Felicia Feaster's top 10 films 

1. A Certain Kind of Death A compassionate documentary with a cool, conceptual eye about what happens to indigent people who die without friends or relations.

2. The Station Agent Just when it seemed the Jarmuschian-style small-scale indie drama was a thing of the past, along comes a touching picture about a friendship forged between three strangers, one a dwarf (the enthralling Peter Dinklage) with a train obsession.

3. The Barbarian Invasions Beneath the joking intellectual ripostes, Denys Arcand's portrait of a dying man's reappraisal of his life has an astounding capacity to move.

4. Thirteen This startling debut film from director Catherine Hardwicke and teenage screenwriter Nikki Reed based on her own fast-times adolescence gives a visceral feel for the raw, frantic experience of the teen age.

5. Elephant Gus Van Sant's oblique reference to the Columbine school shootings returns the essential innocence to teenagers who have been pilloried in the media, showing them as fragile, rare creatures whose destruction is all the more savage.

6. Flag Wars Illustrating the old adage that the personal is political, this brutal, illuminating documentary deals with how the gentrification of poor, inner-city neighborhoods grinds up real people in the process.

7. To Be and to Have This captivating documentary about a schoolteacher in a rural French school demonstrates the nearly spiritual element of patience and love that, in the best-case scenarios, can define teaching.

8. Irreversible Beneath the dire, shocking surface of French director Gaspar Noe's (I Stand Alone) film is a life-bruised romantic casting a cold eye at humankind's nasty preference for brutality over intimacy.

9. Cold Mountain Now more than ever, the world could use the emotional anti-war message contained in this Civil War saga, with the episodic quality of Greek myth and the enthralling power of old-fashioned popular entertainment.

10. Man on the Train Patrice Leconte's revisionist, metaphysical heist-meets-buddy picture balanced its low-key humor with a very poignant treatment of the regrets old age brings.

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