Amidst all the controversies surrounding current year’s edition of IFFI, let us not forget that the festival will still showcase some really fine films from across the world. Here are our recommendations of the international films on show:
Sweet Country – A haunting, raw and visually arresting Western set in the Australian outback in the early 1900s tells a tragic tale of the not-so-sweet treatment of the indigenous tribes of the continent by the ruthless Western colonizers. It’s one of those quietly impactful films that linger in your mind even long after the end credits have rolled. The storytelling is guided by the highly skillful editing with its rather imaginative use of flash-forwards and flashbacks.
A Fantastic Woman – A heart-wrenchingly beautiful character study about the harassment, discrimination and humiliation faced by a transgender woman in modern day Chile. The trans actress Daniela Vega has given the most affecting performance of the year!
Men Don’t Cry – The Bosnian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Award is about masculine crisis in the after effects of war.
Plot – In an empty Serbian hotel becomes one more battleground in the ceaseless Yugoslav Wars. Nearly 20 years after the official end of hostilities, many former combatants have still never truly escaped.
Review – http://variety.com/2017/film/reviews/western-review-cannes-1202436668/
The Breadwinner – Touted as one of the best animated films of the year.
Plot – Parvana is an 11-year-old girl who lives under Taliban rule in Afghanistan in 2001. After the wrongful arrest of her father, Parvana cuts off her hair and dresses like a boy to support her family. Working alongside a friend, she soon discovers a new world of freedom and danger. Drawing strength from the fantastical stories she invents, Parvana embarks on an epic quest to find her father and reunite her family.
The Other Side of Hope: Kaurismaki creates a typically quirky, humourous world in his latest feature. The film in Finnish and partly in English talks of a poker-playing restaurateur and former traveling salesman who befriends a group of refugees newly arrived to Finland.
On Body and Soul: One of our favourite films of this year, On Body and Soul is one of the most inventive romantic films since Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
I Dream In Another Language – A linguist arrives in a small jungle settlement hoping to record a conversation between two elderly men, the last two remaining speakers of the Zikril language. Unfortunately for him, the men are feuding and haven’t spoken to each other in 50 years.
New York Times calls it ‘delectably watchable’. Review – https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/movies/i-dream-in-another-language-review.html
Wajib: One of those little gems that are much more nuanced than they seem on the apparent level. It had the most beautiful screenplay of all the films we saw at the recently concluded Mumbai Film Festival.
Loveless: A detached but deeply affecting film that sharply criticizes the ‘lovelessness’ that is spreading like a plague in the Russian society.
The Square: A biting satire on the European art-world that will leave you thinking about it even days after you have watched it. The kind of film which grows on you. Also it has the most singularly crazy scene of this year!
The Party: A British comedy from Sally Potter that was competing at the Main Competition section at Berlin. Should be a much needed break from the all the other heavy dose films.
Plot – After she receives a promotion and becomes the secretary of health, a British cabinet politician and her academic husband host a soiree for the political and intellectual elite that ends with blood on the floor.
Mother! – Well, this movie needs no recommendation from us. One of the most controversial films to have released this year, the Aronofsky directed movie has been in the news for its sensational content.
Father and Son (Cha cõng con) – Living by a river, a father and son make their living by fishing every day. The little boy, Ca, contracts a serious illness. The treatment is very expensive. Will the father be able to catch enough fish to pay for it?
The Second Mother – Rotten Tomatoes has this to say about the film: ‘The Second Mother‘s compelling characters serve an artfully drawn, thought-provoking story that’s beautifully brought to life by a talented cast.’
Metropolis – Movie buffs shouldn’t miss a chance to watch this classic sci-fi film on the big screen restored in all its glory.
Belle De Jour – Luis Bunuel’s erotic masterpiece starring Catherine Deneuve will also be playing at IFFI. Another opportunity to watch a classic on the big screen.