Films Programs

World Cinema Now

This wide-ranging overview of contemporary international cinema provides a sampling of the essential new films from around the world, including a number of World and US Premieres, and prize-winners from major festivals worldwide.


Citizen Dog   

Citizen Dog
Thailand, 2005, 101 min.
Funny and original, this boasts the same eye-poppingly garish color scheme as the director's Tears of the Black Tiger. With musical numbers, talking teddy bears, zombie motorcycle riders and severed fingers, it's a surreal, absurdist fantasy/fable about a country boy's adventures in Bangkok. ... more



Cold Showers   

Cold Showers
France, 2005, 103 min.
Working class teen Mickael's two big passions are judo and his curvy girlfriend Vanessa with whom he enjoys an athletic sex life. But when the couple meet judo team newcomer Clément a ménage a trois develops. An erotic and complex love story between three adolescents from different social background... more



A Driver for Vera   

A Driver for Vera
Russia, 2005, 115 min.
Spectacular, crowd-pleasing Russian comedy-drama, from the Oscar®-nominated maker of The Thief. In 1962, on the Black Sea coast of Crimea, a secret power struggle between the army and KGB forms the backdrop to a torrid love triangle... more



Expiration Date   

Expiration Date
USA, 2006, 95 min.
This beguiling comedy revolves around the impending fate of Charles Silvercloud III, a stoic young man whose father and grandfather were both killed in bizarre accidents on their 25th birthdays. As Charlie's own ill-fated birthday approaches, he prepares to meet his maker. But things take an unexpec... more



Frozen Land   

Frozen Land
Finland, 2005, 131 min.
A bold and often bleakly humorous depiction of modern life and human frailty in contemporary Finland, Frozen Land was inspired by a Tolstoy short story. As a forged bank note links a chain of events, the film combines psychological acuity with a sharp eye for social problems.... more



Gimme Kudos   

Gimme Kudos
China, 2005, 101 min.
With strong dialogue and subtle performances, this ironic comedy of manners follows Gu, who desperately seeks public kudos for his supposed act of heroism. The film gently peels the mask from modern China, revealing the firm grip of bureaucratic and social traditions despite the advances of the last... more



Heading South   

Heading South
France, 2005, 106 min.
French filmmaker Laurent Cantet (Time Out/) returns with another devastating look at the psychological fears and desires reflected in a commercial trade, in this case prostitution in 1970s Haiti, where three middle-aged women compete for the possession of a local gigolo.... more



Heaven & Hell On Earth (Parzania)   

Heaven & Hell On Earth (Parzania)
India, 2005, 130 min.
Based on a true story, the gripping Heaven & Hell on Earth follows a Parsi father's search for his ten-year-old son lost in the crossfire of Hindu-Muslim riots. Meanwhile, the family's American friend Alan tries to uncover the truth behind the senseless violence he witnessed in the land of Ga... more



The Hidden Blade   

The Hidden Blade
Japan, 2005, 133 min.
Following on The Twilight Samurai, the second part of director Yamada's trilogy is another gorgeously shot mid-19th century period piece, this one concerning a low-level samurai — who has never drawn his sword in anger — forced to put down a rebellion. Visually sweeping, rich in plot and char... more



Housewarming   

Housewarming
France, 2005, 96 min.
A madcap, mile-a-minute French comedy starring Carole Bouquet as a liberal lawyer and single mom who hires Colombian immigrants to rehab her home so her new lover can't move in. As the adage states, "Remodeling…you know when it starts but not when it will be over…"... more



Imagine Me and You   

Imagine Me and You
United Kingdom, 2005, 94 min.
Imagine a romantic-comedy in the vein of Four Weddings and a Funeral, and then substitute Piper Perabo for Hugh Grant and Lena Headley for Andie McDowell/Julia Roberts… This debut feature is a witty lesbian take -- full of classically English one-liners and comic set pieces -- on the middle-c... more



In His Hands   

In His Hands
France, 2005, 121 min.
A doomed romance with a possible serial killer drives the suspense in this thriller. The accomplished filmmaker and her able cast provide rewards in the delicacy with which they sketch the way a woman in a marriage neither happy nor unhappy drifts into an affair, and persists despite clear indicatio... more



In My Father’s Den   

In My Father’s Den
New Zealand, 2005, 127 min.
After 17 years of traveling as a war photographer, Paul returns home to lead a quiet, solitary life. He finds a welcome intrusion from a curious teenage girl named Celia, but when she mysteriously disappears suspicions arise. Paul faces not only violent threats, but also his own wavering doubts abou... more



Iron Island   

Iron Island
Iran, 2005, 91 min.
A sharp-edged allegory about Iran, this briskly-paced and blackly comic film follows a group of men, women and children, impoverished and abandoned by society, who inhabit a sinking oil tanker in the Persian Gulf under the watchful eye of Captain Nemat, who rules the decaying ship with an iron fist.... more



Kamataki   

Kamataki
Canada, 2005, 111 min.
Claude Gagnon's deceptively simple story about a young, depressed Canadian who is sent to visit his uncle in Japan, is sublimely riveting, complex and erotic. The uncle is a master potter, and the depiction of the Kamataki process of marathon firing is exhilarating! Best Director, Montreal Film Fest... more



La Maison de Nina   

La Maison de Nina
France, 2005, 113 min.
Writer-director Richard Dembo (who died during the production) offers a moving tribute to Nina’s “house of hope,” one of many orphanages established outside Paris at the end World War II. The residents are largely secular French Jews, but later concentration camp refugees begin to arrive from Poland... more



La Petite Jérusalem   

La Petite Jérusalem
France, 2005, 97 min.
A young Orthodox Jewish woman puts her faith in the Torah and the classic works of European philosophy until neither suffices in the face of sexual desire. This keenly acted film juggles big issues, frank contextual nudity, the matter-of-fact specter of anti-Semitism in contemporary France, and more... more



Life With My Father   

Life With My Father
Canada, 2005, 111 min.
The first Canadian film to ever win the audience award at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Sébastien Rose's precision-tooled, Montreal-set tragicomedy gives us two feuding brothers forced to live under the same roof when their ailing bon-vivant father returns to the family home. ... more



Low Profile   

Low Profile
Germany, 2005, 95 min.
A teenage boy veers down a dangerous path when he claims responsibility for accidents he did not cause. With a great ear for dialogue and a color palette evoking the drabness of middle class life, director Christoph Hochhausler has crafted a disturbing yet compelling film that incited great controve... more



Manderlay   

Manderlay
Denmark, 2005, 140 min.
The second in Lars von Trier's controversial USA trilogy picks up where Dogville left off. Grace (now played by Bryce Dallas Howard) arrives at a Southern plantation where, more than 70 years after abolition, slavery is still in effect. A shocking, pointed and unforgettable interpretation of ... more



Marock   

Marock
France, 2005, 101 min.
Seventeen-year-old Rita is smitten with the flashy Youri who she meets at a club in Morocco. But Youri is Jewish and Rita's brother, with his more devout approach to Islam, is watching her every move. This debut feature captures teenage passions set against the Casblanca playground of the rich where... more



The Married Woman   

The Married Woman
India, 2005, 130 min.
Calcutta of the 1960s, with its vintage cars and sophisticated cafes, gives a nostalgic elegance to this romantic and tender love story. Although they grew up together Lolita and Shankhar only discover their intense love for one another when another suitor for Lolita's hand arrives. ... more



Masai - The Rain Warriors   

Masai - The Rain Warriors
France, 2005, 94 min.
This epic tale, at the crossroads of documentary and fiction, is shot in the savannah with real Masai warriors. Filled with beautiful photography and bewitching music, it offers a charming universal fable about an ancestral culture doomed to disappear.... more



Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont   

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont
United Kingdom, 2005, 109 min.
Winner - Audience Awards, Best Narrative Feature This sweet, beguiling story about the unlikely friendship between an elderly widow (Joan Plowright) and a dashing young writer (Rupert Friend), who meet quite by chance in contemporary London and come to share an enchanting and unexpectedly ... more



My Nikifor   

My Nikifor
Poland, 2005, 101 min.
A prizewinner at home and abroad, this beautifully executed take on the naïve artist known as Nikifor (1895 - 1968), boasts a number of unusual choices, including the casting of an octogenarian stage actress as Nikifor. The last years of Nikifor's life are seen through the eyes of Marian Wlosinski, ... more



News From Afar   

News From Afar
Mexico, 2005, 121 min.
This impressively crafted and moving first feature tells the story of a young man who sets off from a small village in the Mexican highlands to Mexico City in hope of saving his mother and father from marginalization and poverty. A visceral and emotional debut that marks the filmmaker as one to watc... more



Not Here to be Loved   

Not Here to be Loved
France, 2005, 94 min.
Jean-Claude, a 50-year-old bailiff, long ago abandoned the idea that life could give him pleasure. One day he dares to push open the doors to a tango school and finds Françoise. Music and dance awaken his desires and provide the couple with a spiritual meeting place in this touching May-December rom... more



The Notorious Bettie Page   

The Notorious Bettie Page
USA, 2005, 101 min.
Gretchen Mol turns in a dazzling performance -- exuberant, innocent and sexy, all at the same time -- as 1950s pin-up icon Bettie Page, the dark-haired beauty who ended up posing in the nude with a whip, in Mary Harron's (I Shot Andy Warhol) gorgeously rendered black-and-white biopic. Intelli... more



The Novena   

The Novena
Canada, 2005, 98 min.
Winner of the Ecumenical Prize at the 2005 Locarno Film Festival, this absorbing drama features a towering performance by Élise Guilbert as a suicidal doctor. Her chance encounter with a young grocery clerk on a pilgrimage to pray for his dying grandmother forces her to re-think her life. Intelligen... more



Persona Non Grata   

Persona Non Grata
Poland, 2005, 127 min.
The expression "persona non grata" takes on multiple meanings in this tense psychological drama unfolding in the high stakes and morally dangerous world of international diplomacy. The complicated relationship between Poland and Russia plays out in multiple subplots. Jury Prize and Best Supporting A... more



The Porcelain Doll   

The Porcelain Doll
Hungary, 2005, 76 min.
Based on three stories by the Hungarian fabulist Ervin Lázár, The Porcelain Doll unfolds at Star Farm, a supernatural place that exists in and out of time. It's a world with its own laws where the most impossible happenings make perfect sense to the inhabitants. Best Director, Best Film, Buda... more



The Prince That Contemplated His Soul   

The Prince That Contemplated His Soul
Tunisia, 2005, 97 min.
Blind mystic Bab'Aziz and his granddaughter travel through the desert on their way to a great convocation of dervishes, an auspicious event held every 30 years. Variety calls it "an Arabian dream that weaves timeless story threads with mystical and Sufi elements into a beautiful film object." ... more



The Rising - Ballad of Mangal Pandey   

The Rising - Ballad of Mangal Pandey
India, 2005, 161 min.
The Rising is a sweeping historical epic based on the life of Mangal Pandey (played by Amir Khan of Lagaan) the Indian soldier behind the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 that eventually brought down the East India Company and sparked the beginning of India's independence.... more



Saratan   

Saratan
Kyrgyzstan, 2005, 85 min.
Mayor Kabylbek tries to keep peace in a colorful Kyrgyz village where pensions don't arrive, food is short but vodka's all-too plentiful, and a local Communist denounces the new regime at every public meeting. This engaging comic drama offers a look at the complexity and chaos of post-Soviet life.... more



Season of the Horse   

Season of the Horse
China, 2005, 106 min.
Mongolia's traditional ways of life are under fire thanks to a combination of economics, shortsighted thinking from Chinese bureaucrats and global warming. Ning Cai's beautifully shot and powerfully affecting debut uses the simple story of one nomadic herder's troubles to demonstrate the problems an... more



Sex and Philosophy   

Sex and Philosophy
Tajikistan, 2005, 106 min.
On his 40th birthday, a handsome choreographer invites his four lovers to a dance class that he teaches. As he evokes memories of how each affair evolved and diminished, he realizes that the more the contemporary world has become sexually oriented the farther it has moved away from love…... more



Shanghai Dreams   

Shanghai Dreams
China, 2005, 122 min.
Acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Wang Xiaoshaui (Beijing Bicycle) offers this bittersweet melodrama concerning a Shanghai family that has been relocated to the provincial Guizhou region, where father and daughter are destined for conflict when her social desires compete with his dreams to return t... more



Simon   

Simon
Netherlands, 2005, 101 min.
Following a chance reencounter in Amsterdam, two drastically different men -- one gay and the other a woman loving, hippy hash dealer -- reignite a friendship after eight years. This humorous portrait of companionship grapples with issues of non-traditional families, gay marriage, and terminal illne... more



Someone Else’s Happiness   

Someone Else’s Happiness
Belgium, 2005, 99 min.
In the 1990s, a series of child murders shook Belgium. This highly assured first feature, creates a series of vignettes centering on the inhabitants of a suburban village where a child's body has been discovered after a hit and run. Emotional truths slowly unravel revealing that things are very dif... more



Sting   

Sting
India, 2005, 106 min.
A former militant in the Mizoram struggle for independence claims to recognize the voice of the man who abducted her in the past. While struggling with her desire for revenge, she plots to extract a confession. This intensely gripping psychological drama is supported by great acting.... more



Stolen Life   

Stolen Life
China, 2005, 91 min.
When Yan-ni starts college she hopes to embark on a new life. Once at school, she meets Muyu and falls in love with him. She doesn't reallize that Muyu began an intricate deception that will lead to the loss of her child and the future she believes in. Best Film, Tribeca Film Festival.... more



Tempesta   

Tempesta
United Kingdom, 2005, 102 min.
A young American art appraiser finds himself drawn into a complex web of mystery, intrigue and betrayal set against the ghostly backdrop of the Venetian waterways when he is sent to Italy to authenticate three priceless paintings belonging to the famous Galleria dell'Academia.... more



Thirst   

Thirst
Israel, 2005, 111 min.
In this expressively shot first feature, Thirst represents far more than a craving for water... it is a longing for education, for liberty, for love, for revenge. Made by an Palestinian/Israeli director with an Palestinian cast and an Israeli crew.... more



Three Dollars   

Three Dollars
Australia, 2005, 115 min.
Eddie has a wife, a sick child, a childhood sweetheart, a strong sense of moral courage and exactly three dollars to his name. He's a decent man in an indecent world where there's a thin line between taking a stand and living on the street. From the director of the 2002 PSIFF favorite The Bankmore



Three Times   

Three Times
Taiwan, 2005, 121 min.
Director Hou Hsiao-hsien was voted the world's most important filmmaker of the 1990s by Film Comment and Three Times marks a return to the interlocking narratives spanning Taiwanese history that won him worldwide acclaim. It focuses on the relationship between two lovers (played by the same a... more



To Paint or Make Love   

To Paint or Make Love
France, 2005, 99 min.
Set in the Alps, staring two giants of the French cinema, this delightfully ironic film takes an ordinary retired couple and dares to confront them with questions about love, desire, sex and art. Both transgressive and innocent, erotic and gentle, it's a funny and beautiful mixture of fantasy and re... more



The Virgin of Juarez   

The Virgin of Juarez
USA, 2006, 91 min.
The murders of nearly 400 women in the Mexican city of Juarez over the last decade form the basis for this taut tale of a Los Angeles investigative reporter (Minnie Driver) who travels to the border town intent on uncovering the truth behind the brutal crimes. ... more



Wake Up, Arezoo!   

Wake Up, Arezoo!
Iran, 2005, 91 min.
On December 26, 2003, 43,000 people died in the Iranian city of Bam. Shot on location with actual survivors of the earthquake, this film focuses on the experience of one, a teacher who stumbles out the rubble and helps with the rescue efforts. Best Artistic Achievement, Fajr Film Festival... more



White Countess   

White Countess
United Kingdom, 2005, 136 min.
In this Merchant Ivory production set in pre-WWII China, we follow the chaste courtship between a Russian countess (Natasha Richardson) fallen on rough times and a former American Ambassador (Ralph Fiennes). Written by the novelist Kazuo Ishiguro (“The Remains of the Day”), the film is full of assur... more



The World’s Fastest Indian   

The World’s Fastest Indian
New Zealand, 2005, 128 min.
Sir Anthony Hopkins is wonderful in Roger Donaldson's affectionate and immensely entertaining biopic of 72-year-old Burt Munro, the crazy Kiwi who, in 1971, traveled to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah to try and set a motorcycle speed record. Hopkins' nuanced performance adds immeasurably to the f... more



Wrong Side Up   

Wrong Side Up
Czech Republic, 2005, 108 min.
Woe to be Peter, a morose Prague airport worker who hasn't yet gotten over his ex-girlfriend... though good to be Peter, whose side job is getting paid by his neighbors to watch them have sex. This latest from the Czech Republic's master of eccentric humanism bubbles over with warmth and peculiarity... more



Year Zero   

Year Zero
Israel, 2005, 132 min.
This provocative adult drama, in some ways reminiscent of the American film Crash, offers multiple interconnected stories of modern Israel that show people at a turning point in their lives as they struggle to redeem themselves from various crimes and misdemeanors. Featuring a fine cast and u... more



Zaina: Rider of the Atlas   

Zaina: Rider of the Atlas
France, 2005, 101 min.
In the Atlas Mountains, the ancient rivalry between a nomad and a powerful lord is rekindled when they meet Zaïna, the daughter of their former love. Filmed amidst some of the world's most spectacular scenery, it mixes fairytale and high adventure.... more



Zim and Co.   

Zim and Co.
France, 2005, 91 min.
Living in the suburbs is anything but boring! Twenty-year-old Zim must find a real job to avoid prison after a stupid scooter accident. This Cannes crowd-pleaser offers a light, happy way to cope with social preoccupations and a deep sense of rhythm and comedy. ... more



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