Born in China Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: John Krasinski, Xun Zhou
  • Director: Chuan Lu
  • Language: English

        Born in China is another Disneynature film release, which means that the wildlife docudrama is primarily being directed at young audience members, leaving out the bigger issues and harsh realities. It isn’t exactly that the depiction of wildlife has been censored, because there are many tragedies to occur to and around the animals the film chooses to focus on, but the demise of animals is implied rather than explicitly shown. While this may sanitize the film for its G-rating, all parents know that human children are as inquisitive as the baby panda in the film. This inevitably forces the parents watching the film with their child to have the conversation about death that Born in China avoids with some pandering to the common religious beliefs of the region, conveniently aligning with the studio’s “circle of life” philosophy. But this is likely to mean little to young children, who simply want to know what happened to the animals when the camera cut away.

Heal the Living Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Tahar Rahim, Emmanuelle Seigner, Anne Dorval, Bouli Lanners
  • Director: Katell Quillévéré
  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: August 29, 2017
  • Run Time: 104 minutes

        I may not have literally rolled my eyes when I read the description of Heal the Living, but I was certainly in no rush to put the Blu-ray in my player. The plot description reads like a propaganda piece advocating for the importance of a specific medical practice, and the approach of “three seemingly unrelated stories” is taken from the playbook of countless classic experimental foreign films (and a few American imitations), leading me to believe that I knew everything about the film before it even began. And this may have been entirely true, if not for the finesse and artistry of director Katall Quillévéré’s approach to the familiar formula and predictable narrative. Equipped with motifs and metaphors carried through the film in the spectacular imagery of Tom Harari’s cinematography and Alexandre Desplat’s resonant score, Quillévéré is able to elevate the simple concepts of Heal the Living script into a true cinematic wonder.