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First They Killed My Father

Netflix

I don’t enjoy movies filled with battle scenes, and I won’t even pretend I’m intellectually sophisticated enough to like subtitles. But although this movie is filled with both, I found myself compelled to watch from start to finish. It’s Loung Ung’s autobiographical account of what happened to her, her family and her country when the Khmer Rouge invaded Cambodia—the story of how she was plucked from an idyllic middle class life into captivity, eventually being forced to train as a Red Army soldier when only seven years old. Aside from successfully explaining some events of a little-understood war, there is plenty of crisp, sometimes lush cinematography and superb acting, particularly Sarem Srey Moch’s portrayal of Loung. Angelina Jolie has done an incredible job as director and co-writer. Interestingly enough, Jolie’s oldest son—adopted from Cambodia—is listed as an executive producer. That’s quite a feat for a 15-year-old.

– Joni Williams

Neo Yokio

Netflix

Neo Yokio is a new Netflix anime series created by Ezra Koenig, the frontman of the indie rock band Vampire Weekend. Neo Yokio, the city where it takes place, is a dystopic, alternate timeline New York City, and it’s full of demons, wealth, and rivalries between the most eligible bachelors. Stars including Jaden Smith, Jude Law and Tavi Gevinson voice these characters as they navigate heartbreak, melancholia and conflicting ideas about class and capitalism. The show’s strengths lie in its deadpan humor and niche references.

– Jane Morgan
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