A film critic for more than 55 years and Screen International’s critic-at-large, Dan has written for the title since 2001. Honorary vice-president of Fipresci, he is editor of Israeli film magazine Cinematheque.

dan fainaru

More Screen critics’ top films of 2016

Top five 

  1. Sieranevada
    Cristi Puiu
    A three-hour-long minimalist saga shot almost entirely in a cramped Bucharest flat, crowded with members of one family, 40 days after the death of its paterfamilias. No one is particularly concerned with the deceased — they’re just waiting for the priest to show up for the traditional ceremony, before they can attack the food on the table. Deeply rooted in Romanian soil, this is a stunning portrait of the contemporary middle class, its preoccupations, worries and frazzled relationships.Profoundly human and universally valid, it is masterfully directed by Puiu and boasts vibrantly true performances.
    CONTACT Elle Driver sales@elledriver.eu

  2. I Am Not Madame Bovary
    Feng Xiaogang
    Precise, brilliantly shot and meticulously planned, with wonderfully shaped round frames, this is a biting social satire of today’s Chinese society and its egalitarian presumptions. 
    CONTACT Wild Bunch o.barbier@wildbunch.eu

  3. Paterson
    Jim Jarmusch
    Poetry of everyday life, tongue-in-cheek, tender, gentle and whimsical; a delightful antidote to the routine multiplex drudge.
    CONTACT K5 International carl@k5mediagroup.com

  4. Graduation
    Cristian Mungiu
    Paternal devotion and moral standards are put to the most severe test in a drama that never cries, but whispers the uncomfortable truths we’d all rather ignore.
    CONTACT Wild Bunch n.devide@wildbunch.eu

  5. Hell Or High Water
    David Mackenzie
    Despite the scenery, not a western but a witty morality tale with bank robbers for heroes and banks for villains. Cast, written and directed to perfection.
    CONTACT Sierra/Affinity joey@sierra-affinity.com

Best documentary

A Journey Through French Cinema

A Journey Through French Cinema
Bertrand Tavernier

Tavernier’s affection for the cinema of his country resonates in this 190-minute voyage through acknowledged classics and forgotten masterpieces. Less like a lesson, more like a guided tour, and always keeping in mind that behind every director there are actors, musicians and set designers who should never be ignored.

CONTACT Pathe Distribution aurelien.icovic@pathe.com

Undiscovered gem 

Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth
William Oldroyd

Nothing to do with Shakespeare, rather this is furious Russian passion chilled down into an austere, scrupulously directed 19th-century British tragedy. Every frame, every set and every look painted on the faces of the actors is carefully shaped by a master hand. As Katherine, lead performer Florence Pugh’s transition from innocent Victorian bride to ruthless murderer is unique.

CONTACT Protagonist Pictures info@protagonistpictures.com