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.
The frankness of the title reflects Sacha Polak’s uncommon candour in this reflective, unsentimental and incredibly personal documentary. Having inherited a rare cancer gene, is a preventative mastectomy the answer for Polak? What if it’s all for naught and cancer never appears? Does such surgery diminish or alter one’s femininity? Nearing the age at which cancer tragically claimed her mother, the filmmaker urgently searches for answers.
The ongoing crisis in Ukraine makes Sergei Loznitsa’s (My Joy) achievement here doubly relevant and engaging. His chronicle of the revolution that overthrew Viktor Yanukovych’s corrupt regime has the kinds of urgency and artistry rarely seen in documentaries. "This stunning, epic-scaled film harkens back to the heroic, journalistic roots of documentary-making and yet feels ineffably modern and formally daring."—Hollywood Reporter
Chile, Germany, Argentina, Netherlands
One of the New Argentine Cinema’s mainstays, Martín Rejtman returns with this funny, deliberately episodic study of 18-year-old flute player Mariano (Rafael Federman) and his circle of friends and family. "A nearly uncategorizable seriocomedy whose string of non-sequiturs oddly mimics life’s implausibilities… There’s a great deal of humor built in to the characters, whose instability has a certain endearing quality."—Variety
France, Germany, Malaysia, Netherlands
Pak Awang wants to give his daughter a wedding gift: a house he finds in the jungle. He enlists fellow villagers to literally move it, on their shoulders, to their Malaysian village. But when an illegal African immigrant sheltering there is mistaken for a ghost, a madcap series of hilarious misunderstandings ensues. Black humour with a serious political/allegorical twist. Shelly Kraicer
When sentenced to home detention at her mother’s secluded abode, a twentysomething troublemaker (Morgana O’Reilly, spectacularly surly) suspects that there may be something housed within the walls more horrifying than her childhood photographs. "A marvelously entertaining combo of haunted-house thriller, murder mystery and domestic comedy… This near-flawless mix of laughs and scares is one of the genre-related highlights of the year."—Variety
Set in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 Christchurch earthquakes, Gaylene Preston’s docudrama tells the true stories of New Zealanders picking up the pieces and fully earns its tagline: "It’s the aftershocks that run the deepest." Real news footage and recreated disaster sites are seamlessly blended in a moving tale of survival that “certainly pulls no punches.”—New Zealand Herald
UK, USA, France, Nigeria
Legendary Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer and political dissident Fela Kuti is brought to life in Oscar-winner Alex Gibney’s (Taxi to the Dark Side) stirring evocation of the man and his music. Mixing archival concert footage from the 70s and 80s, present-day interviews and behind-the-scenes documentation of the 2009 Broadway musical Fela!, Gibney’s kaleidoscopic film is as protean and rousing as Kuti himself was.
Norway, Sweden, Denmark
Having just won “Citizen of the Year” in his sleepy Norwegian community, an unassuming snowplough operator (Stellan Skarsgård) now wants his pound of flesh from the vegan gangster who murdered his son. Hans Petter Moland’s bloody, farcical crime thriller is "a rip-roaring revenge tale… Moland’s tongue is planted firmly in his cheek… but there’s a transfixing solemnity underlying the black comedy."—Hollywood Reporter
Norway, Austria, Denmark, Germany
Six stunning buildings, six auteurs and glorious 3D come together in this hymn to the art of architecture. The Berliner Philharmonie concert hall (Wim Wenders), California’s Salk Institute (Robert Redford), the National Library in St. Petersburg (Michael Glawogger), Denmark’s Halden prison (Michael Madsen), the Oslo Opera House (Margreth Olin) and the Pompidou in Paris (Karim Ainouz) are brought to life like never before. (Important Note: Only the Sep. 30 screening at International Village #9 will be in projected in 3D. The Oct. 4 screening at The Centre for the Performing Arts will be projected in standard 2D.)
Best known as the drummer for Vancouver-based We Are the City, Andrew Huculiak makes his directorial debut with this beautiful, atmospheric film shot in Norway and inspired by the band’s latest album. It stars newcomer Dagny Backer Johnsen as a young woman who, after enduring a catastrophic event, loses herself in memories of the people who loved her most.