FilmStory Essays

Hotel Rwanda

  • Director: Terry George
  • Release Date: 2004
  • Production Country: United Kingdom, United States, Italy, South Africa

As Hutu extremists hunt down and brutally murder their Tutsi neighbors, Paul Rusesabagina, a Hutu whose own marriage crosses ethnic lines, finds himself responsible for hundreds of Tutsi and other refugees, forcing him to step up as the central player in a desperate struggle to save lives in the midst of madness and carnage.

Katyn

  • Director: Andrzej Wajda
  • Release Date: 2007
  • Production Country: Poland

Married to a Polish army officer imprisoned during the Soviet invasion of Poland, Anna dares to hope that Hitler’s subsequent invasion from the west means that her husband will be released and return home, if only to say goodbye before he goes to fight with the Soviet army. Instead of Anna's husband, however, there comes news of a horrific massacre in the forests of Katyn.

Matka Joanna od aniolów (Mother Joan of the Angels or The Devil and the Nun)

  • Director: Jerzy Kawalerowicz
  • Release Date: 1961
  • Production Country: Poland

Father Jozef Suryn arrives at a lonely convent in Poland where a local priest named Garniec was recently executed for causing the mass possession of the nuns. The Mother Superior, Mother Joan of the Angels, becomes his sole responsibility as Father Suryn struggles to exorcise the eight demons inside her body. But the priest may have to bargain with his own soul to save the tormented nun.

Robin Hood

  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Release Date: 2010
  • Production Country: United States, United Kingdom

Returning home after a decade away at war, the common soldier Robin Longstride is asked to impersonate a dead knight, much to the dismay of the knight's widow who does not like or trust the upstart soldier. But when corrupt local officials attempt to confiscate her family's lands, she has to admit the man has his uses.

Häxan (Witchcraft Through the Ages)

  • Director: Benjamin Christensen
  • Release Date: 1922
  • Production Country: Denmark, Sweden

Women accused of witchcraft were doomed to terrible tortures and possible death, but were these women truly witches or was there something far more sinister at play in a culture that believed in the devil and his demonic forces? There may be a modern explanation for medieval Europe's fascination with hunting witches.

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