“More Mill Valley Film Festival Recommendations”

The festival ends Sunday, so I am churning out the reviews as I see the films, hoping you will get to see some of the best. Two I recommend are “The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson”. Leah Purcell, an Indigenous Australian actress, director and writer does all that in this recreation of the “Wild West” of the Australian Outback. The cinematography is lovely, the acting strong and the story grim. One caveat: no subtitles often make the dialogue impossible to understand. The second one I really strongly recommend –a must-see, in fact, is “The Last Film Show”. The film is described as semi-autobiographical and a fable. The setting is Gujurat, a bucolic setting (with lions!), now a national nature preserve. Watching his mother prepare the food is enough to make the film experience worth it. I’m including this Wikipedia excerpt to give you the flavor of this exquisite film (no pun intended).

“Nalin, a self-taught filmmaker, was born in a remote village of Adtala in Amreli districtGujarat, India. Nalin, until the age of 12, helped his father sell tea on a railway platform Khijadiya Junction Railway Station. His parents gave him spiritual upbringing. As a child, Nalin disliked schools; instead he used to paint and draw. He also actively staged mythological dramas and folk plays.[4]

Nalin left his family in young age in pursuit of cinema. He studied Fine Arts at the M.S. University, Baroda for one year. It is also in Vadodara that Nalin discovered Hollywood movies and World Cinema.[4] A year later Nalin went to study Design at the NID (National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad). While at NID, he wrote about movies and managed the Film Club by programming films from around the world.[5] Nalin made some fifty wedding videos to finance his education and filmmaking. From Ahmedabad’s famous Sunday Flea Market Nalin found the old film cameras. He made four animations and twenty short silent films using these cameras. However having no means to finance the editing, sound and lab work, those films remained incomplete, some disappeared all together. After graduating from NID, Nalin traveled widely all over India for the next two years.”[6]


  1. Susan Chainey, who once taught film classes at Davis, is giving her friends and subscribers such an amazing gift. She watches an array of films and goes to Film Festivals, thinks deeply about what she sees, and then writes such insightful views of films old and new. All of this without charge, just arriving in our e-boxes. And we have the gift of “knowing what to watch.” I bet most of you feel the same way. Kit


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