The dizzying heights and dark depths of obsessive young love are depicted with dreamlike lyricism in this haunting film. Sent to live with their aunt in France, Irish 12
English, French with subtitles, 80 min.
What if WWII-era Hollywood took advantage of the war to undermine the burgeoning rival film industry in Europe? That’s the uproarious premise of this playful mockumentary, which follows Pulp Fiction’s Maria de Medeiros
English, French, Portuguese with subtitles, 86 min.
Oblivious to the civil war raging around him, Adam, a pool attendant at a private club, takes fierce pride in his job and his son. The implications of the war land at his doorstep when the club changes hands and he loses his position, replaced by his son. Seething with humiliation and envy and under pressure from military factions, Adam finds himself contemplating a shocking act of betrayal in this Cannes Jury Prize winner.
Arabic, French with subtitles, 91 min.
Brimming with visual splendor, engrossing performances, and Juan Carlos Valdivia’s (American Visa) virtuoso direction, Southern District plants itself in the opulent mansion of a wealthy Bolivian family, steadily observing the rhythms of their excessively extravagant lives. They are not villains, but their careless hedonism and misguided sense of racial and social superiority lead them into deep waters when their money begins to dry up.
Spanish, Aymara with subtitles, 108 min.
The culmination of a years-long project to cultivate talented young filmmakers from the hillside favelas of Rio de Janeiro, 5X Favela’s five short films offer a rare glimpse of the vigorous culture emerging from these communities, exploding the popular myth that they are merely hotbeds of drugs and violence. Featuring rising-star directors Manaíra Carneiro, Wagner Novais, Rodrigo Felha, Cacau Amaral, Luciano Vidigal, Cadu Barcellos, and Luciana Bezerra.
Portuguese with subtitles, 103 min.
In 1920s Brazil, the black slaves suffer under the heel of their oppressors, who forbid them even from engaging in their cultural practices, such as the traditional martial art of capoeira. When the leader of the slave resistance movement is assassinated, his protégé Besouro must take up his mantle. Using his mastery of capoeira and the supernatural abilities given to him by ancient African deities, Besouro becomes an untouchable mystic, freedom fighter, and symbol of revolt.
Portuguese with subtitles, 95 min.
In Grandmothers, 10-year-old Leo receives a Super 8 camera for his birthday and finds out that Monica Lewinski is Jewish, that the numbers on his grandparents’ arms are responsible for him being chubby, and that his old camera is worthless.
Portuguese with subtitles, 12 min.
Rising from poverty to the presidency of Brazil, the central figure of Lula, the Son of Brazil is a man of justice and peace. Raised by his mother to practice diligence and patience, Lula’s resilience enables him to persevere in his political career even in the face of adversity and certain defeat. Inspired by the life of the populist political leader, this rousing biopic is the latest film from Festival favorite Fábio Barreto.
Portuguese with subtitles, 128 min.
Winner of more than a half-dozen top prizes from Sundance to Berlin, this rightfully exalted documentary about the transformative power of art is one of the most inspiring films this year. Acclaimed filmmaker Lucy Walker (Blindsight, Countdown to Zero) travels with cutting-edge Brazilian artist Vik Muniz deep into the world’s largest landfill on the outskirts of Rio to create a large-scale art project using garbage as his material and the spirited trash pickers as his muses.
English, Portuguese with subtitles, 98 min.
Abandoned as a child, Amy is caught between two worlds when she leaves her adoptive French family for her birthplace, Burkina Faso. Faced with a foreign language and an inscrutable aunt, she searches for her birth mother, revealing a deeper desire for belonging. This remarkable debut illuminates the surprising relation between dissolving national borders and dissolving families.
French with subtitles, 82 min.