Ariel Baska

Filmmaker, Critic

Voted for

Les Enfants du paradis1945Marcel Carné
La DOUBLE VIE DE VÉRONIQUE1991Krzysztof Kieslowski
KAIDAN1964Masaki Kobayashi
Wendy and Lucy2008Kelly Reichardt
Possession1981Andrzej Zulawski
The Act of Killing2012Joshua Oppenheimer
The Gleaners and I2000Agnès Varda
Bulbbul2020Anvita Dutt
Madeline's Madeline2018Josephine Decker
Raise the Red Lantern1991Zhang Yimou


Les Enfants du paradis

1945 France

This film was entirely filmed during the German occupation of France, and its obsession with theatrical life and art is inspiring both in the context of the story and the context in which it was made.


1991 France, Poland, Norway

An insistently beautiful meditation on longing and nostalgia for something you've never known.


1964 Japan

Surreal and haunting, this horror anthology brings a tonal dissonance that sweeps up the viewer in a strange kind of bliss.

Wendy and Lucy

2008 USA

The powerful heart of this film, which knows the anxieties of homelessness while caring for another, beats so strongly that the reverberation is felt long after the film has stopped playing.


1981 France, Federal Republic of Germany

A powerfully dark and strangely comedic meditation on existence in Cold War Berlin, and similarly apocalyptic times.

The Act of Killing

2012 Denmark, United Kingdom, Norway, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, Poland

This filmmaker managed to capture on film the moment a murderer develops empathy for his victim, an unusual feat, and endlessly disturbing to watch, yet deeply important to history of documentary.

The Gleaners and I

2000 France

Agnés Varda's investigation into the cast-offs and castaways of society is both brilliantly funny and well-observed in its meta-textual reflection on the things we reclaim.



A transformative film about the role that women play in Indian society as either victims or villains, this film is outlandishly colourful and lovingly framed.

Madeline's Madeline

2018 USA

A stunning reflection on theatre and its relationship to madness, this film is claustrophobic and dangerous and messy in all the right ways.

Raise the Red Lantern

1991 People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan

The possibilities of cinema appear endless in this film, which is heart-stoppingly breathtaking and heartbreaking simultaneously.

Further remarks

There are many more films I could have chosen that deeply resonate with me, but these films are a representative sample of the films that have shaped the way that I think about cinema and its possibilities.