Citizen K (Alex Gibney, 2019) UK | USA

Reviewed by Gordon Gerbitz, Viewed at AFI Fest 2019.

Citizen K is a must see, brilliantly researched Faustian documentary.  Flashes of Job in the Bible come to mind.  The lord (Putin) givith and the lord (Putin) taketh away.  All while a too powerful oligarch billionaire in Russia named Mikhail Khodorkovsk gets too good at the real-life game of monopoly (post cold-war Russian capitalism version).  Capitalism makes profits off of death but the only grim reaper in Russia is Vladimir Putin, President of Russia (05/2000 – 05/2008, 12/1999 -5/2000).  Khodorkovsk  (Citizen K)  looses his wealth and freedom when Putin feels threatened by K’s  influence peddling inside and outside Russia.  Can K become a better person?  Can he redeem Russia from Putin? The plot line thickens.    Repeatedly, a shot of exiled K on a bridge in London becomes a symbol for the journey to redemption, according to director, Alex Gibney who did make an appearance at AFI Fest Film Festival 2019 in Hollywood, California.

Aerial shots are used extensively in this documentary to symbolize inaccessibility.  Snow also is used to symbolize the coldness of the cold and ruthless power structure in Russia. Amp in dramatic

Posted at 1pm on 11/18/19 | no comments | Filed Under: AFI Filmfest 2019, Documentary, Films read on

The Science of Fictions (Yosep Anggi Noen, 2019): Indonesia

Reviewed by Diego Riker. Viewed at the AFI Fest 2019.

This film was an interesting one for me, as it left a lot for the viewer to interpret due to its lack of dialogue and long, quiet shots. The film begins with a man (Siman) who accidentally stumbles upon a fake moon landing, where he is caught and his tongue is cut off. He then goes back to his village to try to convince people of what he’s seen by wearing space outfits and only moving in slow motion, like the actors in the moon landing did.

The cinematography is very important in this film, and this combines with the music to create a mysterious feeling in the film, and at times I found myself a little lost on what exactly was going on. This is also what I thought was great about the film, that it forced me to create my own narrative of the film, one that may be completely different from someone else.

The fact that the main character moves in only slow motion throughout a majority of the film really adds to the storyline and makes the acting in this film

Posted at 1pm on 11/18/19 | no comments | Filed Under: AFI Filmfest 2019, Films read on



Film Review Club: Reviews of current film releases, DVDs, and revivals by student members of the SBCC Film Review Club.

Film Festival Course: FS108: Film Festival Studies: 10-days or 5-days (2 or 3 units). Field course at film festivals to study U.S. and international fiction, experimental and documentary films. Fee required.

Contact: Prof. Nico Maestu (

Follow SBCC Film Studies on Twitter.