Tourment sur les îles
Albert Serra casts his eye on the tropics with this beguiling, satirical film. Benoît Magimel plays De Roller, the High Commissioner of French Polynesia, who has a problem on his hands: the French Marines have arrived on the islands, and their presence coincides with rumours that nuclear testing is soon to commence. De Roller sets out to investigate, but he’s repeatedly stalled and stymied. As the threats to his power grow, so does his pique, and soon he’s lost in a miasma of suspicion and resentment.
Shooting in widescreen, VIFF alumnus Serra conveys the lushness and languor of the tropics. From the menace of a darkened nightclub to the of the vastness of the Pacific waters, he conjures a milieu that is equally intoxicating and mysterious. An added delight is the colourful cast of characters: the beautiful, demure Shannah (Pahoa Mahagafanau); the drug-addled Admiral (Marc Susini); and the menacing Portuguese (Alexandre Melo). Pacifiction is moody, mellow, and (as storytelling) very murky, but it casts a haunting spell.
Benoît Magimel, Pahoa Mahagafanau, Marc Susini, Matahi Pambrun, Alexandre Melo, Sergi López
In French and English with English subtitles
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Someone Lives Here
Throughout the COVID pandemic, Toronto has seen a catastrophic increase in homelessness. Sick of seeing his city unable to care for its unhoused people, Khaleel Seivwright quit his job as a full-time carpenter and dedicated himself to building insulated shelters--called 'tiny shelters.'
Oscar® Shorts 2024: Animation
The best animated shorts of the year, according to the Academy... films from Iran, Israel, France and the USA. This program will also feature a handful of "best runners-up".
Big Fight in Little Chinatown
Set against the backdrop of the COVID pandemic and an unprecedented rise in anti-Asian racism, the documentary takes us into the lives of residents, businesses, and community organizers whose neighborhoods are facing active erasure.
Oscar® Shorts 2024: Live Action
This year's nominees for Best Live Action Short Films include a mini-masterpiece from Wes Anderson and French Canadian entry, Invincible.
The Invisible Fight
Fans of Black Sabbath, kung fu, and/or wacky comedy won't want to miss The Invisible Fight. This gonzo Estonian martial arts movie is an unholy cross between Aki Kaurismaki and Edgar Wright; a true one-off.
Manufacturing the Threat
Shining a light into the murky world of police infiltration, incitement, and agent provocateurs, Manufacturing The Threat shows how Canada’s policing and national security agencies, granted additional powers after 9/11, routinely break laws with little to no accountability or oversight.
Pierre-Olivier Bardet, Albert Serra, Montse Triola, Dirk Decker, Andrea Schutte, Joaquim Sapinho, Marta Alves, Laurent Jacquemin
Albert Serra, Artur Tort, Ariadna Ribas
Marc Verdaguer, Joe Robinson
Born in Banyoles, Spain in 1975, Albert Serra is a Catalan artist and director. His first feature, Honor of the Knights, was presented at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight in 2006. In 2013, he received the Golden Leopard at Locarno Film Festival for Story of My Death, a film inspired by Casanova’s memoirs. The Death of Louis XIV, starring Jean-Pierre Léaud as the Sun King, was an official selection for Cannes in 2016. Liberté won the Special Jury Prize at the 2019 Un Certain Regard section in Cannes.
Filmography: Honor of the Knights (2006); Story of My Death (2013); The Death of Louis XIV (2016); Liberté (2019)