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Film Festival Favorites

Film Festival Favorites

THE REPORTS ON SARAH AND SALEEM

Muayad Alayan Palestinian Territory, 2018

The second feature from Palestinian director Muayad Alayan is a taut yet naturalistic Jerusalem-set drama about the spiraling consequences of a high-stakes affair. As the personal inevitably turns political, Alayan boldly unveils how the imbalance of power seeps through to an avoidable conclusion.

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THE RETURN

Andrey Zvyagintsev Russia, 2003

A master of seething family tensions, Andrei Zvyagintsev (Leviathan, Loveless) made waves right from the start with this auspicious debut film. Evocative of early Polanski, this haunting trip won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and marked him as a rising star of Russian cinema.

OLLA

Ariane Labed France, 2019

We’re thrilled to see French actress Ariane Labed (Attenberg, The Lobster) jump behind the camera, and her directing debut is nothing short of explosive! Premiering in Cannes last year, this 27-minute gem subverts ideas of femalehood and immigration with style, humor, and insight to spare.

BREAKWATER

Cris Lyra Brazil, 2019

In this collectively made short, Cris Lyra’s intimate gaze records, with minute attention, the bodies and voices of a group of friends as they talk about sexual identity and politics in today’s Brazil. This is affective lesbian cinema, in the vein of Barbara Hammer, where caring and community reign.

THE GRAND BIZARRE

Jodie Mack United States, 2018

From MUBI regular Jodie Mack comes a tour de force, sui generis globetrotting textile documentary in the form of a 16mm abstract animated (and musical!) feature. An entrancing experience that is as much about the creation and circulation of fabric as it’s about the pure pleasure of color and design.

THE SCENT OF GREEN PAPAYA

Trần Anh Hùng Vietnam, 1993

Vietnamese auteur Tran Anh Hung (Norwegian Wood) made one of the most enduring art-house hits of the 90s. Garnering the Camera d’Or at Cannes, a César for Best First Feature, and a Foreign Film Oscar nod, this exquisitely shot family drama makes poignant observations.

SWEET BEAN

Naomi Kawase Japan, 2015

From director Naomi Kawase comes this small but heartfelt feel-good movie, an affecting tale of friendship that deplores us to remember the simple pleasures in life. Gentle and absorbing throughout, the film features a beautifully controlled performance by the late Japanese actor Kirin Kiki.

EVERYONE ELSE

Maren Ade Germany, 2009

The winner of the Grand Prix and Best Actress prizes at Berlin, Everyone Else confirms German director Maren Ade as a great new talent. Ade’s film is deeply immersed in its characters, exploring the nuances of relationships and situations with incredible, rich insight.