Hazanavicius (2009)
Penelope, My Love, Claire Doyon (2021)
Radioactive: The Women of Three Mile Island, Heidi Hutner (2023)
Sound and Fury, Jean-Claude Brisseau (1988)
Stewart Udall: The Politics of Beauty, John de Graaf (2023)  
The Apocalyptic is the Mother of All Christian Theology, Jim Finn (2023)
The Unicorn, Isabelle Dupuis & Tim Geraghty (2017)
Violet, Bas Devos (2014)

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