program strand - 52nd Sydney Film Festival



program strand - 52nd Sydney Film Festival
016-030 Booking GuideTH
8:59 AM
Page 16
Contemporary World Cinema
Clockwise from top left: 3–Iron; 5 x 2; 3–Iron; Accused; Alter Egos.
36 Quai des
To launch our Thrills and
Chills strand, France’s
top two actors, Daniel
Auteuil and Gerard
Depardieu, play rival cops
engaged in a dark and
deadly game of cat and
mouse. This stylish French
thriller directed by Olivier
Marchal was a major box
office hit on home turf. A
festival highlight, the film has
it all – pulse-racing setpieces, ingenious plot twists
and full-bore dramatic
“Crackerjack scripting,
intriguing motivations
and excellent
Every action sequence is
more than matched by
the bloodless, chess-like
maneuvering of foes and
allies – Depardieu's haunting
performance (is) arguably
one of his best ever.” –
“Auteuil and Depardieu
(are) in awesome form”. –
Screen Daily
The prolific Kim Ki-duk
(Spring, Summer, Fall,
Winter…and Spring,
SFF04) cements his
reputation as the most
distinctive South Korean
director of his generation
with this lyrical, haunting
and startlingly original love
story. A young man breaks
into homes and does its
absent owners good turns
(e.g. washing the bathroom!)
before meeting a model
who is alienated from her
older, wife-beating husband.
The pair form a strangely
mute bond. We promise
you will have never seen
anything like this film before.
(See our New Asian Cinema
strand, page 54 for details
of Kim’s other SFF05 title,
Samaritan Girl.)
In French with English
South Korea.
In Korean with English
State Theatre
2.25pm Mon 13 June
10.00am Thur 23 June
The latest feature
from French writerdirector François Ozon
(Swimming Pool SFF03;
8 Femmes) is a smart
and subtle film for adults.
It starts with a marriage at
the point of divorce and
then works backwards, step
by step, to the start of the
relationship. Little about
what we discover is obvious
and no single point can be
found to explain the
collapse – though,
we discover plenty of
contributing factors in this
thought-provoking film.
Rising star Valéria BruniTedeschi is a brilliant as
the wife, effortlessly ranging
from the embittered and sad
to the glowingly optimistic.
(To quote Ozon, “the film
starts like an Ingmar
Bergman movie and ends
like Claude Lelouch”).
Alter Egos + Ryan
Henrik, a family man,
is quietly getting on with
his life as a swimming
instructor. True, his
daughter, Nina, is going
through one of those difficult
phases, having gone all
withdrawn and sulky, but
she is 14. Then out of the
blue a bombshell drops.
He learns Nina has accused
him of sexual assault.
The shocked and outraged
Henrik finds himself living
through every father’s worst
nightmare. Police
interrogation. A trial.
The shame of being
accused of such a heinous
crime. Further surprises
lay in store in the ingenious
screenplay of this
masterfully controlled
drama, which keeps
viewers on the edge
until the very end.
The future of film has
arrived. Screening first,
director Chris Landreth's
Ryan, this year’s Academy
Award-winner for best
animated short, uses eyepopping, state-of-the-art
techniques to pay tribute
to the Academy Awardnominated Canadian filmmaker Ryan Larkin, a sixties
casualty now living on the
streets. Next up, Laurence
Green's documentary
companion piece, Alter
Egos, takes apart Ryan,
closely examines the brilliant
work of both Larkin and
Landreth, and asks some
provocative questions about
the responsibilities of filmmakers to their all-too
vulnerable human subjects.
This double-bill launches the
digital film programs to run
in The Studio, Sydney
Opera House, from
Thursday 16 June.
In French with English
In Danish with English
In English.
State Theatre
4.45pm Sat 18 June
11.45am Mon 20 June
State Theatre
10.00am Sun 19 June
9.45pm Thur 23 June
State Theatre
12.15pm Sat 11 June
5.30pm Thur 23 June
State Theatre
9.10pm Sat 11 June
2.30pm Thur 16 June
Thrills and Chills pg. 44
Right Now pg. 46
Half Price pg. 18
Brothers pg. 17
onedotzero and oz digital
shorts pg. 53
Latest updates
016-030 Booking GuideTH
9:00 AM
Page 17
It’s better on the big screen.
See a film the way they’re
mean’t to be seen. Big!
The big
Clockwise from top left: Brothers; Buffalo Boy; Buffalo Boy; A Day without a Mexican.
Buffalo Boy
Mua Len Trau
This powerful adult
drama from director
Susanne Bier (Open
Hearts) contrasts two
very different adult brothers
before an unexpected event
up-ends their lives and all
moral certainties are off.
Michael, an upstanding
army officer and devoted
father, is a loving husband
to Sarah (Connie Nielsen in
her first Danish role since
co-starring in Gladiator).
His sibling Jannick is a
ne’er-do-well, just out of jail
for stealing and assaulting a
woman. So far, so clear-cut
– until Michael goes missing
in action in Afghanistan.
“An intimate, deeply
satisfying film, both in its
execution and in the feelings
and events it depicts.” –
Here is something we
have never seen – a
Vietnamese “western”.
For this beautiful film about
a teenage boy growing up
among buffalo herding
gangs has distinct echoes
of classic cattle-trail
westerns. In 1940 in the
lowlands of South Vietnam
15 year-old Kim is entrusted
by his father to herd the
family’s water buffaloes to
high pastures to escape
the rainy season floods.
Kim discovers the
dangerous world of the
gangs, where alcohol and
violence rule alongside
mateship and
independence. This film,
like SFF05’s other Vietnam
period story, Bride of
Silence, indicates that a
new generation of
sophisticated Vietnamese
film-makers is emerging.
In Danish with English
State Theatre
10.00am Mon 13 June
8.20pm Wed 15 June
In Vietnamese with English
State Theatre
10.00am Sat 18 June
6.00pm Mon 20 June
A Day without
a Mexican
Un día sin Méxicanos
An hilarious premise,
a crazy set of characters,
and a mega slice of irony
make A Day without a
Mexican a real film-going
treat. Just imagine, one day
all the Latinos in California
disappear – kaput, gone.
So, who's going to do all
the work? Clean the house,
mind the kids, pick the fruit,
wash the car – or play the
salsa? And what if you're
a Mexican news reporter
specialising in Latino issues,
but you don't disappear!
And what about all those
out-of-work border police…
"All the subtlety of a
Simpson's episode in a style
reminiscent of Christopher
'Spinal Tap' Guest." –
Flex it!
Not sure which films you want to see?
Buy now, decide later.
Available in packs of 10, 20 or 30 the
Flexi-Pass is the most flexible way to enjoy
the film event of the year.
Tickets are valid for any session at The State
Theatre, George Street Cinemas, Art Galleryof
NSW, The Studio (SOH) or Dendy Opera Quays*.
The good news continues. Flexi-Passes are fully
transferable so you can share with friends.
We recommend you redeem your passes in
advance to ensure your seat.
In English and Spanish with
English subtitles.
30 Film Pass only $300**
20 Film Pass only $220**
10 Film Pass only $125**
State Theatre
11.50am Sun 12 June
6.35pm Mon 13 June
Where to buy:
Ticketek – 132 849
The State Theatre, George Street Cinemas,
Dendy Opera Quays, Sydney Opera House.
*Excluding Opening Night, Closing Night,Dendy Awards and Silent Film
Gala. **Booking and transaction fees may apply. Prices include GST as
Sundance Audience Award
Up and Down pg. 37
Accused pg. 16
Bride of Silence pg. 54
Delamu pg. 54
Duck Season pg. 18
For tickets call 132 849
016-030 Booking GuideTH
9:01 AM
Page 18
Contemporary World Cinema
Clockwise from top left: Forgiveness; Duck Season; Half Price; Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room; Duck Season. Above right: Half-Price
World Premi
Duck Season
Temporada de Patos
Film-maker Fernando
Eimbcke is shaping up as
a Mexican answer to Jim
Jarmusch on the evidence
of his deliciously deadpan
first-time feature. This comic
tale concerns a pair of 14year-olds who have the run
of the house one lazy
Sunday afternoon with no
company but the pizza
delivery man – whom they
refuse to pay because he’s
allegedly a
few seconds late. There’s
also the pretty neighbour
Rita, who drops in to use
the oven to cook hash
brownies. Aided by a
disarmingly deadpan sense
of humour, Eimbcke has
a talent for making nothing
much feel like plenty of
In Spanish with English
State Theatre
6.00pm Tue 21 June
10.00am Fri 24 June
The Smartest
Guys in the Room
The unacceptable face
of capitalism is not so
much taken apart as torn
to shreds in this riveting
documentary about the
collapse of power giant
Enron. The company, which
had links to the Bush family,
was one of the biggest
corporations in the US
before its sudden
bankruptcy in 2001 in which
thousands of workers were
left without jobs or
pensions. The film is packed
with jaw-dropping
revelations and recordings
of conversations between
Enron traders. Was
California’s power crisis
cynically engineered to keep
prices high, and were the
corporation’s stock prices
the product of spectacularly
dodgy accounting?
Watch and find out.
In English.
Girl in a Mirror
Winner of the Youth
Award and Human Rights
Award, Locarno Film
An ex-cop, Coetzee
(Arnold Vosloo, of The
Mummy fame), arrives in
a windswept town on South
Africa's remote Atlantic
coast. He's arranged to
meet the family of an ANC
activist he tortured and
killed in the Apartheid era.
The Truth and Reconciliation
Committee has granted
Coetzee an amnesty but,
weighed down with guilt,
what he really wants is
the family's forgiveness.
Debut director Ian Gabriel
has crafted a tension-filled,
gripping film, helped by a
powerhouse performance
from Vosloo.
Carol Jerrems wasn’t the
kind of photographer – or
indeed personality – to
stay on one side of the
camera. The Australian’s
haunting face appears
throughout her work; she
even documented her own
tragic death. That’s not to
say that Carol didn’t turn
her lens elsewhere – most
famously she produced the
iconic image Vale Street.
What makes Girl in a Mirror
so compelling is that it
encompasses not only
Carol’s life, but also the
counter-culture spirit of
Sydney in the ’70s, the era
and place she documented
with such passion and
clarity. Packed with fabulous
images and interviews with
subjects and friends such as
Paul Cox and Esben Storm.
South Africa.
In English and Afrikaans with
English subtitles.
State Theatre
8.00pm Tue 21 June
1.35pm Thur 23 June
State Theatre
4.15pm Sat 11 June
10.00am Wed 15 June
In English.
Special Guests director
Kathy Drayton and producer
Helen Bowden will introduce
both screenings and take
questions afterwards.
Hailed by legendary filmmaker Chris Marker as
"the forerunner of a new
nouvelle vague... the new
Breathless," and by JeanLuc Godard as "cinema
made without reflection or
self-consciousness," 18year-old Isild Le Besco's
debut short feature, HalfPrice, has clearly caught the
attention of some influential
people. Three Parisienne
kids, deserted by their
mother, survive by begging
and shoplifting. The camera
is with them every moment,
in fact it feels like another
sibling – and so, ultimately,
does the viewer. Le Besco's
talent isn't limited to
directing, she also stars
in Right Now which is
screening at this year's
festival, see page 46.
In French with English
State Theatre
4.00pm Thur 23 June
State Theatre:
5.00pm Thur 16 June
Youth and Human Rights
Art Gallery of NSW:
3.30pm Mon 20 June
A Day Without a Mexican
Red Hot Docs pgs. 36–38
Yesterday pg. 28
Sisters in Law pg. 24
Film-makers on photography
pg. 56
Visionary Film-makers pg. 46
Latest updates
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9:01 AM
Page 19
Sydney Film Festival premieres
films month’s in advance. Be the first
to see the best in world cinema.
See it
Clockwise from top left: Inside Deep Throat; In the Battlefields; In the Battlefields; Girl in a Mirror.
In the Battlefields
Inside Deep Throat
Despite having as its
backdrop Lebanon’s
1980s civil war, this is
not a war movie.
Its “battlefields” are those
of family relations – a
metaphor for a war that is
scarcely glimpsed on screen
but whose presence is often
felt. At the film’s heart is a
sensitive coming of age
story about Lina, a 12-yearold girl, and her terrifying
aunt’s 18-year-old maid,
Siham, whom she
obsessively spies upon
(especially when Siham is
on a clandestine date).
Director Danielle Arbid grew
up during this period and
she successfully shows
how everyday feelings were
intensified by the constant
fear that life might end
at any moment.
An impressive debut feature.
Here is a film of startling
originality and subtle
creepiness that is
impossible to erase from
the mind. Its setting is a
girl’s boarding school in
an enclosed garden: new
pupils arrive via a coffin
through an underground
passage and are not
allowed to leave. Their
dance lessons and walks
through the woods look
innocent, yet we have a
constant feeling of
foreboding. This film inhabits
a universe that looks like our
world but is distinctly offkilter. Second-time director
Lucile Hadzihalilovic
(collaborator and partner of
Irreversible film-maker
Gaspar Noé) blends fantasy,
coming-of-age and horror
sensibilities to create a
hauntingly mysterious vision
of childhood.
A cheesy porno flick with
one gimmick – its female
star Linda Lovelace’s oral
skills – shook the cultural
landscape in the 1970s.
Deep Throat paved the way
for today’s multi-billion dollar
porn business and became
immortalised by the
Watergate scandal
(Bernstein and Woodward
named their chief source
after it). This surprisingly
entertaining documentary
is packed with larger than
life characters and social
analysis from the likes of
Norman Mailer and Camille
Paglia. We find that few
(other than the Mafia, which
controlled its distribution)
profited from the film’s
success, which was
ironically fuelled by the
Nixon administration’s
attempts at suppression.
Features clips from the
original film.
In Lebanese with English
In French with English
In English.
State Theatre
10.00am Sun 12 June
8.35pm Mon 13 June
State Theatre
2.25pm Wed 22 June
7.00pm Fri 24 June
State Theatre
2.10pm Tue 21 June
9.45pm Fri 24 June
Maarek Hob
My 3 Flicks
Artistic Director,
Bangarra Dance
"The Sydney Film Festival is always
incredibly diverse. It supports some
great Indigenous films too... And it's
in Sydney!"
Mad Hot Ballroom (p22)
NY kids take on the tango.
Forgiveness (p18)
Powerhouse drama from
South Africa.
A Tribute to CAAMA (p50)
Story-telling at its red centre best.
Life is a Miracle pg. 22
Our Own pg. 23
Thrills and Chills pg. 44
The Holy Girl pg. 47
Based on a True Story pg. 36
Je T’aime... Moi Non Plus
For tickets call 132 849
016-030 Booking GuideTH
9:02 AM
Page 21
This Sporting Life features some
of the edgiest docos in this year’s
Festival. Check out page 42.
Clockwise from top left: Jabe Babe; Je T’aime... Moi Non Plus; Je T’aime... Moi Non Plus; Kaikohe Demolition.
World Premi
Jabe Babe –
A Heightened Life
Je T’aime…
Moi Non Plus
Blisteringly inventive and
visually out-there, the
latest film from acclaimed
Sydney film-maker Janet
Merewether is nothing if not
genre-shattering. Not quite
documentary and not really
a feature, it uses elements
common to both to paint
a portrait of the 31-year-old
Jabe Babe, a super-tall
Australian woman with a
rare, life-threatening
condition called Marfan
Syndrome. If that makes
the film sound a bit worthy,
think again. Jabe also works
as a professional dominatrix.
The film offers a stimulating
examination of illness, the
aberrant body and social
conformity from a colourfully
personal perspective.
Special Guest,director
Janet Merewether, will
introduce both screenings
and take questions
Maria de Medeiros, best
known for playing Bruce
Willis’s petite girlfriend in
Pulp Fiction, proves
extremely adept at sifting
through this fascinating
topic, the relationship
between film critics and filmmakers – like that between
“the dog and the lamp
post”, according to UK
director Ken Loach.
Reviewers tend to think
differently – and even
director Wim Wenders
admits here that he has
always had a high regard
for critics since “they bring
a film closer to the public’’.
Includes interviews with
leading practitioners of film
and criticism who throw light
on the topic from every
conceivable angle.
In English.
State Theatre
10.00am Tue 21 June
5.15pm Fri 24 June
State Theatre
4.15pm Mon 20 June
In English and French with
English subtitles.
Kaikohe Demolition
In the early ’90s the New
Zealand town of Kaikohe
enjoyed 15 minutes of
infamy when children
attacked Santa Claus.
Now they – or at least their
parents – have something
more harmless to vent their
violent instincts upon, for
Kaikohe is the home of
the Demolition Derby.
The extraordinary bonhomie
and friendliness of the
drivers in this mudspattered, fender-bending
sport makes a mark
immediately, thanks to
director Florian Habicht’s
empathy for the men.
Opponents on the
racetrack, they like nothing
better than having a
raucous laugh in the hot-tub
afterwards – an experience
as deliciously warm and
humorous as this doco.
New Zealand.
In English.
State Theatre
5.00pm Tue 14 June
Super Saturdays
at the State!
An unbeatable line-up of award-winning films
and premiere screenings.
Super Saturdays at the State Theatre are programmed
as mini-festivals and provide a perfect slice of cinema
for the busy movie lover. Why not buy a Flexi-Pass? It’s
the best and most cost-effective way to enjoy a Super
11 June – Super Saturday #1
10.00am Story Undone – borderline comedy
12.15pm Double Bill: Ryan + Alter Egos
Retro launch: The Girl Can’t Help It
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Fab Argentine cinema: Bombon (El Perro)
French thriller: 36 Quai des Orfevres
18 June – Super Saturday #2
10.00am Out of Vietnam: Buffalo Boy
12.10pm World Premiere: Silma’s School
Audience fave: Shake Hands with the Devil
French hit: 5 x 2
Academy Award nominee: Yesterday
9.10pm Sundance hit: Me and You and Everyone
We Know
Book now at Ticketek: 13 28 49
Oz Digital Shorts pg. 53
Filmspeak pg. 59
This Sporting Life pg. 42
For tickets call 132 849
016-030 Booking GuideTH
9:03 AM
Page 22
Contemporary World Cinema
Clockwise from top left: Me and You and Everyone We Know; Mad Hot Ballroom; Little Peace of Mine; Kindergarten.
Fans of the French hit
To Be and To Have are
bound to fall for this
enchanting documentary,
which follows the lives of
pupils of a boarding
kindergarten in China’s
Hubei province over 14
months. Director Zhang Yi
Qing shows great empathy
with his tiny subjects,
understanding that children
engaged in the most simple
of tasks can provide the
deepest drama imaginable.
At first we conclude that
children can be the same
the world over until we start
to see the effect of cultural
influences. These children
already hate the Japanese –
and have some amusingly
colourful views of the
Chinese soccer team!
Life is a Miracle
Zivot Je Cudo
You want oompah bands,
a bear hunt and a
suicidal donkey within
the first 15 minutes? No
problem, it’s an Emir
Kusturica film. After this
manic start (even for the
director of Underground and
Black Cat, White Cat!), the
Serbian-Bosnian war of
1992 breaks out. Our hero
is a Serbian railway
engineer, our heroine the
Bosnian girl he’s meant to
be keeping prisoner before
love erupts like a volcano.
A grave comment on a
terrible war? Not on your
Nellie. This is a film where
absurdist imagination and
farcical energy arrive by
the bucket load…
In Mandarin with English
Serbia and
In Serbian, Bosnian and
German with English subtitles.
State Theatre
5.00pm Fri 17 June
10.00am Mon 20 June
State Theatre
2.30pm Wed 15 June
8.45pm Fri 17 June
Little Peace
of Mine
Shalom Katan Sheli
This memorable
documentary is more
revealing than scores
of current affairs reports.
Israeli boy Nadav recalls
being driven to school by
his father when the school
bus they were following
exploded – the target of a
suicide bomber. Fed up
with the adults, Nadav
approaches three friends
and decides to found a kids’
peace movement, aiming to
bridge the gulf between
Israelis and Palestinians.
The foursome embark on
an amazing journey in which
they meet Palestinian kids
and initially find little insight
so play games and set
But Nadav reaches a new
understanding when he’s
invited to dinner in the
Occupied Territories.
Mad Hot Ballroom
Los Angeles Times
critic Kenneth Turan
has described this
“irresistible” documentary
as like “Spellbound crossed
with Strictly Ballroom”, a
summary that’s hard to
beat. In this immensely
charming film we follow a
group of New York children
as they dance the tango,
the foxtrot and the
merengue in a city-wide
contest all the way to
a joyous conclusion. Far
from privileged, these are
mostly deprived Hispanic
and black children whose
teachers have introduced
dance classes into the
curriculum as a way to
encourage creativity and
new life options, especially
in the wake of 9/11.
The children talk to camera
with a winning lack of selfconsciousness. For anyone
who loves kids – and
upbeat films about dancing
– this is not to be missed.
In Hebrew with English
In English.
State Theatre
4.30pm Tue 21 June
State Theatre: 2.00pm
Sun 12 June
Me and You
and Everyone
We Know
A star emerged at this
year’s Sundance Film
Festival in the form of
Miranda July, the director,
writer and lead actor of this
remarkably fresh portrait of
suburban lives. July’s debut
is loosely in the spirit of
American Beauty, The Virgin
Suicides and other recent
suburbia films. Yet its offcentre quality and lightly
handled eccentricity lends
it a unique – and at times
magical – flavour. There’s
little plot, rather an
interweaving of incidents
and characters who include
a cab driver cum artist (July)
fixated by a shoe salesman
who has just split from his
wife. The slightly dark and
the whimsical blend in a
way that’s wholly
In English.
State Theatre
9.10pm Sat 18 June
12.10pm Wed 22 June
Dendy Opera Quays:
2.00pm Fri 24 June
New Asian CInema pg. 54–55
Ushpizin pg. 28
Protocols of Zion pg. 38
Red Hot Docs pg. 36–38
How the Garcia Girls Spent
Their Summer pg. 43
Latest updates
016-030 Booking GuideTH
10:59 AM
Page 23
Red Hot Docs–an awesome
selection screening at Dendy
Opera Quays. See pages 30–33.
Clockwise from top left: Moolaadé; Our Own; Our Own; P.S.
Veteran African director
Ousmane Sembene has
created a film about
female empowerment
that’s as dramatically stirring
as it is visually stunning.
The story finds a village
woman bravely rebelling
against village elders and
centuries of tradition by
protecting girls who refuse
to submit to genital
mutilation. Western
technology, in the form of
the radio, is seen here as
friend rather than enemy,
introducing progressive new
ideas into village life.
“Infused with a remarkable
buoyancy of spirit… may
well be (Sembene’s)
autumnal masterpiece.” –
New York Times
In Bambara with English
State Theatre
7.20pm Thur 23 June
12.15pm Fri 24 June
Our Own
A great war film should
be tough as hell and riven
with moral uncertainty,
brutality and confusion.
Those qualities belong in
spades to this ruggedly
powerful and brilliantly
filmed WW2 movie, whose
characters are driven not by
patriotism but a desperate
urge to survive. A raggletaggle group of Russian
military prisoners escapes
from the Nazis and seek
refuge in a village behind
enemy lines where one of
them comes from. But Nazi
collaborationists and a lusty
peasant girl disastrously
muddy the picture. The
cast's fear-lined faces will
haunt the memory long after
the final credits have rolled.
“Our Own represents a
robust new breed of
Russian WW2 film” –
Toronto Film Festival
In Russian with English
Laura Linney is
marvellous in this
amiably offbeat and
frequently erotic US
Less expected is the
sheer sexiness and lust she
projects, a marked contrast
to her spinster image.
Linney plays a divorced
admissions executive at a
University arts department
who gets an alarming case
of the hots for a wannabe
student (charmer Topher
Grace) who uncannily
reminds her of a dead lover
from her youth. As in the
recent Birth, reincarnation
is in the air but film-maker
Dylan Kidd (Roger Dodger)
doesn’t make heavy
weather of it – he simply
has fun. Giving terrific added
value is Gabriel Byrne as
Linney’s ex.
In English.
State Theatre
9.00pm Sun 12 June
2.50pm Fri 17 June
State Theatre
8.05pm Mon 20 June
10.00am Wed 22 June
Yesterday pg. 28
Sisters in Law pg. 24
In the Battlefields pg. 19
Life is a Miracle pg. 22
Yes pg. 41
How the Garcia Girls Spent
Their Summer pg. 43
For tickets call 132 849
My 3 Flicks
Director, Museum
of Contemporary Art
I really enjoy watching documentaries
and these films take a look at three
very intriguing and challenging
sporting worlds...
Días de Campo (p46)
Raul Ruiz’s latest film is a must for me.
Yes (p47)
Having loved Tango by Sally Potter,
I won't miss her new film with Sam
Neill and Joan Allen.”
2 Girls (p29)
A must see is the premiere of Kutlug
Ataman's 2 Girls. I've only seen his
astonishing art installations which
we're presenting at the MCA at the
same time so I'm fascinated to see
one of his films for the big screen.
016-030 Booking GuideTH
9:04 AM
Page 24
Contemporary World Cinema
Clockwise from top left: Paradise Now; Shake Hands with the Devil; Silma’s School; Sisters in Law; A Perfect Fake.
World Premi
Paradise Now
A Perfect Fake
With this gripping story
about two Palestinian
suicide bombers filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad
has pulled off a remarkable
feat. He gives pro-and-anti
arguments equal weight –
yet as Screen Daily
observed, “carefully avoids
making either one of his
two main characters into
heroes.” A couple of young
friends since childhood are
working together in a
garage when they receive
the proverbial tap on the
shoulder. Having some time
ago volunteered to become
suicide bombers, they learn
they have been chosen for
the next mission and that it
will begin in only 24 hours.
The day of the mission
things quickly start to
go wrong.
Where is the human
species headed? Some
place completely weird,
if Marc de Guerre’s jawdropper of a doco about
the disappearing line
between real and virtual
human experience is any
indication. The film sees
alarming echoes of Ovid’s
Pygmalion myth (in which a
misogynist fell in love with a
sculpture of a perfect
woman) in society’s
increasing drive towards
simulation and its desire for
perfection and control,
particularly over images of
women. The journey starts
with movie digital FX and
moves on to sex toys
manipulated via the Internet
and Japanese men who
collect and fall in love with
life-size female dolls.
Prepare to rub your eyes
in disbelief.
Special Guest, director
Marc de Guerre will
introduce the screening and
take questions afterwards.
In Arabic with English
State Theatre
12.15pm Wed 15 June
6.30pm Fri 17 June
In English.
State Theatre
5.00pm Wed 22 June
Best European Film
Shake Hands
with the Devil:
The Journey of
Roméo Dallaire
When Lt. General Roméo
Dallaire returned to
Rwanda 10 years after the
UN mission he led failed to
stop the genocide of
800,000 Tutsis, Peter
Raymont was there to
document the moment.
A man much changed by
the events of 1994, Dallaire,
an insomniac ex-alcoholic,
has been praised by many
for his attempts to stop the
slaughter, and to get the
world to act. This hopeful
film charts the healing of the
nation and the man.
Special Guest, associate
Patrick Reed
will introduce both
screenings and take
questions afterwards.
In English and French with
English subtitles.
State Theatre
2.25pm Sat 18 June
1.50pm Mon 20 June
Silma’s School
Sisters in Law
The issue of what it
means to be a Muslim in
today’s Western society
crops up in several SFF05
films but none brings it so
close to home as Silma’s
School. This is an eyeopening documentary
(directed by Jane Jeffes)
about the Noor Al Houda
Islamic College in Western
Sydney and its struggle to
survive, focusing on the epic
legal battle (straight out of
The Castle!) between the
college and the Federal
Airports Corporation and
Bankstown Airport authority,
on whose contaminated
land it initially settled in
1995. The scenes of school
life are equally fascinating as
tough school founder Silma
Ihram debates “an eye for
an eye’’ and the Palestinian
problem with her pupils.
Special Guest, director
Jane Jeffes will introduce
both screenings and take
questions afterwards.
Selected for Cannes this
year, festival favourite
Kim Longinotto’s latest
work (co-directed with
Florence Ayisi) is a totally
fascinating – often hilarious
– look at the work of one
small court house in South
West Cameroon. The two
women at the heart of the
doco wouldn’t be out of
place in an Alexander
McCall Smith bestseller. As
the State Counsel and Court
President, they dispense
wisdom, wisecracks and
justice in fair measure.
The victims of crime – an
abused child, a woman
daring to accuse a man
of rape, and another trying
to end a brutal marriage in
a society where divorce is
taboo – are handled with
fierce compassion. You’ll
feel like cheering when
justice is served.
In English.
State Theatre
12.10pm Sat 18 June
5.00pm Sun 19 June
Audience Award
World Cinema Documentary
Little Peace of Mine pg. 22
The Hamburg Cell pg.40
Yasmin pg. 41
The Hamburg Cell pg.40
Latest updates
In English and Pidgin English
with English subtitles.
State Theatre
4.20pm Mon 13 June
10.00am Thur 16 June
016-030 Booking GuideTH
9:04 AM
Page 25
You can buy a ticket to any
session. Check out your options
on page 31 or just call 132 849.
Just the
Clockwise from top left: A State of Mind; A State of Mind; Story Undone; Tell Them Who You Are.
A State of Mind
British film-maker Daniel
Gordon was given
unprecedented access
to the daily life of two
families in the secretive,
totalitarian society of North
Korea in this frequently
amazing documentary.
Gordon filmed the lives of
two gymnasts aged 11 and
13 as they prepared for the
Mass Games – the biggest
and most elaborate human
performance on earth.
Giggly and callow, they
could be Western girls –
except that they worship
“Dear Leader” instead of
Britney Spears. The games,
which form the film’s
climax, are an astonishing
spectacle, providing the
social glue this totalitarian
state needs for survival.
“A beautiful film.” – Sunday
In English and Korean with
English subtitles.
State Theatre
10.00am Tue 14 June
6.00pm Wed 15 June
Story Undone
Dastan Nataman
A laugh-out-loud
feature that touches on
one of the tragedies of
our times. Two somewhat
inept documentary-makers
bribe some peoplesmugglers to let them film a
group of people attempting
to cross the Iranian border.
To ensure the travellers’
anonymity they come
equipped with masks, but
this tactic fails to convince
the desperate emigrants to
tell their stories. The
bumbling film-makers are
unceremoniously dumped
on the side of the road – but
they’re determined to get
their story.
In Farsi with English subtitles.
State Theatre
10.00am Sat 11 June
6.15pm Tue 14 June
Silver Leopard
Amnesty International Award
Tell Them
Who You Are
This is a far from
conventional portrait
of the great US
cinematographer Haskell
Wexler. Directed by his son,
the photojournalist and filmmaker Mark Wexler, it’s also
a compelling and often very
funny look at the strained
relationship between Mark
and his more famous Dad.
Wexler Senior emerges as
a Grumpy Old Man of
spectacular proportions,
telling his son how to direct
his film and reminding him
that he is “the star of your
fxxx-ing movie”. Michael
Douglas recounts how
Haskell was sacked from
the set of One Flew Over
the Cuckoo’s Nest, with
Jane Fonda, Billy Crystal,
Julia Roberts and Martin
Sheen among those also
lending their colourful
Special Guest, director
Mark Wexler will introduce
both screenings and take
questions afterwards.
In English.
State Theatre
6.35pm Sun 12 June
12.10pm Thur 16 June
about film?
Here’s unbeatable value!
Subscription Passes offer unbeatable
value for money and a range of seating and
attendance options.
Apart from seeing the best of Contemporary World
Cinema on the big screen in the splendour of the
State Theatre, you also receive:
• A discounted rate for screenings across the
Festival. Single tickets are just $9.50 (limited to two
tickets per subscriber per film).
• Special subscriber rates for opening night and the
silent film gala (limited to two tickets per subscriber).
• A choice of reserved or unreserved seating at
The State Theatre.
• An $8.00 saving on the limited edition Souvenir
Evening Subscription
Valid from Sat 11 – Fri 24 June for sessions at the
State Theatre, weekdays from 6pm, weekends from
2pm including public holiday Monday.
From only $210**
Week 1 Evening Subscription
Valid from Sat 11 – Fri 17 June for sessions at the
State Theatre, weekdays from 6pm, weekends from
2pm including public holiday Monday.
From only $153**
Day Subscription
Valid from Sat 18 – Fri 24 June for sessions at the
State Theatre, weekdays from 10am-5pm, weekends
10am -2pm including public holiday Monday.
From only $170**
**Booking and transaction fees may apply
A Day Without a Mexican
pg. 17
For tickets call 132 849
016-030 Booking GuideTH
9:05 AM
Page 27
Special Gala screenings
throughout the Festival.
See pages 12–14, 29.
A deliciously observed, warmly human satire
– Variety - Two Great Sheep
Clockwise from top left: Two Great Sheep; Up and Down; Up and Down.
Two Great Sheep
Up and Down
Hao Da Yi Dui Yang
Horem Pádem
The dusty hills of China’s
Yunnan province form
the backdrop to this
satire about one poor
farmer struggling to cope
with a misguided
bureaucratic decision.
Zhao has been selected
by the local major to raise
two foreign sheep: specially
imported to improve the
village’s economy. But the
pampered beasts don’t take
kindly to the sparse fodder
or the drafty stable. Soon
they’re eating Zhao and his
long-suffering wife out of
house and home.
Special Guest, director Liu
Hao and producer Lola will
introduce both screenings
and take questions from the
audience afterwards.
“A warm neo-realist and
subtly political look at socail
life in rural China” - Toronto
Film Festival
Variety called the
latest feature from SFF
favourite Jan Hrebejk
(Divided We Fall; Cosy
Dens) “stunning”, describing
it as “a vibrant, immediate
treatise on love and cultural
identity in a complex new
world of fluid borders and
deep suspicions” – and we’ll
drink to that. Set in
contemporary Prague,
the film skilfully interleaves
several narrative threads
(including a baby lost by
people smugglers, a
reformed soccer hooligan
and his brooding wife, a
dying university professor
and his expatriate son,
returning from Brisbane).
Issues such as xenophobia
and the longing for identity
are handled with admirable
deftness in a richly
enjoyable film.
Special Guest, director Jan
Hrebejk will introduce both
screenings and take
questions afterwards.
In Mandarin with English
State Theatre
6.45pm Thur 16 June
12.10pm Sun 19 June
My 3 Flicks
National Director,
I love the Sydney Film Festival,
and this year I will not miss:
Shake Hands
with the Devil (p24)
Graphic and disturbing– an audience
fave at Sundance.
Sisters in Law (p24)
Two women and the law – totally
fascinating, often hilarious.
A Day without a
Mexican (p17)
A wildly clever satire – and a big hit
south of the border.
Czech Republic.
In Czech with English
State Theatre
9.15pm Thur 16 June
10.00am Fri 17 June
2 Girls pg. 29
For tickets call 132 849
016-030 Booking GuideTH
9:06 AM
Page 28
Contemporary World Cinema
Clockwise from top left: Ushpizin; Yesterday; Yesterday; Yesterday.
Below right: Yesterday.
Movie Music
To experience the ultimate in film music buy
the official Sydney Film Festival album, Music for
Film: Cults. Classics, Curios. Thanks to
Groovescooter Records and Sonic Arcana, Sydney
Film Festival patrons can purchase the CD at the
discounted rate of $25. Simply visit
Don’t forget to mention the Sydney Film Festival to
purchase at the special price of $25.
Ushpizin, directed by Gidi
Dar, is a film of great
warmth, humour and
originality – an example of
that very rare species, the
ultra-orthodox Jewish
comedy. And if you think
ultra-orthodox anything is
hardly the stuff of smiles,
think again. Billed as the first
film collaboration between
Israel's religious and secular
communities, the film is set
during the festival of Sukkot,
when guests (or ushpizin)
are made to feel welcome.
An impoverished Israeli
couple invites two strange
men to stay without realising
they're on the run. As the
crims' behaviour becomes
increasingly outrageous, the
couple continues to lay on
the hospitality, believing
that God is testing them.
enjoyable." – Variety
One of the most
beautiful-looking films
you’re likely to see all
year – and one of the
most moving films you’ll
find in the festival. A simple
story set against the
dramatic landscape of
Zululand, this Academy
Award-nominated film
features a powerhouse
performance from Leleti
Khumalo as Yesterday, a
young mother struggling
with illness and an absent
husband. Skilfully directed
by Darrell James Roodt
(Cry, the Beloved Country),
Yesterday is never
sentimental and never
less than moving.
“If ever tragedy had a
beautiful face, this is it.” –
Toronto Film Festival
South Africa.
In Zulu with English
In Hebrew and Yiddish with
English subtitles.
State Theatre
9.30pm Sun 19 June
11.45am Thur 23 June
State Theatre
12.30pm Fri 17 June
6.50pm Sat 18 June
Protocols of Zion pg. 38
Little Peace of Mind pg. 22
Forgiveness pg.18
Sisters in Law pg. 24
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