Benediction Review - Terence Davies - San Francisco International Film Festival
Jack Lowden as Siegfried Sassoon in 'Benediction'. Photograph: Laurence Cendrowicz/Vertigo Releasing

The San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILM) ended earlier this month (May 1st), and left us with a variety of superior films to add to our summer plans.

892 is a mild-mannered thriller about a marine veteran who moves from his status as a beleaguered single father to becoming a man committed to being heard, regardless of the cost. Directed by Abi Damaris Corbin, 892 stars John Boyega as Brian Brown-Easley in a tale sure to pull at your heartstrings. This engrossing true story also stars Michael K. Williams, of “The Wire” fame, in his last film appearance. The film opens wide in August.

Benediction, directed by Terence Davies, takes us back to the Great War (1914-1918) in a profile of a celebrated antiwar poet and combat veteran. Siegfried Sassoon shows courage not only on the western front but also in publicly challenging the military establishment on its conduct of the war. His friendship with brilliant antiwar poet Wilfred Owen is a high point in this poignant portrait of a poet moving from idealism of youth to disillusionment of age. Opens soon.

We Feed People is an absolutely wonderful documentary highlighting the contributions of Spanish chef Jose Andres, who believes refugees and other survivors of disaster should be fed without delay. Having no patience with bureaucratic bungling on such fundamental matters, he simply flies in and starts feeding people, using his own credit card when necessary. Be on the lookout for this inspirational documentary, directed by Ron Howard.

Full reviews coming soon to Stark Insider.

Jeanne is a published poet and essayist. She holds degrees from Wayne State University and the University of San Francisco. Jeanne has taught in the CS, UB and OLLI programs at universities in the City. Her books in print include MY OWN SILENCE and WORD DANCING from Taurean Horn Press.