Guided by the joyous rhythms of Cape Jazz, this rousing crowd-pleaser centres on a teenaged saxophonist torn between honouring his late father and obeying his protective mother. Roberta Durrant delivers an inspiring coming-of-age tale about finding the courage to fulfill your ambitions and the strength to let the past go. Winner, Audience Award, Durban 2013.
Genre-bender Ben Wheatley’s deranged, magic mushroom-fueled vision of the English Civil War climaxes with a "sequence of pure psychedelic freefall and freakout [that’s] one of the most captivating, hypnotic and beautiful things you’ll ever see on a cinema screen."—Time Out. Winner, Special Jury Prize, Karlovy Vary 2013.
Thrusting us into the turmoil of the Colombian civil war, Juan Carlos Melo Guevara’s alternately gripping and gentle drama delivers a kaleidoscope of affecting storylines and well-drawn characters, including a compromised father desperate to instill strong values in his son. A tremendous cinematic achievement from a country whose films we rarely see.
In the 60s and 70s, Bahman Mohassess was a famous artist in Tehran. In 2006, he destroyed his work and disappeared. Mitra Farahani tracked him to a hotel room in Rome and the result is this fascinating, moving and ribald portrait. "Evidence of what Iran has lost by silencing or scattering the voices of its culture."—Screen
The incredible artistry of New York nanny and closet street photographer Vivian Maier came to light and went viral in 2007 when John Maloof discovered 100,000 of her negatives in Chicago. Now Maloof and Charlie Siskel bring this formerly unknown artist’s gorgeous black-and-white photos and remarkable life story to the big screen. A treat.
In a town where job prospects amount to turning tricks at the truck stop, two young women plan their escape.
As riots rage in the city streets, a man looks to escape the escalating violence. Solitude, however, forces him to confront his own irrational fear and anger.
Midway between a rave concert and a Koreeda documentary, Matsue Tetsuaki’s trippy film (in hypnotic 3D) looks at Goma, a Japanese didgeridoo player who has trained himself to play again after an accidental brain injury. Small film, big experience!
Inspired by Terry Fox, two well-intentioned but poorly prepared cousins embark on an alternately hilarious and heartbreaking marathon of haplessness.
A young woman is brought to the main square of a small town in modern day Iran to be hanged for adultery. Horrified, the townspeople look away. She begs for help and, at the last minute, her appeal seem to be answered by young man. Inspired by a true story.
Grief in all its forms takes over a family after a man discovers that his wife of 40 years has died unexpectedly. Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck’s moving debut is "a superb opening salvo from a filmmaking team with a fine future… Not a moment in the film is wasted, nor an affectation indulged…"—Film Comment
Through the story of a young woman who returns to her native village in Gansu (next to Tibet and spiritually close, too), journalist-turned-director Chai Chunya builds a poetic, Buddhist meditation on dying traditions. Dragons & Tigers Award nominee.
A stop-motion cautionary tale about child labour and how parents often don’t have the faintest idea about how much their kids are suffering.
Oliver Hockenhull’s eye-popping documentary is a lively, in-depth analysis of psychedelic drugs in light of current scientific and cultural knowledge. He examines the validity of psychedelics as adjuncts to therapy, as crucial but neglected taboo medicines and as paths to consciousness. Note: The Oct. 1 matinee will be the alternate Understanding Psychedelic Medicines "pop version." See viff.org for details.
A delicious anime from Mizushiri Yoriko.
Roberto Bolaño’s writing is finally adapted for the silver screen in the form of fellow Chilean Alicia Scherson’s surreal, moody, Rome-set drama. Following the death of their parents, two school-age siblings fend for themselves in the family home. A nuanced Rutger Hauer is superb as an ex-Mr. Universe who changes their lives.
Director Louise Archambault avoids the obvious traps in this thoughtful telling of the love between Gabrielle, a young woman affected by a neurodevelopmental disorder, and a boy she meets through her choir. With the stirring participation of famous Quebec singer Robert Charlebois, this is a crowd-pleaser with integrity. Winner, Audience Award, Locarno 2013.
Iranian master Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s return to filmmaking is at once radical and celebratory. Shooting, with son Maysam, at Baha’i headquarters in Haifa and Acre, Israel (!), he crafts a colourful, playful and yet deeply intelligent look at the Baha’i faith. "Images and metaphors whimsically combine in a fine, fast-flowing documentary…"—Hollywood Reporter
A low-key, observational doc about Garibong, the area of Seoul now dominated by Korean-Chinese immigrants; Park Kiyong quietly goes beyond sociology to empathy with a group notorious for hostility to the host community.
Before a family can pack up and move from their mining town, the kids are assigned a particularly unenviable chore.