• All Eyes and Ears Vidět a naslouchat / All Eyes and Ears
    Directed by: Vanessa Hope
    China, USA, 2015, 90 min

    The main figures in Vanessa Hope’s documentary, which world-premiered at the Tribeca festival, are former American ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, his adopted Chinese-American daughter Gracie, and well-known activist Chen Guangcheng, each of whom addresses the issue of contemporary American-Chinese relations from a different angle.

  • Aquarius Aquarius / Aquarius
    Directed by: Kleber Mendonça Filho
    Brazil, France, 2016, 145 min

    Clara, sixty and still beautiful, refuses to move out of her house, called Aquarius, even though she is now the sole occupant. The investor, who intends to demolish the building, keeps offering her compensation, but doesn’t get anywhere. And trying to make her life difficult doesn’t get him anywhere, either. Clara won’t bow to pressure. A former star of Latin America, Sonia Braga basks in the pure drama of her role as Clara. The new film by the maker of Neighboring Sounds competed in Cannes this year for the Palme d’Or.

  • Beasts of No Nation Bestie bez vlasti / Beasts of No Nation
    Directed by: Cary Joji Fukunaga
    USA, 2015, 133 min

    War rages in an unnamed West African country. After a series of tragic events, a terrified boy named Agu is seized by a guerrilla group and submitted to harsh training in order to become a child soldier. Is there any way he can ever return to being just a normal kid?

  • Belgica Belgica / Belgica
    Directed by: Felix van Groeningen
    Belgium, France, 2016, 126 min

    Brothers Frank and Jo haven’t seen each other for years but they become much closer when Frank starts working in Jo’s bar. Belgica fast becomes a club for the in-crowd where all life’s troubles are quickly forgotten in the dark of night. A dynamic, emotive and masterfully shot movie in which both characters and their audience go flat out. But will they survive it?

  • Boris without Beatrice Boris bez Béatrice / Boris sans Béatrice
    Directed by: Denis Côté
    Canada, 2016, 93 min

    Boris is arrogant and immensely wealthy with a successful and beautiful wife and even more stunning mistresses. When his wife sinks into a deep depression he is forced to ask himself whether he hasn’t made a mistake somewhere along the line. Denis Côté’s story of the effortless acquisition of perfection and its irrevocable loss competed at this year’s Berlinale.

  • Captain Fantastic Tohle je náš svět / Captain Fantastic
    Directed by: Matt Ross
    USA, 2016, 119 min

    Ben and his six children live deep in the woods according to the rules he’s established. When tragedy strikes the family, they all head back to civilization. This original, witty, visually engaging, and emotional movie starring the charismatic Viggo Mortensen was screened to acclaim at this year’s Cannes IFF.

  • Courted Talár / L' Hermine
    Directed by: Christian Vincent
    France, 2015, 98 min

    Michel Racine is notorious in his place of work as a strict judge who on principle hands out sentences of a minimum of ten years. His colleagues dislike him and he fails to win anyone’s affection in his private life. One day, however, one of the female jurors in the trial of a man accused of murder conjures up the past and awakens in him emotions of which he was unaware.

  • Don't Be Bad Nezlob! / Non essere cattivo
    Directed by: Claudio Caligari
    Italy, 2015, 102 min

    1995, the Roman suburb of Ostia. Pals Vittorio and Cesare live 24/7 with the pedal to the metal: discos, drugs, alcohol, fast cars – it’s all about living for the moment. Will their bond survive after Vittorio, influenced by a traumatic experience, decides to turn his life around? This subtle drama was one of the top Italian pictures of last autumn.

  • Le fils de Joseph Jozefův syn / Le fils de Joseph
    Directed by: Eugène Green
    France, Belgium, 2016, 114 min

    Summertime in Paris. Fifteen-year-old Vincent lives with his mother but wants to find out who his father is. His quest takes him to a publishing company headed by Oscar Pormenor. Grotesque expression, declamatory acting, precisely composed shots, a story divided into chapters inspired by Biblical scenes – all natural components of an anachronistic yet innovative work by a highly original director.

  • Fire at Sea Fuocoammare (Požár na moři) / Fuocoammare
    Directed by: Gianfranco Rosi
    Italy, France, 2016, 108 min

    The Mediterranean island of Lampedusa – for some a safe haven, for others a graveyard. Every day the local inhabitants look on sadly at one of the greatest humanitarian catastrophes of our day. It’s impossible to be indifferent to the incalculable human suffering because the work denies us the chance of looking away from the cruel reality. Golden Bear winner for Best Film at this year’s Berlinale.

  • Frenzy Šílenství / Abluka
    Directed by: Emin Alper
    Turkey, France, Qatar, 2015, 117 min

    Prisoner Kadir secures his freedom by agreeing to join a secret antiterrorist cell. Confronted with the machinery of systematic violence, his desire to renew family relationships becomes a paranoid nightmare. This extremely disturbing metaphor for the pan-social consequences of Near East terrorism was honored with a Special Jury Prize at the festival in Venice.

  • A Good Wife Dobrá manželka / Dobra žena
    Directed by: Mirjana Karanović
    Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, 2016, 94 min

    Milena is a middle-aged woman proudly running a successful household in an affluent suburb of Belgrade. During one of her daily cleaning sprees she finds an old VHS tape which exposes her husband’s involvement in a horrific war crime. Her dream existence gradually starts to fall apart.

  • Graduation Zkouška dospělosti / Bacalaureat
    Directed by: Cristian Mungiu
    Romania, Belgium, France, 2016, 127 min

    As a doctor and citizen, Romeo enjoys the respect of the inhabitants of a small town in Transylvania. But his reputation begins to disintegrate when, in an effort to secure a better future for his talented daughter, he gets caught in a chain of quid pro quos and loses face with his family as well. Another film by Cristian Mungiu awarded at Cannes.

  • The Handmaiden Komorná / Agassi
    Directed by: Park Chan-wook
    South Korea, 2016, 145 min

    The 1930s, Korea under Japanese rule. A young pickpocket is hired as a handmaiden to a rich woman and given the task of convincing her to marry an ambitious fraudster, thereby fleecing her of her ample inheritance. Things go according to plan until the two women begin to discover mutual feelings of passion. The latest effort from the visionary director of Old Boy competed for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes fest.

  • A Hologram for the King Hologram pro krále / A Hologram for the King
    Directed by: Tom Tykwer
    United Kingdom, France, Germany, USA, 2016, 99 min

    Fortune rarely smiles on Alan Clay (Tom Hanks), an IT businessman who arrives in Saudi Arabia to present the hottest new teleconferencing system to the king. Although the clash of cultures is an obvious trope, legendary director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) pulls off the humor with nuanced aplomb.

  • Hunt for the Wilderpeople Hon na pačlověky / Hunt for the Wilderpeople
    Directed by: Taika Waititi
    New Zealand, 2016, 101 min

    Ricky is a hard-to-control teenager raised on hip-hop and growing up in foster care. But when he ends up with a new family in the New Zealand countryside, his life takes a strange turn… This brilliant road-movie comedy – from the director of the irresistible vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows – doubles as a touching tale of the strength of family and the pitfalls of adolescence.

  • It's Only the End of the World Je to jen konec světa / Juste la fin du monde
    Directed by: Xavier Dolan
    Canada, France, 2016, 97 min

    After years of absence Louis returns home to announce to his mother and the other members of his family that he is soon going to die. But his welcome is somewhat different than he had anticipated. Everyone’s talking and no-one’s listening, and it’s more like he’s come back to a nest of vipers. This adaptation of the play by Jean-Luc Lagarce brought Xavier Dolan the Grand Prix at Cannes.

  • Julieta Julieta / Julieta
    Directed by: Pedro Almodóvar
    Spain, 2016, 99 min

    After a chance encounter with the best friend of her daughter Antía, Julieta decides not to leave Madrid, hoping that, after many years, she will see Antía again. While she waits for some kind of contact from her daughter, she writes her a letter in an attempt to clarify a mystery from the past, and to shed light on her own mistakes. Almodóvar’s melodrama features two actresses playing Julieta – Emma Suárez and Adriana Ugarte – representing two periods in the character’s life.

  • The Land of the Enlightened Země osvícených / The Land of the Enlightened
    Directed by: Pieter-Jan De Pue
    Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Afghanistan, 2016, 87 min

    Afghan children know that a landmine can be a valuable find. If you can carefully dig it out, you can sell it at a profit. A gang of kids spend their free time doing just that in a country whose landscape is both harsh and hauntingly beautiful. This visually sensitive feature interweaves strands of documentary, fantasy, and myth from a land where war is a fixed reality.

  • Life, Animated Animovaný život / Life, Animated
    Directed by: Roger Ross Williams
    USA, 2016, 91 min

    Until the age of three, Owen Suskind seemed to be a healthy child. But then he stopped speaking and was diagnosed with autism. By chance his parents discovered a way to communicate with him using lines from the movies of Walt Disney. Life, Animated is a documentary that literally “speaks through film,” proving that the possibilities for human communication are limitless.

  • Little Men Malí muži / Little Men
    Directed by: Ira Sachs
    USA, 2016, 85 min

    Despite the fact that Jake is a sensitive introvert who dreams of attending art school, while impulsive Tony likes to run around outside with a ball, a strong bond of friendship cements between the two 13-year-old boys. But will it survive if their families fall out? A subtle picture about little things that mean a lot.

  • Ma' Rosa Ma' Rosa / Ma' Rosa
    Directed by: Brillante Mendoza
    Philippines, 2016, 110 min

    The rain-swept streets of an impoverished area of Manila are the setting for a small-scale drama about convenience store owner “Ma Rosa” and her husband, who are arrested for selling narcotics. The corrupt police threaten them with prison and demand money for their release, an amount that far exceeds their resources. They have no alternative: They have to dispatch their children to get hold of the cash.

  • On the Other Side Na druhé straně / S one strane
    Directed by: Zrinko Ogresta
    Croatia, Serbia, 2015, 85 min

    For twenty years Vesna has been trying to forget the past which nearly destroyed her family. In a different town and under a different name she invented a new life for herself; she brought up her two children on her own and now she’s a grandmother. Then one day the phone rings and everything changes. It’s their father, a known war criminal.

  • Paterson Paterson / Paterson
    Directed by: Jim Jarmusch
    USA, 2016, 113 min

    Paterson is both a bus driver and a poet. He lives with his wife in the town of Paterson, once celebrated, now forgotten. The seven days, during which Jarmusch’s poetic film follows the rhythms of the couple’s life, unfold simply through the director’s gentle humor and his observation of the minute details that make up Paterson’s internal world.

  • Rabin, the Last Day Rabin, poslední den / Rabin, the Last Day
    Directed by: Amos Gitai
    Israel, France, 2015, 153 min

    A reconstruction of the events of November 4, 1995, when Israeli President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Yitzhak Rabin was murdered after a massive peace demonstration in central Tel Aviv. The authenticity of all situations prior to the brutal act of extremist hatred supports the impression that the reenacted scenes are actual documentary footage.

  • Satisfaction 1720 Tordenskjold a Kold / Tordenskjold & Kold
    Directed by: Henrik Ruben Genz
    Denmark, Norway, Czech Republic, Sweden, 2016, 98 min

    The year is 1720 and the Great Northern War is at an end. Now one of its heroes, 29-year-old Tordenskjold, no longer knows what to do with himself. His faithful friend and manservant Kold convinces him to take a “road trip” with a view to finding a bride. Their journey, however, turns into something more reminiscent of a rock star’s farewell tour.

  • Slack Bay Líná zátoka / Ma Loute
    Directed by: Bruno Dumont
    France, Germany, 2016, 112 min

    Summer 1910. The Brufort fishing family and the degenerate bourgeois Van Peteghems are suddenly forced upon one another when their children fall in love. Meanwhile, someone’s been going around murdering people in the vicinity, which doesn’t please the notorious inspector Machin one iota. A crazy sit-com with elements of the grotesque which provoked controversy at this year’s Cannes IFF.

  • Sweet Dreams Sladké sny / Fai bei sogni
    Directed by: Marco Bellocchio
    Italy, France, 2016, 134 min

    Turin 1969. After the mysterious death of his mother, nine-year-old Massimo’s world came tumbling down. Now a successful adult, he plans to sell the family apartment but intensely painful wounds start opening up from the past. The latest film by Marco Bellocchio was screened during Directors’ Fortnight at this year’s Cannes IFF.

  • Toni Erdmann Toni Erdmann / Toni Erdmann
    Directed by: Maren Ade
    Germany, Austria, 2016, 162 min

    “I thought I was shooting a drama, but they’re selling it as a comedy,” states the director, commenting on the surprising success of her film with both critics and audiences. The story of the bizarre attempts of a father to reconnect with his daughter was even applauded during the screening itself but the jury remained indifferent.

  • United States of Love Spojené státy lásky / Zjednoczone Stany Miłości
    Directed by: Tomasz Wasilewski
    Poland, Sweden, 2016, 104 min

    The advent of the 1990s brought fundamental social change and a wealth of new possibilities. The film’s four heroines of different ages long for fulfilment in their lives and want to be part of that change. Created by one of the most distinctive artists working in Poland, the picture is dominated by exquisitely captured moments of searing, wretched desire for love and intimacy, and also by precise lensing from Oleg Mutu. Silver Bear for Best Script at this year’s Berlinale.


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