A nitro-fueled narco-thriller from director Oskar Thor Axelsson and executive producer Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive), Black’s Game chronicles the evolution of Iceland’s homegrown drug industry from boutique trade to deadly big business. Stebbi sets out to take over the Reykjavik drug trade by any means necessary. Axelsson captures the drug-induced rhythm of Stebbi and his cohorts in this stylish, thrilling tale of Reykjavik’s criminal underground.
Icelandic with subtitles, 104 min
In the concrete landscape of contemporary Reykjavik, Stefán’s life is slipping into turmoil. When he senses an intruder in his home, panic quickly turns to grim determination in this masterfully paced thriller.Part of: Shorts 3: Midnight Mayhem
Icelandic with subtitles, 18 min
When a petty thief attempts to rob an old man, he not only fails but finds himself on a boat heading towards the lonely island where the man lives. A de facto prisoner on the island, the thief spends his days looking for escape, even as he can’t help but become more entangled in the lives of the few island misfits. Filled with beautiful images and light humor, Color of Sky is a thoroughly likeable modern-day fable.
Malayalam with subtitles, 117 min
14 years in the making, activist and filmmaker Anand Patwardhan’s chronicle of the plight of the Dalits (known under the caste system as “untouchables”) provides a singular document of oppression and those who fight against it. Starting with an incident in which 10 protesting Dalits were gunned down by police, the film details both the history of their struggle and the music and poetry that has helped sustain the vitality of the culture.
Hindi, English and Marathi with subtitles, 185 min
Gulzar, a boatman on Kashmir’s gorgeous, peaceful Dal Lake, plans on leaving his home for the city alongside his best friend Afzal. A military curfew puts their plans on hold, however. Forced to remain in his hometown, Gulzar meets Asifa, a pretty Kashmiri-American researcher studying the lake. A sweet and tender romance soon develops against a backdrop of jealousy, competition, and ongoing political turmoil.
Kashmiri with subtitles, 82 min
Ever since she was abandoned as a toddler in the Jakarta Haven for Animals and adopted by their giraffe trainer, the zoo has been the only world Lana knows. When she encounters and falls in love with a charming magician, she decides to make her journey into the unfamiliar outside world in this delightful, romantic fable.
Indonesian with subtitles, 96 min
Featuring a brilliant performance from A Separation star Leila Hatami, Meeting Leila follows a young woman who demands that her chain-smoking fiancé quits smoking before their marriage. This poses a problem for this advertising agency idea man for whom smoking is an integral part of his creative process in this gently comic, insightful look at the compromises and negotiations required in any relationship.
Farsi with subtitles, 88 min
Tasked with giving away huge sums of money by whatever means possible, Kaveh and Layla drive through the remote, war-torn mountains of Iran with a trunkful of cash. What begins as a seemingly harmless game soon reveals itself to be a twisted bout of charity as the power, humiliation, and shame inherent in their act plays out between the privileged couple and the impoverished villagers.Modest Reception is co-presented by the Global Film Initiative and is part of the Global Lens 2013 film series. For more information, visit www.globalfilm.org.
Farsi with subtitles, 100 min
When a mysterious female garment is found in a soldier’s garrison, dealing with the situation proves trickier than expected. A meaningful social commentary cloaked in a deceptively simple story.Part of: Shorts 5: Spotlight Middle East
Persian with English subtitles, 20 min
Iraq,1988. In a land devastated by war, Dileer and his sister just want to watch cartoons on television, but that seems to be more difficult than expected in this multi-award winning short.Part of: Shorts 5: Spotlight Middle East
Arabic/ Kurdish with subtitles, 19 min
Based on a true story, Rhino Season follows Sahel, a poet who was unjustly incarcerated during Iran’s Islamic Revolution (and a friend of director Ghobadi). After being released into a world that is, three decades later, greatly changed, Sahel searches for the wife and children he left behind. Rhino Season is, at base, a tragic romance, strikingly told with an impressionistic, dreamlike blending of past and present.
Farsi, 103 min
A vicious attack on his wife leaves Tommy Cowley a nervous, paranoid wreck, terrified of leaving his house. When he finally dares to venture outside, he finds that the responsible gang is still at large. Convinced that these feral youths want to kidnap his baby daughter, he joins forces with a renegade priest for protection. A gothic, malevolent atmosphere pervades this dark, suspenseful tale, drawing us deeper into the protagonist’s tortured mind and increasing psychosis.
English, 84 min
A gritty political thriller, Shadow Dancer follows IRA agent Collette McVeigh as she’s caught by the police and forced to inform on her family. Collette’s handler, Mac (Clive Owen), is surprised and frustrated to find himself shut out of certain aspects of his own operation, while Collette is sure that her family and colleagues suspect her. An increasingly complex network of secrets and betrayals is uncovered in this stark, beautifully acted drama.
English, 100 min
Still in the aftermath of a tough break up, Paul's life is slowly deteriorating. A mindless burglary of his rented apartment forces him to push through the underworld of Tel Aviv to investigate.Part of: Shorts 3: Midnight Mayhem
Hebrew with English subtitles, 26 min
An estimated 400,000 people were tattooed with serial numbers at Auschwitz, of whom only a few thousand survive today. This intimate and visually rapturous documentary details the current lives of some of these survivors, their memories of the camps, and their relationships with the numbers. Numbered is an emotionally affecting portrait of memory and history, and their enduring presence in individual lives.
Hebrew with subtitles, 60 min
In this bittersweet family comedy, shy teenager Libby moves back to Israel to live with her hapless father Shaul, unexpectedly finding herself without a home as war breaks out around them. Shaul devises a creative solution: posing as refugees, they are taken in by a wealthy family in Jerusalem. Finally in a “normal” household, Shaul and Libby begin to build their father-daughter relationship, but their false identities can’t last forever.
Hebrew with subtitles, 86 min
Nimer, a Palestinian student, dreams of a better life abroad. One fateful night he meets Roy, an Israeli lawyer. As their relationship deepens into love, Nimer is confronted with the harsh realities of a Palestinian society that refuses to accept him for his sexual identity, and an Israeli society that rejects him for his nationality. Nimer soon must choose between love and the life he thought he wanted.
Hebrew and Arabic with subtitles, 96 min
After a psychotic breakdown, Shay must readjust to life with his family. A moving, profound study of a troubled young man attempting to rebuild his life.Part of: Shorts 5: Spotlight Middle East
Hebrew with subtitles, 19 min
Kamel, a shy, good-natured security guard, is torn between two worlds: the Israeli society that treats him and his fellow Bedouins with suspicion and his own family, who are struggling to maintain their ever-threatened way of life. When the shacks where he and his family live on their ancestral lands are threatened with demolition, Kamel goes to extreme lengths to save his family home, in this starkly beautiful portrait of life on the margins.
Hebrew and Arabic with subtitles, 82 min
The World Is Funny follows the wanderings of a loose network of characters. Told with meticulous precision, the connections between the characters and the profound implications of their stories grow in richness and complexity as the film progresses. A sharp, ironic sense of humor enriches a melancholy yet inspiring film that has been a gigantic hit in Israel, earning a record-setting 15 Ophir nominations (the Israeli Academy Awards®).
Hebrew with subtitles, 122 min
Footnote is the tale of a great rivalry between a father and son. Eliezer and Uriel Shkolnik are both eccentric professors, who have dedicated their lives to their work in Talmudic Studies. The father, Eliezer, is a stubborn purist who fears the establishment and has never been recognized for his work. Meanwhile his son, Uriel, is an up-and-coming star in the field, who appears to feed on accolades, endlessly seeking recognition.Then one day, the tables turn. When Eliezer learns that he is to be awarded the Israel Prize, the most valuable honor for scholarship in the country, his vanity and desperate need for validation are exposed. His son, Uriel, is thrilled to see his father’s achievements finally recognized but, in a darkly funny twist, is forced to choose between the advancement of his own career and his father’s. Will he sabotage his father’s glory?Part of: A Conversation With Joseph Cedar
Hebrew with subtitles, 107 min
Winner of the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, this docudrama from the Taviani brothers (Padre Padrone) captures the preparations for a staging of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in Rome’s Rebibbia Prison. The performers - inmates, some of whom have been jailed for murder and other violent crimes - bring powerful new layers of meaning and emotion to the canonical play. Caesar Must Die is a memorable, emotional meditation on the transformative power of artistic production.
Italian with subtitles, 76 min
The 2001 G8 summit in Genoa, drawing an estimated 200,000 protestors from around the world, became a disaster site when the local police violently stormed the Diaz school, a temporary shelter for many of the activists. An exhilarating yet tragic tale of students, journalists, and police on the front lines, Diaz follows the journeys of several characters involved, shrewdly examining the causes and consequences of the fateful events.
Various Languages with subtitles, 120 min
A girl attunes her breathing to the movements of her bow, but her talent for archery hides violent instincts in this visceral, powerfully immediate piece of filmmaking.Part of: Shorts 3: Midnight Mayhem
Italian with English subtitles, 11 min
A sharp, crowd-pleasing satire on reality television, Reality playfully explores the pervasiveness of an all-consuming lust for fame. Luciano, a cheeky fish merchant, agrees to audition for the Italian version of Big Brother. When the producers show a slight interest, Luciano immediately lets what he assumes to be his inevitably massive fame and glory go to his head, doing everything he can to impress them and win himself a spot on the show.
Italian, 115 min
When Shun Li is moved from Rome to Venice to pay off her “debt” working in a bar, she does whatever it takes to bring her young son over from China. Feeling isolated, Shun Li forms an unlikely friendship with café regular Bepi, an older Slavic fisherman. The two souls find solace in each other in spite of their cultural differences in this poignant celebration of the beauty of human connection.
Italian with subtitles, 100 min
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