Rain falls in love with the enigmatic Kris when they’re both high-school seniors and is devastated when Kris abruptly goes abroad. Several years later he gets an invitation to visit his former crush, now married and living in Bali. But what does Kris really want? Andri Cung’s debut feature is sexy, seductive and emotionally intense. Tony Rayns
In a vibrantly depicted Havana, 11-year-old Chala industriously cares for carrier pigeons and dogs on his apartment balcony. Trouble is, there’s easy money in dog fighting. The most important champion in his life however is his aging teacher, Carmela (the marvelous Alina Rodríguez), a woman who refuses to let the boy fall between the cracks and endures government reprisals as a result. Director Ernesto Daranas demonstrates equal bravery in confronting Cuba’s social ills. Winner, Audience Award, Málaga 2014.
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.
Three friends struggle to realize their identities inside a shifting love triangle that fractures their friendship.
Rolf de Heer
The magnificent David Gulpilil quietly dominates Rolf de Heer’s heartfelt portrait of contemporary Aboriginal life. Gulpilil drew on his own troubles while co-writing the story of down-on-his-luck Charlie, squeezed on all sides in his Arnhemland community. "The third film collaboration between Rolf de Heer and David Gulpilil is a majestic work."—Sydney Morning Herald. Winner, Best Actor, Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2014.
In the crackpot mosaic that is Montréal in 1966, Jean Corbo, an idealistic 16-year-old, befriends two far-left political activists and joins the FLQ (Liberation Front of Québec), an underground movement determined to spark a socialist revolution and Québec’s separation from Canada. Director Mathieu Denis brings the true and tragic story of a decisive moment in Canadian history into sharp focus.
Diao Yi’nan’s film noir is a stylish, exhilarating descent into a nightmarish wintery Manchurian mystery. Following a series of murders, alcoholic former cop Zhang Zili’s (Liao Fan) suspicions are aroused by laundress Zhichen (Taiwan superstar Gwei Lun-mei), who seems intimately linked to the victims. China’s biggest art-house box-office hit so far. Winner, Golden Bear (Best Film), Silver Bear (Best Actor), Berlin 2014. Shelly Kraicer
A poet wanders around Brussels in this stunning collage of animation, graphics and text.
A teen girl with a sick mother finds hope when she falls for the daughter of the new pastor.
"An excellent, intelligent, and unfussily traditional documentary about a gifted artist who photographed many key 20th-century figures, including Mick Jagger, John Betjeman, Queen Elizabeth and Samuel Beckett. Now 89, a frail and lucid Bown reflects on her life… Others pay homage… and speak insightfully about aesthetics, technique, and the context of Bown’s work. Directors Luke Dodd and Michael Whyte’s austere filmmaking eminently suits the material…"—Guardian
The prolific Xavier Dolan reveals a newfound maturity with this bittersweet account of Diane (Anne Dorval, channelling Gena Rowlands) and her delinquent son (Antoine-Olivier Pilon, magnetic). Having abandoned the matricidal posturing of I Killed My Mother, Dolan sides with Diane on this occasion, crafting "a funny, heartbreaking and, above all, original work…"—Variety. Winner, Prix du Jury (ex aequo), Cannes 2014.
VIFF favourite Doris Dörrie (Cherry Blossoms) immerses us in the mayhem of Mexico City’s bustling Plaza Garibaldi and introduces us to the female Mariachis—still a rare breed—who perform there. While their passionate voices suggest indomitable spirits, moving confessional interviews reveal the discrimination and personal doubts they must contend with on a daily basis. "The female performers are dynamite… Inspiring."—NOW Toronto
Fabrice Du Welz
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
Can thousands of carefully synchronized gestures and movements recreate an overall choreography?
A father and daughter bond as she cuts his hair. But then the phone rings…
Provocateur Bruno Dumont (Humanité) delivers arguably his biggest shocker yet with this outrageous comedy. An absurdist police procedural, it follows a Clouseau-like, tic-infested inspector as he investigates a macabre murder spree (dead cows are being stuffed with human remains) and contends with mischievous interference courtesy of a pack of juvenile scoundrels led by the impish Quinquin. “Wonderfully weird and unexpectedly hilarious…”—Variety
One night, an old seaman dreams a storm into his bed. Who knows how to stem the tide?
Three of the 270,000 kids living on the streets of Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa are the focus of Ventura Durall’s moving and complex portrait of survival and solidarity. Daniel, 9, lives in an abandoned car with Yohannes and Habtom, both 12. They scrounge, thieve and evade the violent gangs that surround them. Eventually, they decide to journey to their respective villages for the first time in years…