Another View 

  • April’s Daughter Abriliny dcery / Las hijas de Abril
    Directed by: Michel Franco
    Mexico, 2017, 103 min

    Mexican director, screenwriter and producer Michel Franco has four writer-director feature films and four presentations at Cannes to his name, and this year saw him revisiting the French Riviera with a precisely structured tale of the complex relationship between two half-sisters and their mother. Assailing the audience with its masterful build-up of tension, this familiar domestic drama setup won the Jury Prize in Un Certain Regard.

  • Araby Arábie / Arábia
    Directed by: Affonso Uchôa, João Dumans
    Brazil, 2017, 96 min

    A picture of contemporary, industrial Brazil rises out of the main character’s journal entries – without the stereotypes of favelas and crime. On his travels to farms, construction projects, and factories, Cristiano represents the poorest, who have decided to work day after day, to go from town to town, taciturn, proud, and resilient.

  • Austerlitz Austerlitz / Austerlitz
    Directed by: Sergei Loznitsa
    Germany, 2016, 94 min

    Hordes of people make their way towards entrance gates crowned with the notorious slogan Arbeit macht frei. Why do they visit places that bear such appalling vestiges of the past? This documentary, examining cultural memory in today’s world, has featured at various major IFFs since its premiere at Venice.

  • Axolotl Overkill Axolotl Overkill / Axolotl Overkill
    Directed by: Helene Hegemann
    Germany, 2017, 94 min

    Although just 16, Mifti is already well aware of her electrifying appeal. It’s not just her provocative sexuality, but an assertive disposition that places her in the company of older people who are no strangers to a bohemian lifestyle and parties that last for days. A sexual relationship with an older woman and closer intimacy with a beautiful actress only add to the confusion in the heroine’s head.

  • Centaur Kentaur / Centaur
    Directed by: Aktan Arym Kubat
    Kyrgyzstan, France, Germany, Netherlands, Japan, 2017, 89 min

    The only thing that disturbs Centaur’s deeply happy, if imperfect, family life is his pressing need to secretly liberate racehorses. But misfortune comes from his desire to take a stand against human greed for a subjugated animal that gives humans wings. This visually polished updating of the Don Quixote story premiered at the Berlinale.

  • City of the Sun Sluneční stát / Mzis qalaqi
    Directed by: Rati Oneli
    Georgia, USA, Qatar, Netherlands, 2017, 104 min

    A cinematic vanitas about a dying town in Georgia, a formerly vibrant centre of industry where the monotonous sound of the manganese mines has been replaced by a silence rarely interrupted. The film’s crystal-clear style, in which each shot is given the length it needs, seeks out the photogenic side of decay and explores the specific nature of the lost souls that continue to live here.

  • La familia Rodina / La familia
    Directed by: Gustavo Rondón Córdova
    Venezuela, Chile, Norway, 2017, 82 min

    Andrés, the single father of 12-year-old Pedro, has to break his back just to ensure the mere basics for his son. On the outskirts of Caracas, people live from one moment to the next and any mistake is immediately punished. This deeply realistic story takes us into the ruthless environment of the Venezuelan capital, which – at a time when the country suffers immense social problems, hyperinflation, and a shortage of food – takes on an increasingly more savage character.

  • Freak Show Obludárium / Freak Show
    Directed by: Trudie Styler
    USA, 2017, 91 min

    Billy Bloom never felt he was like other people, but if there’s something his classmates don’t like, it’s the fact that his fashion choices range between David Bowie and Lady Gaga at their most psychedelic. Billy’s response to bullying is simple: an even thicker layer of glitter and a stubborn determination to fight for his uniqueness.

  • Jeannette, the Childhood of Joan of Arc Janička / Jeannette, l’enfance de Jeanne d’Arc
    Directed by: Bruno Dumont
    France, 2017, 115 min

    Bruno Dumont is back! After the intensely subversive comedy Li’l Quinquin and the whacky Slack Bay, his quarry this time is a musical you could call anything you want, but just not classical. Eight-year-old Jeannette has a profound love of God, she tends a flock of sheep, and yet only history is aware that, in a few years’ time, she will become the iconic Joan of Arc.

  • Kingdoms Království / Reinos
    Directed by: Pelayo Lira
    Chile, 2017, 79 min

    A romance without romanticism. Alejandro is in his first year at university; Sofia is finishing her dissertation. With a cool, detached realism and sense for detail, Kingdoms exposes the anatomy of a university love affair. Besides the romantic storyline, which does not shy away from explicit erotic scenes, the film also engages in a subtle generational study.

  • The Last of Us Poslední z nás / Akher Wahed Fina
    Directed by: Ala Eddine Slim
    Tunisia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, 2016, 94 min

    The movie, which makes do without dialogue, deftly alternates between film poem, topical movie critique, and existential allegory or myth. On his way through Tunis to Europe, N is ripped off by human smugglers, but sheer determination gets him in a boat on the sea and then to a mysterious forest where he must find his destiny.

  • Menashe Menaše / Menashe
    Directed by: Joshua Z Weinstein
    USA, Israel, 2017, 81 min

    Likeable loser Menashe, a widower employed at a kosher supermarket who lives in Brooklyn’s rule-based community of ultra-Orthodox Jews, is trying to gain the right to raise his own son. This gentle, deeply-human drama graced with humorous moments was a hit at this year’s Sundance.

  • The Misandrists Misandrie / The Misandrists
    Directed by: Bruce LaBruce
    Germany, 2017, 91 min

    A feminist terrorist cell is plotting a revolution. But the rigid order of the women living at a remote convent school is endangered by the arrival of a young man who accepts refuge from one of the girls. Provocateur Bruce LaBruce has returned with a radical utopian vision of the world that combines a B-movie esthetic with leftist ideals.

  • The Nothing Factory Továrna na nic / A fábrica de nada
    Directed by: Pedro Pinho
    Portugal, 2017, 176 min

    One day, workers at an elevator factory receive an unpleasant surprise: at night someone has taken away all the equipment and materials, so it’s impossible to continue production. The struggle for existence is on – not only via sophisticated negotiating tactics but also with the help of singing, dancing, and vaguely idealistic leftist theories.

  • Los Perros Psi / Los perros
    Directed by: Marcela Said
    France, Chile, 2017, 94 min

    Contemporary Chilean cinema is present at every major festival, and things were no different this year at Cannes where Marcela Said’s second movie played Critics’ Week. This disturbing psycho-romance with political overtones brings together pampered fortysomething Marina and Juan, a former army officer troubled by a dark past (starring Antonia Zegers and Alfredo Castro from The Club).

  • POOLSIDEMAN Plavčík / Pûrusaido man
    Directed by: Hirobumi Watanabe
    Japan, 2016, 117 min

    Yusuke Mizuhara is a taciturn lifeguard living out his monotonous life in a suburb north of Tokyo between home and a forgotten pool. What’s behind the impenetrable façade of a young man confronted daily by reports of the tragedies plaguing different parts of the world? A formally ambitious, geometrically precise film about certain unexplained thought processes associated with the Japanese mentality.

  • Quality Time Quality Time / Quality Time
    Directed by: Daan Bakker
    Netherlands, Norway, 2017, 85 min

    Five men, five stories. Although stylistically very different, the stories are connected through the director’s ability to incisively yet charitably comment on the situation of his feckless thirtysomething characters. It isn’t always easy to finally start living your own life – a UFO can stand in the way, or even just a bucket of urine hidden in a bedroom. But sometimes a time machine can be helpful, maybe.

  • Requiem for Mrs. J. Rekviem za paní J. / Rekvijem za gospođu J.
    Directed by: Bojan Vuletić
    Serbia, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Russia, France, 2017, 94 min

    There are some countries where it isn’t easy to get even simple things done. All the more vexing, then, is when you decide to commit suicide and only have a few days to get your affairs in order, and neither task goes according to plan. This sarcastic peek into the Kafkaesque soul of restructured Serbia made its mark at this year’s Berlinale.

  • Stockholm My Love Stockholm, má láska / Stockholm My Love
    Directed by: Mark Cousins
    Sweden, United Kingdom, 2016, 88 min

    This multilayered metropolitan symphony is, at once, a music film, a love letter to the city, an intimate study of grief, and an urbanistic essay. Architect Alva (Neneh Cherry) doesn’t make it to her class, instead choosing to stroll through the city while her contemplation of her surroundings mingles with her own memories of the most traumatic experience of her life.

  • White Sun Bílé slunce / Seto Surya
    Directed by: Deepak Rauniyar
    Nepal, USA, Qatar, Netherlands, 2016, 89 min

    A partisan named Chandra who fought against monarchy and dictatorship returns home years later to a Nepalese mountain village to bury his father. But he arrives in the middle of a traditional burial ceremony, and after a conflict he is forced to complete the process merely with the help of two children. Perhaps their journey signifies more than mere submission to the bygone ways Chandra fought against, but also hope for a brighter future for a country at a crossroads.


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