Twelve must-see films at the Havana’s International Festival of New Latin American Cinema
By Vistar Magazine
Havana will host the 40th International Festival of New Latin American Cinema on December 6-16, 2018. Several films will be competing and as part of the special screenings in movie theaters for ten days, there will be other screening sections such as the International Contemporary Panorama, where relevant films will be included even though some may not be in competition. But what to watch among so many films? Here we suggest the best twelve films in the Festival.
“Roma” follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a young domestic worker for a family in the middle-class neighborhood of Roma in Mexico City. Delivering an artful love letter to the women who raised him, Cuarón draws on his own childhood to create a vivid and emotional portrait of domestic strife and social hierarchy amidst political turmoil of the 1970s.
Mexican film directed by Alfonso Cuarón, which was premiered at the Venice International Film Festival and won the Golden Lion. Indeed, the film represented Mexico as Best Foreign Film in 2018.
Tres Caras (Three Faces)
Well-known actress Behnaz Jafari is left distraught when she comes across a provincial girl’s video plea for help, after her family prevents her from taking up her studies at the Tehran drama conservatory. Behnaz abandons her shoot and turns to filmmaker Jafar Panahi to help with the young girl’s troubles. They travel by car to the rural northwest, where they have amusing encounters with the charming and generous folk of the girl’s mountain village. But Behnaz and Jafar also discover that old traditions die hard.
It was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. At Cannes, Panahi and co-writer Nader Saeivar won the award for Best Screenplay.
Marcello is a simple man, whose life revolves around his grooming salon for dogs and his daughter Sofia; Simone is a former boxer with violent ways just released from prison. After a long series of abuses, Marcello decides to help Simoncino in some robberies, but he ends up having to serve a year in prison. Once he left and realized he was alone, Marcello decided to take revenge.
It was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. At Cannes, Marcello Fonte won the award for Best Actor. It was selected as the Italian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards.
The Sisters Brothers
From acclaimed director Jacques Audiard (Rust and Bone, A Prophet), and based on the novel by Patrick deWitt, THE SISTERS BROTHERS is a reimagining of the cinematic Western as a dangerous, witty, and emotionally cathartic exploration of what it means to be a man. It is 1851, and Charlie and Eli Sisters (Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly) are both brothers and assassins, boys grown to men in a savage and hostile world. They have blood on their hands: that of criminals, that of innocents…and they know no state of existence other than being gunmen. The older of the two, introspective Eli (Reilly) rides hard with his younger sibling yet dares to dream of a normal life. The younger of the two, hard-drinking Charlie (Phoenix) has taken charge with gusto as lead man on the duo’s assignments. Each increasingly questions, and quibbles with, the other’s methods. The Sisters brothers find themselves on a journey through the Northwest, bringing them to the mountains of Oregon, a dangerous brothel in the small town of Mayfield, and eventually, the Gold Rush land of California – a journey that will test the deadly family ties that bind. But, can it also be the path to rediscovering what remains of their humanity? THE SISTERS BROTHERS also stars Jake Gyllenhaal as learned scout John Morris and Riz Ahmed as fugitive chemist Hermann Kermit Warm.
It had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 2, 2018, and was released theatrically in the United States on September 21, 2018 by Annapurna Pictures.
Tres Días en Quiberón (Three Days in Quiberon)
1981: One year before her death, famous actress Romy Schneider retreats to a spa hotel in the town of Quiberon, Brittany. Visited by her close friend Hilde, who has come to offer the support she needs to fight her own demons. But it is more than just the reunion of two old friends. When two journalists from the STERN arrive to conduct an interview, Hilde tries to shield her friend from their invasive interrogation tactics. For three days and nights, the interaction between the quartet ranges from sensitivity to brutal manipulation, an emotional roller coaster ride, by the end of which Romy seems more vulnerable than ever. Yet perhaps she has rediscovered her zest for life and the inner strength to carry on.
3 Days in Quiberon (German: 3 Tage in Quiberon) is a 2018 drama film directed by Emily Atef. It was selected to compete for the Golden Bear in the main competition section at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival.
En los pasillos (In the Aisles)
After the shy and reclusive Christian loses his job, he starts to work for a wholesale market. Bruno from the Beverage aisle takes him under his wing and quickly becomes a fatherly friend to him. He shows him the ropes and patiently teaches him how to operate the fork lift. In the aisles he meets “Sweets”-Marion. He is instantly smitten by her mysterious charm. The coffee machine becomes their regular meeting point and the two start to get to know each other. But Marion is married and Christian’s feelings for her seem to remain unrequited, especially when Marion does not return to work one day. Christian slowly becomes a member of the wholesale market family and his days of driving fork lifts and stacking shelves mean much more to him than meets the eye.
It was selected to compete for the Golden Bear in the main competition section at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival. At Berlin it won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury award.
Doubles Vies (Double Lives Non-Fiction)
Set in the Parisian publishing world, an editor and an author find themselves in over their heads, as they cope with a middle-age crisis, the changing industry and their wives. Alain, a successful Parisian publisher struggling to adapt to the digital revolution, has major doubts about the new manuscript of Léonard, one of his long-time authors – another work of auto-fiction recycling his love affair with a minor celebrity. Selena, Alain’s wife, a famous stage actress, is of the opposite opinion.
Non-Fiction (French: Doubles vies) is a 2018 French comedy film directed by Olivier Assayas. It stars Guillaume Canet, Juliette Binoche, Vincent Macaigne, Nora Hamzawi, Christa Théret and Pascal Greggory. It was selected to be screened in the main competition section of the 75th Venice International Film Festival.
Acusada (The Accused)
Dolores Dreier, lives the life of a young student until her best friend is brutally murdered. Two years later, she is the only one accused of the crime in a case of great media exposure that has put her in the center of the scene: everyone has an opinion about her innocence or guilt. Dolores prepares for the isolated trial at home, while the Dreier family works as a team willing to do everything to defend their daughter. But as the process progresses and the pressure increases, secrets and suspicion appear within the family. Cornered by the evidence, Dolores will have to face her own doubts about what really happened.
The Accused (Spanish: Acusada) is a 2018 Argentine crime-thriller film directed by Gonzalo Tobal. It premiered at the 75th Venice International Film Festival on 4 September and was released in Argentina on 13 September by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film has received critical acclaim, with praise for Lali Espósito’s performance.
Nuestro Tiempo (Our Time)
A family lives in the Mexican countryside raising fighting bulls. Esther is in charge of running the ranch, while her husband Juan, a world-renowned poet, raises and selects the beasts. When Esther becomes infatuated with a horse trainer named Phil, the couple struggles to stride through the emotional crisis.
Our Time (Spanish: Nuestro tiempo) is a 2018 Mexican drama film directed by Carlos Reygadas. It was selected to be screened in the main competition section of the 75th Venice International Film Festival.
1913, Budapest, in the heart of Europe. The young Irisz Leiter arrives in the Hungarian capital with high hopes to work as a milliner at the legendary hat store that belonged to her late parents. She is nonetheless sent away by the new owner, Oszkár Brill. While preparations are under way at the Leiter hat store, to host guests of uttermost importance, a man abruptly comes to Irisz, looking for a certain Kálmán Leiter. Refusing to leave the city, the young woman follows Kálmán’s tracks, her only link to a lost past. Her quest brings her through the dark streets of Budapest, where only the Leiter hat store shines, into the turmoil of a civilization on the eve of its downfall.
Sunset is 2018 Hungarian film directed by László Nemes and co-written by Nemes, Clara Royer and Matthieu Taponier. It is set in Budapest before World War I, starring newcomer Juli Jakab and Vlad Ivanov. It premiered at the 75th Venice International Film Festival and was also screened at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. It was selected as the Hungarian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards.
Todos lo saben (Everybody Knows)
Laura, a Spanish woman living in Buenos Aires, returns to her hometown outside Madrid with her two children to attend her sister’s wedding. However, the trip is upset by unexpected events that bring secrets into the open.
Everybody Knows (Spanish: Todos lo saben) is a 2018 Spanish psychological thriller film written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, and starring Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz. The film opened the 2018 Cannes Film Festival in competition and was released in Spain on 14 September 2018.
En Guerre (At War)
Two years ago, the Perrin Industry Factory, 1100 employees, automotive supplier well known, affiliate to the German group Schäfer, signed an agreement asking to senior-managers and workers to accept a pay cut, in order to save the company in exchange of the promise to protect their jobs on at least the next five years. Today, the company takes the decision to close. The workers, conducted by their spokesperson Laurent Amadeo, refuse the inevitable and try to save their jobs.
At War (French: En Guerre) is a 2018 French drama film directed by Stéphane Brizé. It was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.