Compassion is an important quality in how we treat others. It’s also the predominant counterpoint to more selfish interests in these thoughtful tales concerning interpersonal relations and powerful drama.
“A government without a sense of humour isn’t democratic.” This caption from a Venezuelan cartoon speaks volumes about satire’s power to test the establishment in political hotspots. Stéphanie Valloatto’s stirring, funny documentary profiles a dissident profession’s leading practitioners. “Just like the best political cartoons, the documentary… manages to synthesize a vast subject in ways both insightful and, at times, frightfully funny.”—Hollywood Reporter
Balancing sharp comedy and commentary, Fellipe Barbosa’s well-observed film charts the increasingly disparate fortunes of a Brazilian bourgeoisie family. While father Hugo (Marcello Novaes) shamefully conceals his bankruptcy, his teenage son Jean (Thales Cavalcanti) experiences the exhilaration of defiance and self-discovery. Of course, coming of age also means finally seeing the unjust world for what it is.
Six stunning buildings, six auteurs and glorious 3D come together in this hymn to the art of architecture. The Berliner Philharmonie concert hall (Wim Wenders), California’s Salk Institute (Robert Redford), the National Library in St. Petersburg (Michael Glawogger), Denmark’s Halden prison (Michael Madsen), the Oslo Opera House (Margreth Olin) and the Pompidou in Paris (Karim Ainouz) are brought to life like never before.
Writer-director Kaouther Ben Hania turns her caustically funny eye to the sexist practices and antediluvian views she finds endemic in her country. "An audacious mockumentary… Hilarious and acerbic… Ostensibly about the director’s search for a man who slashed 11 women from his motorbike back in 2003, the pic shines a discomfiting light on Tunisia’s attitudes toward women, using a fake-documentary approach…"—Variety
The magnificent David Gulpilil quietly dominates Rolf de Heer’s heartfelt portrait of contemporary Aboriginal life. Gulpilil drew on his own troubles while co-writing the story of down-on-his-luck Charlie, squeezed on all sides in his Arnhemland community. "The third film collaboration between Rolf de Heer and David Gulpilil is a majestic work."—Sydney Morning Herald. Winner, Best Actor, Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2014.
Holding their hardline substitute teacher (Igor Samobor) responsible for the suicide of an emotionally vulnerable classmate, a Slovenian secondary class stages a revolt. Rok Bicek orchestrates the ensuing chaos masterfully, crafting an engrossing cautionary tale concerning herd mentalities and the exploitation of tragedy. "Group dynamics are dissected with chilling precision…"—Hollywood Reporter. Winner, Best Film (International Film Critics Week), Venice 2013.
Kang’s first films since serving time (for conscientious objection) are studies of post-prison rehab and of life on Anmado island, both precise and poetic. Tony Rayns
Juliette Binoche is riveting as an actor asked to revisit the play that made her a star 20 years before—but this time she is to essay the role of the older woman, not the ingenue… "Though deceptively casual on its surface… [Olivier Assayas’ film is] a multi-layered, femme-driven meta-fiction that pushes all involved—including next-gen starlets Kristen Stewart and Chloë Grace Moretz—to new heights."—Variety
Thirty years after achieving the zenith of his career in grease paint, an acclaimed actor returns from self-imposed exile for one last show in Prague. Reunited with his former partners, he and his colleagues attempt to restage their greatest performance, stave off old rivalries and ensure that time doesn’t have the last laugh. Viktor Tauš’ poignant film reminds us that tragicomedy is the lifeblood of clowning.
Passionate and utterly compelling, Hüseyin Karabey’s beautifully crafted film is founded in political absurdity. When the Turkish military surrounds a Kurdish village, takes alleged rebels into custody and demands the return of nonexistent guns, a little girl and her grandmother set off in search of a weapon—any weapon—that might earn her father’s freedom. Breathtaking vistas and nerve-wracking suspense await. Winner, Audience Award, Istanbul 2014.
The radiant Gong Li is magnificent in this staggering period piece about a woman with Alzheimer’s-like symptoms who anxiously awaits her husband’s return despite the fact he’s already come home to her. "Chinese master Zhang Yimou’s… family drama of guilt, love and reconciliation set during the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution [is] heartbreaking in its depiction of ordinary lives affected by political upheaval."—Variety
Assembling striking archival material of African liberation efforts and scoring it with passages from Frantz Fanon’s vital treatise on colonialism, The Wretched of the Earth, acclaimed director Göran Hugo Olsson fashions one of the most impressively structured and incredibly intense found-footage films in recent memory. Lauren Hill narrates this “prickly, passionate call to arms.”—Time Out. Winner, Cinema Fairbindet Prize, Berlin 2014.
In the crackpot mosaic that is Montréal in 1966, Jean Corbo, an idealistic 16-year-old, befriends two far-left political activists and joins the FLQ (Liberation Front of Québec), an underground movement determined to spark a socialist revolution and Québec’s separation from Canada. Director Mathieu Denis brings the true and tragic story of a decisive moment in Canadian history into sharp focus.
Eloquent and engrossing, George Ovashvili’s fable-like drama unfolds on a tiny island that emerges each summer from a river between warring Georgia and Abkhazia. For the skillful elderly peasant who plants its amazing corn crop and his nubile granddaughter, it’s soon the site of a desperate struggle for survival. "A master class in emotionally charged minimalism…"—Hollywood Reporter. Winner, Crystal Globe, Karlovy Vary 2014.