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Pick of the Week
Zero Bridge (Lorber Films) — Artisanal filmmakers are usually content living inside a small corner of the avant-garde tent or devoting themselves to making essayistic work, like that of mid-‘70s Godard or present day Agnes Varda. Few are able to do it while telling a gripping story with the grace that Tariq Tapa’s rough-hewn but self-assured feature debut Zero Bridge reveals. The first narrative film shot in the Kashimiri language, Zero Bridge was essentially a one-man production show: Mr. Tapa, wrote, directed, shot, recorded the sound, co-edited; I suspect he may have cooked some meals. This, on its own, is no reason to sing the film’s praises. Its moving if familiar story, set in an altogether unfamiliar milieu, is. In its fairly rigorous adherence to the neo-realist playbook, Zero Bridge doesn’t break many aesthetic boundaries. Yet for Mr. Tapa to find craft such a delicate, verisimilitude driven film that resonates well beyond the scope of its characters’ ambitions and desires, with few tools and a cast of often exceptional non-actors, is very impressive. Read Brandon Harris’ full HTN review. Available on DVD.
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