Rita (Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky) is one of 187 women from all walks of life who work for the Ford Motor Company in 1960s England. Paid less than their male peers while enduring the condescension of their supervisors, the plucky sisterhood, led by Rita, agitates for their right to fair pay. Capturing the imagination of the public and the attention of progressive politician Barbara Castle (Miranda Richardson) with their fight for equality, these courageous women must stand together to win a victory for women everywhere.
Sparkling with humor, pathos, and beguiling imagery, this ensemble drama captures the modern agonies of raising a family as four couples try to cope with their particular realities. As three of these couples struggle with the tough decisions presented by their impending parenthood and the fourth mourns the accidental death of their child, Mamas & Papas takes shape as an intimate, authentic exploration of the joys and heartaches of being a parent.
Czech with subtitles, 110 min.
From the lauded director of Love Songs comes this steamy exploration of the aesthetics and emotions underlying sexual intimacy. After his lover Omar (Omar Ben Sellem) breaks up with him, the gorgeous, musclebound Emmanuel (French porn star François Sagat) embarks on an erotic tour of Paris. Both men try to forget each other through a series of passionate trysts, but are the physical delights they find elsewhere enough to heal the rift that has opened between them? Mature audiences only.
French with subtitles, 72 min.
Manbird is a poetic ode to the folkloric “pigeon man” of Chicago’s Lincoln Square.
Teenage Arik’s attitudes toward life and love undergo seismic shifts during one remarkable summer in the newly formed state of Israel when he begins an apprenticeship under slick professional matchmaker and Holocaust survivor Yankale Bride. Bride, who lives in a district full of other survivors, uses Arik to gather information on potential clients. He prides himself on giving clients “what they need, not what they want,” but his and Arik’s own love lives are far from simple.
Hebrew with subtitles, 104 min.
France’s answer to Roger Ebert, Michel Ciment is one of the most revered film critics in the world. Testimonies by everyone from Bertrand Tavernier and Arnaud Desplechin to Quentin Tarantino and Joel Coen back up that claim. Director Simoné Laine delves into Ciment’s influential life, including his history with film periodical Positif (and its infamous rivalry with Cahiers du cinema, penned by Truffaut and Godard). A longtime friend and advisor to the Festival, Ciment will participate in a special conversation after the film.
French with subtitles, 52 min.
Jaime Ruiz Ibáñez
Mentally challenged Mingo, 25 years old and still living with his mother, regards the world around him with childlike enthusiasm, especially the world of women. After a sexual awakening, he becomes a guileless Casanova in his small town, to the resentment and unease of its male inhabitants. Part parable, part sexy romp, The Middle of the World portrays the chain of events that occurs when sexual and small-town politics collide.
Spanish with subtitles, 92 min.
Vigilantes? Outlaws? Or just red-blooded patriots? Armed and tireless, the self-appointed watchdogs of the U.S./Mexico border are taking the illegal immigration issue into their own hands. Filmed over four years, this intimate and open-minded documentary sucks you into the conflicted lives of scrappy San Diego soccer moms and eccentric old-timers in mountaintop trailer homes, like Robert “Lil Dog” Crooks (scheduled to attend), who are in a constant struggle to secure the sprawling border while maintaining their own sanity.
Running from the police after they mistakenly mark him as a suspect in a missing-person case, the unnamed hero of Missing Man tries to find a way back to his friends and his family. Accustomed to spurning true human contact for the existence of a hermit, he now must rely on the help of a group of vagabonds as he contends with the absurd bureaucracy that frustrates his journey at every turn.
Russian with subtitles, 96 min.
Growing up under a strict father and the even stricter tutelage of his fundamentalist Muslim teachers, Tariq enters college questioning his faith, values, and identity. With the encouragement of his sister, his friends, and a sympathetic world-religions professor, he reluctantly searches for answers. When the sudden cataclysm of 9/11 inflames anti-Muslim fervor on campus, Tariq is forced to make a stand one way or the other.
Alexandre Cueginiet/Sarah Sutter Etc
What you see is invariably not what you get in Moskito Bravo.
Moth follows the story of Sophie, a beautiful starlet caught up in drugs and stardom, who flies into Los Angeles from New York for a job.
From the director of the acclaimed documentary The Road to Guantánamo comes a deeply absorbing and often comical look into a year in the lives of two Burmese families facing relocation from their refugee camp in rural Thailand to the mean streets of Sheffield, UK. One family patriarch is English speaking and educated (and boy does he know it) while the other takes the term “fish out of water” to a new extreme, but this new life won’t be easy for either.
English, Karen with subtitles, 84 min.
We enter a surreal slaughterhouse in the bizarre and deeply disturbing world of Mrdrchain.
Millie is a testosterone-driven 14-year-old girl who wants to be a bodybuilder in Muscles.
Sensitive 12-year-old Alf is the low man on his class’s totem pole, and he’s sick of it. Forming a secret, Machiavellian alliance with another student who also has grown weary of being bullied, he hatches a plan to throw a wrench into the well-oiled gears of the school social order. Everything seems to go according to plan, until Alf discovers that turning the tables on his tormentors has its own dire consequences.
Danish with subtitles, 90 min.
Russia’s open road is the setting for this striking, noirish thriller, in which truck driver Georgy sets off on what should be a routine delivery only to find it spiraling out of control. Encountering corrupt policemen, a tough teenage prostitute, and hostile locals, Georgy becomes lost in a wilderness of brutality and trackless back roads. As his situation becomes increasingly dire, will Georgy make it back out alive?
Russian with subtitles, 127 min.
David Robert Mitchell
In this evocatively filmed revisiting of the tumult of adolescence, a large cast of neighborhood teens celebrates the last night of summer with several big sleepovers that inevitably blend together. Youthful innocence and worldliness merge as stolen glances, the giddy fear accompanying a first kiss, and other sharply rendered, instantly recognizable moments recreate the angst and joy of growing up.