16. After the War (Dopo La Guerra)
Cast: Giuseppe Battiston, Barbora Bobulova, Charlotte Cetaire
Director: Annarita Zambrano
Why it's great: This is a rich, meaty look at the intersection of radical politics and their personal consequences, with a wide cast of characters and a truly gripping finale. Quite frankly I am shocked to see it isn't based on an 800-page book. (Moreover, it is Zambrano's first film, and quite an accomplishment.) Set in 2002, during Italy's Years of Lead, a time when France would no longer harbor the many Italian armed dissidents that took refuge there in the 1980s, a judge is assassinated, the culprits claim to part of a dormant group, and seemingly decent intellectual Marco (Battiston) must once again escape to distant shores. But this time he's got a 16-year-old daughter (Cetaire) with him. Growing up in France is tough enough, but now she's gotta sneak away to Nicaragua while recognizing her Dad may have killed someone. Using a clear, documentary-style look, this is the type of film that continues to reveal more about the backstory with each scene -- imagine Heat without machine guns. In a great twist, Zambrano doesn't just stick with the father-daughter story. She cuts between France and Italy, where Marco's mother, sister, and brother-in-law are dealing with his name in the news again. By the end, you side with everyone, and recognize this can only end in doom.