Thursday, April 23, 2009

62nd Festival de Cannes Special Screenings

These are the films of the Official Selection in the Special Screenings section.

Special Screenings

Cendres et Sang (Ashes and Blood), Fanny Ardant, France , Portugal and Romania, 2009 (1st film) Movie Site
Exiled of her country since the murder of her husband ten years ago, Judith lives in Marseille with her three children. After having refused during years to see her family again and despite her fears and her secrets, Judith lets herself bend by her children’s desire and accepts the invitation at her cousin’s wedding. She takes her children to spend a summer back in the country, to discover their roots and their history. But Judith’s return revives old hatreds between rival clans. Unrelentingly, the spiral of violence's started, blood calling blood.

Jaffa, Keren Yedaya, Israel, France and Germany, 2009 IMDb
In the heart of Jaffa, a city nicknamed "the Bride of the Sea" by the Israelis, Reuven's garage is a family business. His daughter Mali and his son Meir, as well as Toufik and Hassan, a young Palestinian and his father, work there for Reuven. No one suspects that Mali and Toufik have been in love for years. As the two lovers are secretly making their wedding arrangements, tension builds between Meir and Toufik…

L’epine dans le cœur (The Thorn in the Heart), Michel Gondry, France, 2009 (documentary) allocine
Suzette, Michel Gondry's aunt, was a schoolteacher from 1952 to 1986 and she tells Michel how it was to be a teacher by then in a rural and isolated part of France. But little by little, Michel discovers some family stories he was totally unaware of and uses his camera to explore it in a subtle but very emotional way.

Manila, Adolfo Alix Jr. and Raya Martin, Philippines, 2009 IMDb
William, a drug addict, tries to reconnect his ties with people close to him. Slowly, as night falls, he learns that there is no one left to trust, not even his own self. Philip, who works as a bodyguard for a mayor's son, thinks his boss considers him family. After a shooting incident, he discovers his real worth to his boss. As he struggles to hide, the claws of darkness lurking the city are slowly consuming him. In between, Lav Diaz is shooting a romantic film.

Min Ye (Tell Me Who You Are), Souleyumane Cisse, France and Mali, 2009 (about polygamy) allocine
Min Ye is a family story concerning a bourgeois family in Bamako, Mali. Tensions are rife within this household: Mimi, bored with the polygamy and routine of Marriage, wants to leave Issa. She has a lover, Aba. How will this adulterous trio evolve when each new day brings new complications?

My Neighbor, My KillerAnne Aghion, USA and France, 2009 (documentary) IMDb Film Site
Could you ever forgive the people who slaughtered your family? In 1994, hundreds of thousands of Rwandan Hutus were incited to wipe out the country’s Tutsi minority. From the crowded capital to the smallest village, local ‘patrols’ massacred lifelong friends and family members, most often with machetes and improvised weapons. Announced in 2001, and ending this year, the government put in place the Gacaca Tribunals—open-air hearings with citizen-judges meant to try their neighbors and rebuild the nation. As part of this experiment in reconciliation, confessed genocide killers are sent home from prison, while traumatized survivors are asked to forgive them and resume living side-by-side. Filming for close to a decade in a tiny hamlet, award-winning filmmaker Anne Aghion has charted the impact of Gacaca on survivors and perpetrators alike. Through their fear and anger, accusations and defenses, blurry truths, inconsolable sadness, and hope for life renewed, she captures the emotional journey to coexistence.

No Meu Lugar (Eye of the Storm), Eduardo Valente, Brazil and Portugal, 2009 (1st film)IMDb
A police officer has to make a difficult decision when he sees himself caught up in a hostage situation in a middle-class home. His actions will deeply influence the lives of three families involved in the hold-up - including his own.

Petition, Zhao Liang, China and France, 2009 allocine
“Petition – The court of the complainants”, directed by Zhao Liang, is a unique testimony about China today. Since 1996 Zhao Liang has filmed the “petitioners”, who come from all over China to make complaints in Beijing about abuses and injustices committed by the local authorities. Gathered near the complaints offices, around the southern railway station of Beijing, living in most cases in makeshift shelters, the complainants wait for months or years to obtain justice. Peasants thrown off their land, workers from factories which have gone into liquidation, small homeowners who have seen their houses demolished but received no compensation..., all types of cases are represented. Faced with the most brutal intimidation from the local authorities, the complainants who stubbornly continue despite everything find that their hopes are often vain. Zhao Liang has accompanied several of them, particularly a mother and her daughter, whose full story we follow over ten years. A film shot right up to the start of the Olympic Games in direct contact with realities, showing the persistent contradictions of China in the midst of powerful economic expansion.

Portrait de Groupe Avec Enfants et Motocyclettes (Group Portrait with Kids and Motorcycles), Pierre-William Glenn, France, 2009 (documentary) Movie Info
The lives, dreams and stories of a group of children aged between 8 and 14, in a Motorcycle racing school.

Une Vie Toute Neuve (A Brand New Life), Ounie Lecomte, France and South Korea, 2008 (1st film)
Seoul, 1975. Jinhee is 9. Her father has placed her in an orphanage run by Catholic nuns. The little girl has to deal with the ordeal of separation and the long wait for a new family. As the seasons pass, the departures of adopted children allow her to glimpse the dream that awaits her but shatter the friendships that she has just formed. Jinhee resists because she knows that the promise of a brand-new life will separate her for good from those she loves.

To read more information about each film please go here.

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