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International Panorama

Jafar Panahi has once again utilised the services of youthful Mina Mohammed Khani, the utterly charming young thesp whose talents made The White Balloon the most popular feature of MIFF 1996. His second film after a succession of shorts, Panahi has excelled under the tutelage of Iranian cinema guru ... Read more
From writer Hanif Kureishi and director Roger Michell. collaborators onThe Buddha of Suburbia, The Mother is a compelling and biting contemporary British drama, in which an ageing widow seduces her daughter's lover. With its heady mix of sex, love and death, the film paints an achingly heartfelt ... Read more
Veteran British filmmaker Ken Loach, who has consistently astounded MIFF audiences with films including My Name is Joe (1999) and Bread and Roses (2000), has again delivered a work that champions society's underdogs. Based on a screenplay by ex-railway worker Rob Dawber, Loach turns a jaundiced eye ... Read more
Faith, conscience and evil lie at the very heart of Volker Schloendorff's masterly new film, [The Ninth Day]. Based on a true story, this measured and deeply compelling film explores one of the most morally bankrupt moments of modern history. Kremer (Ulrich Matthes) is a young Catholic priest ... Read more
Starring Johnny Depp (Ed Wood, MIFF 1995, Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow) and directed by the master of all things suspenseful and demonic, Roman Polanski (Rosemary's Baby). The Ninth Gate is an eerie and darkly humourous film. Depp is Dean Corso, a rare-book dealer who cheats the gullible and ... Read more
Provocative filmmaker Želimir Žilnik returns with a wry look at the social turmoil plaguing Serbia. ... Žilnik (Kenedi is Getting Married, MIFF 08) weaves an intricate picture of Serbia' s deteriorating socio-economic landscape, which has slipped into chaos since capitalism replaced ... Read more
"Whether in spite of, or reaction to, the dulling effect of political correctness, there is a bold new movement in the independent film world. Comedies are leading the pack this year, and none is as refreshing as the darkly sardonic romp, The Opposite of Sex. ... Bill (Martin Donovan, Malcolm X ... Read more
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize, Best Actor and Best Actress. Cannes 2001.Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher is an audacious film. That it remains as effective as it does, can be attributed to Isabelle Huppert's utterly fearless performance. ... Erika Kohut (Huppert) is a woman in her early 40s who ... Read more
"I am an African man who decided to go down in history." ... Baye Laye is the captain of a fishing pirogue who reluctantly accepts a job leading a boat of refugees to Europe. Overseeing this group of 30 men who don't all speak the same language - some of whom have never seen the sea - proves as ... Read more
"The Pledge is by far the finest of the three films that Sean Penn has directed It infuses almost every image with a mixture of sorrow and dread. Set in Nevada, its portrait of the West is of a shabby modern-day frontier civilization planted in a landscape of ominous beauty. The air crackles with a ... Read more
Fate and the metaphysical intervene in the life of a lost actress. ... A film-within-a-film is the catalyst for life-changing events in this homage to prolific filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira from Eugène Green (Le Pont des Arts, MIFF 2005). Strange and ephemeral encounters and lingering shots of ... Read more
This romantic fairy tale, set amongst the hills of a uniquely New Zealand dairy farm, is the second feature by Topless Women Talk About Their Lives director, Harry Sinclair. Danielle Cormack (Siam Sunset, MIFF 1999) and Karl Urban (Via Satellite, MIFF 1998) play Lucinda and Rob. Madly in love ... Read more
Paul surfers from writer's block and has become increasingly restless with his life. When he meets charismatic risk-taker Billy in a bizarre road accident, the two share a few drinks at a local pub. Paul's interest is piqued as he is exposed to a different, more secretive side of life. Around the ... Read more
A cinematic satirist par excellence, Tom DiCillo delivers his most rounded, accomplished and funny film to date. DiCillo takes some familiar comic characterisations and allows his outstanding cast to go to town. ... Joe (Matthew Modine) struggles to get by in Manhattan on a waiter's pittance ... Read more
A cross-cultural comedy from UK funny man David Baddiel. ... For Mahmud Nasir (Omar Djalli) being a Muslim living in the UK hasn't been too easy these past few years, but just as he's learning to live with the suspicious looks and snide comments he finds out that not only is he adopted, but he's ... Read more
Joy, sorrow and secrets around the family dinner table. ... Eve, a young woman whose boyfriend commits suicide just as she learns she is pregnant, heads with her sisters to dinner at their widowed father's house. During the meal, his new wife (Emmanuelle Béart, in a wonderfully unhinged role) ... Read more
The real-life tale of a man driven to extremes in pursuit of the ultimate adrenaline high. ... Based on real events and adapted from Martin Prinz's novel, this film tells the story of a man committed to twin pleasures - bank robbery and physical exercise. ... Driven by the need for a high, for ... Read more
MIFF has keenly followed the emerging career of US indie filmmaker Rose Troche, with her debut, Go Fish (1994) and Bedrooms and Hallways (1999). The Safety of Objects sees Troche widen her canvas to shopping malls and posh suburban neighbourhoods complete with backyard pools. ... A top-notch cast ... Read more
"Getting under the skin of a certain Mediterranean male psyche in a way that is both funny, poignant, life-enhancing, and much cheaper than a return ticket to Italy." - Screen International ... Retired Gianni lives a quiet life in a comfortable Roman apartment, running errands for his wife and ... Read more
"The Sea, like director Baltasar Kormakur's predecessor (101 Reykjavik, MIFF 2001), tells the story of a fire-and-ice showdown by spinning what we know of the family drama into a whirl of erotic redefinition. ... "Hoary patriarch and self-styled autocrat Thordur summons his grown children home to ... Read more
“A film of tenderness and humor married to the unlikeliest of subjects, The Sessions presents [this] story of poet and polio survivor Mark O'Brien… an exceptional, expertly acted crowd-pleaser.” - Variety ... Mark (John Hawkes, Martha Marcy May Marlene, MIFF 11) has polio and wants to ... Read more
In the late 1950s, at the height of the Cold War, the white, sandy beaches of Latvia were part of the Soviet Union's frontier—well guarded and well defended. Every night, Soviet tractors would comb Latvia's coast leaving fine grooves in the sand. Trespassers of any kind— spies ... Read more
"A very 21st-century Jeanne d'Arc: a manic-depressive victim of history whose story is only one strand in a crisscrossing skein." - Variety ... Filmmaker Philippe Ramos takes a fresh approach to the Joan of Arc narrative, as he conjures a hitherto untold story of her ransoming by the British to the ... Read more
The Slaughter Rule employs the vast landscapes of rural Montana and a particularly fast and brutal variation on traditional Grid Iron as the background for its potent story. The film examines the destructive relationship between a washed-up coach, Gideon Ferguson and his protégé, Roy Chutney ... Read more
In 1999 Belgian filmmaking brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne walked away fron Cannes with the coveted Palme d'Or prize for Rosetta. Three years later they have delivered The Son, selected for Official Competition at Cannes 2002. ... The Dardenne brothers have again utilised Rosetta lead actor ... Read more
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