Counting down to our Year in Review issue, we present our picks in a variety of genres, wrapping up tomorrow with the year’s worst movies.

The Friend
  • The Friend

The Friend J. Hoberman once described Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Camera Buff as the Rosetta Stone of eastern European cinema; by the same token, Yilmaz Güney’s 1975 masterpiece (the highlight of Doc Films’s revelatory director retro in February) could be described as the Rosetta Stone of third-world cinema. Güney plays a middle-class radical who grows increasingly alienated from both his professional colleagues and the impoverished peasants to whom he’s sworn allegiance. The character’s dilemma mirrors that of the third-world artist celebrated on the global stage. It also represents a powerful autobiographical statement from Güney, a Turkish movie star who courted persecution by proclaiming his Kurdish roots and aiding guerrilla groups. —Ben Sachs