"Magnetic! It's a film to be admired."
– Screen Daily,
"This is emphatically not a typical melodrama...and thank god for that!"
– The Edge San Francisco,
"An understated, sensitive film!"
– San Francisco Chronicle,
Directed by Pavel Lounguine
YEAR 5 FILM 6
Somewhere in Northern Russia in a small Russian Orthodox monastery lives a very unusual man. His fellow-monks are confused by his bizarre conduct. Those who visit the island believe that the man has the power to heal, exorcise demons and foretell the future. However, he considers himself unworthy because of a sin he committed in his youth. The film is a parable, combining the realities of Russian everyday life with monastic ritual and routine.MORE INFO »
Directed by Lucia Puenzo
YEAR 6 FILM 5
For just about everybody, adolescence means having to confront a number of choices and life decisions, but rarely any as monumental as the one facing 15 year-old Alex (Ines Efron,) who was born an intersex child.Â As Alex begins to explore her sexuality, her mother invites friends from Buenos Aires to come for a visit at their house on the gorgeous Uruguayan shore, along with their 16-year-old son Ãlvaro (Martin Piroyanski.) Alex is immediately attracted to the young man, which adds yet another level of complexity to her personal search for identity, and forces both families to face their worst fears.MORE INFO »
THE COUNTRY TEACHER
Directed by Bohdan Sláma
YEAR 7 FILM 4
A gifted young teacher takes a job teaching natural sciences at a grammar school in the country. Here he makes the acquaintance of a woman and her troubled 17-year old son. The teacher has no romantic interest in the woman but they quickly form a strong friendship, each recognizing the other's uncertainties, hopes and longing for love. When the teacher's ex-boyfriend comes to visit from the city, he quickly realizes that nobody in the village knows that the teacher is gay and harbors a secret affection for the teenage boy. His jealous actions set in motion a series of events that will test the inner strength and compassion of the teacher, the woman and her son to a breaking point.MORE INFO »
IF I WANT TO WHISTLE, I WHISTLE
Directed by Florin Serban
YEAR 8 FILM 11
Silviu has only two weeks left before his release from a hostile juvenile detention center. But when his mother, who abandoned him long ago, returns to take his younger brother away - a brother Silviu raised like a son â€“ those two weeks become an eternity. While his outcries for help fall on deaf ears, he finds himself mercilessly taunted and harassed by the other inmates. And just as Silviu's frustration evolves into full-throttled aggression, he is introduced to a beautiful social worker that he can only dream of being close to. Faced with a slew of conflicting emotions and wild with desperation, Silviu is driven to a surprising act of defiance as he makes a last grasp for freedom.MORE INFO »
Directed by Alice Rohrwacher
YEAR 10 FILM 5
Having recently returned to her native Italy after living in Switzerland for 10 years, quiet but curious 13-year-old Marta is left to her own devices while her loving but worn-out mother toils away at an industrial bakery. Marta's only source of socialization is the local church, where she is told to attend preparatory classes for her confirmation. But the doctrines of Roman Catholicism offer little in terms of life lessons or consolation, and she quickly sees through the hypocrisy of the priest, who cares more about status than about his constituents. Eventually, Marta forges her very own way of the cross, which turns out to have much less to do with God than with her own climb towards adulthood.MORE INFO »