REVIEW ROUNDUP: THE DIG, STYX, DONBASS, ASH IS PUREST WHITE

Four new films release at the Irish Film Institute from Friday the 26th of April 2019: Donbass, Styx, Ash is Purest White and The Dig.

Read on for a selection of reviews, or pop in to make up your own mind!

THE DIG
“This is an impressive oddity that deserves its renown”
4/5 – Irish Times

“A grittily effective oater, narratively tight as a drum and shot in the gloom of a never-ending winter where it unturfs a twisty ending to delight genre fans.”
Screen International

STYX
“Carrying practically the entire film, Wolff is never less than remarkable in a demanding role that’s 80 percent silence and 20 percent English-language dialogue.”
Hollywood Reporter

“This is “All Is Lost” with a spinning moral compass and a topical dimension that proves even more gripping than its brilliantly achieved visceral action.”
Variety

“Its dizzying strength is as a visceral journey, a detour from the privileged freedom represented by a horizon to the tragic limbo of displacement, an ocean that’s both a confinement and an abyss.”
LA Times  

“Fischer literalises the turbulence we’re now navigating, and asks some stern questions of our moral compasses.”
4/5 – Guardian

“It is a nautical yarn about the haves and the have-nots, using the microcosm of the Asa Grey to explore social, economic and political dilemmas that are the neglected responsibility of us all.”
4/5 – Little White Lies

ASH IS PUREST WHITE
“As ever, Zhao Tao puts in the best performance you’ll see this year. See it and marvel.”
5/5 – Irish Times

“In Ash is Purest White, director Jia has switched on what are in effect noir sidelights into a Chinese underworld while credibly building a certain sympathy for the two gang leaders of the piece”
5/5 – RTÉ

“At 141 minutes, the work has its intellectually ponderous moments but is ultimately saved by Jia’s muse and wife, Zhao Tao, who surpasses herself in a role of mesmerizing complexity.”
Variety

“With Ash is Purest White, the always surprising, habitually envelope-pushing film-maker Jia Zhang-ke gives us a complex romantic tragedy from China’s aspirational gangster-classes.”
4/5 – Guardian

“A novelistic epic of broken romance.”
Hollywood Reporter

“Fascinating in its balance between microcosm and aerial view, but the performances definitely raise more emotional heat.”
4/5 – Little White Lies

DONBASS
“a very dark comedy that groans under the grim detritus of a still intractable conflict”
4/5 – Irish Times

“it is well worth seeing, if you can bear its visceral mini-dramas and unnerving set-pieces.”
3.5/4 – RTÉ

“Donbass is a flawed, but vivid achievement.”
4/5 – Guardian

“A brilliant formalist, Loznitsa likes to turn his camera on crowds in motion, turning each sequence into a collective indictment.”
LA Times

“A scathing portrait of a society where human interaction has descended to a level of barbarity more in keeping with late antiquity than the so-called contemporary civilized world.”
Variety

 


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