Canada, South Africa
Black Mud is a coming-of-age road film about an impulsive 19 year old who decides to take his younger brother out of foster care and travels across country from Southern Ontario to the Alberta Tar Sands. Along with the help of a young woman they meet on the road, they journey west in hopes of starting a better life.
Out of the shadowy world of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Ken Foster emerges as an enigmatic figure. A prolific artist, Foster is known as much for his beautifully distorted renditions of iconic cityscapes as he is for peddling them on the streets to support a serious crack habit and subdue a schizophrenic mind.
t’s not easy being a good father to two boys you barely know anymore. Elliot (Joel Kinnaman, Suicide Squad) takes his sons into the great outdoors for some target practice, but his attempt to get in Bradley’s good side by giving his the keys to drive them back home backfires badly when they skid off the road in the middle of nowhere. Shrewdly dissecting father-son and sibling tensions, this nailbiting endurance thriller shuttles vividly between interior psychological and external, environmental factors.
The latest from Quebec’s Denis Côté is a psychological thriller, a portrait of a successful businessman whose arrogance slowly begins to crumble under the duress of coping with his wife’s breakdown. Is her mute passivity actually a form of protest? Or is it a kind of karmic payback for Boris’s infidelities, greed, and narcissism? That’s the disturbing claim of a strange messenger (played by Leos Carax-favourite Denis Lavant) who encroaches on Boris’s country retreat.
Three twenty-something brothers are sent on a wilderness adventure designed as the last will and testament of their late and eccentric parents. In order to gain their inheritance, the three must all complete the trek together. Along the way, Daniel (the eldest, a father and business man), Tyler (the middle son, aimless and sensitive), and Jordan (the youngest brother, sweet and naive) encounter their eccentric stoner guide, Carter Cooper Jr., who seems to heighten the tension on an already tenuous trip.
Rocked by a grim medical diagnosis, James (Patrick McFadden) flees the crushing tedium of city life, trading it all for untamed wilderness and solitude. He retreats further and further into the woods of British Columbia, only to gradually find himself the target of increasingly inexplicable and disturbing manifestations, which point to a frightening truth: he is not alone.
Seamlessly weaving the experiences of the Group of Seven with three modern day sleuths, Gary & Joanie McGuffin and Michael Burtch are determined to find the precise locations the artists painted. This beautiful film explores the rivers and lakes of Algoma and the land north of Superior, energized by breathtaking aerial and landscape cinematography, combining original photography, archival materials, paintings, and re-creations.
Jasmin, once a successful actor in former Yugoslavia, now lives in Toronto with his second wife and young son. While juggling a construction job and a busy audition schedule, he dreams of re-launching an old televised stage show that made him famous in his homeland. When he is cast in a role that triggers recollections of the civil war, he is forced to reconcile his current reality with memories of his past success.
Juan Manuel Sepúlveda spent two years hanging out in Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park in the Downtown Eastside, getting to know its regulars and letting his camera roll. With his keen sense of framing, the action remains within the confines of the park and films the daily life of Harley, Bear, Janet and Dave.
Cuba, Soviet Union
"They’re going to be carrying ravished film students out of the theaters on stretchers," wrote Terrence Rafferty in the New Yorker when this astonishing Soviet-made portrait of Castro’s Cuba was rediscovered in the mid 1990s. Featuring some of the jaw-dropping camerawork ever filmed (and decades before the invention of the Steadicam), the movie is a euphoric celebration of Cuba, the Revolution, and (most potently) revolutionary cinema.
35mm print courtesy Milestone Films