The busy Italian filmmaker, who is concurrently a veteran stage and opera director, describes the genesis of Italy’s international Oscar submission.
The busy Italian filmmaker, who is concurrently a veteran stage and opera director, describes the genesis of Italy’s international Oscar submission.
The Singaporean director recounts his full immersion in the Oscar promotion process and looks ahead to remakes.
In Costa Rica’s Oscar entry, magic realism meets environmental degradation in the austere tale of a widower’s resistance against ruthless developers.
El realismo mágico se encuentra con la degradación ambiental en un austero relato costarricense sobre la resistencia de un viudo contra los constructores sin escrúpulos.
An intriguing and seldom-told WWII story gets the standardized treatment in this epic-scale Norwegian drama.
The celebrated director returns to his homeland with a brilliant, excessive, quasi-autobiography that will represent Mexico in the International Oscar race.
CINE VERDICT El célebre director regresa a su país con una quasi autobiografía brillante y desmesurada que representa a México en la carrera internacional por los Óscares
Mexican master Alejandro G. Iñárritu (’Birdman’, ‘The Revenant’) takes time off for a very personal project with autobiographical and cinematic undertones.
El maestro mexicano Alejandro G. Iñárritu (‘Birdman’, ‘The Revenant’) hace un paréntesis para un proyecto muy personal con matices autobiográficos y cinematográficos.
Venice Golden Lion winner Lorenzo Vigas talks to TFV about his latest film ‘The Box’ (‘La caja’), which has been submitted by Venezuela for the International Oscars 2023.
El ganador del León de Oro de Venecia, Lorenzo Vigas, habla con TFV sobre su última película, La Caja, que ha sido presentada por Venezuela como candidata para el premio Oscar Internacional 2023.
Lorenzo Vigas continúa con su visión crítica de las figuras paternas y las implicaciones más amplias de la ausencia paterna en esta sutil historia de madurez anclada en la excepcional presencia de su joven protagonista.
The titular box that young Mexican teen Hatzin (newcomer Hatzin Navarrete) picks up containing his father’s remains may look like a simple mini-casket, but the emotional baggage that goes with it is far weightier than what’s inside. In the third and final installment...
Estonia’s official Oscar submission ‘Kalev’ finds timely modern echoes in a true sporting saga that took place during the dying days of Russian occupation.
Un complejo thriller basado en un escándalo verdadero de abusos sexuales que involucra a políticos chilenos, sacerdotes, empresarios y niños desamparados, donde nadie es totalmente inocente o culpable.
The Moroccan director and screenwriter of ‘The Blue Caftan’ talks about the personal origins of her films.
A young Pakistani director sets records with his first feature film.
He Shuming’s feature debut ‘Ajoomma’, Singapore’s Oscar hopeful, is an amusing look at life’s second act with a warm, winning performance by Hong Huifang.
Sundance estrena un fascinante retrato de la vida en los Andes bolivianos, donde una sequía amenaza el sustento de una pareja de ancianos quechuas y su rebaño de llamas.
Lebanese actress Carole Abboud brings a sense of wistful loneliness to the role of an independent woman estranged from her adult daughter in Bassem Breche’s sketch-like feature debut.
Competing forms of victimhood expose a rotten racist society in Slovak director Michal Blaško’s prize-winning Oscars submission ‘Victim’.
A modern and glam festival continues under new management.
Firas Khoury’s notable feature debut ‘Alam’ about Palestinian teens living in Israel fought off the competition to win Cairo’s main prize.
Jealousy, betrayal and revenge weave through Sergio Machado’s sultry, fatalistic melodrama set in the Amazon, where a woman becomes the object of desire of three passionate brothers.
The toxic privilege of Algeria’s ministerial elite is the target of Merzak Allouache’s fitfully successful mix of class satire and political thriller.
Documentaries by Lea Glob, Simon Chambers and Angie Vinchito, all major prizewinners, show the diversity and topicality of the post-pandemic Dutch festival.
Cairo awarded its best documentary prize to this broadly appealing fly-on-the-wall documentary about a group of musicians from countries bordering the Nile who go on a demanding hundred-day-tour of the U.S.
As we stand on the edge of increasing digital frontiers, Katharina Pethke’s thought-provoking film explores the mechanics and implications of creating a virtual doppelganger.
A past tragedy haunts the Slovak woodlands in this eerie mystery-horror in which a woman labelled a witch by villagers reclaims her power.
Writer-director Firas Khoury refreshingly normalizes the lives of a group of Palestinian teens in Israel and then adds a political overlay in this notable debut that deserves more attention than accorded in Toronto.
Ana Bravo-Perez searches for the demons released by the extraction of fossil fuels from her native Colombia in this disquieting hybrid documentary.
Danish director and anthropologist Christian Suhr’s feature documentary offers a respectful yet compelling peek into the surprisingly diverse communities of Sufi worshippers within the Islamic tradition of Egypt.
Lea Glob’s ‘Apolonia, Apolonia’, an exploration of what’s at stake in an artist’s life, wins the International Competition at IDFA 2022.
Luis De Filippis’ laid-back tale about an embattled but loving family on vacation pops with a riveting Carmen Madonia as the trans sister.
Ahmad Abdalla’s latest is a handsomely produced, effective drama about a redundant Cairene house guard, the sole resident of a dilapidated mansion, trying to stave off the encroaching collapse of his world.
Alain Kassanda connects Congolese history to family history in this revealing debut documentary.
Young actress Lyna Khoudri sparkles as an Algerian dance student forced to reorder her priorities after she is physically assaulted in an emotion-clad feminist drama directed by Mounia Meddour (‘Papicha’).
The rise and tenure of Germany’s first female leader gets favourable treatment in this politically star-studded documentary by Eva Weber.
Lena Ndiaye’s documentary may be the most important contemporary document on Francophone Africa’s malignant economic relations with France.
After a muted few years of Covid caution, the 63rd edition of My Big Fat Greek Film Festival was back in full Dionysian mode.
Greek-British director Spiros Jacovides transforms an eccentric Athens family’s secrets and lies into warm-hearted comedy in his prize-winning debut feature ‘Black Stone’.
Lauren DeFilippo and Sam Soko examine a newfangled Western method of aid to Africa and return with predictable answers in this largely agreeable fare.
In stunning images, Alexander Abaturov’s debut shows global warming heroes in far-flung northeastern Siberia, abandoned by the Russian government.
Simon Chambers’ family-filming-family masterpiece is a tender and often funny chronicle of a dying man who secretes his brilliant charisma every moment the camera finds him awake.
Valentina Maurel’s dysfunctional father-daughter drama is the big winner at Thessaloniki.
A youthful gathering in a sunny Greek villa becomes an orgy of sex, drugs and violence in ‘Bastards’, a flawed but lively debut feature from director Nikos Pastras.
A fascinating and troubling behind-the-scenes look into the work of female stuntwomen, who must frequently portray victims at the hands of violent men.
A profoundly disturbing found-footage assemblage portraying a young Russian live-streaming generation brainwashed by militarised education and normalised violence.
A multi-layered, intensely personal exploration of what’s at stake in an artistic life, through a sprawling portrait of French painter Apolonia Sokol.
Writer-director Asimina Proedrou’s grimly compelling debut feature ‘Behind The Haystacks’ is a contemporary Greek tragedy about family conflicts and border tensions.
A Ukrainian paramedic wrestles with personal tragedy and public injustice in Christina Tynkevych’s powerful, prize-winning fiction-feature debut ‘How is Katia?’
A Greek-Cypriot family fall apart against a backdrop of terrorism and racial tension in ‘Iman’, a glossy thriller from writer-director duo Corinna Avraamidou and Kyriacos Tofarides
Director Ehab Tarabieh’s debut fiction feature ‘The Taste of Apples is Red’ is a brooding slow-burn thriller about long-buried family secrets returning to haunt a close-knit Druze village in the Golan Heights.
A highly stylised, thought-provoking meditation on being stared at without being truly seen, as female immigrants to the Netherlands reflect on their experiences across generations.
Simon Liu utilises his familiar febrile aesthetic as a way to explore and represent Hong Kong’s tumultuous recent history, to deeply disquieting effect.
A grieving family struggle to move beyond tragedy in Martijn de Jong’s poetically filmed debut feature ‘ Narcosis’, the official Dutch submission to the Oscars.
The artistic director of IDFA speaks his mind to TFV critics Oris Aigbokhaevbolo and Carmen Gray in an interview that reveals profound thinking about what a film festival is and its importance in times of war and political despair.
A powerful, accessible blend of animation and archive that bears witness to the Armenian genocide through the eyes of survivor and Hollywood silent star Aurora Mardiganian.
Director Spiros Stathoulopoulos reimagines the ancient Greek drama ‘Electra’ as a World War II revenge thriller in ‘Cavewoman’, a boldly experimental mix of close-up acting and rich sound design.
A father and son share a tense, creepy mountain holiday in Swiss director Leon Schwitter’s minor-key but atmospheric debut ‘Retreat’.
The head of the Mexican Film Institute on how IMCINE has fostered the growing number of women filmmakers in Mexico and on the launch of TFV’s Spanish language reviews in Cine Verdict.
La directora del Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografía habla sobre cómo el IMCINE ha fomentado el creciente número de mujeres cineastas en México y sobre el lanzamiento de las reseñas en español de TFV en Cine Verdict.
Las documentalistas Heidi Ewing y Rachel Grady hablan con urgencia pero sin sensacionalismo al reportar los peligros que enfrenta la prensa en lugares sin conflicto armado declarado.
Documentarists Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady are urgent but never sensationalistic in reporting on the dangers faced by the press in places where there is no official armed conflict.
Catalonian director and horror specialist Jaume Balaguero’s latest offering is a messy and almost incoherent tale of demonic uprising.
La más reciente película del director catalán y especialista en horror Jaume Balagueró es una desordenada y casi incoherente historia de surgimiento diabólico.
Women directed most of the Mexican films in Morelia this year, diving into tough subjects like violence, the position of women and LGBTQ issues.
Eichelmann Kaiser’s feature, which bowed at Venice and Morelia, is a modest but promising debut.
Mexican writer-director Anabel Caso’s debut is a languid, beautifully observed coming-of-age story.
A bilingual “animentary” uses the voices of Mexican immigrants, both legal and undocumented, to reveal their fears and dreams through imaginative drawings that allow for greater intimacy and understanding.
Un documental bilingüe que utiliza las voces de los inmigrantes mexicanos, legales e indocumentados, para revelar sus miedos y sus sueños a través de imaginativos dibujos de animacion que permiten una mayor intimidad y comprensión.
The Film Verdict (TFV) is proud to announce the debut of CINE VERDICT, a section featuring Spanish language content written by Spanish language critics for the international marketplace. CINE VERDICT is conceived as a tool for Spanish language professionals who buy,...
A fascinating if uneven story of motherhood and body horror from Mexico.
Theo Montoya’s debut feature ‘Anhell69’ featuring the queer young generation in Colombia wins the International Competition at DOK Leipzig.
The 65th edition of East Germany’s longest-running independent film festival offered a lively mix of parties and premieres, critical voices and formal experiments.
An offbeat, multi-layered “documentary fairytale” in which a film crew help a bi-gender ornithologist enact Twin Peaks-inspired fantasies in the woods outside Moscow.
Polish director Lukasz Kowalski celebrates a different kind of pawn star in his prize-winning docu-comedy debut ‘The Pawnshop’.
This observational documentary follows the travails of a female driver who is part a grass-roots public transit system connecting the villages of northern Colombia.
French director Mickaël Bandela reassembles his broken family history into a multi-media memory mixtape in his messy but stylish bio-documentary ‘One Mother’.
Prize-winning Serbian director Mila Turajlic unearths a fascinating lost chapter in Cold War history in her latest archive-heavy documentary ‘Ciné-Guerrillas: Scenes from the Labudovic Reels.’
Two of Iran’s biggest actors, Taraneh Alidoosti and Navid Mohammadzadeh, play double roles in Mani Haghighi’s chilling, fast-paced thriller with allegorical overtones about life in contemporary Iran.
Life is seen through the eyes of a mysterious creature living beneath the soil in this curious but at times unsettling underground animation from Jeffrey Zablotny.
A searching and honest recalibration of one family’s narrative, as the director reinterprets her father’s obsessive home movies from her mother’s perspective of domestic unfulfillment.
Gala Hernandez Lopez’s essay film addresses the incel phenomena from a position of fascination and empathy, seeking to understand the pain of isolation in a connected world.International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film
Canadian diplomat’s daughter Sofia Brockenshire assembles a rich mosaic of memories from her family’s globe-trotting history in her visually impressive essay-film debut ‘The Dependents’.
Afro-German documentary director Brenda Akele Jorde’s debut feature ‘The Homes We Carry’ is a touching family saga of love and loss, historic betrayal and mixed cultural identity.
This atmospheric animated documentary uses collage and fleeting rotoscoped drawings to convey the brutality and dislocating effect of state care in the GDR.
The life and work of German palaeontologist Johannes Weigelt is itself placed under the microscope in this inventive and unexpectedly charged miniature portrait.
In her prize-winning documentary ‘A Bunch of Amateurs’, director Kim Hopkins finds hope, humour and heart-warming humanity in an ailing amateur film-making club in northern England.
A few months before Russia’s full-scale invasion of their country began, a group of five young Ukrainian men and women, not all of whom were professional actors, collaboratively developed a theatrical production. They examined their experiences of armed conflict and...
This warm and inquisitive documentary is both a portrait of activist and self-taught scientist and the spit of land she’s called home for forty years.
Mike Day’s gently ambling documentary offers a fragmentary look at the unique tradition of cowboy poetry.
Featuring a strong ensemble cast including Tom Burke and Jenna Coleman, Neil Maskell’s directing debut ‘Klokkenluider’ is a chilling comedy conspiracy thriller about whistleblowers on the run from mortal danger.
Mexican visionary Guillermo Del Toro’s first animated feature is a visually ravishing but dramatically wooden update of much-filmed Italian fairy tale ‘The Adventures of Pinocchio’.
Director Maria Schrader’s timely and gripping newsroom drama ‘She Said’ stars Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan as the campaigning reporters who helped bring Harvey Weinstein to justice.
Martin Boulocq’s timely drama exposes a complex web of family, class, and economic codependency in modern Bolivia, where evangelical churches recruit and exploit indigenous communities.
In ‘Pretty Red Dress’, the vibrant debut feature from British writer-director Dionne Edwards, a troubled family of black Londoners learn to express their true selves with a little help from Tina Turner and a fabulous frock.
Three women struggle for independence in an increasingly conservative society in Belmin Söylemez’s award-winning drama set in an Istanbul acting workshop.
A man’s search for redemption after participating in a group murder neatly exposes a community’s moral rot in Ozcan Alper’s rugged mountain thriller, winner of the best Turkish film award at Antalya.
German-Turkish director Fatih Akin’s Wagnerian hip-hop biopic ‘Rheingold’ tells a lively but familiar raps-to-riches story.
A nomadic tribe clashes with mysterious monsters in director Andrew Cumming’s gripping, stylistically bold Stone Age survivalist horror thriller ‘The Origin’.
Huang Ji and Ryuji Otsuka’s latest is slow but thoughtful and strangely engaging on the subject of a young Chinese woman on the verge of making a potentially life-changing decision.
French veteran director Christophe Honoré’s latest is a study of grief and teenage exploration with great performances but a somewhat messy screenplay.
A cocky 14-year-old rebel becomes a mother in Pilar Palomero’s closely observed and vibrant tale, whose mixed pro/non-pro cast is convincingly upbeat.
Colombian writer-director Laura Mora’s prize-winning road movie ‘Kings of the World’ is a messy but big-hearted love letter to the loveless.
San Sebastian celebrated its 70th anniversary with grace and good programing.
Director Manuel Abramovich’s controversial docu-fiction portrait of Mexican porn star Lalo Santos, ‘Pornomelancolía’ is empathetic and absorbing, despite being disowned by its leading man.
For the 100th film of his career, Liam Neeson switches from action thriller to classic film noir in a flyweight but generally entertaining post scriptum to Raymond Chandler’s immortal detective series, co-starring Diane Kruger and Jessica Lange.
San Sebastian’s top prize went to a Colombian coproduction for the first time in its history, and to a woman director for the third year running.
Writer-director Marian Mathias celebrates small acts of kindness and empathy in her opaque but haunting debut feature ‘Runner’.
Emotions are delicately explored over drinks in South Korean director Hong Sang-soo’s beguiling and deceptively simple relationship tale.
Oscar-winning director Sebastien Lelio’s handsome literary mystery thriller ‘The Wonder’ stars Florence Pugh as a kick-ass nurse fighting fake news and dubious miracles in 19th century Ireland.
Set in the barrios of Buenos Aires, Diego Lerman’s classroom drama movingly praises a dissatisfied young lit teacher who can’t help but interfere in his students’ lives.
Brexit Britain offers only hellish horrors to exploited migrant workers in ‘Great Yarmouth – Provisional Figures’, a bleakly compelling social-realist thriller from Portuguese director Marco Martins.
The life and loves of 18th century Czech opera composer Josef Myslivecek, and his dazzling Italian career and fall into obscurity, are lovingly and authentically reconstructed in Petr Vaclav’s sumptuous period production.
Carmen Jaquier’s powerful debut feature ‘Thunder’ chronicles a stormy collision between religious faith and sexual rapture in early 20th century Switzerland.
The emphatically indie small-town German fest continues to make a big splash with its eclectic mix of art-house, cult, experimental and left-field genre movies.
Screening in San Sebastian competition after it was pulled from Toronto, Ulrich Seidl’s most controversial film to date underlines the sleaze and creepiness of pedophilia so forcefully it is painful to watch.
Katrin Brocks’ feature debut takes full advantage of its exotic setting in a highly dramatized if not always convincing story about a devout young woman who’s about to become a nun when her violent brother turns up at the convent.
Actor turned director John Connors makes a powerful statement with his debut dramatic feature ‘The Black Guelph’, a gritty Irish crime thriller about secrets, lies and trauma passed down the generations.
The atmosphere is thick in this humid Andalusian-set drama in which a teenage boy encounters the first pangs of his burgeoning homosexuality.
Lucid dreaming and entangled destinies give an otherworldly aspect to Kalani Gacon’s intoxicating and bittersweet tale of romantic longing in Kathmandu.
Director Baatar Batsukh raises the bar for Mongolian genre cinema with his twist-heavy, visually impressive psycho-horror debut ‘Aberrance’.
Director Alberto Rodriguez grippingly reconstructs the post-Franco years, using historical riots and prisoners demanding human rights as a microcosm of Spain as it made a screeching transition from fascism to democracy.
A silly joke on a quiet weekend away becomes a painful indicator of impending doom in this low-key Norwegian break-up drama.
Years of guilt and shame are exorcised in Davit Pirtskhalava’s stagy drama tracking the aftershocks of bullying.
Jose Maria Cabral’s historical drama about the appalling 1937 ‘Parsley massacre’ in the Dominican Republic is a well-mounted but utterly harrowing picture of atrocity.
Debutant director Juri Padel’s low-budget cyberpunk thriller ‘Junk Space Berlin’ elevates its scrambled plot and fuzzy intentions with dazzling digital glitch-art visuals.
Director Colin West’s soulful sci-fi comedy drama ‘Linoleum’ balances its sentimental message with sharp jokes, strong performances and deft plot twists.
This ambiguous single-take drama poignantly depicts a mundane morning in a family home, subtly exploring grief and the ways we hold on and move on.
Revenge is not so sweet in ‘Our Father, The Devil,’ director Ellie Foumbi’s gripping, horror-tinged thriller about African immigrants with a shared history of violence.
Social tensions and strange cosmic disturbances collide in French director Cédric Ido’s imperfect but admirably ambitious genre-blurring thriller ‘The Gravity’.
An 11-year-old girl has a sexual awakening when she joins an older girls’ football team, but she struggles to understand and control taboo desires.
A complex thriller based on a true sexual abuse scandal involving Chilean politicians, priests, businessmen and homeless children, where nobody is wholly innocent or guilty.
A gory, suspenseful debut from Kazakhstan’s Darkhan Tulegenov offers a moody, pessimistic take on the crime thriller that interrogates class inequality and hypocrisy.
Jung Woo-sung’s accomplished directorial debut is a South Korean actioner brimming with inventive flash that marks him as a filmmaker to watch.
A vague, dreamlike lyricism is prioritised over socio-political critique in Rob Rice’s collaboratively-minded doc-fiction portrait of a family facing uncertain futures in the Californian desert.
A young Filipina migrant worker in Hong Kong dreams of dancing her way to freedom in Stefanos Tai’s imaginative photo-montage musical ‘We Don’t Dance for Nothing’.
Steven Spielberg solidifies his legendary origin story playing with truth, fiction, and the magic of moviemaking.
Javier Bardem and Chris Rock star in this febrile melodrama, directed by Sally Potter, about an explosive moment in a relationship.
Reviews of the XR experiences on offer in Venice.
Strongly worded films with clear social and political attitudes took the prizes at the 79th Venice Film Festival, led by Laura Poitras’s Golden Lion winner ‘All the Beauty and the Bloodshed.’
Laura Baumeister’s feature debut is a critical and compassionate portrait of lives on the precarious edge of Nicaraguan society.
A crowded, often frustrating reset of the first post-Covid festival partly obscured the high-quality programming.
A caustically funny and sharply perceptive portrait of adolescence and the toxic perils of obsessive cinephilia.
Director Carlos Lechuga sends a powerful farewell letter to a country adrift in depression and despair in this heartbreaking chronicle of the post-Cuban revolution.
The world premiere of Jafar Panahi’s simple but militantly engrossing ‘No Bears’, which comes to grips with the thin line between art and reality, took place in Venice competition while the director remained in prison in Tehran after his second arrest on July 11.
The sixth feature from French actor-director Roschdy Zem, co-written by co-star Maïwenn, feels like it’s on autopilot most of the time.
Inspired by Schubert’s song cycle Die schone Mullerin, Christopher at Sea is a dizzying animated odyssey into solitude and obsessive, unrequited desire.
Susanna Nicchiarelli’s biopic of Saint Clare seems less interested in religion than a lesbian-nun spectacle like Paul Verhoeven’s ‘Benedetta.’
A harmless ruse to enable some teenage fumbling upsets the equilibrium of a relationship in Kawthar Younis’ pointed chamber piece.
Steve Buscemi makes a rare return to directing for ‘The Listener’, starring Tessa Thompson, a well-meaning but slender single-person drama about hurting and healing in a post-Covid world.
Kazakh director Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s reinvention of the western is a cutting political allegory, a taut revenge tale and a visual extravaganza rolled into one.
The Venice Film Festival was the first major film festival to dedicate a special section to Virtual Reality (VR) that wasn’t an ad-hoc event. The entire VR community of producers, artists, buyers, sellers and exhibition people now congregate in Venice each year to...
A family is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice in this stomach-churning dystopian tragedy about the chilling effects of social control.
Pre-release hype will be the biggest friend to this mess of a pseudo-biopic that reduces Marilyn Monroe to a disturbed child-woman with Daddy issues, never offering a glimpse of the screen magic notwithstanding Ana de Armas’ impressive recreation.
A teenage boy’s worldview is unsettled by a confusing encounter with an older woman in this riveting Mongolian coming-of-age drama.
A shattering drama that courageously portrays Iran as a violent Big Brother police state, Vahid Jalilvand’s third film is a shrill, breath-taking mind-trip driven by between two exceptional actors, Navid Mohammadzadeh and Diana Habibi.
Fyzal Boulifa’s sophomore feature after festival hit ‘Lynn + Lucy’ is too narrow in scope and yet not precise enough.
French playwright-turned-film director Florian Zeller (‘The Father’), again adapts his own play, here starring Hugh Jackman, and the result is a solid drama that unravels in the home stretch.
Alice Diop’s superb fiction debut is a marvel of control and depth, using the trial of a Senegalese woman guilty of killing her infant to honestly explore the complexities of motherhood while foregrounding it all within France’s racist currents.
A manual day laborer is selected to play Hitler in a film, but this stroke of “luck” leads to terrible tragedies on the film set in Houman Seyedi’s expertly crafted, realistic/metaphoric tale about authoritarian society.
Debuting director Theo Montoya offers up an ambitious slice of atmospheric and resonant queer punk.
Award-winning documentary team Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel plunge deep into the heart of the adult daughter of spaghetti western star Giuliano Gemma in a wonderfully touching film portrait that tips its Stetson at the illusory side of documentaries.
Director Gianni Amelio recreates a dismaying but true story from 1960’s Italy, when a brilliant writer who does little to hide his love for young men is persecuted and put on trial by a laughably outmoded justice system.
A young woman’s first love turns out to be a bad dream in the final film of South Korean master Kim Ki-duk, a visually striking if (for Kim) restrained relationship film that was posthumously completed by Estonian producer and director Artur Veeber.
Joanna Hogg’s latest exploration of mother-daughter relations sees Tilda Swinton playing both roles in an etiolated ghost story whose artificiality kills its characters despite Swinton’s admirable performances.
Philippine auteur Lav Diaz offers a damning and doomed critique of the violent state of his country through the on-screen physical and psychological disintegration of a policeman weighed down by the guilt of his officially-sanctioned murderous past in ‘When the Waves Are Gone’.
A young couple dealing with the tragic loss of a child finds their love for each other challenged in a deeply original drama from Koji Fukada (‘Harmonium’).
Writer-director Carolina Cavalli paints a charming picture of a charmless heroine in her confidently quirky debut feature ‘Amanda’.
The latest comedy-drama from Martin McDonagh, which reunites the stars of ‘In Bruges,’ Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, is darkly entertaining but never quite believable.
Italy’s premier documaker Gianfranco Rosi turns his attention to Pope Francis and his non-stop foreign travels, stressing the ecumenical core of his messaging as he comments on the world’s horrors.
In a career-best performance, Brendan Fraser turns Darren Aronofsky’s apartment-bound drama about an unhappy English teacher crippled by obesity and his daughter’s distance into a classic piece of filmmaking whose emotions are truly immense.
Penélope Cruz is a joy as a 1970s mother whose free spirit is frozen by her husband’s stereotyped insensitivity, yet other elements of Emanuele Crialese’s film, which is equally focused on the daughter’s certainty she was born the wrong gender, are less transcendent.
An old-fashioned historical epic on steroids in which a bloodthirsty corsair makes an alliance with the King of Algiers but then determines to conquer the ruler’s headstrong wife.
Rebecca Zlotowski’s latest drama stars Viriginie Efira (‘Benedetta’) and incisively explores issues of parenthood and generational transmission.
This deft and low-key drama uses fires raging in the Amazon to explore how a young woman is drawn to religion in search of some form of stability.
A teenage girl’s sense of isolation is writ large across the screen in this frosty Macedonian coming-of-age short that is warmed by a compelling lead performance.
A 1963 BBC interview with James Baldwin, and conducted by Peter Duval Smith, is recreated in this polished and energising narrative short.
Two men share in intimate and intense moment on a deserted shoreline in this short drama about violence, emancipation, and the fine lines between the two.
Story Chen’s Palme D’Or-winning short is a mesmerising journey through memory and melancholia as a woman takes a farewell tour of her hometown.
Touches of magical realism aren’t enough to hold together this well-meaning yet clumsy story of an adolescent girl in war-torn Damascus whose father refuses to accept that changed circumstances make his pose as the family guardian irrelevant.
A timely occasion to foreground the growing role of American extremists like the Proud Boys is largely manqué in Paul Schrader’s unconvincing story about a marked man trying to redeem himself, starring Joel Edgerton and Sigourney Weaver.
Santiago Mitre’s drama about the Trial of the Juntas does this important milestone in Argentina’s history justice.
Georgia Oakley’s debut feature is at times a little clumsy but it’s also the work of an interesting new voice in British cinema with a flair for expressive images.
Artist Nan Goldin’s activism in holding the Sackler family accountable for the opioid crisis is seen as a natural extension of her rebellious, freely lived and proudly messy life in Laura Poitras’ well-structured, powerful documentary.
Sébastien Lifshitz’s latest documentary explores a U.S. hideout for cross-dressing men and trans women but beyond the subject itself, which is interesting, not much of the director’s usual rigour can be found.
An eye-popping, eardrum-piercing action film in which the more serious social and mythical elements are pretty on the nose.
Whatever its structural defects, Moses Bwayo and Christopher Sharp’s documentary is an important document of political tyranny in this decade.
Luca Guadagnino again proves his understanding of the yearning for a fellow soul that defines all feelings of difference in this beautifully played road trip movie which uses cannibalism as metaphor.
Midlife crisis meets coming-of-ager in this sensitive, elegant first film set in Rome and directed by Italian actress Monica Dugo.
Abel Ferrara’s total misfire aims to merge the story of a 1920 class-related massacre with the contemporaneous crisis of faith of Italy’s most popular 20th century saint, but the poor script, bad acting and overall lack of cohesion make this just a time-waster.
A monologue on love, marriage, devotion and utter deception that will play best to fans of either Leo Tolstoy or Frederick Wiseman — perhaps to both.
A wicked French thriller that goes overboard but does it in fun and clever ways, with nods to both Hitchcock and Chabrol.
War and patriarchy deprive Azerbaijani women of their sons in an intimate, courageous drama that intertwines personal and political plot lines, directed and acted by first-time director Tahmina Rafaella.
A finely controlled film about a woman of flawed greatness, portrayed by a rarely-better Cate Blanchett.
A supposedly straight man finds himself in a drag wonderland that feels strangely sanitised in Florent Gouëlou’s debut feature.
Noah Baumbach and an inspired cast headlining Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig enjoyably bring Don DeLillo’s “unfilmable” novel about America in the Eighties to life with retro gusto, while straining to make it relevant.
Paris-based Lebanese filmmaker Wissam Charaf’s second feature takes a delicately droll and deadpan approach in depicting social malaise in Beirut, as seen by a migrant Ethiopian maid and a bomb-surviving Syrian refugee.
A rare fictionalized look at a Nigerian sex worker in Italy that celebrates its subject, flaws and all, with a spirited central performance and a laudable sensitivity destined to find welcoming arms worldwide.
Mark Cousins’ thought-provoking examination of the rise of Fascism through a detailed analysis of a 1922 propaganda film that signaled the start of a far-right ideology whose insidious roots continue to find fertile ground.
The Balkan region’s prime cinematic gathering bounced back from pandemic shutdown with a strong film program, starry guests and plenty of party attitude.
Director Kilian Riedhof’s deluxe weepie ‘You Will Not Have My Hate’ is based on a best-selling memoir about a Parisian family dealing with the aftermath of terrorist violence.
Croatian director and actor Juraj Lerotic was the big winner at Sarajevo, taking home both the Best Film and Best Actor prizes for his sensitive and devastating feature ‘Safe Place’.
This debut feature from Bianca Lucas is an unusual portrait of contemporary America and an incredibly intimate, heart-wrenching depiction of grief.
The past is a foreign country full of shadowy horrors in ‘The Eclipse’, Serbian director Nataša Urban’s prize-winning documentary about unreliable memory and collective amnesia.
Farah Hasanbegovic uses a beautifully simple hand-drawn animation style to bring to life this meditation on physical limitations and finding acceptance in our own bodies.
Atmosphere is everything in this ambiguous, slightly absurd short that leaves a great deal left unsaid, but perfects a lingering sense of melancholy.
This engrossed fly-on-the-wall style documentary follows a group of Bulgarian football hooligans, detailing their highs and lows in a changing world.
A rebellious teenage mother gives her newborn baby daughter up for adoption in Noemi Veronika Szakonyi’s emotionally raw, elegantly shot drama ‘Six Weeks’.
Two unlikely Balkan bikers and a Slavic Pixie Dream Girl share an eventful road trip in ‘Riders’, director Dominik Mencej’s slight but sweet semi-homage to ‘Easy Rider’.
This portrait of a musical prodigy brims with the same energy as its subject’s piano playing while depicting the boy as well as the talent.
Serbian director Mladen Kovacevic finds echoes of the current Covid pandemic in Europe’s last smallpox outbreak in his artful, atmospheric found-footage documentary ‘Another Spring’.
Raw, authentic emotion and inventive lyricism combine in Juraj Lerotic’s sensitive, devastating reckoning with an acute mental health crisis in the family.
This personal essay film inflected with horror movie motifs delves into childhood notions of bogeymen and the sobering truth behind them.
A murder cover-up in a corrupt town is the catalyst for an inept police chief’s crisis of conscience in Paul Negoescu’s downbeat portrait of masculinity in meltdown ‘Men of Deeds’.
The 75th edition of the Locarno Film Festival reinforced what’s been apparent for some time: programming a major festival largely composed of world premieres that falls between Cannes and Venice is no easy task. Embracing its cinephilic reputation with more conviction...
Bosnian director Aida Begic gives a 21st century feminist remix to a 19th century folk story in her baggy but formally ambitious Sarajevo festival premiere ‘A Ballad’.
This deceptively simple documentary explores the nature of creation by juxtaposing the work of Ukrainian sculptors who’ve turned their hands to the war effort.
Brazilian director Julia Murat’s bold, brave and important feature ‘Rule 34’ (‘Regra 34’) walked off with the Pardo d’oro for best film at Locarno in a surprise win.
The celebration of a forthcoming marriage is depicted with poignancy and subtlety in Lola Cambourieu and Yann Berlier’s intimate short.
A twisted sister at an all-girl Catholic school pushes her fanatical faith to dangerous extremes in Ruth Mader’s gripping psycho-horror thriller ‘Serviam – I Will Serve’.
Complex and a bit obscure, Ery Claver’s directing debut is a clever contemplation of religion, power, and politics in Angola.
Swiss director Eva Vitija gets up close and personal with much-filmed thriller author and queer icon Patricia Highsmith in her well-crafted documentary ‘Loving Highsmith’.
Julia Murat’s film about a law student with a pornographic pastime is a brave, immoral, and important work.
Director Santiago Fillol revisits the brutal political climate of 1970s Argentina through the lens of cinema in his dry but elegant period thriller ‘Matadero’.
Award-winning documentary director Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s latest exquisitely composed opus looks at the global garbage crisis, from Maldive palm groves strewn with plastic to festering landfills, encompassing community rubbish collections and recycling plants in a cinema-essay style whose noninterventionist approach caters to audiences already committed to the cause.
Past the rather dull international title, Jean Paul Civeyrac’s ‘A Woman’ is a serviceable drama with thriller-esque features and Sophie Marceau in the lead role.
A troubled teenage girl finds love and liberation in the nightclubs of 1980s Paris in director Sylvie Verheyde’s slight but charming autobiographical retro-drama ‘Stella in Love’.
There’s much to admire in Valentina Maurel’s dramatic depiction of a dysfunctional father and daughter relationship, chiefly its terrific performances
Debuting director Julie Lerat-Gersant imbues tremendous sympathy for her 16-year-old pregnant protagonist in this unpretentious, heartfelt drama whose overall predictability doesn’t detract from its modest strengths.
Jeff Rutherford’s debut feature film is enlivened by a screenplay packed with truths about the damage parents and partners can cause.
Debut director Thomas Hardiman’s off-beat single-shot murder mystery ‘Medusa Deluxe’ is a dazzling catwalk show of spiky comedy, fluid camerawork and fabulous hair.
Alexander Sokurov indulges his fascination with the corrosiveness of power in this mesmeric, bewildering and often tedious phantasmagoria combining deep fake technology with the graphic arts.
Backed by Vasco Viana’s superb cinematography, Carlos Conceição’s film about a squadron of soldiers in pre-independence Angola rises above its narrative gaps.
An intriguing though not always well-integrated attempt to engage with different forms of storytelling, including traditional Malaysian folklore, at the service of a feminist revenge tale.
A pair of eccentric bohemian sisters build a machine that can change the future in Irish director Andrew Legge’s flawed but admirably ambitious lo-fi sci-fi oddity ‘Lola’.
A misfire of perplexing obliviousness, in which we’re meant to believe that Udo Kier’s character once bore a striking resemblance to Hitler. The best that can be said about this limp comedy is that it could have been far more offensive.
Class inequality, corruption and power dynamics between the sexes is the background to this working-class Malayalam drama anchored by the nuanced female lead, played by Divya Prabha, and mesmeric images in a latex glove factory.
Brad Pitt plays a laconic hit man in director David Leitch’s ‘Bullet Train’, a laborious action comedy about mayhem and murder on an Oriental express.
Japanese director Masaaki Kudo turns a compassionate eye on a 17-year-old nightclub hostess with a toddler, sent skidding toward prostitution in a heart-felt story set on Okinawa.
Director Jake Paltrow’s multi-character drama about the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, ‘June Zero’ is a bold but muddled patchwork.
Signe Baumane’s animated feature is so brilliant in presenting a female perspective on love and marriage that you forgive its need to tell us the science behind romance.
Ambiguity abounds in Emmanuel Tardif’s elusive Québécois drama about a family’s self-imposed isolation after an unexpected event and the spreading fractures in their fragile status quo.
Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk’s debut is a propulsive drama employing folkloric elements and mythic overtones in its portrayal of a man trying to navigate a provincial criminal underworld.
Spanish director Jonas Trueba reunites his favorite actors for a 64-minute chamber piece, in a relaxed, engaging, free-wheeling exchange of moods and ideas between two 30-something couples.
The masks were off and the parties were on at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (July 1-9) in a 56th edition brimming with street music, audiences hungry for edgy new movies and civilian crowds gaily mixing with festival-goers in what felt like the first...
CRYSTAL GLOBE COMPETITION Grand Prix – Crystal Globe SUMMER WITH HOPE Directed by: Sadaf FOROUGHI Special Jury Prize YOU HAVE TO COME AND SEE IT Directed by: Jonás Trueba Best Director Beata PARKANOVA for WORD Best Actress (jointly awarded) Taki...
Cruel and delicate, this Icelandic drama shows troubled kids as the product of the actions and inactions of adults.
Two cultural titans, Jean-Luc Godard and Ebrahim Golestan, exchange online messages in director Mitra Farahani’s scrappy but sporadically charming documentary ‘See You Friday, Robinson’.
Andreas Horvath’s observational documentary offers a different, meditative view of animals in captivity, whose uneventful lives without a human audience inevitably recall our own experience with the pandemic.
Director Nina Menkes attacks cinema’s long history of sexism, including some canonical male directors, in her timely and enjoyably polemical filmed lecture ‘Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power’.
The nature of loss both personal and planetary become intertwined in Ramzi Bashour’s mordantly comic drama about a man returning home after his father’s death.
Canadian-based filmmaker Sadaf Foroughi (‘Ava’, 2017) revisits the theme of teenage rebellion in middle-class Iran in a drama full of danger and nervous energy.
Austrian director Magdalena Lauritsch’s sci-fi eco-disaster movie ‘Rubikon’ is an admirably ambitious but dramatically flawed debut.
The Covid ward of a hospital in a town in western Bulgaria is the subject of this clear-eyed observational documentary about the perseverance of both its staff and patients.
Iranian director Dornaz Hajiha pushes maternal and paternal sentiment to anguishing extremes in an intriguing and intensely acted debut feature, but the ending is missing.
Drugs, rap music and reckless hunger for fame prove to be a potent cocktail in Czech writer-director Adam Sedlák’s enjoyably cartoonish comedy thriller ‘Banger’.
The women’s toilet in a nightclub becomes the site of miniature disasters and minor catastrophes in Angelika Abramovitch’s multi-stranded and surprisingly affecting short.
Tomasz Wasilewski’s oblique new drama is a slowly unwinding puzzle in which a couple’s life is thrown into disarray when one of them brings her ill son to live with them.
Actor-director Christos Passalis draws on his Greek Weird Wave roots for ‘Silence 6-9’. a cryptic but mostly impressive debut feature.
A layered, mellow rom-com follows an aspiring, insecure actress torn between two love interests and careers in modern-day Madrid.
Ofir Raul Graizer’s sophomore feature is a novelistic exploration of duty and companionship that is as vibrant and colourful as it is humane.
A wild documentary ride through the selection process at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, where the teaching staff brainstorms to test the hidden talent of young applicants, and future artists do their best to make the undefined grade.
Director Alexandre Philippe’s undisciplined but insightful documentary ‘Lynch/Oz’ explores the influence of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ on David Lynch’s surreal cinematic universe.
Jonathan Glazer’s lockdown short embraces the urge to dance, re-framing a 16th century madness into an infectious ode to perseverance in the pandemic era.
A couple decide to broaden their sexual horizons with increasingly complicated results in Tomasz Winski’s knotty and intimate examination of honesty within relationship dynamics.
A young Georgian woman struggles to overcome stifling sexism and emotional trauma in director Ioseb “Soso” Bliadze’s worthy but muted chamber drama ‘A Room of My Own’.
A family celebration in 1980s Yugoslavia turns out to be anything but in this unnerving chamber piece that peppers farcical notes into an otherwise stomach-churning thriller.
A small-town notary and his unbending wife put honor and honesty first in an uplifting if under-dramatized story from the Czech Republic’s Communist past, directed by Beata Parkanova.
Baroque stylings and meticulous composition create a hermetically sealed world in Eduardo Casanova’s ornate tale of overbearing matriarchal control.
Noomi Rapace is among the moving female cast of Goran Stolevski’s Macedonian folk tale about blood-sucking, shape-shifting witches who offer body horror at its scariest, yet it’s also full of poetry, with a lot to say about women and life on Earth.
Argentinean director Marco Berger turns his queer eye on the straight guys in ‘Horseplay’, a darkly funny critique of homophobic machismo.
Tsai Ming-liang is a master of the meditative short and he’s on exemplary form again with this nocturnal moment of rest in a restless Hong Kong.
A woman seeks a fortune teller’s guidance about her ailing love life in this discursive but affecting portrait of generational trauma and self-love.
Engrossing and full of credible Euro SFX, the Lithuanian-French sci fi fantasy featuring Raffiella Chapman as a 13-year-old, self-taught scientist looking for a way out of a socially and environmentally sick world, seems targeted at imaginative YA audiences.
Polish director Anna Kazejak chronicles scenes from a collapsing marriage in her darkly comic holiday-from-hell psychodrama ‘Fucking Bornholm’.
Brazil’s first manned rocket launch provides a catalyst for transformation and a leftfield opportunity for escape in Carlos Segundo’s bittersweet and dryly absurdist short.
Felix Herrmann’s hybrid film is an occasionally dry but frank examination of faith, feminism, and ambition in the modern world.
German writer-director Carolin Schmitz takes a journey from here to maternity in her fresh but slight docu-drama hybrid ‘Mother’.
Maksym Nakonechnyi’s carefully calibrated drama about a young Ukrainian woman soldier who returns home in a prisoner exchange, tortured and pregnant, projects a more human, less heroic view of the Ukraine-Russia war while it affirms a woman’s right to choice vis-à-vis maternity.
Katharina Woll handles her delightful debut feature film with the grace and sensitivity of a much more experienced filmmaker, with a hand from lead actress Anne Ratte-Polle.
A random tragedy exposes the dark heart of a rural Irish community in ‘It’s In Us All’, the absorbing debut feature from actor-director Antonia Campbell-Hughes.
Claudia Müller’s dense, cerebral exploration of the Austrian Nobel winner’s life and politics confirms her unique and complex place in European letters.
An otherwise solid examination of a young man’s masculinity dircted by newcomer Oliver Grüttner isn’t quite sure if it seeks to praise or condemn.
A grieving young woman tries to make sense of her shattered life in director Pola Beck’s sensually rich literary adaptation ‘All Russians Love Birch Trees’.
Class and race intersect in a suspenseful drama set in the Dominican Republic, where loyalties get tested when a Black nanny raises the spoilt brat of a wealthy white family.
A richly satirical sci-fi allegory with an edge of biting social commentary, writer-director Sophie Linnenbaum’s impressive feature debut ‘The Ordinaries’ is anything but ordinary.
Teenage rebels confront the sexually abusive leader of a cult-like commune in German director Christopher Roth’s timely, engrossing, based-on-reality drama ‘So Long Daddy, See You in Hell’.
Actress Kika Sena takes director Marcelo Gomes’s story of a young trans woman to another level as Paloma, a romantic mother and farm worker who dreams of a formal church wedding,
In writer-director Anna Jadowska’s sensitive whydunit, veteran Polish actress and Tribeca winner Dorota Pomykala plunges the viewer into psychological depths in her deftly nuanced portrait of a 60-year-old who tries to rob a bank with a kitchen knife.
Ordinary Ukrainians — soldiers, civilians and volunteers — make gripping subjects in Volodymyr Tykhyy’s utterly realistic doc, depicting life in post-apocalyptic Kyiv as the populace braces for a very long war.
Director Rita Baghdadi’s engaging, ear-bashing documentary ‘Sirens’ chronicles the emotional and political struggles of Lebanon’s first all-female thrash metal band.
Director Alexandre Philippe’s latest essay-film ‘The Taking’ is a thoughtful, visually ravishing, politically charged rumination on American cinema’s oldest rock stars.
A transgender man whose teenage daughter is about to learn his well-kept secret is at the heart of a serviceably shot but deeply felt Iranian drama directed by Sepideh Mir Hosseini.
Along with the shiny gold button given to badge-holders celebrating Cannes’ 75th glorious anniversary, this year’s festival can justly be hailed as a return to normality after the Covid-19 pandemic canceled it in 2020 and severely truncated it in 2021. Whether it’s...
With a deft hand for black comedy, Norwegian director Kristoffer Borgli takes his examination of modern narcissism to its body-horror extreme.
Palme d'Or TRIANGLE OF SADNESS directed by Ruben ÖSTLUNDGrand Prix (jointly awarded) CLOSE directed by Lukas DHONTSTARS AT NOON directed by Claire DENISBest Director PARK Chan-wook for DECISION TO LEAVE Best Screenplay Tarik SALEH for BOY FROM HEAVEN Jury Prize...
Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret’s film is a solid debut indebted to the impressive performances of its child actors.
WINNER OF THE CAMERA D’OR IN CANNES FOR BEST FIRST FILM. ‘War Pony’, from first-time directing duo Riley Keough and Gina Gammell, deeply immerses the viewer in the roughshod coming-of-age drama of two teenage boys who live on the fringes of the law on a Native American reservation in South Dakota.
Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravi?ius was killed by Russian soldiers after shooting footage for this gritty and unnerving documentary about life in the besieged, bombed-out Ukrainian city of Mariupol.
Sex and love don’t always make for ideal bedmates, and the strain one places on the other is at the heart of Swiss writer-director Jan Gassmann’s latest feature, 99 Moons. Provocative but also thought-provoking, this story of a couple that meets through a Tinder-like...
Director Serge Bozon offers up a dour, quirky Don Juan (played by Tahar Rahim) for the age of #MeToo.
Documentary director Lotfy Nathan’s prize-winning dramatic debut ‘Harka’ is a powerful if slightly heavy-handed take on injustice and protest in the Arab world.
Sergei Loznitsa’s latest archival cinema essay, inspired by W.G. Sebald’s book and organized within a quasi-symphonic structure, lays out the brutality of fire bombings in World War II and the ways the war machine refused to acknowledge the human costs.
Thomas Salvador’s beguiling second feature innovatively combines a realistic first half with fantasy elements in the second without losing its earlier spirit, achieved through unpretentious storytelling, a superb visual eye and excellent special effects.
Clément Cogitore is less known in France as a feature filmmaker than as young and highly coveted visual artist, with shorts like the Siberia-set documentary, Braguino, and the crunk dance battle/opera piece Les Indes galantes — both released in 2017 — sealing his...
Magisterial in the manner of 19th century epic novels and visually influenced by that era’s photography, Hlynur Pálmason’s third feature is a stunning, psychologically rich tale set against Iceland’s awe-inspiring landscapes.
CANNES GRAND PRIX – JOINTLY AWARDED, REVIEWED MAY 26 Set in Central America, Claire Denis’ second English-language film is more straightforward than most of her works but is unmistakably hers in the way she suspends her complex characters in the sweaty grasp of a tropical setting.
CANNES GRAND PRIX, JOINTLY AWARDED – REVIEWED MAY 27 Lukas Dhont’s gut-wrenching second feature is a stunning ode to adolescent same-sex friendship and a powerful critique of the ways society normalizes aggression while demonizing physical tenderness.
PALME D’OR IN CANNES, REVIEWED MAY 22 Swedish social satirist Ruben Östlund returns to Cannes with ‘Triangle of Sadness’, another sprawling but roaringly funny attack on wealth, beauty and privilege.
A father and son make daily parachute jumps from their cliffside home to sell ice in João Gonzalez’s gripping and poignant animation.
Prize-winning French writer-director Léonor Serraille plots a multi-decade family saga in her ambitious but uneven second feature ‘Mother and Son’.
Winner of the Jury Prize in Un Certain Regard, Sadiq’s delicate first feature explores the destructive force of patriarchy in a Pakistani family and the fallout from a long-unemployed man’s work at an erotic dance theatre.
Newcomers Marie Perennes and Simon Depardon’s documentary looks at feminists across France whose posters and slogans try to reclaim public spaces and denounce sexism, violence and femicides.
A teenager cares for her younger siblings in this delicate portrait of familial love and the desire to hold on to a semblance of childhood.
After her award-winning ‘Adam’, writer-director Maryam Touzani affirms her strong storytelling skills in a hugely touching love story set in an old Moroccan medina, where Lubna Azabal battles illness to be with her homosexual husband Saleh Bakri.
Michelle Williams reunites with feted indie writer-director Kelly Reichardt for ‘Showing Up’, a modest but moving portrait of frustrated artists and dysfunctional families.
A young woman wrestles with the duality of her private self and her public persona in this brief but highly effective South Korean animation.
Two boys struggle with the loss of their older brother in this liminal and haunting Ghanian drama from director Amartei Armar.
It’s the end of Europe as we know it, but stars Vincent Lacoste and Sandrine Kiberlain feel just fine in this breezy, rather trite French caper flick.
María Silvia Esteve’s new short is a bombastic and overwhelming voyage of colour and sound that conveys the psychological sensation of spiraling hypochondria.
Laetitia Wright and Tamara Lawrence play twisted sisters in director Agnieszka Smoczy?ska’s uneven but beguiling true story ‘The Silent Twins’.
An offbeat comedy about family dysfunction ultimately becomes a touching examination of how we deal with scars left on us by our histories.
Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu’s first film lensed in South Korea, about a well-intentioned gang who sell motherless babies, is a minor work with only distant echoes of his 2018 Palm d’Or winner Shoplifters, but still imbued with the filmmaker’s militant humanism.
Louis Garrel’s latest feature as an actor-director is a romp reminiscent of the crime comedies from Stanley Donen.
Spanish director Albert Serra’s slow-burning, suspenseful Tahiti-set tale pitches Benoît Magimel’s quasi-colonial official against nuclear conspiracies.
Baz Luhrmann restores The King to his throne in his subjective but generous, imaginative and visually opulent rock’n’roll biopic ‘Elvis’.
Emin Alper’s best film to date is a searing drama of corruption in a small Turkish town that deftly tackles populism, environmental destruction and, surprisingly, homophobia.
Pepi Ginsberg’s riveting drama tackles the combustible nature of repressed sexuality when a spot of wild swimming takes an unexpectedly dangerous turn.
The outlawing of physical contact creates a cauldron of unexpressed sensuality for the burnished and browbeaten shipyard workers of Evi Kalogiropoulou’s eerie dystopian short.
Swiss director Lionel Baier directs a comedy-drama about a mother, her son and the European Union’s refugee crisis that’s unexpected, to say the least.
Director Saeed Roustaee (‘Just 6.5’) takes a hard turn into social drama with his epic saga about an Iranian family trying to claw its way out of poverty, beautifully shot, directed and acted.
Actor turned director Owen Kline’s assured debut feature is a slimy, grimy comedy of failure and awkwardness.
Lebanese artist-filmmaker Ali Cherri delivers a visually mesmerising and quietly political first feature, set among Sudanese bricklayers working on the biggest hydroelectrical dam in Africa.
Shuli Huang’s intensely personal and moving diary film is like a heart-wrenching exploration of – and possibly coda to – his relationship with his mother.
Mario Martone directs another romantic terror tour through baroque, Camorra-ridden Naples, where actor Pierfrancesco Favino has a rendezvous with fate.
A gently appealing choral work from Tunisia with a strong understanding of rhythm and balance that marks a strong first feature for documentary-trained Erige Sehiri.
Director Brett Morgen’s overstuffed hot mess of a documentary ‘Moonage Daydream’ celebrates David Bowie’s legacy as a live performer, spiritual thinker and living work of art.
The latest from the Belgian Dardenne brothers is yet another one of their dramas of stripped-back social realism, this time about two immigrant minors who try to pass as siblings.
Gender construction is denounced in a raw, slow-burning exposé of toxic masculinity among Colombia’s street thugs.
In this first-time feature from Colombia, a group of convicted juvenile criminals are stranded in a remote country estate, where they undergo a bizarre rehabilitation process while providing free labor for a gang of shady correctional officials. It’s an intriguing...
Ethan Coen’s first solo directing project without brother Joel. ‘Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind’ is a retro-rock documentary with a whole lotta shaking going on, but not much else.
Legendary cult director David Cronenberg’s first film in eight years, ‘Crimes of the Future’ is an ambitious but unconvincing return to familiar body-horror themes.
Korean cult director Park Chan-wook takes us on the rollicking ride of a deconstructed murder investigation, complicated by obsessive love and betrayal.
Director David Ernaux-Briot and his mother, novelist Annie Ernaux, dive into the family’s Super-8 footage collection for this gentle rumination on times past.
Death hovers over director Emily Atef’s fifth feature, More Than Ever (Plus Que Jamais), in unsettling ways. First, it fuels this solemn and emotionally gripping story about a woman in a relationship who's diagnosed with a rare lung disease and faced with her imminent...
Emmanuel Gras’ aesthetically minded short is an abstract vision that blends planetary movement and physical intimacy, playfully meditating on where exactly we come from.
Documentary magicians Paravel and Castaing-Taylor turn their cameras to the human body and the hospitals in which they are treated in their provocative new film.
The second feature as a director from in-demand screenwriter Léa Mysius tries to be about five different films at once, and ends up being one right mess.
Jessie Buckley and multiple versions of Rory Kinnear co-star in writer-director Alex Garland’s impressively weird feminist folk-horror thriller ‘Men’.
Ali Abbasi’s Iranian-set noir, based on a real serial killer of prostitutes, explores the social and religious culture that is often used as an excuse for violence against women.
There’s a lot of raw energy in Davy Chou’s second feature, set in Korea, but the lead character is just too exhausting to watch.
Rebellious Russian filmmaker Marusya Syroechkovskaya’s directorial debut offers dynamic imagery and damning commentary about her stifled generation.
Actress-director Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s feature about young actors studying under Patrice Chéreau (Louis Garrel) is her best work to date.
Prolific French absurdist Quentin Dupieux delivers low-tar laughs and comic-book gore in his fun but disjointed tenth feature, ‘Smoking Causes Coughing’.
French rookie director Simon Rieth’s feature debut contains some arresting images and ideas, but doesn’t quite fully come together.
Quebec actress-turned-director Charlotte Le Bon’s feature debut as a filmmaker is a sensitive, gorgeously filmed and performed coming-of-age story.
Cristian Mungiu’s excoriation of xenophobia in multiethnic Transylvania is a classic example of the director’s dedication to naturalism and boasts several superb sequences, but it tries a bit too hard to encompass more topics than it can comfortably handle.
Though nothing like Patrizio Guzmán’s fabled ‘The Battle of Chile’ or ‘Nostalgia for the Light’, this energizing doc is still a master class on Chile’s recent nation-wide uprising for democracy and social justice.
Alice Winocour’s fascinating if occasionally problematic drama follows a woman’s emotional and psychological journey in the aftermath of a terrorist attack.
Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton star in ‘Mad Max’ creator George Miller’s ambitious but misfiring fairy-tale romance ‘Three Thousand Years of Longing’.
Writer-director Charlotte Wells combines great performances, poetic visuals and bittersweet personal memories in her dazzling debut feature ‘Aftersun’.
Arnaud Desplechin’s latest is a hard-to-like drama that stars Marion Cotillard and Melvil Poupaud as siblings divided by intense hatred.
Dominik Moll directs this fascinating story of an unsolved French criminal case in a solid but workmanlike way.
Mikko Myllylahti’s impressive debut feature is a poetic and perplexing look at a man facing the diminishing of his life’s work with otherworldly stoicism.
Hinging on two compelling performances, this is an absorbing drama that blends the cat-and-mouse tension of a thriller with police procedural to gripping and haunting effect.
A solid though cautious, slow-burn loss-of innocence tale wrapped around the struggle between State versus Religion set (but not shot) in Cairo and designed for Western consumption.
Experimental lo-fi director Mark Jenkin finds a rich seam of pagan folk-horror buried in the rocky terrain of England’s weird wild west in ‘Enys Men’.
The first feature from Japanese female director Chie Hayakawa seethes with violence under its soft-spoken exterior.
Director Emmanuel Nicot’s assured debut feature ‘Love According to Dalva’ navigates dark subject matter with compassion, warmth and great performances.
Director Marie Kreutzer and star Vicky Krieps give a famous 19th century Austrian empress a subversive feminist remix in their joyously imaginative Cannes premiere ‘Corsage’.
An immersive portrait of writer-director James Gray’s family in 1980s Queens, N.Y. is woven around the young protag’s dawning social consciousness.
Léa Seydoux stars in feted French auteur Mia Hansen-Løve’s slender autobiographical rumination on love and loss ‘One Fine Morning’.
Polish auteur Jerzy Skolimowski’s mix of beauty and bombast makes a donkey of a promising premise of making audiences observe a chaotic, cruel world through a braying animal’s eyes.
Mathieu Vadepied’s affecting portrait of paternal love hinges on intensely involving performances by Omar Sy and Alassane Diong, as an African father who goes to war to protect his conscript son.
A fiery and timely reflection about a dark episode in French history at the risk of being written out of the books with the normalisation of far-right politics in the country.
Writer-director Lola Quivoron’s debut, Rodeo, belongs to a recent class of French films made by and about young women, with stories that combine the coming-of-age genre — what the French call un film d’initiation — with elements of a Hollywood thriller or horror...
Emily Watson plays a troubled Irish matriarch in ‘God’s Children’ a handsome but heavy-handed family psychodrama from directing duo Seala Davis and Anna Rose Holmer.
Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch adapt Paolo Cognetti’s novel for the big screen and while the film takes too long to get going, its final hour impresses.
Cristèle Alves Meira’s feature debut is an uneven work that combines anthropological and documentary details with more supernatural elements.
Pietro Marcello’s disappointing follow-up to “Martin Eden” combines uncharacteristically saccharine visuals with a weak narrative and treacly score.
A disappointingly anemic take on the great composer’s unfortunate marriage, gloriously shot by Vladislav Opelyants yet hampered by Kirill Serebrennikov’s less than penetrating narrative.
Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton look back on their ground-breaking feminist comedy hit ‘9 to 5’ in this timely documentary from directors Camille Hardman and Gary Lane.
‘The Artist’ director Michel Hazanavicius tackles the zombie comedy genre for his Cannes opener and delivers the laughs, if not quite something substantial.
Tom Cruise returns to his career-making role as a hotshot U.S. Navy pilot in director Joseph Kosinski’s shallow but action-packed sequel ‘Top Gun: Maverick’
Toronto photographer Louie Palu’s unstructured yet immersive trip into the Donbas war zones in 2016 makes a skin-crawling intro to the current invasion of Ukraine.
Fashion icon Vivienne Westwood and her son Joe Corré attempt to reclaim punk’s radical roots in director Nigel Askew’s scrappy but engaging documentary ‘Wake Up Punk’.
Hossein Tehrani’s gently melancholy first feature about poor farm laborers, which won Tokyo’s Asian Future competition, reveals a strong new Iranian voice.
The age-old Faroe Islands tradition of slaughtering pilot whales for their tasty meat gets pushback from animal rights activists in a documentary that raises more complex questions.
Scottish director Jono McLeod’s debut documentary ‘My Old School’ is a highly entertaining account of an outlandish fraud and its lingering aftershocks.
Director Daniel Roher’s gripping documentary about the poison plot against Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny gains extra urgency in the light of Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.
In a West Bank documentary that begins like a thriller and ends like a drama, Daniel Carsenty and Mohammed Abugeth introduce a new path into a conflict that never leaves the news.
Éric Baudelaire riffs on the music and musical sensibility of Alvin Curran in this absorbing archival documentary about the revolutionary fervour of mid-century Rome.
In this collaborative rumination on the nature and limits of political protest, Bassem Saad weaves together performance, found footage, and on-screen text with playful results.
A phenomenal archive of cataclysmic imagery is the main attraction in Sara Dosa’s doc about star-crossed volcanologists, but it’s also imbued with their zeal.
Filipa César and Sónia Vaz Borges explore the decolonising power of education in this tale of rebellious scholarship in the tangle of Guinea-Bissau’s mangrove swamps.
ORIGINALLY REVIEWED OCT. 9, 2021 Stephen Graham gives a raw, red-meat performance as a troubled chef in this sizzling single-shot ensemble drama now on Netflix.
CINANDO AND THE FILM VERDICT REVITALIZE THE FILM REVIEW WITH AN EXCLUSIVE DIRECT ACCESS BUTTON TO FILMS ON CINANDO CINANDO and THE FILM VERDICT (TFV) announce an innovative new feature that will make the TFV film review a more valuable tool for film distribution...
A simple premise yields increasingly complex results in Marie Suul Brobakke’s dissection of a romantic relationship between two actors rehearsing a scene.
In partnering with Google’s Image Recognition AI, Jeppe Lange has constructed a 100mph frenzy of match-cutting that is strange, rhythmic and at times somewhat profound.
Golden Alexander Award - International competition A HOUSE MADE OF SPLINTERS (Denmark-Finland-Sweden-Ukraine) by Simon Lereng Wilmont Special Jury Award - International competition YOUNG PLATO (UK-Ireland-France-Belgium) by Declan McGrath and Neasa Ní Chianáin Golden...
ORIGINALLY REVIEWED OCT. 13, 2021 Kenneth Branagh won the Academy Award for best original screenplay for this warm, funny, visually sumptuous autobiographical drama.
Iranian filmmaker Faeze Azizkhani portrays the hazards of making a movie about yourself in a self-referential drama packed with anxiety and irony.
An often poetic and fragmentary course on what it means to be a woman, Tiziano Doria and Samira Guadagnuolo’s The Bride is a demanding project that resists conventional storytelling and yet manages to be engaging.
Fabrizio Maltese’s new documentary is both an artfully captured portrait of Mauritania and a road trip guided by an elusive filmmaker and a watching spirit.
Following a man from Somaliland who journeys from Finland back to the country of his birth, Inka Achte’s documentary is engaging and often entertaining—with an unexplored darkness lodged within its heart.
Sonita Gale’s documentary is an important examination of Britain’s devastating immigration practices over several decades.
Irish writer-director Kate Dolan’s prize-winning debut feature ‘You Are Not My Mother’ is a rich witches’ brew of psychological horror, social realism and creepy Celtic folklore.
Vera Krichevskaya’s lively documentary ‘F@ck This Job’ chronicles how a rebellious gang of champagne-loving Moscow socialites ended up running the last independent TV news channel in Putin’s increasingly repressive Russia.
A career-spanning documentary on Norway’s most successful pop band, ‘A-ha: The Movie’ is an earnest but mostly absorbing study of fame, friendship and midlife angst.
ORIGINALLY REVIEWED SEPT. 13, 2021 Ukrainian activist Oleh Sentsov directs a hard-boiled gangster tale set in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, whose over-the-top violence is starkly undermotivated.
ORIGINALLY REVIEWED SEPT. 3, 2021 An intimate visit to the Donbas trenches, where men (and one oddly portrayed woman) become the latest soldiers in history to experience trench warfare.
ORIGINALLY REVIEWED ON OCT. 25, 2021 Elie Grappe’s sober drama about a teenaged Ukrainian gymnast sent abroad for her safety mixes sports and politics with coming-of-age elements, and represented Switzerland in the Oscar race.
ORIGINALLY REVIEWED OCT. 21, 2021 Writer-director Natalya Vorozhbit’s insightful documentary play-turned-film was Ukraine’s Oscar submission.
A emotionally fragile schoolgirl spends a revelatory summer with foster parents in director Colm Bairéad’s haunting, prize-winning, Irish-language debut feature.
Communal mythologies and the importance of historical forebears are explored in Marina Herrera’s quietly humorous hybrid documentary about a rebellious Indigenous woman.
Debuting director Flávia Neves throws far too many elements into her overstuffed Gothic-tinged plot, intriguing enough to hold attention but too convoluted to withstand criticism.
Musician Colson Baker, aka Machine Gun Kelly, plays a drug-damaged pop star in director Tim Sutton’s ‘Taurus’, a stylishly sleazy but self-indulgent depiction of toxic fame.
Evgenia and Maxim Arbugaeva’s astonishing documentary captures the annual arrival of thousands of walruses on a remote beach in the Russian Arctic in awesome intimacy.
A young woman learns her family is linked to the ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate and other horrors in an authentically harrowing drama shot in Calabria.
Millie foolishly lies low but the film should stand tall given how well it captures the excruciatingly relatable tribulations of a young New Zealand woman who digs herself into a very deep hole while attempting to preserve other peoples’ expectations.
Apocalypse anxiety, discomfort in the childhood home, and the effects of enforced isolation make for a heady brew in Maria Estela Paiso’s multimedia fever dream.
Akuol de Mabior’s first feature-length documentary isn’t quite cohesive, but it offers a partial portrait of a troubled country and one of its female leaders.
Cyril Schäublin’s Berlin prize-winner ‘Unrest’ is a playful, gently subversive, precision-tooled drama about anarchist watch-makers in 19th century Switzerland.
The band of rowdy construction workers at the heart of Serbian director Milos Pusic’s dark new dramedy are not your typical Working Class Heroes, and the film’s title is meant to be taken somewhat ironically, or at least with a sizeable grain of salt. They are,...
Jöns Jönsson’s intriguing slow-burner about a charismatic fabulist occasionally challenges our suspension of disbelief, but its exacting evocation of atmosphere nicely plays on the tension between normality and disruption.
The latest from Swedish documentary director Magnus Gertten (‘Becoming Zlatan’) has an incredible true romance at its heart that is almost overwhelmed by less interesting material.
Mexican director Alejandra Marquez Abella’s latest is a robust rural drama that’s nonetheless lean and mean.
The rapidly changing social mores in Iran are highlighted in the dilemma of a single mother and her baby, directed by Ali Asgari with thriller-like tension.
A new documentary from Lucrecia Martel explores communal creativity and expressive performance by bringing together marginalised artists in the north of Argentina.
Anastasia Veber’s prize-winning drama is an evocative exploration of the lives of young people in contemporary Russia caught between aggression and eroticism, isolation and intimacy.
Taylor Taormina’s experimental second feature captivates without telling a traditional story — or any story at all.
Hong Sang-soo’s 27th feature, and his third in competition in Berlin in as many years, offers his trademark acerbic humor, anchored by veteran Korean actress Lee Hye-young’s caustic turn as an embittered writer.
This grainy, tender, and contemplative film by Sofia Georgovassili approaches a potentially traumatic coming-of-age drama through a fable-like, quotidian lens.
On his first completely solo flight directing without his late brother, Paolo Taviani pays a stirring salute to Sicily’s great novelist and playwright Luigi Pirandello.
Carla Simón’s second feature, which competes in Berlin, is a novelistic yet unsentimental look at a rural Catalan family.
Through a triptych of stories, Kivu Ruhorahoza offers a critique of masculinity and patriarchy in his most accessible film to date.
Another documentary subtly but clearly discouraging African migration, with the good sense to find camera-friendly subjects who imbue the film’s trite theme with humour and energy.
Maggie Peren’s evocation of young, reckless Jewish forger Cioma Schönhaus during the dark days of Hitler’s Berlin is strong on physical atmosphere but can’t balance his devil-may-care spunk with a sense of what awaits should he be caught
French-Canadian director Denis Cote’s latest dives into the lives of three hypersexual women and their summer-retreat therapist in fascinating ways.
Spanish director Isaki Lacuesta’s powerful eyewitness drama ‘One Year, One Night’ chronicles the shattering aftershocks of the 2015 Bataclan theatre attack on one young Parisian couple.
An experimental, hybrid film that in its disjointed way expresses nostalgia for nicotine, Kaffeehaus culture and family bonds, set in present-day Vienna.
A gang of tough queer women controls an illicit oil refinery in this grim neorealist documentary drama, set in Brazil’s largest shanty town.
The truth lies in the spaces between recorded history in Radu Jude and Adrian Cioflânc?’s austere and through-provoking silent documentary.
A beautifully shot, rigidly ice-cold story of love, disease and crushed dreams that will play best with festival crowds and highly selective art houses.
Magnum photographer Micha Bar-Am’s life and work is powerfully, sometimes painfully recounted through still images and offscreen voiceover in Ran Tal’s multilayered documentary that questions the psychological effects of shooting atrocities.
Li Ruijun’s deeply felt portrait of mature love between two socially unvalued Chinese peasants is beautiful to look at, but labors to catch the emotional wave it promises.
French director Mikhaël Hers falls short of his Rohmer-esque ambitions in ‘Passengers of the Night’, a sprawling family drama set in 1980s Paris.
Men talk about sex in director Ruth Beckermann’s latest documentary, but the results aren’t very impressive.
Japanese filmmaker Emma Kawawada takes the humanist cue from her mentor, Hirokazu Kore-eda, and adapt it to her warm and engaging directorial debut, in which a Kurdish-born Japanese teenager struggles to keep her life and dreams afloat when the authorities threaten to deport her family from the country.
Through colourful, chemically contaminated found footage, Rafael Castanheira Parrode evocatively excavates the trauma of the 1987 radioactivity disaster in Goiânia, Brazil.
A joyful, transgressively liberating ode to cinema and the way an unexpected passion can make societal barriers disappear, Nicolette Krebitz’s intelligently written and expertly crafted love story about an older woman and a much younger man is a delight.
When it was announced that Egyptian producer and screenwriter Mohamed Hefzy would be on the World Cinema Dramatic Competition jury at Sundance this year, following his recent jury stints at Venice and BFI London, we saw it as not just a recognition for the producer,...
An anonymous collective of Burmese filmmakers delivers a powerful statement of defiance against the murderous military dictatorship that overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi’s democratically elected government on February 1, 2021.
There’s not much new in this lovingly made impressionistic documentary about New York’s very well-chronicled Chelsea Hotel, but the place and its tenacious residents still have a pull.
Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver play abortion rights activists in director Phyllis Nagy’s worthy but timid debut feature ‘Call Jane’.
An indomitable Turkish woman living in Germany battles to free her son from imprisonment in Guantanamo in Andreas Dresen’s no-surprise recreation of a true story.
French screen heavyweights Juliette Binoche and Vincent Lindon trade bruising blows in ‘Both Sides of the Blade’, a conventional but gripping love-triangle drama from veteran Gallic auteur Claire Denis.
Gen Z’s creative use of video and chat powers Kurdwin Ayub’s knowing take on a teenage girl in Vienna forced to negotiate the tensions and expectations arising from her Kurdish identity.
Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack form a winning pair of performers in Sophie Hyde’s watchable story of sex positivity across age categories.
Indonesian director Kamila Andini’s gently feminist historical drama ‘Nana: Before, Now & Then’ is visually exquisite but tastefully timid.
French filmmaker Bertrand Bonello’s work has often toed the line between narrative and the avant-garde, with plots that are chopped and screwed into a melee of images, sounds and music — the latter often beautifully composed by Bonello himself. His movies are less...
France-based Cambodian director Rithy Panh returns with a hard-hitting film that’s part figurines, part shocking archive footage, much like his Oscar-nominated ‘The Missing Picture.’
A punishing film of unrelenting cruelty which seeks to draw attention to the plight of enslaved Central Asian workers in Russia, but its overstuffed plot and taunting hopelessness is more alienating than galvanizing.
Australian rock duo Nick Cave and Warren Ellis bring their recent lockdown albums to life in Andrew Dominik’s handsome music documentary.
Super 8 footage of an idyllic holiday destination provides the serene surface for Wilbirg Brainin-Donnenberg’s probe into the darker elements of history both political and personal.
Elliot Page’s attachment as executive producer will spur interest, but “Into My Name” stands on its own as a sensitive, humanist portrait of four young F to M trans Italians coming into their own.
Cult director Peter Strickland’s culinary art-world satire ‘Flux Gourmet’ is enjoyably weird but ultimately undercooked.
Motherhood is de-glamourized in this gentle, honest account of parenting during stressful times, shot in Spain’s Basque country by director Alauda Ruiz de Azúa.
Austrian actor Michael Thomas memorably embodies an off-season hotel singer who drinks to stave off loneliness in Ulrich Seidl’s arch, wintry and ultimately bleak reflection on human failings.
Less gore and more psychology should broaden the audience for Dario Argento’s kinky but strangely staid horror film about a slasher out to kill a blind prostitute.
Egyptian queer experimental cinema comes into its own with this playful, visually inventive sex-positive short feature that repurposes “One Thousand and One Nights” using gay Arab cultural signifiers.
Ursula Meier’s latest is a bruising family drama starring Stéphanie Blanchoud and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi.
French prankster Quentin Dupieux takes a detour into midlife melancholy with his latest gloriously absurd comic fable ‘Incredible but True’.
Rafiki Fariala’s history-making film shifts to a more intimate story towards its end, which one wishes he had pursued from the start.
Editor Natalia López Gallardo’s first feature looks gorgeous but is so elliptical, it has more holes in it than a sieve.
Gerard Ortín Castellví’s film about the mechanised standardisation of plant products in an industrial greenhouse is both hypnotic and unsettling; meticulous documentary and dreamlike fantasy.
The latest offering from French oddball director Alain Guiraudie (‘Stranger by the Lake’) fails to impress.
French director François Ozon pays artfully twisted homage to Fassbinder’s torrid queer classic ‘The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant’ in this stylish glam-rock remake.
Once again dealing in dance, Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai follow a group of hip hop-loving kids striving for academic success in a Parisian school.
A young girl adopts a rambunctious piglet and must navigate puppy classes and survive the annual sausage-making competition in this delightful stop-motion animation.
The 72-year history of the Berlin Film Festival has been shaped by many people, but arguably none have left a greater mark than Erika and Ulrich Gregor, the founders of the Arsenal Cinema and creators the festival’s influential Forum section. And it’s not just a...
The first fiction feature from Mexican director Juan Pablo González impresses most as an immersive mood piece.
A young woman struggles to process personal trauma and wider social injustice in Norwegian director Anders Emblem’s slender but quietly haunting drama A Human Position,
Ágata de Pinho impresses both in front of and behind the camera in this visceral drama about a woman who believes she will disappear on her 28th birthday.
Petna Ndaliko Katondolo’s documentary is a multifaceted exploration of complex questions around the combating of European perspectives in cinema about Africa.
Canadian filmmakers Renaud Després-Larose and Ana Tapia Rousiouk pay tribute to Stan Brakhage, Guy Debord, Jean-Luc Godard and Pedro Costa in an intriguing experimental exercise looking at the history of cinema and old-school political activism.
Our prehistoric relationship to the forest is atmospherically invoked in this documentary about a small Indian village and the tales its inhabitants tell of the whispering trees.
French director Mabrouk El Mechri’s screwball action comedy about domestic violence, Kung Fu Zohra is admirably audacious but misses the target.
Yan Wai Yin’s diaristic documentary uses the interplay of posters and graffiti on a local footbridge to explore and evoke intense social unrest in Hong Kong.
Alberto De Michele artfully deglamorises the gangster film, constructing instead two interlaced stories around a man’s complex relationship with his father and the latter’s plans for one last heist.
The vestiges of politically-instigated past trauma come back to trouble an older couple in their second marriage as they begin ruminating on their demise in Gao Linyang’s subtly crafted, detail and performance driven feature debut.
A captivating, shapeshifting excavation of the vampirism of Christopher Columbus and the colonial project filtered through the weed-fuelled mythology of artist and singer, Oba.
The history of Hong Kong and its seething democratic movements is interwoven with a cryptic ghost story in Clara Law’s challenging film about memory and political struggle.
French debutante director Morgane Dziurla-Petit returns to her home village for the playful and poignant docu-fiction hybrid Excess Will Save Us.
Korakrit Arunanondchai’s deeply moving film combines elements of mysticism, ecology, and politics to form some kind of understanding in the face of painful personal loss.
Shaunak Sen’s Sundance World Documentary winner is a gorgeous portrait of two New Delhi brothers who look after the city’s increasingly in-trouble kite population.
French auteur Jacques Doillon returns to form in this endearing, small-scale chronicle of abuse and friendship between two kids from different social classes.
Gessica Geneus’s debut feature is a superb meditation on sisterhood, motherhood, and what it means to love a failing nation.
Sasha Litvintseva and Beny Wagner’s new essay film is a heady examination of the history, impacts, and social equality of standardised measurement.
A bittersweet chronicle of Miao farmers who form a Christian choir in the remote mountains in China, and who are recruited to perform nationally while gradually losing their lands, autonomy, and identity.
Focusing on the plight of both working-class locals and migrant labourers in a small town, Juichiro Yamasaki’s third feature powerful chronicles the greying fortunes of Japan’s depopulated provinces.
Hsu Che-yu’s examination of a political assassination combines digital and physical reconstruction techniques to understand the life of a mobster, assassin, and film producer.
Retired pop star and former anarchist Dunstan Bruce tries to rekindle his youthful punk rage in the charmingly offbeat music documentary I Get Knocked Down.
Pedro Neves Marques follows 2019’s The Bite with another sci-fi-infused relationship story in this thought-provoking meditation on traditional gender roles and the nuclear family.
Eugenio and Mara Polgovsky gently comment on the cycle of life in an observational documentary shot through a window in Mexico City.
An innocent farm boy experiences first-hand the horrors of the Nazi occupation of the Baltic states when he becomes a collaborator in Maria Ignatenko’s sensitive but over-aestheticized reflection on war.
Kazakh director Adilkhan Yerzhanov finds tragicomic humour in Assault, a bleakly stylish thriller about a snowbound high school under terrorist attack.
An utterly captivating found footage collage that pieces together a sensuous history of intimacy in Iranian post-revolution cinema where depictions of physical contact are prohibited.
Amanda Kramer recreates a 1970s-style variety TV special to comment on a certain kind of diva celebrity, but the results are tediously self-indulgent, clueless about camp affect, and open to claims of disingenuousness.
The Greek weird wave meets film noir in this quirky crime drama from first-time feature director Christos Massalas.
A little lie to the police threatens to change a teenager’s life in Sam De Jong’s insightful and sometimes distractingly overdriven film.
This fictionalized portrait of a trans woman’s emotional journey towards selfhood tries to cover too many bases in the psychological process, but Raphaëlle Perez’s sympathetic performance and the film’s overall sensitivity make up for some of its flaws.
Brett Michael Innes’ third film, set mostly at a gym in Johannesburg, goes down easy and would be fun for the family—as long as you keep the kids away.
A pleasant though minor queer-skewed indie slice-of-life look at Millenials in Chile, using a ghost device as a way of concretizing the niggling concerns within a struggling actor’s subconscious.
Andrea Riseborough, Harry Melling and Demi Moore celebrate the hidden queerness of vintage Hollywood in Amanda Kramer’s WTF retro-musical Please Baby Please.
This frequently perplexing sci-fi musical has a lot to say about the politics of race, but its true triumph is its music and gorgeous visuals.
This involving documentary captures the plight of the Uru-eu-wau-wau community fighting for its land in the Amazon.
Robinson Crusoe goes musical in a deliciously disorienting brain-teaser from feted Romanian animation director Anca Damian.
The plight of the indigenous Ayoreo, the last tribe to avoid contact and reclaim its territories in the Paraguayan Chaco Forest, is painstakingly and poetically rendered in this drama premiering at Rotterdam.
A potentially familiar story of a Syrian construction worker living in Lebanon is turned on its head in Dania Bdeir’s sensual and soulful evocation of freedom.
Olive Nwosu’s delicate drama explores the difficulty of confronting complex notions of identity while also traversing a tender story of first love lost.
Siblings Audrey and Maxime Jean-Baptiste mine the archive to visualise the transformation of 1960s French Guiana by a new space centre in this poetic documentary.
‘Babysitter’ steers clear of preachiness in its half-scolding and often amusing examination of sexual and sexist attitudes in the wake of #MeToo.
Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing’s first feature-length documentary offers a mellow and intimate portrait of two midwives – one a Buddhist, the other Muslim – who defy the deadly inter-communal conflict around them to become friends and health care providers for their poverty-stricken communities.
A paper-pushing official searches for a woman in red in José Luis Aparicio’s noirish short set in an oppressive, dystopian Cuba afflicted by strange, sluglike creatures.
An excellent, nuanced performance by Parizae Fatima anchors Seemab Gul’s tense depiction of a teenage girl navigating the dangers and dilemmas of an online relationship.
Fans of slasher films will revel in this darkly comic subversion of the genre premiering at Sundance, where an obese, bullied teenager gets her revenge on the village mean girls.
Three high school girls in Finland pursue love and orgasm in Alli Haapasalo’s frank and often warmly emotional tale aimed at teen audiences.