These powerful shorts reflect on life’s twists and turns, exploring what we do in moments of profound impact. Featuring works by Valeria Hofmann, Kasım Ördek, Anya Chirkova, Meran Ismailsoy, Jorge Cadena, and Morad Mostafa.
A gamer reveals the sexist harassment and threats she receives from online trolls and finds they infiltrate more than just her computer in the tense thriller AliEN0089 (Chile, Argentina). A young couple is brought to a breaking point when their lifestyle of stealing cars goes too far in Together, Alone (Turkey, France). An Iranian immigrant enlists his son’s help to negotiate with his landlord with both disastrous and humorous results in Baba (Canada). In Flores del otro Patio (Colombia, Switzerland), a group of queer activists in the north of Colombia uses fearless performance art and direct action to protest the region’s largest coal mine. In the aftermath of a violent incident, a 17-year-old must do all he can to protect his family before it’s too late in the stunning and impactful I Promise You Paradise (Egypt, France, Qatar).
Sevgi and Doğan, a romantically partnered pair of young thieves, accidentally entangle themselves into a more serious crime. Escalating circumstances drive their relationship to the brink in the aftermath.
When Carla Nowak, a dedicated sports and math teacher, starts her first job at a high school, she stands out for her idealism. Then, one of her students is suspected in a series of thefts at the school, and Carla decides to investigate the matter on her own. Carla tries to mediate between outraged parents, opinionated colleagues and aggressive students, but is relentlessly confronted with the rigid structures of the school system. The more desperately she tries to do everything right, the more the young teacher threatens to break.
This gripping drama about conformity, racism, and rebellion — Germany’s entry into the Oscars — is an incisive look at the rapidly shifting power dynamics and complex search for truth in contemporary society.
Leonie Benesch, Michael Klammer, Rafael Stachoviak, Anne-Kathrin Gummich, Eva Löbau, Kathriin Wehlisch, Sarah Bauerett, Leo Stettnisch, Oscar Zickur, Antonia Küpper, Elsa Krieger, Vincent Stachowiak, Can Rodenbostel, Padmé Hamdemir, Lisa Marie Transe
Samet, a teacher serving mandatory civil service in an isolated village in Anatolia, dreams of a new appointment to a post in Istanbul. But his hopes of reassignment are beginning to fade as he faces another unforgiving winter. His gloomy existence is thrown into further tumult when he’s accused of acting inappropriately toward one of his young students. Feeling assailed from all sides, Samet turns to Nuray, a colleague from a neighboring village and fellow wayward soul.
Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan (winner of the 2014 Palme d’Or for Winter Sleep) covers this fierce psychological character study with a blanket of snow, backgrounding the proceedings with stunning landscape photography that highlights the harsh beauty and intense realities of Turkish provincial life. Featuring impeccable performances and labyrinthine dialogue, About Dry Grasses weaves an intricate web of desperation, hope, and longing.
A Berlin courtyard becomes an unwitting battleground as a xenophobic property owner, the threat of gentrification, and simmering political unrest converge in Azli Özge’s volatile drama Black Box. When an apartment building is put under lockdown by police after an undisclosed event, tensions within the tight-knit community escalate on multiple fronts. Frustrations boil over and conflicts collide as residents unite to take legal action against their landlord, an unemployed mother faces a critical job interview, and the discovery of a corpse in an abandoned unit forces the residents to confront their personal politics and prejudices.
Özge’s deft direction creates a unique crucible where the boundaries of power, fear, and community are tested, raising unsettling questions about the rights and autonomy of those who call this courtyard home. Their preconceived biases deepen the divisions, unearthing long-buried conflicts as residents reveal their true natures, driven by personal agendas in a complex web of capitalism and power.
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