Movies like “Iluzija”

Marko has a poet’s sensibilities in Veles, a town in war-torn Macedonia. His sister is a bully, his mom’s a doormat, and his dad is a striking factory worker who drinks and plays bingo. At school, Marko is tormented by thuggish fellow students, led by the loutish Levi, the son of a police captain. Marko’s teacher of Macedonian, a Bosnian, sees promise in Marko’s writing and gives the lad hope that he can someday escape Veles. A chance friendship with a thief who’s passing through town furthers Marko’s education. Is hope a mirage? What sort of fatherland is Macedonia?

Anura (Mahendra Perera) is a loyal soldier tainted by the tedium of a service he has forgotten how to define. His only company at the remote outpost is an alcoholic soldier named Piyasiri (Hemasiri Liyanage), whom he sees in passing as they trade shifts. Anura finds that even the prankish behavior of the infrequently passing soldiers isn’t enough to offset the numbing stillness of his eternal wait anymore. Even at home, the inertia of the emotionless landscape persists, and between disconnected sexual encounters with his disinterested wife, Lata (Nilupili Jayawardena), detached conversations with his single sister, Soma (Kaushalya Fernando), and the heart-breaking dejection of their young charge, Batti (Pumidika Sapurni Peiris), it appears as if, in this war-torn wasteland, hope is nothing more than forgotten emotion and routine is the only nourishment for a collection of sad, starved souls.

similarity 63%
genre 100%
storyline 35%
Stars 0%
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Muna, a single mother in Ramallah, has applied for a visa to the US. When it comes, her son Fadi, an excellent student, convinces her they should go. After an incident at customs begins their exile badly, they join Muna’s sister and family in Illinois. Muna needs a job: although she has two degrees and 15 years’ experience in banking, she settles for work at White Castle, telling the family her job’s at a nearby bank. It’s spring, 2003, and the US invades Iraq. While friends come from unlikely places, Fadi meets prejudice at school. How he’ll respond to it and to American youth culture and how Muna will sort things out with her family are the rest of the story. Tragedy or hope?

similarity 61%
genre 100%
storyline 33%
Stars 0%
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Jonas, 16, is experiencing school failure. But for his tennis enthusiast, this is not so serious, since he can devote himself to sport. Unfortunately, he cannot pass the national selection. Turning away from his divorced parents, he finds thirty-year-old Pierre’s support, a friend of his mother. He was touched by his situation, offers help to him. With this privileged connection, he leaves school. Pierre and his companion, Nathalie replace the teachers and the parents. But this education will take a more intimate turn, sex education.

similarity 62%
genre 100%
storyline 34%
Stars 0%
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Change and a city in China. In Chengdu, factory 420 is being pulled down to make way for multi-story buildings with luxury flats. Scenes of factory operations, of the workforce, and of buildings stripped bare and then razed, are inter-cut with workers who were born in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s telling their stories – about the factory, which manufactured military aircraft, and about their work and their lives. A middle-aged man visits his mentor, now elderly; a woman talks of being a 19-year-old beauty there and ending up alone. The film concludes with two young people talking, each the child of workers, each relaying a story of one visit to a factory. Times change.

similarity 62%
genre 100%
storyline 34%
Stars 0%
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In a village of fishermen in Japan, Takata misses his son Kenichi, to whom he has been estranged for many years. When his daughter-in-law Rie tells him that Kenichi is sick in the hospital, she suggests Takata to come to Tokyo to visit his son in the hospital where he would have the chance to retie the relationship. However, Kenichi refuses to receive his father in his room, and Rie gives a videotape to Takata to know about the work of his son. Once at home, Takata sees a documentary in the remote village Lijiang, in the province of Younnan, about the passion of Kenichi, the Chinese opera, where the lead singer Li Jiamin promises to sing an important folk opera on the next year. When Rie calls Takata to tell that her husband has a terminal liver cancer, Takata decides to travel to Lijiang to shoot Li Jiamin singing the opera to give to Kenichi.

similarity 60%
genre 100%
storyline 33%
Stars 0%
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Gospel Hill is about haunted men, the former Sheriff of the southern town dealing with past sins, and the former civil rights worker withdrawn since the martyrdom of his father thirty years before. Their final confrontation comes when a corporation descends on the town, echoing a struggle thirty years old.

similarity 61%
genre 100%
storyline 33%
Stars 0%
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Mertkan has a simple life in Istanbul: ‘working’ as an office-boy in his dad’s construction company, hanging out with his male friends in malls and discos, cruising with his dad’s 4-wheel drive at night. There is no urgency for him to find a meaning to this emptiness. When he meets Gul, a Kurdish girl from Eastern Turkey, putting herself through university by working as a waitress, Mertkan has a chance to change the futility of his life. But his father opposes his connection with ‘those people who only want to divide our country’ and reminds Mertkan that ‘we are all Turkish and we are all Muslims’. Insidiously Mertkan bows to the social values of the ‘Majority’ when faced with a choice, and becomes the ‘proper man’ his dad wanted him to be.

similarity 61%
genre 100%
storyline 33%
Stars 0%
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Lourenço is the son of Francisco Figueiredo, a soccer coach in the beginning of a very promising career. Everything goes well: Francisco’s team is in the Portuguese Cup final and Lourenço is going to be class valedictorian in a very prestigious private high school. But everything starts to collapse. Francisco is fired and Lourenço must transfer to a public high school whose students are predominantly from a ghetto near Lisbon. While Lourenço is fighting to fit into a new and harsh reality, he also helps his father find his lost dignity. Hope is a strange place.

similarity 61%
genre 100%
storyline 33%
Stars 0%
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A successful artist looks back with loving memories on the summer of his defining year, 1974. A talented but troubled 18-year-old aspiring artist befriends a brilliant elderly alcoholic painter who has turned his back on not only art but life. The two form what appears to be at first a tenuous relationship. The kid wants to learn all the secrets the master has locked away inside his head and heart. Time has not been kind to the old master. His life appears pointless to him until the kid rekindles his interest in his work and ultimately gives him the will to live. Together, they give one another a priceless gift. The kid learns to see the world through the master’s eyes. And the master learns to see life through the eyes of innocence again. This story is based on a real life experience.

similarity 61%
genre 100%
storyline 33%
Stars 0%
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Chacun Sa Nuit explores the carnal interdependencies among a host of characters who live in a town in provincial France. At the center of it all is Pierre (Arthur Dupont), a conceited and vain bisexual musician in his late teens who acts as a magnet, to varying degrees, for a whole array of characters – from his sister, Lucie (Lizzie Brocheré), with whom he has a heated incestuous relationship, to a city councilor with whom he participates in gay orgies. When Pierre turns up dead, Lucie investigates the reasons for his demise and charts the network of sadomasochistic relationships that crisscross the town.

similarity 60%
genre 100%
storyline 33%
Stars 0%
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In New York’s storied Chelsea Hotel, a novelist, a dancer, a painter, a poet, an aged jazz singer, and a young troubadour sort out their personal and artistic lives within walls haunted by the likes of Dylan Thomas, O. Henry, and Sarah Bernhardt. A boozy novelist balances wife, mistress, and stories. A dancer who’s a waitress in the basement club chooses between a Hollywood jerk and a local painter. A youth from Minnesota who composes and sings may be the next Bob Dylan. A poet decides to give her feckless boyfriend another chance, even as her eyes tell us she knows what’s ahead. An old jazz artist wants to place a bet and share his love for Lady Day. These walls do seem to talk.

similarity 61%
genre 100%
storyline 33%
Stars 0%
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Against the backdrop of the mammoth Three Gorges Dam engineering project in the declining city of Fengjie, a poor mine worker from Shanxi, Sanming, arrives in the dilapidated town in the hope of finding his unknown daughter and his ex-wife, Missy Ma, who left him nearly 16 years ago. But in the meantime, a nurse from Taiyuan, Shen Hong, also comes to Fengjie in search of her husband who’s been missing for almost two years. Though Shen and Sanming are two perfect strangers, their parallel quests for their beloved missing ones signify the urgency to retrieve what lies hidden in the past, as man is dwarfed by an ever-changing landscape which threatens to bury one’s memories deep under water.

similarity 61%
genre 100%
storyline 33%
Stars 0%
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Marina, 23, is growing up with her architect father in a prototype factory town by the sea. Finding the human species strange and repellent, she keeps her distance from it. Instead she observes it through the songs of Alan Vega’s Suicide, the mammal documentaries of Sir David Attenborough, and the sexual education lesson she receives from her only friend, Bella. A stranger comes to town and challenges her to a foosball duel, on her own table. Her father meanwhile is preparing for his exit from the 20th century, which he considers to be ‘overrated’. Caught between the two men and her collaborator Bella, Marina investigates the wondrous mystery of the human fauna.

similarity 62%
genre 100%
storyline 34%
Stars 0%
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Nathalie teaches philosophy at a high school in Paris. She is passionate about her job and particularly enjoys passing on the pleasure of thinking. Married with two children, she divides her time between her family, former students and her very possessive mother. One day, Nathalie’s husband announces he is leaving her for another woman. With freedom thrust upon her, Nathalie must reinvent her life.

similarity 61%
genre 100%
storyline 33%
Stars 0%
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Eleven year-old Akeelah Anderson’s life is not easy: her father is dead, her mom ignores her, her brother runs with the local gangbangers. She’s smart, but her environment threatens to strangle her aspirations. Responding to a threat by her school’s principal, Akeelah participates in a spelling bee to avoid detention for her many absences. Much to her surprise and embarrassment, she wins. Her principal asks her to seek coaching from an English professor named Dr. Larabee for the more prestigious regional bee. As the possibility of making it all the way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee looms, Akeelah could provide her community with someone to rally around and be proud of — but only if she can overcome her insecurities and her distracting home life. She also must get past Dr. Larabee’s demons, and a field of more experienced and privileged fellow spellers.

similarity 61%
genre 100%
storyline 33%
Stars 0%
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Jaime Escalante is a mathematics teacher in a school in a Hispanic neighbourhood. Convinced that his students have potential, he adopts unconventional teaching methods help gang members and no-hopers pass the rigorous Advanced Placement exam in calculus.

similarity 62%
genre 100%
storyline 35%
Stars 0%
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Detachment is a chronicle of three weeks in the lives of several high school teachers, administrators and students through the eyes of a substitute teacher named Henry Barthes. Henry roams from school to school, imparting modes of knowledge, but never staying long enough to form any semblance of sentient attachment. A perfect profession for one seeking to hide out in the open. One day Henry arrives at his next assignment. Upon his entry into this particular school, a secret world of emotion is awakened within him by three women. A girl named Meredith in his first period. A fellow teacher Ms. Madison, and a street hooker named Erica, whom Henry has personally granted brief shelter from the streets. Each one of these women, like Henry, are in a life and death struggle to find beauty in a seemingly vicious and loveless world.

similarity 62%
genre 100%
storyline 34%
Stars 0%
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Lucas is a Kindergarten teacher who takes great care of his students. Unfortunately for him, young Klara has a run-away imagination and concocts a lie about her teacher. Before Lucas is even able to understand the consequences, he has become the outcast of the town. The hunt is on to prove his innocence before it’s taken from him for good.

similarity 62%
genre 100%
storyline 34%
Stars 0%
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