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The Angels’ Share

Ken Loach
106′ / 2012
U.K., France, Belgium, Italy

The latest film from award winning British director Ken Loach (The Wind that Shakes the Barley) is a bittersweet comedy about a Glasgow boy locked in a family feud who just wants a way out. When Robbie sneaks into the maternity hospital to visit his young girlfriend Leonie and hold his newborn son Luke for the first time, he is overwhelmed. He swears that Luke will have a better life than he has had. On community service Robbie meets Rhino, Albert and Mo who, like him, can not find work because of their criminal records. Little did Robbie imagine that turning to drink might change their lives – not cheap fortified wine, but the best malt whiskies in the world. His newly discovered palate and delicate ‘nose’ lead Robbie and crew to a strange new world – the Scottish Highlands – and the biggest gamble of their lives.

The Hunt

Thomas Vinterberg
115′ / 2012
Denmark

Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen), returns with a gripping, provocative and devastating drama about a respected member of a close-knit Danish community whose life is destroyed when a young girl accuses him, falsely, of abuse. Following a tough divorce, 40-year-old Lucas is starting to pull his life back together again. He has a new girlfriend, a new job, and is in the process of re-establishing his relationship with his teenage son Marcus. However one passing remark threatens Lucas’s newfound stability. One of the children he looks after at the nursery where he works, a little girl with a vivid imagination, tells a random lie which is impossible to ignore. Her allegation spreads like a virus, quickly acquiring the veneer of truth the more it is told. As shock turns to mistrust and then malice, it doesn’t take long before this small community is in a collective state of hysteria, igniting a witch-hunt that threatens to destroy an innocent man’s life.

Paradise Love

Ulrich Seidl
120′ / 2012
Austria, France, Germany

On the beaches of Kenya they’re known as ‘Sugar Mamas’: European women to whom black beach boys offer sex to earn a living. Teresa, a 50-year-old Austrian from Vienna and the mother of a daughter entering puberty, travels as a sex tourist to this vacation paradise in search of love. She goes from one beach boy to the next, from one disappointment to the next. On the beaches of Kenya love is a business. Through the power of its images, emotions and performances, Paradise Love tells of sex tourism, older women and young men, the market value of sexuality, the power of skin colour, Europe and Africa, and the exploited, who have no choice but to victimize other victims.

War Witch

Kim Nguyen
90′ / 2012
Canada

A civil war in Africa. After her village is burned down by rebels and her parents are killed, Komona is forced into the jungle as a child soldier. Her brutal commander not only trains her in the use of arms but also orders her to sleep with him. Searching for shelter amidst the horror, she turns to a slightly older boy with white hair who she calls ‘Magician’ and falls in love with. After they escape from the camp together, Komona does her utmost to return to her village. She wants to bury her parents to prevent them having to eternally wander the wasted land as ghosts …Told throughout from the perspective of an adolescent girl, the film – shot in authentic locations in Congo and cast mainly with non-professional actors – visualises the horrors of civil war and the suffering of children and civilians. Despite all the horrors she encounters, Komona proves to be a beacon of hope for a continent yearning for peace and humanity.

God’s Neighbours

Meny Yaesh
102′ / 2012

Israel

Meny Yaesh’s debut feature God’s Neighbours is an unexpected character study that takes a markedly different approach to the debate over religious tolerance. The film follows Avi, Kobi and Yaniv, three young men who belong to the Breslev Hassidic community and place themselves in charge of supervising the codes of modesty, without hesitating to use violence to convey the message. When Miri moves into the neighborhood, Avi is torn between his feelings for her and the codes of the gang.

Broken

Rufus Norris
90′ / 2012

U.K.

Rufus Norris’ debut film, an adaptation of the Daniel Clay novel, presents a portrait of three families as seen from the point of view of a young girl, Skunk. Skunk is 11, diabetic and pretty cool. Rick is her sweet neighbour. Bob is her mean neighbour. Skunk’s world is about to change…Shortly after witnessing a brutal beating, Skunk’s home, neighbourhood and school all become treacherous environments, where the happy certainties of childhood give way to injustice and danger; her innocence is rapidly worn away and a harsh world fills her future. When Skunk finally seeks solace in an unspoken friendship with sweet, damaged Rick, she’s left with a choice- to stay in a life she was not promised, or to leave this broken place behind…

Dans La Maison (In the House)

François Ozon
105′ / 2012

France

In the new film from acclaimed French director Franois Ozon, high school teacher Germain grades his student papers. All are quite appalling, except for one, written by Claude, who sits in the last row “where you can see all the others”. Claude’s prose reveals a keen sense of observation bordering on voyeurism. Encouraged by his teacher, Claude continues writing, gleaning details from the people around him to explore the emotional mechanics of two families: one artistic and intellectual; the other petite-bourgeois, their hopes and frustrations expressed through the wife and mother, a modern-day Emma Bovary. Gradually and imperceptibly, reality and fiction become indistinguishable. But what are this young man’s obscure designs, and just how far will he go?

Holy Motors

Leos Carax
116’ / 2012

France, Germany

This unclassifiable, expansive film by Leos Carax (Lovers on the Bridge)—his first feature in 13 years—operates on the exhilarating logic of dreams and emotions. Holy Motors is a mysterious odyssey through the streets of an eerie, beautiful Paris which will often digitally morph into somewhere from a different planet entirely. Denis Lavant plays Monsieur Oscar, a strange figure who is chauffeured around in a white stretch limo by Céline (Édith Scob); he has a fully equipped theatrical dressing room in the back of the car, and prepares for a series of [eleven] ‘appointments’ by getting into various elaborate and deeply preposterous disguises…

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Benh Zeitlin
92’ / 2011

U.S.A.

Winner of the US Dramatic Grand Jury Prize in Sundance and the Camera d’Or at Cannes, this striking and unforgettable feature-film debut is set in ‘The Bathtub’ – a defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world. Six-year-old Hushpuppy is devoted to her father, Wink, who frequently goes off on sprees, leaving Hushpuppy to fend for herself in an isolated compound filled with semi-wild animals. The community is a resilient and joyous one, but there is a sense of inevitable destruction. Little Hushpuppy has to find in herself the courage and heroism to survive the catastrophe and re-instil a sense of community. Fusing recent history and contemporary environmental concerns with a mythic quality, Beasts of the Southern Wild defies easy classification or description, instead forging a new path that firmly establishes director Benh Zeitlin as a bright new cinematic talent.