The Boston Phoenix
Review from issue: September 7 - 14, 2000

[Boston Film Festival]

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Roof to Roof

The spirit of recent Iranian filmmaking, with its emphasis on children, everyday life, and unassuming style, pervades Ara Corbett's grimly charming movie. Zaven (Zaven Movsesian), an Armenian immigrant in Los Angeles, is the grizzled single parent of waifish first-grader Amy (Amy Aivazian). He's almost overwhelmed by family responsibilities and his job at a fellow immigrant's gas station, as crises take the form of Amy's dental appointment, his own upcoming test to become a smog technician, the looming presence of another hard-luck case pushing to take his job, and the well-intended intrusiveness of his better-off sister. The title refers to Zaven's recollection of the old country, when he and his sister would jump from roof to roof in their village and watch the shooting stars; it was, he recalls, a time when family and tradition mattered. With its murky black-and-white montages of quotidian and ephemeral detail and its seemingly improvised performances, the film captures the ache of such nostalgia and the anxious uncertainty about what's to come. Screens tonight at 7 and 9:15 p.m. and tomorrow at noon and 2:15 and 4:15 p.m.

-- Peter Keough

Film Festival Feature Films

Shadow of the Vampire | Songcatcher | Venus Beauty Institute | What's Cooking? | The Broken Hearts Club | Envy | Goya in Bordeaux | Human Resources | Skipped Parts | Amargosa | Henry Hill | Relative Values | The Rising Place | The Contender | Pitch People | Roof to Roof | Four Dogs Playing Poker | Reckless Indifference | Requiem for a Dream | Shadow Magic | About Adam | Charming Billy | Enemies of Laughter | Into the Arms of Strangers | Running on the Sun | A Trial in Prague | Harry, He's Here to Help | A Man is Mostly Water | Seven Girlfriends

Also, Boston Film Festival short films

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