Lorello and Brunello are twin bachelor-brother farmers in Grosseto, Italy. In director Jacopo Quadri’s patiently observed study of their life and work, the gentle rhythms and cycles of nature cast an irrevocable spell. The Biondi Brothers are a taciturn pair, what we learn about them comes from an aged relative named Ultimina, who talks to the camera while collecting her mail. She adores her nephews, but not so much their hapless cousin Giuliano and his truant pigs.
Bing Liu focuses his camera on his tight-knit group of skateboarding friends in this deeply personal study of young adulthood, offering insight on the construction of masculinity, and its relationship to cycles of violence.
Each September, Bolot Tagaev and his family practice a centuries old tradition, harvesting walnuts in one of the oldest walnut forests in Kyrgyzstan. Over the course of a single season, director Zaheed Mawani gracefully captures delicate sequences such as a child interacting with a snake, or sacks of walnuts being laid gently across an attic bed. Stories attached to the forest are told and retold over the fire at night, adding a mythic dimension.
In a quaint, tidy apartment, a woman is preparing a child’s themed cake from scratch. In voice-over, she candidly talks about the fate of her son Alejandro “Ale” Robles. Ale became a gang member in the neighbourhood of Don Orione in Buenos Aires, only to be killed by a police bullet. Orione weaves together disparate elements and narrative threads, to paint a disquieting portrait of Argentinean society spilling over with contradictions and irreconcilable truths.
Through detailed drawings, architectural maquettes, photos, and tiny replicas of furniture, Zylberman reconstructs the histories of the people who called the apartment block located on 209 rue Saint-Maur home.
What Derki’s footage reveals is complex and human: the power of religious zeal and radical fundamentalism, but also the love of a father for his sons. As Abu-Osama’s two oldest sons Osama and Ayman reach young adulthood, they face assimilation into the ranks of armed combat.
Rocío and Aldana are two young women whose lives have already been marked by profound trauma. The two girls are cousins, and while they go about their daily lives in Argentina facing the same excitement and challenges as their peers, they both carry the weight of the respective experiences that have shaped them.
As a film portrait, Belinda is a remarkable achievement. Foregoing a sentimental approach, it is a warts-and-all look at prejudice, intolerance, and marginalization in French society through the experience of one young woman.
Sixteen-year-old Juan has a passion for creating amateur telenovelas. His partner in crime is his 97-year-old grandmother Rosa, who is fully involved in the creative process and often plays the role of the villain. Juan has Asperger syndrome and his grandmother is dealing with her own health issues, but in spite of this the pair are dedicated to their shared creations, plotting out scenes, undertaking character development, and writing (often wildly obscene) dialogue.