Devika Girish

Co-Deputy Editor, Film Comment

Voted for

Charulata1964Satyajit Ray
Soleil Ô1970Med Hondo
My Survival As an Aboriginal1978Essie Coffey
Tambaku Chaakila Oob Ali (Tobacco Embers)1978Yugantar Film Collective
Reassemblage1982Trinh T. Minh-ha
Handsworth Songs1986John Akomfrah
MONANGAMBEE1986Sarah Maldoror
Close-up1989Abbas Kiarostami
Zama2017Lucrecia Martel
La COMMUNE2000Peter Watkins



1964 India

The films of Ray argue for beauty as a kind of politics, which to me is the strongest justification for the existence of cinema.

Soleil Ô

1970 France

The best film about / set in Paris.

My Survival As an Aboriginal

1978 Australia

In under an hour, Essie Coffey exemplifies every potentiality of the film medium: as poetry, as archive, as manifesto, as memoir.

Tambaku Chaakila Oob Ali (Tobacco Embers)


A rare and stunning instance of co-creative filmmaking, which employs cinema as a powerful means of coalition-building.



This is a metonymic vote for Trinh T. Minh-ha's body of work as a filmmaker, thinker, and scholar: her insistence that we rigorously examine the colonial structures of looking and listening is essential to any accounting of cinema. Her films are provocations, and their power is often in their polemical imperfection (as in the case of Reassemblage).

Handsworth Songs

1986 United Kingdom

An incredible example of solidarity as cinematic form.



An exemplar of how film can be an ally to anti-colonial thought and movement, and how the audiovisual medium can give form to the incommensurabilities of communication.


1989 Iran

The best and truest treatise on cinephilia ever made.


2017 Argentina, Brazil, Spain, France, Mexico, Netherlands, Monaco, Portugal, USA, Lebanon, United Kingdom, Dominican Republic

A film that is so kaleidoscopically complex, so improbably rich and potent in every minuscule detail, that it is hard to imagine that it was *made* by someone as opposed to just arriving, fully formed. One of the great works of contemporary postcolonial cinema.


2000 France

The filmmaking process as a political end in itself, outside of the outcome; and a stunning exploration of what cinema makes possible as a realm of remaking.