Missed Some of 2020’s Best Films?

A short list of fine documentaries and feature films 

In a still from "The Painter and the Thief," the male thief watches the female artist at work.

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Because many viewers missed out on 2020 films, the Brattle Theatre’s Ned Hinkle and Coolidge Corner Theater’s Beth Gilligan shared some recommendations:

Ghost Tropic: A Muslim cleaning woman sleeps through her subway stop and must get home on foot. (Belgium)

Fire Will Come: A released prisoner returns to his rural home to live with his hermit mother. (Spain)

Vitalina Varela: A Cape Verdean woman travels to Lisbon to rejoin her husband, learns he has died, and follows traces of his secret life. (Portugal)

His House: An allegorical horror film about a couple from South Sudan who relocate in an English town. (U.K.)

Black Bear: A filmmaker and a couple sharing a remote Adirondack cottage are drawn into a convoluted, compelling artful experiment. (U.S.A.)


Sing Me A Song: Thomas Balmés’s follow-up to Happiness centers on a Bhutan­ese monk who has grown into an adult hooked on digital media. (France)

The Painter and the Thief: A Czech artist in Oslo tracks down the man who stole her paintings—an often raw meditation on vulnerability, self-destruction, and forgiveness. (Norway)

Collective: Romanian investigative journalists uncover public fraud and corruption. (Romania)

A Thousand Cuts: Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on the press includes targeting Filipina journalist Maria Ressa. (U.S.A.)

Coded Bias: A look at the bias, intrusiveness, and misinformation connected to increasingly popular facial-recognition programs. (U.S.A.)

For alternatives to Netflix, try: Criterion, Kanopy, Hoopla, Acorn, BBC America, and PBS.

Read more articles by: Nell Porter Brown

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