CLOSING NIGHT French actor Mathieu Amalric directs and stars in this sexy yet wistful comedy about a disgraced French TV producer making a comeback with a troupe of buxom, brassy American burlesque performers touring the French countryside. Their manager may be seeking redemption, but these ladies are pros, so regardless of the outcome the show must go on.
Kitano’s long-awaited return to the gangster genre is a startling attack on the morally corrupt power structures and hypocritical honor system of the Japanese yakuza, where “loyalty” is just another word for betrayal. A powerful syndicate boss orders a low-level chief (Kitano) to “send a message,” and in the process triggers an all-out war.
The chaotic present and uncertain future of print journalism hit the front page in this fascinating chronicle of one year at the New York Times, filmed with unprecedented access to the media desk and key players. From corporate downsizing to WikiLeaks and Twitter, the landscape is changing; what still matters—and what’s at stake—is good journalism.
Sampat Pal Devi, founder of India’s Gulabi (“Pink”) Gang and fearless defender of the rights of untouchable women, challenges husbands, fathers-in-law and policemen in this immersive study by acclaimed documentarian Kim Longinotto. More than a profile of an everyday heroine, the film captures the courage and sacrifice necessary for social progress.
A grassroots campaign to halt the construction of a high-pressure gas pipeline through a town’s pristine land is the basis of this rousing and utterly timely portrait of an Irish community straining under a titanic battle against a Goliath of money power and a largely compliant state.
A young biracial woman raised in France travels to Burkina Faso in search of the mother she hasn’t seen in many years. Meanwhile, in Paris, an émigré from Burkina Faso who makes her living as a cleaner teaches the Dioula language to a white middle-class office worker, in this affecting story of global displacement.
Arline Klatte and Beth Lisick host the beloved nonfiction storytelling series, making another highly anticipated appearance at the Festival for a special night of film industry–themed stories. The rules are deceptively simple. Tell a true ten-minute tale to an audience of strangers as if you were telling it to a good friend. Results vary wildly but are uniformly unforgettable.
In the latest chapter in Helmrich’s (Shape of the Moon, SFIFF 2005) artful portrait of a Jakarta family, the grandmother journeys from the countryside to motivate her university-bound granddaughter. The domestic drama takes place amid increasing materialism and traditional Islam, while Helmrich’s virtuoso style transforms the everyday into art.
To every thing there is a season in this disarmingly lovely, surprisingly humorous and moving meditation on the revolving cycles of life in a quiet medieval hilltop hamlet in Calabria, Italy, where tree-climbing villagers peacefully coexist with scene-stealing goats, a troublemaking dog and a tenacious pot of snails.
Can a ruthless mass killer become a messenger of peace? This spellbinding documentary traces the rise and fall of General Butt Naked—feared warlord of Liberia’s 14-year civil war—and his self-proclaimed quest to heal his country and redeem his own soul as a newborn evangelist.