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#VENEZIA79: The program of the 79th Venice Film Festival


Director Gianni Amelio
Main Cast Luigi Lo Cascio, Elio Germano, Leonardo Maltese, Sara Serraiocco / Italy / 134’

At the end of the sixties, a trial was held in Rome that caused a sensation. Playwright and poet Aldo Braibanti was sentenced to nine years’ prison, found guilty of plagio. That is, of having submitted another person, physically and psychologically, to his own will. In this case, a student and friend who was barely of age. The youth’s family had him committed to a psychiatric hospital and subjected to a string of devastating electroshock treatments to “cure” him of that “diabolical” influence. Some years later, the crime of plagio was removed from the Italian penal code. But by that point, it had been used to incriminate “misfits” of every kind, outlaws from the norm. Drawing inspiration from true events, the film tells a story through a chorus of voices. Other than the defendant, his family and friends, accusers and supporters take shape against a backdrop of largely distracted or indifferent public opinion. Only one journalist takes on the task of piecing together the truth, facing suspicion and censorship as he does so.

Director Darren Aronofsky
Main Cast Brendan Fraser, Sadie Sink, Ty Simpkins, Hong Chau, Samantha Morton / USA / 117’

A reclusive English teacher suffering from severe obesity attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter for one last chance at redemption.

Director Noah Baumbach
Main Cast Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, Don Cheadle, Raffey Cassidy, Sam Nivola, May Nivola, Jodie Turner-Smith, André L. Benjamin, Lars Eidinger / USA / 136’

At once hilarious and horrifying, lyrical and absurd, ordinary and apocalyptic, White Noise dramatises a contemporary American family’s attempts to deal with the mundane conflicts of everyday life while grappling with the universal mysteries of love, death, and the possibility of happiness in an uncertain world.

Director Emanuele Crialese
Main Cast Penélope Cruz, Luana Giuliani, Vincenzo Amato, Patrizio Francioni, Maria Chiara Goretti / Italy, France / 97’

Rome, 1970s: a world suspended between neighbourhoods under construction, tv shows still in black and white, and social achievements and family models that are now outdated.
Clara and Felice have just moved into a new apartment. Their marriage is over: they no longer love each other but can’t break up. Only their children, on whom Clara pours all her desire for freedom, keep them together. Adriana, her eldest, has just turned 12 and is the most attentive witness to Clara’s moods and the growing tensions between her parents. Adriana rejects her name and identity and wants to convince everyone that she is a boy. Her obstinacy brings the already fragile family balance to breaking point.
While the children are waiting for a sign that might guide them–a voice from above or a song on the tv maybe–everything changes both around and inside them.

Director Alice Diop
Main Cast Kayije Kagame, Guslagie Malanda, Valérie Dréville, Aurélia Petit / France / 123’

Saint-Omer court of law. Young novelist Rama attends the trial of Laurence Coly, a young woman accused of killing her 15-month-old daughter by abandoning her to the rising tide on a beach in northern France. But as the trial continues, the words of the accused and witness testimonies will shake Rama’s convictions and call into question our own judgement.

Director Andrew Dominik
Main Cast Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, Xavier Samuel, Julianne Nicholson, Lily Fisher / USA / 166’

Based on the bestselling novel by Joyce Carol Oates, Blonde boldly reimagines the life of one of Hollywood’s most enduring icons, Marilyn Monroe. From her volatile childhood as Norma Jeane, through her rise to stardom and romantic entanglements, Blonde blurs the lines of fact and fiction to explore the widening split between her public and private selves.

Director Todd Field
Main Cast Cate Blanchett, Noémie Merlant, Nina Hoss, Sophie Kauer, Julian Glover, Allan Corduner, Mark Strong / USA / 158’

Set in the international world of classical music, TÁR centres on the first-ever female chief conductor of a major German orchestra.

Director Kôji Fukada
Main Cast Fumino Kimura, Kento Nagayama, Tetta Shimada, Atom Sunada, Hirona Yamazaki, Misuzu Kanno, Tomorowo Taguchi / Japan, France / 123’

Taeko and her husband Jiro are living a peaceful existence with her young son Keita, when a tragic accident brings the boy’s long-lost father, Park, back into her life.
To cope with the pain and guilt, Taeko throws herself into helping this deaf and homeless man.

Director Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Main Cast Daniel Giménez Cacho, Griselda Siciliani, Ximena Lamadrid, Iker Sanchez Solano, Andrés Almeida, Francisco Rubio / Mexico / 174’

BARDO, Falsa crónica de unas cuantas verdades is an epic, visually stunning and immersive experience set against the intimate and moving journey of Silverio, a renowned Mexican journalist and documentary filmmaker living in Los Angeles, who, after being named the recipient of a prestigious international award, is compelled to return to his native country, unaware that this simple trip will push him to an existential limit.
The folly of his memories and fears have decided to pierce through the present, filling his everyday life with a sense of bewilderment and wonder. With both emotion and abundant laughter, Silverio grapples with universal yet intimate questions about identity, success, mortality, the history of Mexico and the deeply emotional familial bonds he shares with his wife and children. Indeed, what it means to be human in these very peculiar times.

Director Romain Gavras
Main Cast Dali Benssalah, Sami Slimane, Anthony Bajon, Ouassini Embarek, Alexis Manenti / France / 97’

After the death of his youngest brother following an alleged police altercation, Abdel is called back from the frontline to find his family torn apart. Caught between his younger brother Karim’s desire for revenge and the criminal dealings of his older brother Moktar, he struggles to calm the rising tensions. As the situation escalates, their community Athena is transformed into a fortress under siege, becoming a scene of tragedy for both the family and beyond…

Director Luca Guadagnino
Main Cast Taylor Russell, Timothée Chalamet, Mark Rylance, André Holland, Chloë Sevigny, Jessica Harper, David Gordon Green, Michael Stuhlbarg, Jake Horowitz / USA / 130’

First love finds Maren, a young woman learning how to survive on the margins of society, and Lee, an intense and disenfranchised drifter, as they meet and join together for a thousand-mile odyssey that takes them through the back roads, hidden passages, and trap doors of Ronald Reagan’s America. But despite their best efforts, all roads lead back to their terrifying pasts and a final stand that will determine whether their love can survive their otherness.

Director Joanna Hogg
Main Cast Tilda Swinton, Joseph Mydell, Carly-Sophia Davies / UK, USA / 96’

An artist and her elderly mother confront long-buried secrets when they return to a former family home, now a hotel haunted by its mysterious past.

Director Vahid Jalilvand
Main Cast Navid Mohammadzadeh, Diana Habibi, Amir Aghaee, Saeed Dakh, Danial Kheirikhah, Alireza Kamali / Iran / 126’

Ali, a blind man, is attempting to commit suicide when he is interrupted by the concierge of his building. He is informed that the police are in search of a woman who has escaped and hidden somewhere in the building. Little by little, Ali finds out that the fugitive woman, Leila, is inside his apartment. After participating in a workers’ protest that led to chaos, she is distraught about her four-year-old son who was lost when she was taken in a police van. Gradually, Ali becomes emotionally attached to her. Wishing to flee reality, helping Leila becomes a refuge in his own world of imagination.

Director Martin McDonagh
Main Cast Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, Barry Keoghan / Ireland, UK, USA / 109’

Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, The Banshees of Inisherin follows lifelong friends Padraic and Colm, who find themselves at an impasse when Colm unexpectedly puts an end to their friendship. A stunned Padraic, aided by his sister Siobhan and troubled young islander Dominic, endeavours to repair the relationship, refusing to take no for an answer. But Padraic’s repeated efforts only strengthen his former friend’s resolve and when Colm delivers a desperate ultimatum, events swiftly escalate, with shocking consequences.

Director Santiago Mitre
Main Cast Ricardo Darín, Peter Lanzani, Alejandra Flechner, Santiago Armas, Laura Paredes, Carlos Portaluppi / Argentina, USA / 140’

Argentina, 1985 is inspired by the true story of public prosecutors Julio Strassera and Luis Moreno Ocampo, who dared to investigate and prosecute Argentina’s bloodiest military dictatorship in 1985. Undeterred by the military’s still considerable influence within their fragile new democracy, Strassera and Moreno Ocampo assembled a young legal team of unlikely heroes for their David-vs-Goliath battle. Under constant threat to themselves and their families, they raced against time to bring justice to the victims of the military junta.

Director Susanna Nicchiarelli
Main Cast Margherita Mazzucco, Andrea Carpenzano, Carlotta Natoli, Paola Tiziana Cruciani, Luigi Lo Cascio / Italy, Belgium / 106’

Assisi, 1211. Chiara is eighteen years old and one night she runs away from home to join her friend Francesco: from that moment on her life changes forever. With charisma and conviction, she breaks free from her family’s constraints and stands up to the Pope himself. She fights for herself, for the women who join her and for her dream of freedom. The story of a Saint. The story of a girl and her revolution.

Director Andrea Pallaoro
Main Cast Trace Lysette, Patricia Clarkson, Adriana Barraza, Emily Browning, Joshua Close / USA, Italy / 113’

Monica is an intimate portrait of a woman who returns home after a long absence to confront the wounds of her past. Reconnecting with her mother and the rest of her family for the first time since leaving as a teenager, Monica embarks on a path of healing and acceptance.
The film delves into Monica’s internal world and state of mind, her pain and fears, her needs and desires, to explore the universal themes of abandonment and forgiveness.

Director Jafar Panahi
Main Cast Jafar Panahi, Naser Hashemi, Vahid Mobaseri, Bakhtiar Panjeei, Mina Kavani, Reza Heydari / Iran / 107’

Khers Nist portrays two parallel love stories. In both, the lovers are troubled by hidden, inevitable obstacles, the force of superstition and the mechanics of power.

Director Laura Poitras
USA / 117’

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is an epic, emotional story about internationally renowned artist and activist Nan Goldin told through her slideshows, intimate dialogue, ground-breaking photography and rare footage of her fight to hold the Sackler family accountable for the overdose crisis. The film interweaves Goldin’s past and present, the deeply personal and urgently political, from P.A.I.N.’s actions at renowned art institutions to Goldin’s photography of her friends and peers through her devastating The Ballad of Sexual Dependency and her legendary 1989, NEA-censored AIDS exhibition Witnesses: Against Our Vanishing.
The story begins with P.A.I.N., a group she founded to shame museums into rejecting Sackler money, destigmatise addiction and promote harm reduction. Inspired by Act Up, they orchestrated protests to expose the Sacklers and the crimes of their Purdue Pharma, makers of OxyContin. At the core of the film are Goldin’s art works The Ballad of Sexual Dependency; The Other Side; Sisters, Saints and Sibyls; and Memory Lost. In these works, Goldin captures her friendships with beauty and raw tenderness. These friendships, and the legacy of her sister Barbara, anchor all of Goldin’s art.

Director Frederick Wiseman
Main Cast Nathalie Boutefeu / France, USA / 64’

Un couple is a film about a long-term relationship between a man and a woman. The man is Leo Tolstoy. The woman is his wife, Sophia. They were married for 36 years, had 13 children nine of whom survived. Each kept a diary. Although they lived together, in the same house, they wrote letters frequently to each other. Leo Tolstoy insisted that they read their diaries aloud to guests at dinner parties. The Tolstoys were also a dysfunctional couple, arguing frequently and being very unhappy with each other while occasionally enjoying passionate moments of reconciliation. The film is Sophia’s monologue about the joys and struggles of their life together, loosely drawn from their letters to each other and their diary entries. The film was shot in a beautiful garden on Belle Île, an island off the coast of Brittany. The visible and subterranean life of the garden is also an important element in the story of Un couple.

Director Florian Zeller
Main Cast Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Vanessa Kirby, Zen McGrath, Anthony Hopkins, Hugh Quarshie / UK / 124’

A drama that follows a family as it struggles to reunite after falling apart. The Son centers on Peter, whose hectic life with his infant and new partner Beth is upended when his ex-wife Kate appears with their son Nicholas, who is now a teenager. The young man has been missing from school for months and is troubled, distant, and angry. Peter strives to take care of Nicholas as he would have liked his own father to have taken care of him while juggling work, his and Beth’s new son, and the offer of his dream position in Washington. However, by reaching for the past to correct its mistakes, he loses sight of how to hold onto Nicholas in the present

Director Roschdy Zem
Main Cast Sami Bouajila, Roschdy Zem, Meriem Serbah, Maïwenn, Rachid Bouchareb, Abel Jafrei, Nina Zem, Carl Malapa, Anaïde Rozam, Lila Fernandez, Farida Ouchani / France / 86’

Moussa has always been kind, selfless and there for his family. Unlike his brother Ryad, a highprofile TV presenter who is widely criticised for his egocentricity by those around him. His only defender is Moussa, who feels a great admiration for his brother. Then an accidental fall leaves Moussa with a serious brain trauma. Now unrecognisable, he talks without any filter, delivering brutal home truths to friends and family alike, and ends up falling out with everyone—except Ryad..

Director Rebecca Zlotowski
Main Cast Virginie Efira, Roschdy Zem, Chiara Mastroianni, Callie Ferreira-Goncalves, Yamée Couture, Henri-Noël Tabary, Victor Lefebvre, Sébastien Pouderoux, Michel Zlotowski, Mireille Perrier / France / 104’

Rachel is 40 years old, no children. She loves her life: her high school students, her friends, her ex, her guitar lessons. When she falls in love with Ali, she becomes attached to Leila, his 4-year-old daughter. She tucks her to bed, cares for her, loves her like her own. But to love other people’s children is risky.


Director Francesco Carrozzini
Main Cast Alessandro Borghi, Jessica Brown Findlay, Sam Spruell, Frederick Schmidt, Raphael Vicas, Peter Mullan, Charles Dance / Italy, UK / 93’

John is on the run after defying his father, a crime boss. Pursued by his brother, John heads to the far North. He comes to an isolated village, where the sun never sets, with a small community of strict religious conformists: a place that seems to belong to another era. There, he meets Lea, a woman in difficult straits, but showing great strength, and her son Caleb, a curious child with a pure heart. Lea also has her demons: the death at sea of her abusive husband Aaron. As the days go by, the three grow closer. For Lea, John is the first man able to offer her protection, but without depriving her of her freedom; and for Caleb, he is an unhoped-for father figure with whom he can share his world. John also seems to glimpse in this encounter the possibility of redemption and a new life. Inevitably, they begin to feel like a newly-formed family. With John at bay as his brother closes in, and Aaron’s brother setting his sights on Lea, the two must find a way to break the ties to their past and start over.

Director Lav Diaz
Main Cast John Lloyd Cruz, Ronnie Lazaro, Shamaine Centenera- Buencamino, Dms Boongaling, Danilo Ledesma, Aryanne Gollena, Roel Laguerta, Neil Alvin, Delas Alas, Ronaliza Jintalan / Philippines, France, Portugal, Denmark / 187’

Lieutenant Hermes Papauran, one of the best investigators of the Philippines, is in a deep moral crossroad. As a member of the police forces, he is a first-hand witness of the murderous anti-drug campaign that his institution is implementing with dedication. The atrocities are corroding Hermes physically and spiritually, causing him a severe skin disease resulting from anxiety and guilt. As he tries to heal, a dark past haunts him and has eventually come back for a reckoning.

Director Oliver Hermanus
Main Cast Bill Nighy, Aimee Lou Wood, Alex Sharp, Tom Burke / UK / 102’

Living is the story of an ordinary man, reduced by years of oppressive office routine to a shadow existence, who at the eleventh hour makes a supreme effort to turn his dull life into something wonderful—into one he can say has been lived to the full.

Director Walter Hill
Main Cast Christoph Waltz, Willem Dafoe, Rachel Brosnahan, Warren Burke, Benjamin Bratt / USA, Canada / 106′

1897. Dead for a Dollar follows veteran bounty hunter Max Borlund deep into Mexico where he encounters professional gambler and outlaw Joe Cribbens—a sworn enemy who Max sent to prison years before. Borlund is on a mission to find and return Rachel Kidd, the hostage wife of a wealthy Santa Fe businessman. Discovering that Mrs. Kidd has actually fled from an abusive marriage, Max is ultimately faced with a choice: finish the dishonest job he’s been hired to accomplish or stand aside while ruthless mercenary outlaws and his long-time rival close in… Max and his partner Alonzo Poe have nothing to gain if they resist— nothing save honour.

Director KIM KI-DUK
Main Cast Zhanel Sergazina, Abylai Maratov / Estonia, Lithuania, Kyrgyzstan / 81’

Anticipation of Love has settled in the heart of a young lady. The boundaries between dream and passion are very elusive. Life is full of physical deprivations and, of course, sensual pleasures, and the deep meaning of that all is Love. The deeper the feeling, the more intense the emotions. Each girl dreams about meeting her love one day. An experienced man helps her discover the world of passion and senses, and brings her to ‘heaven’s gate’ where the two of them will prevail. One can only imagine how many hearts were broken along the way to master the science of love. But passion blinds and soon the man becomes slave to the young woman’s sensual body. The carnal knowledge makes the girl try to subdue her love object. Emotions bring pain and suffering to the lovers as well as to their relatives and friends. Will the young heroine manage to meet the expectations of the man she loved and make him happy… become the one and only? Who will help her find the right path? Maybe the mysterious voice on the phone? Or will it be enough just to wake up and realise that it was just a dream, just a dream. This is what the last film by Kim Ki-duk, shot in summer 2019 in Kyrgyzstan, is all about. The film was finished by Kim’s friends and colleagues after he unexpectedly passed away in December 2020.

Director Bill Pohlad
Main Cast Casey Affleck, Noah Jupe, Zooey Deschanel, Chris Messina, Jack Dylan Grazer, Walton Goggins, Beau Bridges / USA / 110’

What if a childhood dream suddenly came true—but thirty years later? That’s what happened to singer/songwriter Donnie Emerson. His dream of success suddenly—and unexpectedly—came true but only as he approached 50 years old. And while it brought hopes of second chances, it also brought ghosts of the past and long-buried emotions as Donnie, his brother Joe and their entire family came to terms with their newly found fame. Dreamin’ Wild is an incredible true story of love, hope, family, guilt, and responsibility.

Director Paul Schrader
Main Cast Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver, Quintessa Swindell, Esai Morales / USA / 111’

Narvel Roth is the meticulous horticulturist of Gracewood Gardens. He is as much devoted to tending the grounds of this beautiful and historic estate, as pandering to his employer, the wealthy dowager Mrs. Norma Haverhill. When Mrs. Haverhill demands that he take on her wayward and troubled great-niece Maya as a new apprentice, chaos enters Narvel’s spartan existence.

Director Paolo Virzì
Main Cast Silvio Orlando. Valerio Mastandrea, Elena Lietti, Tommaso Ragno, Claudia Pandolfi, Vinicio Marchioni, Monica Bellucci, Diego Ribon, Max Tortora, Emanuela Fanelli, Gabriel Montesi, Sara Serraiocco / Italy / 124’

In Rome it hasn’t rained for three years and the lack of water is overturning rules and habits. Through the city dying of thirst and prohibitions moves a chorus of people, young and old, marginalised and successful, victims and profiteers. Their lives are linked in a single design, while each seeks his or her deliverance.

Director Ti West
Main Cast Mia Goth, David Corenswet, Tandi Wright, Matthew Sunderland, Emma Jenkins-Purro / USA / 102’

Trapped on her family’s isolated farm, Pearl must tend to her ailing father under the bitter and overbearing watch of her devout mother. Lusting for a glamorous life like she’s seen in the movies, Pearl’s ambitions, temptations, and repressions all collide, in the stunning, technicolor-inspired origin story of X’s iconic villain.

Director Olivia Wilde
Main Cast Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine, Olivia Wilde, KiKi Layne, Gemma Chan / USA / 123’

Alice and Jack are lucky to be living in the idealized community of Victory, the experimental company town housing the men who work for the top- secret Victory Project and their families. The 1950’s societal optimism espoused by their CEO, Frank—equal parts corporate visionary and motivational life coach— anchors every aspect of daily life in the tight-knit desert utopia. While the husbands spend every day inside the Victory Project Headquarters, working on the “development of progressive materials,” their wives—including Frank’s elegant partner, Shelley—get to spend their time enjoying the beauty, luxury and debauchery of their community. Life is perfect, with every resident’s needs met by the company. All they ask in return is discretion and unquestioning commitment to the Victory cause. But when cracks in her idyllic life begin to appear, exposing flashes of something much more sinister lurking beneath the attractive façade, Alice can’t help questioning exactly what they’re doing in Victory, and why. Just how much is Alice willing to lose to expose what’s really going on in this paradise?


Director Evgeny Afineevsky
Ukraine, UK, USA / 118’

The film depicts the horrible realities of this unprovoked war instigated by Vladimir Putin. It is an exploration of the courage of the Ukrainian people, fiercely determined to stand their ground until ‘the last drop of blood’. Demonstrating an astounding ability to unite as a people and defend the sovereignty of their country, Ukrainians show compassion and resilience even when surrounded by death, destruction, and unfathomable war crimes. The film transports viewers through a war that started immediately after Maidan (Revolution of Dignity) in 2014 and continues through the 2022 Russian invasion. Through personal stories of civilians, children, soldiers, doctors, the country’s elderly, journalists, religious leaders, and international volunteers, this is a humanising diary of millions of people whose lives were turned upside down by eight years of conflict.

Director Benedetta Argenteri
Italy / 90′

Tooba Gondal is one of the most infamous British jihadists. When she was only 20 years old, she left London to join the Islamic State and gained popularity worldwide as the ISIS matchmaker after allegedly recruiting a dozen Western women to marry ISIS fighters. Between 2014 and 2017, she actively engaged in propaganda on social networks. As soon as Isis started losing on the ground, she disappeared from the internet. Director Benedetta Argentieri found her two years later in a camp in Syria. ISIS lost the war, and she was held captive by the Kurds. Ms. Gondal agreed to an exclusive interview. When she introduces herself, Tooba hints at the stereotypical passive woman who is in love with the wrong man and holds no responsibility for her actions. Her story version plays with the sexist view of women in the jihad, seen as accessories and not as active participants. Is she the friendly, intelligent, and submissive girl we see on camera? Or is she a violent extremist? The interview offers an interesting reflection on the Islamic holy war seen from the point of view of the women who are part of the caliphate, fighters, and executioners themselves.

Director Enrico Ghezzi, Alessandro Gagliardo
Main Cast Aura Ghezzi / Italy / 196’

The panorama of human affairs encounters the “man with a movie camera”. His playground has no boundaries, his curiosity no limits. Characters, situations and places pitch camp in the life of a humanity that is at once the viewer and the thing viewed. But what are the last days of this humanity? Have they already passed? Are they now or still to come? As they wait the astronauts of the Atalante, in their promethean dreams, meet their own image in a bubble of water. Along the passages of steamers in the open sea, a caress, a sign of affection. In the mirror, camera in hand, he checks himself, always uncertainly certain, his own capture inside that short, too short, unit of time. But what we have learnt is that nothing lasts. Everything that they touch turns into time, into action, expectation and hope, Demeter reminds bustling humanity. Fragment of fragments. To make a gesture that eludes melancholy and games in a downright impossible movement. Kraus’s theater on Mars has not yet opened, we were busy anarchiving. And this drama can have no other viewer but humanity.

Director Steve James
Main Cast Ted Hall, Joan Hall, Ruth London, Sarah Hall, Sarah Sax, Boria Sax, Joseph Albright, Marcia Kunstel, Daniel Axelrod / USA, UK / 102’

Recruited in 1944 as an 18-year-old Harvard undergraduate to be the youngest physicist on the Manhattan Project, to create a bomb before the Germans did, Ted Hall didn’t share his colleagues’ elation after the successful detonation of the world’s first atomic bomb. Increasingly concerned during 1944—with Germany clearly losing the war—that a U.S. post-war monopoly on such a powerful weapon after the war could lead to nuclear catastrophe, he decided beginning that October to start passing key information about the bomb’s construction to the Soviet Union. After the war, at the University of Chicago, he met and married Joan, a fellow student with whom he shared a passion for classical music and socialist causes — and the explosive secret of his espionage. Living under a cloud of suspicion and years of FBI surveillance and intimidation, the pair raised a family while Ted refocused his scientific brilliance on groundbreaking bio-physics research. A Compassionate Spy reveals the twists and turns of this real-life spy story, and the couple’s remarkable love and life together during more than 50 years of marriage.

Director Jørgen Leth, Andreas Koefoed
Main Cast Jakob Bro, Lee Konitz, Thomas Morgan, Paul Motian, Bill Frisell, Mark Turner, Joe Lovano, Andrew Cyrille, Palle Mikkelborg, Jon Christensen, Manfred Eicher, Midori Takada / Denmark / 92’

Music for Black Pigeons is the first collaboration between Jørgen Leth and Andreas Koefoed. The film poses existential questions to influential jazz players such as Bill Frisell, Lee Konitz, Midori Takada and many others: How does it feel to play, and what does it mean to listen? What is it like to be a human being and spending your whole life trying to express something through sounds? The characters wake up, rehearse, record, perform and talk about music. In some moments they are on the edge, the edge of existence, constantly challenging themselves. They listen. They devote themselves to finding a space to create a connection to something bigger than themselves. Something that will outlast all of us. For the past 14 years, the filmmakers followed Danish composer Jakob Bro, witnessing his musical encounters with acclaimed and eccentric musicians from across generations and nationalities. Through Bro’s compositions, the film’s characters explore the space of music—and in doing so answer some of the questions the film poses, in a poetic, life-affirming and entertaining way.

Director Sergei Loznitsa
Restoration Jonas Zagorskas / Netherlands, Ukraine / 106’

The Kiev Trial, also known as the ‘Kiev Nuremberg’, took place in January of 1946 in the Soviet Union, and was one of the first post-war trials convicting German Nazis and their collaborators. 15 criminals, guilty of atrocities, which were later identified by the Nuremberg trials as “crimes against humanity”, faced justice in case No.1679 “On the atrocities committed by fascist invaders on the territory of the Ukrainian SSR.” Using unique, previously unseen, archive footage, Sergei Loznitsa reconstructs key moments of the proceedings, including statements of the defendants and testimonies of the witnesses, survivors of Auschwitz and Babi Yar among them. The film lays bare the ‘banality of evil’ and is devastatingly relevant today, as Ukrainian people are once again being subjected to the violence of barbarian invaders.

Director Gianfranco Rosi
Italy / 80’

In 2013, just after his election, Pope Francis went to Lampedusa. In 2021 he made an important journey to the Middle East, going to Iraq and Kurdistan. The same places that Gianfranco Rosi had depicted in Fuocoammare and Notturno. In the nine years of his pontificate Francis has made thirty-seven journeys, visiting fifty-three countries. Whether in Italy, Brazil, Cuba, the United States, the African continent or Southeast Asia, his itineraries have followed the guiding thread of the central themes of our time: poverty, nature, migration, condemnation of all war, solidarity. In a sort of Via Crucis, Francis has born witness to the suffering of the world and found out how difficult it is to do more than offer the comfort of his words and his presence Gianfranco Rosi has retraced the pope’s journeys, watching the films that have documented them. Out of this has come his own film and its scheme is an extremely simple one: he follows the pope, looks at what he sees, listens to what he says. In observing the pontiff as he looks at the world, Rosi has established a dialogue at a distance between the archive footage of Francis’ pastoral journeys, the images of his own films, current events and recent history. Creating a balance between the linear flow of time and the memory of the cinema.

Director Christopher Sharp, Moses Bwayo
Uganda, UK, USA / 121’

This observational documentary film follows Bobi Wine and his wife Barbie. Bobi rises from the ghetto slums of Kampala to one of the country’s most loved superstars. His musical talent lifts him and emboldens millions of previously voiceless people. Bobi uses his music for activism, then becomes an Independent Member of Parliament to stand to defend the rights of his people, the ghetto people. Bobi’s wife, Barbie, by standing with him, plunges her own life into uncertainty. The film is an examination of the disturbing misuse of the legal and parliamentary systems, two supposed pillars of democracy. The country’s institutions are controlled by the State to ensure President Museveni, an autocratic strongman, who has held power since 1986, continues to rule Uganda. Bobi and Barbie must risk everything, their lives and their futures to challenge him. The state is determined to silence, not only them, but anyone who supports their cause. This is not just a story for Uganda, it is a narrative for all those who struggle under dictatorial regimes. Those who oppose them quickly discover that Western democracies have interests that do not extend to holding autocrats to account. This story has never been so relevant.

Director Oliver Stone
USA / 106’

As fossil fuels continue to cook the planet, the world is finally becoming forced to confront the influence of large oil companies and tactics that have enriched a small group of corporations and individuals for generations. Beneath our feet, Uranium atoms in the Earth’s crust hold incredibly concentrated energy. Science unlocked this energy in the mid-20th century, first for bombs and then to power submarines and the United States led the effort to generate electricity from this new source. Yet in the mid-20th century
as societies began the transition to nuclear power and away from fossil fuels, a long-term PR campaign to scare the public began, funded in large part by oil interests. This campaign would sow fear about harmless low-level radiation and create confusion between nuclear weapons and nuclear power. With unprecedented access to the nuclear industry in France, Russia, and the United States, director Oliver Stone explores the possibility for the global community to overcome challenges like climate change and reach a brighter future through the power of nuclear energy.


Director Lars von Trier
Main Cast Bodil Jørgensen, Mikael Persbrandt, Tuva Novotny, Lars Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Nicolas Bro, Alexander Skarsgård / Denmark / 295’

An enormous organism of flesh and blood has materialised itself in The Kingdom’s rooms and corridors. On a dark and stormy night, the sleepwalking Karen senses something is wrong and travels to The Kingdom to search for answers. On her arrival, she discovers that the hospital is suffering and that she is the only one, who can free The Kingdom from its torment. At the same time the Swedish doctor, Helmer Junior, is newly employed at The Kingdom. He soon starts to feel a denigrating attitude from his Danish colleagues. Being a Swede, he puts his foot down and launches new approaches on the ward, such as total gender neutrality, which has almost fatal consequences. But evil gets in the way with even bigger and more horrifying plans. The time has come, it is going to happen: Exodus. It is now that the spirits surrounding the hospital shall be divided into the light and the dark, and the gate localized and opened. It is now the air must be cleared of the big flock that never sleeps. When good men, who undoubtedly master science and state-of-the-art modern technology fail, and even the gatekeeper himself becomes too weak, it is up to Karen to carry the seemingly impossible task through a battle with pride and stupidity. Now, more than ever, we must all be prepared to take the good with the evil, as the gateway to the Kingdom is once opening again.

Director Nicolas Winding Refn
Main Cast Angela Bundalovic, Lola Corfixen, Zlatko Buric, Andreas Lykke Jørgensen, Jason Hendil-Forssell, Li Ii Zhang, Dragana Milutinovic / Denmark / 292’

Copenhagen Cowboy is a thrill-inducing, neon-drenched noir series set across six episodes which follows enigmatic young heroine, Miu. After a lifetime of servitude and on the verge of a new beginning, she traverses the ominous landscape of Copenhagen’s criminal netherworld. Searching for justice and enacting vengeance, she encounters her nemesis, Rakel, as they embark on an odyssey through the natural and the supernatural. The past ultimately transforms and defines their future, as the two women discover they are not alone, they are many.

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