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    DVD reviews: ‘How to Survive a Plague’

    Rick Reinhard/Sundance Selects via AP

    HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE The director David France and his crew have sculpted years of old broadcast news stories and home video into a narrative of an era that is impressionistic in its scope but coherent in its feeling. This Oscar nominee for best documentary is alive — hot, really — with the political seething at the federal government’s failure to help combat the spread of AIDS with effective medical treatments. (MPI, $24.98)

    HOLY MOTORS An automotive picaresque with Denis Lavant as a gentleman who emerges from his limousine a different person every time. The movie’s sprung from the mind and popped from every orifice of Leos Carax and ought to be seen to be believed, on the largest screen you can find, and probably sober, too, since it becomes its own narcotic. (Indomina, $19.97; Blu-ray, $39.95)

    CHICKEN WITH PLUMS Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s follow-up to “Persepolis” (2007) is a bit of a letdown. Based on Satrapi’s graphic novel, it’s mostly live action. There are imaginative flourishes, but overall the film’s surprisingly static. At heart it’s a fairly traditional story about thwarted love in mid-century Iran. In French, with subtitles. (Sony, $30.99)


    THE LONELIEST PLANET An engaged couple (Hani Furstenberg and Gael Garcia Bernal) take a vacation in the Georgian Caucasus, where a small, dangerous incident provokes a response that changes the rest of the trip. The increasingly brilliant American writer and director Julia Loktev wonders what happens when a stupid glitch or a selfish gesture upends your belief — be it romantic or religious. How do you go on? (MPI, $24.98)

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    HIPSTERS A hybrid of “Swing Kids,” “West Side Story,” and “American Graffiti,” this Russian musical about young Muscovites in 1955 in love with American cool is ridiculous and goofy and often maladroit. It’s also kind of amazing, thanks to headlong enthusiasm and an endearing obliviousness to just how ghastly the whole enterprise keeps threatening to become. Be there or be Red Square. (Kino Lorber, $29.95)

    CHRONICLE OF A SUMMER The filmmaker Jean Rouch and sociologist Edgar Morin collaborated on this 1961 documentary. A landmark in the genre, it simply — or not so simply — consists of man-on-the-street interviews conducted in Paris during the summer of 1960. The result is at once particular (the look and feel of that time and place) and universal (the hopes and dreams of the people captured on camera). Extras: new digital transfer, archival interview with Rouch, new subtitles, 50th-anniversary documentary about the film featuring outtakes. (Criterion Collection, $29.95; Blu-ray, $39.95)