Considered a seminal Scottish novel, Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s 1932 classic, Sunset Song, sounds echoes of Thomas Hardy and DH Lawrence in its bracing tale of a farmer’s daughter enduring all that life can throw at her in the World War I era. Beautifully photographed, Terence Davies’ film is a heartbreaking melodrama about emancipation, poverty, and life during wartime.
Danny, a Taiwanese-American man, and his boyfriend Tate, long to have a baby, but the journey becomes more complicated by Danny’s well-intentioned but meddlesome mother who wants to control every aspect of the process from Taipei. Baby Steps is a Taiwan-US co-production, produced by Oscar-winning producer Li-Kong Hsu (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Wedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman) and Stephen Israel (Swimming With Sharks).
Eileen’s life takes a turn for the better when a motorcycle accident lands her with free violin lessons. She develops a newfound relationship with retired police officer turned taxi driver Liao Chun-Ming as well as Kevin, the man of her dreams. Elena portrays the struggles of the average Taiwanese working class, and the difficulties they face in a rapidly changing country that sees rusty old factories as a thing of the past.
In 1991, a man makes a promise to create a detailed account of the Black Kites (a specie of eagle) of Taiwan. Produced by the Raptor Research Group of Taiwan, Fly, Kite Fly! follows Chen-Chung Shen, a.k.a Mr. Eagle, on a 20-year journey across Taiwan as he observes its 200 remaining Black Kites. The film chronicles a story of rapid urbanization, conservation, and the dangers of pesticide use, through the plight of the Black Kites, borrowing the voice of famous director and scriptwriter, Wu Nien Zhen. Carefully shot scenes of the Black Kites playfully gliding over Taiwan’s coast will inspire the same desire to protect these precious creatures as it did for Mr. Eagle almost 20 years ago.
Based on a true story, up and coming directors Yu-Chieh Cheng and Lekal Sumi weave a wonderfully shot story about aboriginal rights. When Panay, a college-educated single mother, returns to her home village to attend to her sick father, she discovers a plan to turn their lands into large resorts. Rekindling her love for her home, she works with the villagers to revive the village and save their lands.
In this kinetic horror/kung-fu mash-up, an innocuous-seeming dry cleaners fronts for a hitman-for-hire operation. When a nameless contract killer becomes haunted by his former targets, he enlists a psychic for help, but their quest to make peace with the past puts them at odds with his ruthless employer. Colorful and brimming with unforgettable characters, The Laundryman puts the stylish influences of Wong Kar-Wai on the spin cycle. (Chicago Film Festival)
A tale of home spanning decades in war and peace, filmed over five years, the documentary tells the story of “wansei”, or Japanese who were born in Taiwan during the colonial period. After WWII, they were forcibly deported back to Japan, despite having spent almost two decades of their life in Taiwan. Now, advanced in age and with children and grandchildren of their own, the wansei are returning to Taiwan once more. Intimate and moving, the documentary explores the power of memory, nostalgia, and the lasting place of home in our hearts.
An eccentric young girl has her dreams of traveling to America dashed after her grandmother takes a tumble down the stairs. Their desolate hot springs resort is left in her care, along with a debilitating debt. What’s more, a strange young foreigner stumbles upon the resort with limited funds and even more limited Chinese. Join these two in an unusual partnership as they try to keep the resort afloat, while discovering its hidden romantic secrets. Welcome to the Happy Days will invite you on the vacation of a lifetime with its comic book-style storytelling and vibrant colors of a pre-WWII resort.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Golden Horse Awards, director Li-Chou Yang created this documentary as a “love letter” to film-lovers everywhere. Using footage from fifty-one films, Yang captured the cinematic history and memory of a generation of Taiwanese. Come relive the joys, the heartbreaks, and the intimacies of a society of people reflected in the best films of the age. The Moment reconnects us in the here and now with the triumphs and losses of what has gone and passed through the silver screen.
The screening on Sunday June 12 will be followed by a panel discussion.
Once upon a time Italian director Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah) decided to film a trio of medieval fairytales with the gusto and lustre of a modern day Fellini, and an international cast including Salma Hayek, John C Reilly, Vincent Cassel and Toby Jones. The results were ravishing, gleefully mischevious, and definitely not for kids…
Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye-opening journey into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes. A portion of proceeds will be donated to Battered Women’s Support Services and the screening will include a pop-up shop by My Sister’s Closet.
Two of the Spanish-speaking world’s finest actors, Ricardo Darin and Javier Camara, team up for this moving, wry film about friendship, family, and last wishes. Julian (Darin) is dying, but doing his best not to make a big deal of it. Unexpectedly, his old friend Tomas (Camara) shows up on his doorstep (all the way from Canada). He can only stay for a few days, but Tomas means to make them count, whether Julian likes it or not. All the latter seems to care about is what to do about Truman, his beloved dog…
In its 7th consecutive year, the Vancouver Festival of Ocean Films (VFOF) inspires audiences to consider their relationship with the ocean through regional and international documentaries that focus on adventure, sport and the global issues that our waters currently face.
Through experiences with our oceans, the VFOF aims to educate, motivate and excite audiences. Tickets and information at http://www.georgiastrait.org/vfof
The Girl’s House deals with issues facing Iranian women while telling the story of two female university students who try to solve the mystery surrounding the murder of one of their classmates.
Conservative media have slammed the film for being against “traditional and family values” and despite a number of revisions, it has not received a permit for public screening in Iran.