EL BOLA - Drama - Spain - Spanish w/ English Subtitles
Pablo (El Bola) is a 12-year old boy raised in a violent and unforgiving environment. Embarrassed by his family life, he retreats from his classmates, engaging them only through a dangerous game. The arrival of a new boy at school, from whom he learns a new definition of friendship, leads to the discovery of a family where communication and love prevail over domination and violence. The film poignantly parallels the lives of a caring father unable to connect with his willful son, and that of distant Pablo (El Bola) and his abusive father who is incapable of giving him the love he needs, replacing it with something far more sinister. One imprints his son in an improbably gentle manner with a tattoo stylus, the other brutally with his fists. Told through both the children's and adults' points of view, Achero Manas's El Bola is a stirring narrative that lodges in the memory.
HE DIED WITH A FELAFEL IN HIS HAND - Dark Comedy - Australia - English Language
A darkly humorous search for love, meaning and bathroom solitude. Faithful to the cult novel by John Birmingham upon which it is based, the film follows Danny (Noah Taylor) through a series of shared housing experiences in a succession of cities on the east coast of Australia. Together these vignettes form a forceful, sometimes turbulent narrative that leaves the viewer entertained, exhausted and surprisingly reflective.
ALI ZAOUA - Drama - Morocco-France - Arabic w/ English Subtitles
Ali, Kwita, Omar, and Boukber are a group of street urchins living on the hard streets of Casablanca. Their everyday lives are filled with violence, begging, and indifference. In order to survive they create a bond of friendship and family between then. The bond is cut short when Ali is senselessly killed at the beginning of the film by a blow to the head; his life taken by a single act of a rival gang. Ali's friends decide not to report his death to the police, who would have the boy buried in a potter's field. Instead they decide to give him a worthy burial, to bury Ali on the private island he so often dreamed of. Ali Zaoua captures the power of dreams and presence of hope in the harshest of circumstances.
MARION BRIDGE - Drama - Canadian - English Language
The story of three sisters paralyzed by family secrets. In the midst of struggling to overcome her self-destructive behaviour, the youngest sister, Agnes, returns home determined to confront the past in a community built on avoiding it. Her quest sets in motion a chain of events that allows the sisters each in their own way to re-connect with the world and one another. Set in post-industrial Cape Breton, Marion Bridge is a story of poignant humor and drama. The film stars Molly Parker (Max, Kissed, Deadwood), Rebecca Jenkins (Bye Bye Blues, Black Harbour, Wilby Wonderful) and Stacy Smith (New Waterford Girl).
LIGHT OF MY EYES - Romantic Drama- Italy - Italian w/ English Subtitles
Antonio is a fallen angel, a rootless chauffeur in Rome, who relates only to the lonely heroes in the pulp science fiction novels he grew up with. Only through a chance encounter with Maria, a woman struggling to hold onto her daughter and her business, does he discover a hope that's been lacking in his detached existence. Antonio is drawn into the suffering of Maria's world, where she draws her inner strength from her fragile solitude. A haunting score, poetic atmosphere and award-winning lyrical performances by the two leads evoke the beauty of a precarious existence.
MANITO - Drama - USA - Spanish and English w/ some English Subtitles
Junior Moreno (Franky G.), an ex-convict struggling to get his life back, is a product of that legacy. His brother Manny, (Leo Minaya) the salutatorian of his high school class, embodies hope in the neighborhood. On the night of his graduation party, Manny faces an ill-fated decision that could change his life forever, while Junior tries to prevent his little brother from becoming another casualty.
INCH'ALLAH DIMANCHE - Drama - France - French w/ English Subtitles
In the aftermath of World War 2, France attempted to replenish its weakened work force by recruiting men from North Africa. In the mid-1970's, the French government relaxed its immigration policy to allow the families of Algerian men to join them. Inch'Allah Dimanche provides us with a deeply moving memoir of the sense of isolation and vulnerability that the immigrant family experienced upon their arrival at a time when racial integration was virtually non-existent.
OT: OUR TOWN - Documentary - USA - English Language
Against all odds, the first theatrical production in over 20 years at Dominguez High School is going to be Thorton Wilder's American classic Our Town. The kids at this Compton school are about to experience more than a culture clash, as they embark on a rich journey and discover the educational and social value of theater. OT: Our Town tells the story of human spirit and its strength against the stereotypes holding them down. Where Thorton Wilder wrote about about little Grover's Corners, this documentary exemplifies how Our Town is every town. Our Town is Compton.
HOP - Drama - Belgium - French w/ English Subtitles
All Justin and his father want to do is sit down and enjoy a soccer game together. This simple act between father and son sparks a chain of events leading to Justin's father's deportation. On the run Justin must embark on a thrilling adventure to re-unite with his father. But in order to fight the system, he must enlist the help of a former anarchist. Together they will need to apply the secret of the Hop.
THE PARTY'S OVER - Documentary - USA - English Language
The Party's Over follows Philip Seymour Hoffman as a concerned citizen on an uncensored journey of the state of democracy in America. The film examines how the American political process addresses, and often fails to address, the country's most pressing issues. As we countdown to the pivotal 2004 election, the film answers the question, is there a difference between Republicans and Democrats? In the film Philip Seymour Hoffman interviews Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Jesse Jackson, Rudy Giuliani, Michael Moore, and Bill Maher.
GINGER AND CINNAMON - Romantic Comedy - Italy - Italian w/ English Subtitles
While vacationing on the Greek "Isle of Love", a repressed 30 year old Stefania reluctantly plays chaperon to her precocious 14 year old niece, Meggy, who plans to lose her virginity before the summer is over. Unbeknownst to Stefania, Meggy's "chosen" man is Stefania's ex-boyfriend. Amidst a mï¿½lange of sun rash, broken diets, nervous girls, sleeping bags, orgasms, 80's music, and a little ginger and cinnamon, the two women discover themselves and their sexuality.
MORLANG - Drama - Nehterlands - English Language
Successful artist Julius Morlang has reached a crossroad in his career. So when his wife Ellen becomes involved with an upcoming new artist, the limits of their love are strained. Julius seeks refuge in Ann, a sexy new admirer. But when Ellen unexpectedly falls ill, the two of them must reform the trust they had lost before.
LONG LIFE, HAPPINESS AND PROSPERITY - Drama - Canada - English Language w/ some Subtitles
In Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity, twelve-year old Mindy Ho (Valerie Tian) tries Taoist magic to fix her single mother's (Sandra Oh) financial situation and seemingly hopeless romantic prospects. Mindy's misdirected charms appear to cause an aging security guard to lose his job and a local butcher to win the lottery. The guard, the butcher and her mother's stories all intersect, bound together by Mindy's attempts at magic intervention. Set in the Chinese Canadian community, Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity is a story of hope and the importance of keeping faith in this sometimes difficult world.
CAROL'S JOURNEY - Drama - Spain - Spanish w/ English Subtitles
Carol, a Spanish-American twelve year old girl brought up in New York, travels with her mother to Spain for the first time in the turbulent spring of 1938, to meet her mother's family. Separated from her father, a pilot in the International Brigades involved in the Spanish Civil War, whom she adores, her arrival in her mother's native village transforms the secretive family environment. Her innocent and rebellious nature drives her to oppose a conventional world new to her. Her friendship with Maruja, the village's teacher, together with the lessons in life learnt from her grandfather and her love for local boy Tomiche will take her on an unforgettable and bittersweet journey into the world of adulthood.
RAJA - Drama - Morocco-France - French and Arabic w/ English Subtitles
Raja is a nineteen year old orphan literally and figuratively scarred by life. Fred is an emotionally bankrupt westerner living amid his plush gardens and palm trees. Set against the backdrop of contemporary Marrakech, Raja is a cross-cultural drama about a wealthy middle-aged Frenchman's complex relationship with this poor local girl. Fred's attempts to seduce Raja, and their mutual attempts at manipulation, are fractured by their gross disparity of income, age and cultural sophistication.
THE MIDDLE OF THE WORLD - Drama - Brazil - Portuguese w/ English Subtitles
The Middle of the World is a road movie on bicycles. It is freely adapted from the true story of an unemployed truck driver who, with his wife and five children, pedals from Paraï¿½ba, in the poverty-stricken Northeast of Brazil, all the way to Rio de Janeiro looking for a job. Romï¿½o (the father) feels destined to earn 1000 reais (about 300 US$) a month - a vast sum for Brazilian standards. On four bikes, the family goes through five states, knows solidarity and indifference, aggressiveness and cordiality. A 2000-mile odyssey through the hinterlands of Brazil all the way to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's best-known postcard. The Middle of the World shows the quest for the dream of a decent life - a story of dreams and hope.
THE RAGE IN PLACID LAKE - Romantic Comedy - Australia - English Language
Placid Lake's life has never been normal. From his early years when his mother sent him to school in a dress to challenge the other 5 year old children's 'preconceived notions of sexuality,' he should have guessed that fitting in was not going to be easy. If you liked Napolean Dynamite, you'll surely appreciate The Rage in Placid Lake.
THE MAN OF THE YEAR - Crime Drama - Brazil - Portuguese w/ English Subtitles
Maiquel (Murilo Benicio) has lost a bet and dyed his hair blond. This little event triggers a head-on collision with destiny in which Maiquel goes from nobody to hero to outlaw.all in 24 hours. Based on the award-winning novel by Patricia Melo "O Matador", this vibrant and brazen crime saga follows in the vein of recent Brazilian Cinema such as Vincente Amorim's Middle of the World, Walter Salles' Central Station and Fernando Meirelles' City of God.
THE REPUBLIC OF LOVE - Romantic Drama - Canada - English Language
Based on the novel by Carol Shields, The Republic of Love is a romantic comedy starring Bruce Greenwood about the barriers facing the lucky and the unlucky in love in the 21st century. Tom is a charismatic late-night radio talk show host whose unconventional upbringing has made him a little too quick to fall in love and marry. Fay is an academic whose expectations are impossibly high as a result of the living perfection that is her parents' marriage. The characters connect in a maze of malls, condos and family homes, underpinning the idea that 'geography is destiny' and that each of us has our own 'republic', where lives intersect.
WOLVES IN THE SNOW - Drama - Canada - French w/ English Subtitles
Wolves in the Snow begins with the news that Antoine has been cuckolding Lucie for years. A violent marital argument ensues resulting in Antoine's death. After lying about Antoine's whereabouts, Lucie discovers his secret life of gangsters, money laundering and violence. Followed, threatened and badgered by the gangsters, Lucie becomes trapped by her deceit. The body of Antoine disappears, other corpses appear, and the money, very quickly, becomes only the pretext of an alarming turn of events, in which Lucie learns how to lie, to live, and perhaps also to like. Wolves in the Snow is an intense drama set against the backdrop of Montreal.
BUDDY - Romantic Comedy - Norway - Norwegian w/ English Subtitles
Kristoffer's love life is on the rocks. But what can you expect from a guy who likes to videotape himself and his friends pulling outrageous stunts? So when Kristoffer's video diary winds up at a popular TV show, it's not just his love life that turns upside down. A vibrant young cast explores the true meaning of friendship and love in a heart-warming story about hi jinks, crazy roommates and reality television.
FALLING ANGELS - Comedic Drama - Canada - English Language
Canadian filmmaker Scott Smith directs the black comedy Falling Angels, based on the novel by Barbara Gowdy and adapted for the screen by poet and author Esta Spalding. Set in the late '60s and filmed on-location in Saskatchewan, this dark family drama focuses on the three teenaged daughters of the Field household. Callum Keith Rennie plays Jim Field, the loud-mouthed, domineering patriarch who has intimidated his wife Mary (Miranda Richardson) into a catatonic state of alcoholism and depression. Norma (Montï¿½ Gagnï¿½) is the oldest, most responsible daughter; she is overburdened and preoccupied by events from the past. Middle child Lou (Katharine Isabelle) chooses the rebellious path in order to escape her father's unreasonable demands. Youngest daughter Sandy (Kristin Adams) aspires to maximum femininity, engaging in an affair with an older, married man (Mark McKinney) in the process.
WITNESSES - Drama - Croatia - Croatian w/ English Subtitles
Split, Croatia, 1992. In a small village near the front-line, three drunken Croatian soldiers plan to take revenge on a Serb by targeting his house. The man turns out to be at home and gets shot. But there is a witness: his eleven-year-old daughter. Director Bresan tells the story from different perspectives, with the web of tangled relationships and dependencies among the villagers only becoming clear towards the end.
VIVA LALDJERIE - Drama - France - French w/ English Subtitles
This is a story of old and young in Algeria told through a mother and daughter hiding out in a hotel from local terrorists. We follow pretty Goucem (Lubna Azabal), 27, through the urban landscape of modern-day Algiers as she attempts to assert her own version of a liberated lifestyle. She battles daily with the conflict of a new Algiers; pitting traditional life against the rapidly modernizing city. Goucem is contrasted by her more traditional mother, Papicha - played by Biyouna - who is an ex-singer longing for her cabaret and for an Algeria of days gone by. Fifi (Nadia Kaci), the women's neighbor at the hotel, adds more color to this story as an energetic prostitute who keeps herself busy with wealthy men twenty- four hours a day.
ALEXANDRA'S PROJECT - Drama - AUSTRALIA - English Language
It's Steve's (Gary Sweet) birthday and he's just been promoted at the office. In a good mood, he goes home to his family expecting to celebrate. Instead, he finds an empty suburban home and videotape labeled 'Play Me.' The tape begins with his loving wife (Helen Buday) providing birthday wishes and quickly segues, to his pleasant surprise, into a striptease. But surprise turns into shock when he sees a gun pointed at her head. As the tape plays, his seemingly ordinary life unravels into a nightmare of mind games and revenge. Along with two brilliant lead performances, acclaimed auteur Rolf de Heer brings to us his visionary new twist on the psychological thriller.
WILBY WONDERFUL - Comedic Drama - Canada - English Language
Wilby Wonderful is a bittersweet comedy about the difference a day makes. Over the course of twenty-four hours, the residents of the tiny island town of Wilby try to maintain business as usual in the face of very unusual business. Wilby Wonderful features a stellar ensemble of Canada's most talented performers: Sandra Oh, James Allodi, Maury Chaykin, Paul Gross, Rebecca Jenkins and Callum Keith Rennie. Wilby Wonderful is a gentle, intimate story of hope and the importance of believing that we live in a world of creation, not destruction - in fact, we create that world by believing in it.
ANTARES - Drama - German - German w/ English Subtitles
Alex and Nicole are divorced but Alex cannot let go of what has passed. Sonja is facing tough times because of her pregnancy and becoming wildly jealous of her husband Marco. While Eva, a loyal wife and mother, has her life turned upside-down by a fling with Tomasz. They all live in the same impersonal housing estate, emotionally messy individuals within a uniform concrete faï¿½ade. Antares features explicit sexual content and mature themes in its portrayal of these modern relationships.
LET THE CHURCH SAY AMEN - Documentary - USA - English Language
Over the course of a year, Let the Church Say Amen chronicles the daily life surrounding World Missions for Christ Church in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Like many urban communities that haven't benefited from America's prosperity, these citizens face challenges that would be shocking for any U.S. city, let alone that of the nation's capital: Rampant drug abuse, unemployment, poverty, homelessness, and violence. Yet the strength of this community comes from the powerful faith of a storefront church of modest resources but great spiritual power. Years ago the space was a corner store, now it serves as a sanctuary where members gather every Sunday to sing, pray, testify and work through faith to change the community.
ART OF THE SHORT FILM - Shorts - Various Countries - Various Languages w/ English Subtitles
Film Movement is pleased to "Celebrate the Art of the Short Film" this month. So, we decided to release a compilation of SIX original short films, or featurettes, for the first time, on one DVD. Three of the selections included in the compilation, Inja, Das Rad and Mt. Head, received Academy Awardï¿½ nominations. The others are equally outstanding including the Sundance selection, Sangam.
LE GRAND VOYAGE - Drama - France-Morocco - French and Arabic w/ English Subtitles
A few weeks before his college entrance exams, Reda (Nicolas Cazale), a young man who lives in the south of France, finds himself obligated to drive his father to Mecca. From the start, the journey looks to be difficult: Reda and his father (Mohamed Majd) have nothing in common. The wide cultural and generational gap between the two is worsened by the lack of communication between the two. Reda finds it hard to accommodate his father, who demands respect for himself and his pilgrimage. From France, through Italy, Serbia, Turkey, Syria, Jordan to Saudi Arabia- the two will embark on a road trip to Mecca that will change their lives.
AGATA AND THE STORM - Dramatic Comedy - Italy - Italian w/ English Subtitles
A swirl of pop-art color, madcap magic, and the bittersweet call of life and love suddenly take the mature, ravishing, self-reliant Agata by storm. When Agata, the popular bookshop proprietor and dispenser of sunny wisdom in the form of books, is suddenly wooed by a man almost half her age, her electricity hits high-voltage. It even sends light bulbs bursting in her wake. Yet it is Agata's joy and 'explosive' magnetism in the face of life in all its irony that eventually offers the eye of the cyclone. There, all is supremely quiet and still, as Agata creates a haven of love and freedom to quell the storms of life's unfulfilled desires.
ROADS TO KOKTEBEL - Drama - Russia - Russian w/ English Subtitles
After his wife's death and the loss of his job, an aerodynamics engineer sets off from Moscow with his 11 year old son for his sister's house in Koktebel by the Black Sea. With no money or means of transport, they drift through the expansive and mesmeric landscapes of Russia at the mercy of chance. The father is content to meander as he tries to rebuild his self-respect, piece together his broken life and win back the trust of his son. Meanwhile, the boy impatiently dreams of reaching the mythic coastal resort to start a new life of emancipation and gliders flying in the wind. When the father meets and falls for a beautiful young doctor, the boy sees her as an intrusion on the only loving relationship in his life sets off to complete the journey by himself.
DRIFTERS - Drama - China - Mandarin w/ English Subtitles
Er Di is the town 'celebrity'. But only for the none-too-exceptional feat that he had been a stowaway, and a multiple failure at that. One time he succeeded and managed to live abroad for a number of years before he got caught and was repatriated. Back in his hometown he spends his days as a slacker, busy doing nothing. There is just one person on his mind: Xiao Nu from a travelling Shanghai opera troupe, another lonely soul leading a listless life. Something of a romance develops between them, but they don't see any meaningful things happening in their lives.
CAMPFIRE - Drama - Israel - Hebrew w/ English Subtitles
The year is 1981. Rachel Gerlik a 42-year-old widow, mother of two beautiful teenage daughters, Esti and Tami, wants to join the founding group of a new religious settlement in the West Bank. The problem is that the acceptance committee won't accept her unless she remarries and proves that she and her daughters can meet the group's religious and ideological standards. When Tami, her youngest daughter, is accused of seducing some boys from her youth movement, Rachel is forced to weigh her alliances. Only Yossi, a 50 year-old bachelor, and the new man in Rachel's life, can show Rachel that living as an outcast is not as bad as it seems.
SPARE PARTS - Drama - Slovenia - Slovenian w/ English Subtitles
Embittered widower, Ludvik, spends his nights transporting illegal refugees in his van from Croatia, across Slovenia, and into Italy. The young and inexperienced Rudi acts as his helpmate. Together they become a well-trained duo who almost every night convey "spare parts" to Italy. Of course the story of their illegitimate exports into Europe ends tragically, for everyone. The whole idea of this account is that everyone - including ourselves - is looking for happiness: the "spare parts" because of the misery they are plunged into without, and our characters because they can't find it inside.
ANYTOWN, USA - Documentary - USA - English Language
All politics is local in this hilarious burlesque of a documentary following a tightly-run mayoral race in the small town of Bogota, New Jersey. When the much-reviled--and legally blind--Republican incumbent Steven Lonegan boldly announces he will run for re-election, the citizens of Bogota go on the offensive to unseat him. Enter Democrat Fred Pesce, coaxed from retirement to share the ticket. With his health in question, and his politics compared to those of Tony Soprano, the field is wide open for sight-challenged town booster and former local football hero Dave Musikant to step in as a long-shot write-in independent candidate--officially making it the only mayoral race in the nation where two of the three candidates are legally blind! Add to the mix the machinations of Jesse "The Body" Ventura`s campaign manager, and Anytown, USA resonates as an all-too-familiar look at the charade of partisan politics in our increasingly polarized nation.