This year, the International Competition is made up of twelve films that reflect the best of international cinema. Each one of them is a piece of art but also, and most importantly, make up a diverse, complex and balanced artistic corpus. A selection intended to cover different subject matters, aesthetics and ways of understanding cinema.
Embrace of the Serpent, by Ciro Guerra – Colombia / Venezuela / Argentina
Ciro Guerra takes us through the epic story of the encounter between the chaman Karamakate, last survivor of his tribe in the Colombian Amazon, and two of the first white scientists to ever travel across the area, from the very first contact, the approach and the tradition, throughout forty years. Based on the travel memoirs of the first explorers, Embrace of the Serpent, Guerra’s third film, is a sensory journey with an outstanding production design.
The Apostate, by Federico Veiroj – Spain / France / Uruguay
A runaway is also a search. Based on this premise, Federico Veiroj builds an intimate story, where beliefs are deconstructed to reveal themselves even stronger. Tamayo, the protagonist, decides to question his Catholic faith and, with that first sheer and biting question, everything around him becomes perpetually naturalized. The result is a sensitive and intelligent story, an examination of everything that makes up human nature.
The Club, by Pablo Larraín – Chile
Four priests and a nun live confined in a house on a small town by the sea. Away from everything, they purge their sins for past mistakes. But all of that tense calmness explodes when a foreign element appears. A fifth priest harries that explosion and, with it, a psychological drama unleashes, where asphyxiating and claustrophobic atmospheres are combines with a complex subject matter, wisely built by a director always pushing the limits of his cinema.
The Measure of a Man, by Stéphane Brize – France
How much can a man take? In the law of market, that question flies over the life of its protagonist, Thierry –played by Vincent Lindon- who, after a long time being unemployed, accepts the job he gets, despite everything. The decisions beyond our own wellbeing mingle with an anatomy of labor law in an increasingly voracious market.
Eva Doesn’t Sleep, by Pablo Agüero – Argentina / France / Spain
It sends a chill down your spine. It sends a chill down your spine to think that this fiction is part of our contemporary history. It sends a chill down your spine the sensitivity with which Pablo Aguero tells a story that started out as a myth and became one of the most shameful chapters of our past. It sends a chill down your spine the intelligent use of stylistic resources, the bright musicalization, the carefully selected footage and the brilliant performances that accompany a brave story, devoid of sentimentality and political extremism.
Koza, by Ivan Ostrochvsky- Slovakia / Czech Republic
A past of glory and luster is opposed to a dark present, with the character of Koza –once a real Olympic boxer- who must fight against life, above all things. Ivan Ostrochvsky builds a story where visual beauty is present to, paradoxically, portray the harshness of a life aiming at the wrong direction. Poetic and arid, Koza is a sensitive story embedded in a former sport glory, a harsh portrayal of a present time that cannot be avoided.
The Island of Wind, by Manuel Menchón Romero - Spain / Argentina
The Island of Wind is a tribute to writer and philosopher Miguel de Unamuno from Bilbao, focusing on his banishment by Primo de Rivera’s dictatorship. In a revisionist style, Manuel Mencón Romero chooses, for his first fictional film, the resistance of a Unamuno persecuted for his statements opposed to the military regime, the king and the monarchic system. A deep story that goes through the past to question the present.
Incident Light, by Ariel Rotter – Argentina / Uruguay / France
A beautiful story about the darkness of loneliness, then of companionship, the darkest of loneliness. A sensitive story about a light that warns out that we were in the shadows. Ariel Rotter dissects and analyzes that instant where the comfort zone is no longer safe and we can only throw ourselves to the light. Erica Rivas delivers a touching performance that sends a chill down your spine and goes beyond the screen.
Popular Mechanics, by Alejandro Agresti - Argentina
Agresti’s new film dives into the publishing circle, with Alejandro Awada in the role of Mario Zavadilkner, top publisher of philosophy, history and psychoanalysis. Nothing is what it seems. Disappointed by society, the rhythm of culture and of his own personal decisions, Mario decides to take his own life. However, as if destiny had set out to keep toying with this devastated character, he meets a young writer who threats to kill herself if he does not read her novel. A story that takes place in a single night, immersed in a publishing house in half darkness and with a security employee remarkably played by Patricio Contreras. A story worthy of being published.
O futebol, by Sergio Oksman – Spain
Football is an excuse for the encounter between father and son, after two decades of absences. A clear and brief excuse. Sismao and Sergio meet again at the 2014 World Cup. And in this football raid, watched not in stadiums but in bars, life takes place. Just like football. Everything happens in front of us. Sergio Oskman’s film, toying between fiction and documentary, is an essay on relationships, absences and decisions, which always imply giving up things.
Remember, by Atom Egoyan – Canada
Oblivion and memories are mingled in this psychological thriller triggered by the senility of its protagonist, Zev Guttman, played by the remarkable Christopher Plummer. But that is only the beginning. The tireless search of a Nazi guard who, six decades ago, murdered his family, and his need of vengeance, will mingle with the loss of memory and the lucidity of the psychic wounds. Atom Egoyan builds a story with constant tension, facing the dormant past.
Tangerine, by Sean Baker – United States
Sin-Dee is a transsexual prostitute from Los Angeles who gets out from prison after a short sentence. When she meets her friend Alexandra, Sin-Dee confirms the rumor that her boyfriend Chester had an affair with another woman while she was away. Both friends start searching for the truth in the neighborhood where they live and work: the corner of Santa Monica and Highland, an area of prostitution and drug dealing. Featuring non-professional transsexual actresses, Sean Baker chooses to shoot Tangerinewith iPhones in order to capture the vertigo of today and move away from the glamorous and embellished portrait of social margins by traditional US filmmaking, and at the same time avoids replicating the minimalist realism of certain indie films.