In 1944 many Germans in Eastern Prussia believed like Lena von Mahlenberg, daughter of a local aristocrat, that Hitler would surrender and spare them from being invaded by the vengeful Russian Red Army. He didn't and they had to flee.
De Wet, a 34-year old, workaholic detective is burnt out, having immersed himself in an investigation involving the ruthless murder of 9 girls. De Wet captures the psycho-killer Basson and, in a fit of rage, brutally beats the suspect, thus compromising the killer's conviction by putting him in hospital. De Wet's boss sends him away to the isolated town of Loxton in the middle of the Karoo to cool off while the controversy of his indiscretion blows over. In this small community, De Wet meets Ella, a passionate and beautiful woman who is dying of cancer. His only goal is to fight boredom until he's allowed to resume his detective duties, Ella's dying wish is to dance one last tango before her life is over. De Wet reluctantly agrees to help her fulfill her dream, and in doing so, realizes his own need for healing and inner peace. While they fall in love, Basson wakes from his sedation and plots his revenge against De Wet. On the night of the last tango, the serial killer arrives in Loxton .
During the hot summer of 1943 in the devoutly Catholic Moravian village of Lakotice (Czech for "stingy"), it falls to the new stranger, Protestant blacksmith Baran (the word for "ram"), to rid the town of Nazi collaborator and unrepentent bastard Sekal (which means "he was cutting"). Following his lauded 1996 drama Forgotten Light, director Vladimir Michalek continues his symbolic yet restrained probing of religion, complicity and betrayal in a rural setting, with the unexpected but triumphant addition of formal genre elements (gorgeous vistas, calibrated performances) straight out of Shane or early Clint Eastwood. "Evil has no weak spots," says the town's conflicted priest before the ritualized and inevitable finale, and neither does this provocative, masterful exploration of faith under stress – the Czech Republic's official Oscar submission – from one of the country's most accomplished contemporary filmmakers.
The notorious Japanese writer; Yukio Mishima; who committed suicide in 1970; stars in Yasuko Masumura's cult yakuza film; AFRAID TO DIE. Mishima plays Takeo; a youthful yakuza who turns back to his criminal ways after leaving prison. Embroiled in the business of assassinations; revenge; and violence; Takeo finds struggling to keep alive for the love of his family and girlfriend Yoshie. One of the great films of the Japanese New Wave; AFRAID TO DIE is a frenetic; visually stunning satire.