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Venice Reviews

‘Casa Susanna’ Review: A Deeply Affecting Exploration of a Secret Chapter in LGBTQ History

Sébastien Lifshitz’s documentary, which premiered in Venice and takes its North American bow at TIFF, looks at a midcentury New York oasis for cross-dressing men and trans women.

‘Chiara’ Review: Modern Spin on a Medieval Saint Is More Intriguing Than Involving

The Venice competition entry is a portrait of Clare of Assisi, complete with musical numbers, and stars Margherita Mazzucco, of ‘My Brilliant Friend.’

‘Our Ties’ Review: Roschdy Zem Directs a French Family Saga That’s Carried by Its Charismatic Lead

In Zem's first ever bow in Venice's main competition, Sami Bouajila ('A Son') stars as a 50-something man overcoming physical and mental trauma with the help of his family.

‘Argentina, 1985’ Review: A Strong Lead Performance Grounds an Understated Drama About a Historic Trial

Ricardo Darín toplines Santiago Mitre’s Venice competition title as the prosecutor who led the landmark case against the architects of Argentina’s reign of military terror.

‘Monica’ Review: Trace Lysette Can’t Save Andrea Pallaoro’s Sluggish Study of Trans Alienation

Lysette plays a trans woman who returns home to care for her dying mother (Patricia Clarkson) in this Venice competition entry.

‘All the Beauty and the Bloodshed’ Review: Laura Poitras’ Portrait of Nan Goldin Is a Work of Devastating Power

The Venice competition entry from the ‘Citizenfour’ director follows photographer Goldin’s advocacy and delves into its roots.

‘A Compassionate Spy’ Review: Steve James Doc Is a Nuanced Portrait of Love and Espionage

The 'Hoop Dreams' and 'America to Me' director documents the life of Ted Hall, a Manhattan Project physicist who gave nuclear secrets to the Russians.

‘Padre Pio’ Review: Shia LaBeouf in Abel Ferrara’s Clunky Historical Drama

Ferrara’s latest feature stars the actor as an Italian friar who rose to prominence at a time when fascist powers began to take over the country.  

‘Bobi Wine: Ghetto President’ Review: A Universally Relevant Portrait of Ugandan Politics

Premiering at the Venice Film Festival, Christopher Sharp and Moses Bwayo's documentary 'Bobi Wine: Ghetto President' looks at Ugandan musician and politician Bobi Wine as he faces off with the country's entrenched ruling class.

‘Captain Volkonogov Escaped’: Film Review | Venice 2021

Russian co-directors Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov ('Intimate Parts') explore the spiritual journey of a secret policeman, played by Yuriy Borisov, who breaks ranks in Soviet-era Leningrad.

‘On the Job: The Missing 8’: Film Review | Venice 2021

Philippine director Erik Matti's sprawling crime thriller details the political and journalistic fallout from an assassination gone awry.

‘Reflection’ (‘Vidblysk’): Film Review | Venice 2021

Ukrainian filmmaker Valentyn Vasyanovych returns to the Lido after winning the top Horizons prize in 2019 for 'Atlantis' with another story set amid the bloody conflict between Ukrainians and invading Russian forces in the Donbas region.