New on DVD
<em>Ballast; Pray the Devil Back to Hell; Gomorrah</em>
Ballast(Kino International, $29.95)Newcomer Lance Hammer directs this “unforced, unsentimental” drama about a black family in Mississippi for whom “life has just gotten too hard to live,” said The Boston Globe. The minor dramas of these “vividly imperfect people” aren’t typical Hollywood fare. They’re something rarer, and better.
Pray the Devil Back to Hell(Passion River Films, $24.95)In 2003, widespread protests by thousands of Liberian women helped bring down the country’s dictator, Charles Taylor, said The Village Voice. Director Gini Reticker’s understated film is plenty inspiring, but she “smartly refrains from turning Devil into a canonization or (worse) a simplistic you-go-girl celebration.”
Gomorrah(Criterion Collection, $39.95)Director Matteo Garrone’s “stunningly naturalistic tale of crime and violence” provides a peek into the everyday evil of Naples’ criminal network, the Camorra, said The Washington Times. Extras include interviews with journalist Roberto Saviano,who explains the facts behind the film and “just how the Camorra works.”