‘Utu’ New Zealand(Geoff Murphy, 1983) Loosely based on the events of Te Kooti’s War in the 1870s, it tells the tale of Maori tribesman Te Wheke who is serving in the British army. He is prompted to seek vengeance when he returns home to find his village and family destroyed in a senseless raid by the British.
‘Gabbeh’ Iran(Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 1996) An elderly nomad couple are cleaning their beautiful carpet or “gabbeh” when a young woman suddenly emerges to tell the history of her clan through the carpet. Beautifully filmed and the winner of numerous awards.
‘Infernal Affairs’ (‘Mou gaan dou’) Hong Kong/China(Andrew Lau Wai-Keung, Alan Mak Siu-Fai, 2002) Hong Kong cop thriller following the parallel lives of an undercover officer who infiltrates a Triad gang and policeman who secretly reports to a ruthless gang boss. “Infernal Affairs” breaks the mould of much of contemporary Hong Kong cinema by steering clear of over-the-top-action in favor of a slow-burning build up of psychological tension. Engrossing.
‘Mandala’ South Korea(Kwon-Taek Im, 1981) In the xem bong da film that is considered to be his breakthrough as a cinematic artist, Im follows the lives and interactions of two Buddhist monks in Korea and takes a contemplative look at the nature of individualism, religious belief and enlightenment.