Belgium, Germany, Netherlands
Based on the life of French musician Raymond Borremans, who moved to West Africa in the 20s and tried to compile an encyclopedia of The Ivory Coast (he got to "N" before dying in 1988), this poetic semi-documentary is beautiful and revelatory. Nigerian novelist/poet Ben Okri co-wrote the script, director Peter Krüger authored the striking visual style and the great Michael Lonsdale embodies Borremans’ spirit.
A daring formal experiment lies at the heart of this exploration of loss. Eugenie Jansen films her story—a young, half-Aboriginal girl copes with being transplanted from Australia to Belgium after her mother’s death—in 50 fps 3D and uses 360-degree pans to evoke time’s inexorable movement. The result is a boundary-pushing drama that is as affecting as it is bold in execution.
A poet wanders around Brussels in this stunning collage of animation, graphics and text.
Italy, France, Belgium
Marion Cotillard gives her rawest performance as a woman desperately trying to save her job and discovering the meaning of solidarity and self-worth. "A tense dramatic situation and a subtly magnificent central performance… add up to an outstanding new movie from the Dardenne brothers: impassioned, exciting and moving—a Twelve Angry Men of the 21st-century workplace."—Guardian. Winner, Sydney Film Prize, Sydney 2014.
Thrust into the role of stand-in mother at the age of 15, Georgina dwells sardine-like with a handful of energetic rugrats—her five younger siblings—in a social housing condo at the outskirts of Bacau, Romania. Teodora Ana Mihai’s astute documentary gracefully paints a portrait of love and resilience. Winner, Best International Feature, Hot Docs 2014; Best Documentary, Karlovy Vary 2014.
A mentally unstable woman and a low-rent con artist embark on a gruesome killing spree in this sinister, spellbinding update of cult classic The Honeymoon Killers. Director Fabrice Du Welz (Calvaire) keeps us constantly off-balance as he sends his outrageous film careening from macabre psychodrama to unsettling musical numbers. "Alleluia is all attempted repression, bursting carnal appetites and escalating craziness… A dose of some real midnight madness.”—Screen
Canada, Belgium, Germany
It’s closing night for popular Belgian cabaret Gardenia and its gay and trans stars face reintroduction into reality. Mixing avant-garde choreography with confessional interviews, Thomas Wallner offers “an endearing recollection of life as an outsider, a sincere exploration of queer identity, and a stunning celebration of the communion we achieve in art.”—Indiewire. Winner, Special Jury Prize: Canadian Feature, Hot Docs 2014.
Balancing sharp comedy and commentary, Fellipe Barbosa’s well-observed film charts the increasingly disparate fortunes of a Brazilian bourgeoisie family. While father Hugo (Marcello Novaes) shamefully conceals his bankruptcy, his teenage son Jean (Thales Cavalcanti) experiences the exhilaration of defiance and self-discovery. Of course, coming of age also means finally seeing the unjust world for what it is.
Alê Abreu’s animated odyssey follows a young boy as he journeys from the country into a towering metropolis in search of his father. Awaiting him is a world where music gives birth to birds, cities float in the sky and good and evil clash in a riot of colour. “A simple, universal parable… An enchanting visual treat…”—Variety
Legendary accordionist, composer and singer José Domingos de Morais—better known as Dominguinhos—died last year, but not before participating in Joaquim Castro, Eduardo Nazarian and Mariana Aydar’s celebration of his life and music. With his wide smile and prodigious talent, Dominguinhos and his unique mix of bossa nova, jazz and pop, all anchored by his baião rhythms, will leave you delighted.
Lyrical, sensual and poetic, yet grounded in a bracing naturalism that speaks to Brazilian documentarian Gabriel Mascaro’s roots, August Winds tells the tale of a young couple who discover a skull while diving for octopus. It’s a prismatic evocation of seaside life in the rural tropics. "…a beautiful meditation on life and death… a striking accomplishment…"—Indiewire
A circus-trained capuchin must quickly adapt to life in the wild when it suddenly finds itself lost in the Amazon rainforest. This unwitting, endlessly expressive little guide leads us through Thierry Ragobert’s awe-inspiring, family-friendly docudrama, acquainting us with this lush wonderland’s exotic denizens and other breathtaking splendours. "A thrilling tale… the cinematography is exceptionally vivid throughout…”—Hollywood Reporter
Italy, Brazil, France
Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado’s magnetic portrait of photographer Sebastião Salgado, is "illuminating and uplifting… [It moves] from his early years growing up on a Brazilian farm… through to his increasingly large-scale photographic projects that took him to many of the world’s most hostile and dangerous conflict zones… A moving tribute to a peerless talent."—Guardian. Winner, Special Jury Prize, Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2014.
Brazil, France, Mexico, Denmark, Germany, Argentina
Lisandro Alonso returns with a gorgeous, 19th century-set existential exploration. Viggo Mortensen is a Danish engineer who heads into the Patagonian wilderness in search of his missing daughter. "This hallucinatory head-trip Western remains unmistakably Alonso’s film… a metaphysical road movie in which origin and destination are markedly less important than the journey itself."—Variety. Winner, FIPRESCI Prize, Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2014.