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Japanese directors have made films in many different settings, but it’s safe to say Takeshi Fukunaga is the first of his countrymen to direct a narrative feature set partly in Liberia, a small African country not too long ago embroiled in a bloody civil war. In fact, “Out of My Hand” is only the second such feature period to be shot by a foreign filmmaker in the country.

Premiered at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival, the movie is a rarity for not only its director and setting, but its informed, incisive examination of Liberian life and the immigrant experience in today’s America.

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