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5@5 All the Madmen

“To the far side of town where the thin men stalk the streets while the sane stay underground.” Assembled here is an unforgettable collection of the fantastical and disturbing. Sophie Linnenbaum’s Pix (Germany 2017, 9 min) breaks down the fourth wall in our nostalgia-fueled photo-obsessed culture. Cameo Wood’s Real Artists (US 2017, 12 min) takes us into a job interview of the future. A daughter’s return home is not all that it seems in Natalie Erika James’ creepy Creswick (Australia 2016, 10 min). Leslie Bibb and Sam Rockwell star in the b&w film noir The Dark of Night (US 2017, 10 min) from director Robin Wright (House of Cards). The sensual and sinister history of the bathtub in movie culture gets an incisive exploration in Jennifer Proctor’s Nothing a Little Soap and Water Can’t Fix (US 2017, 9 min). Oscar’s allegorical Napalm Mayhem (Netherlands 2016, 4 min) is pro
Sat, Oct 7, 2017 9:30 PM
Mon, Oct 9, 2017 4:15 PM
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After the War (Dopo la guerra)

FOCUS: HIDING & SEEKING Italy in the '70s and early '80s was roiled by left-wing groups that committed acts of terrorism to further their goals. Many convicted militants fled to France, benefiting from President François Mitterand's decree barring their extradition. Annarita Zambrano's compelling debut dramatizes the disruption faced by one family when the policy changed and extraditions commenced in 2002. For 16-year-old Viola, it's a matter of one day gossiping with her pals in volleyball and being on the run with her father Marco the next. At first, there's a thrill to the situation-hiding out, getting new identities, a stealth interview with a journalist-but when she discovers they're being uprooted to Nicaragua, conflict develops between father and daughter. A parallel story set in Italy shows Marco's sister and mother trying to go on with their lives in the wake of returned scrutiny into Marco's activities. With suspense and emotional acuity, After the War depicts the
Fri, Oct 13, 2017 9:30 PM
Sat, Oct 14, 2017 6:15 PM
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Bill Frisell, A Portrait

Guitarist, composer, and arranger Bill Frisell is widely acknowledged as a musician’s musician. His style ranges from jazz to folk and Americana and beyond, and there’s seemingly no end to his list of musical co-conspirators. As he’s not one to draw attention to himself, Emma Frantz’s portrait of the unassuming master is a welcome opportunity to peek into an eclectic musical mind of genius caliber. Frisell conveys a childlike sense of wonder at his luck in forging a lifelong career in music, and it’s clear through their interviews that his collaborators are also fans. But it’s not all talk in this joyful film, there’s plenty of music. Frantz, herself a singer and composer, brings an artist’s insight to a documentary that’s as much about the music-making as it is about the man himself. Whether jamming with a trio in the studio, or recording with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Frisell always has that same gleeful smile and incomparable sound.
Sun, Oct 8, 2017 8:45 PM
Mon, Oct 9, 2017 3:15 PM
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Ciao Ciao

They say you can never really go home again-a notion that, unfortunately for Ciao Ciao (Liang Xueqin), can’t be taken literally. Young, restless, and permanently attached to her cellphone, this twentysomething city dweller is stuck killing time in her backwater birthplace in the Yunnan province. Out of sheer boredom, she starts to flirt with two men: a rough-and-tumble rascal (Zhang Yu); and a polite hairdresser (Zhou Quan), who tempts Ciao Ciao with dreams of opening a salon far, far away. Filmmaker Song Chuan follows up his incredible 2012 debut Huan Huan with this keen, compelling portrait of a generation caught between competing landscapes and lifestyle choices. Blessed with colorful, eye-popping widescreen cinematography and a soundtrack that blends traditional Eastern sounds with skittery globo-techno, Ciao, Ciao is a funny, fraught indictment of the easy-‘n’-empty thrills of modern living and the hypocrisy of “small-town” values.
Fri, Oct 6, 2017 9:00 PM
Mon, Oct 9, 2017 6:00 PM
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City of Joy

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a country rich in minerals. The multinational companies that buy these minerals fund militias to plunder the mines, and these men are responsible for unprecedented sexualized violence, millions of murders, and 20 years of war. One town, Bukavu, in eastern DRC, has grown from 50,000 to over a million, its population swelling with refugees. In it stands the City of Joy, a sanctuary for female victims of the brutality. Here they are medically treated, housed, educated (with the help of Vagina Monologues playwright Eve Ensler), and transformed from victims into leaders against violence. Madeleine Gavin's enthralling documentary, which transmutes unimaginable horror into joy and empowerment, follows the story of one woman who will not let the appalling violence destroy her. As part of the first class of students at the City of Joy, Jane embodies the co-founders' hard-fought-and extremely risky-vision for the future of women who reclaim their bod
Sun, Oct 8, 2017 6:00 PM
Tue, Oct 10, 2017 12:30 PM
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The Corridor

Orange may be the new black, but documentaries that take us behind real jailhouse walls can still provide revelations. What’s it like to go to school while incarcerated? It means that the tools in your bike repair class are locked to the table and that classrooms come equipped with panic buttons. It means that room assignments take gang affiliation into account. And it means that exposing your ignorance is seen as a weakness, “becoming prey,” as one inmate-student describes it, in a world of predators. These are just some of the challenges that face participants in the San Francisco Sheriff Department’s pioneering program to help inmates earn their GEDs. Local filmmakers Richard O’Connell and Annelise Wunderlich trace students’ progress from orientation to graduation in this timely and quietly provocative documentary. Observational footage of school and jail routine is supported by a soundtrack of articulate reflections from guards, teachers, and inmates. Intertitles of statistics unde
Sat, Oct 7, 2017 8:45 PM
Thu, Oct 12, 2017 10:00 AM
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The Desert Bride

A reserved woman finds her horizons and worldview subtly transformed during a journey across rural western Argentina in this warm and delicate film. Teresa (the phenomenal Paulina García, Gloria, MVFF 2013) has worked for the same Buenos Aires family for over 30 years, but their failing finances spell an end to her position. Traveling to her new job located far from the city in Argentina's arid Cuyo region, the cautious Teresa is left with several hours to kill in a small town. There, several events transpire-a lost handbag, a windstorm, the offer of a ride from a garrulous stranger-that lead her to reflect on her closed-off attitude, while the vast expanse of her environment begins to liberate her from the anxieties that urban living have induced. In this way, the locale's rugged terrain and history play a role just as important as the film's characters do, with Sergio Armstrong's handsome cinematography providing the backdrop to Teresa's small but significant transformation.
Sat, Oct 7, 2017 3:45 PM
Mon, Oct 9, 2017 6:30 PM
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The Divine Order

A bucolic alpine village becomes a battleground for social change in 1970 Switzerland in writer/director Petra Volpe’s uplifting drama. The right to vote, taken for granted by most Western women, is still a year away for Swiss females. Mother of two Nora wants to get a job. But working outside the home is not legally possible without her husband’s permission-and he’s not giving it. Her free-spirited niece Hanna has it even worse: Her father has arranged a prison cell to keep her away from her older boyfriend. Nora reaches a breaking point with the patriarchy. Defying her husband and conservative village elders, she begins actively campaigning for suffrage, soon joined by other townswomen. In both fierce and humorous ways, Nora and her compatriots push against entrenched attitudes that favor inequality. Nora’s awakening is beautiful to witness as she literally finds her voice and emancipates not only herself, but also her family, friends, and community.
Sat, Oct 7, 2017 5:30 PM
Sun, Oct 8, 2017 6:00 PM
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Faces, Places (Visages, Villages)

Film auteur Agnès Varda and street photographer JR are creators of images from different generations. Varda, the revered female filmmaker of the French New Wave, has long been associated with the art film and inner circles of film lore, including Jacques Demy, Alain Resnais, Jean-Luc Godard, Anna Karina, and Chris Marker. JR views the street as his canvas and adorns walls and buildings with murals of his works. Their mutual commitment to human stories creates a path for collaboration and an opportunity to visit the French countryside. These singular artists traveling together makes for an extraordinary journey. This is a brilliant film from one of the most iconic and visionary talents in cinema, whose openness in her conversations with another original-JR-brings us an extraordinarily layered portrait: of two artists, of two generations, of the people they encounter, of France-and the French. Winner of L’Oeil d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival 2017 for best documentary across all official
Fri, Oct 6, 2017 6:00 PM
Sun, Oct 15, 2017 11:00 AM
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A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantástica)

When we first meet Marina-the complex, tender, and determined title character in this masterful new drama by Sebastián Lelio (Gloria, MVFF 2013)-she is working as a waitress, pursuing singing on the side, and deeply in love with an older man who loves her in return. All in all, she is entering a confident phase of her life as a mature, well-adjusted transgender woman. But when her paramour dies unexpectedly, Marina must suddenly face a humiliating swirl of suspicion and rejection not only by the man’s family but by a society intent on taking away her dignity and challenging her very right to grieve. Featuring an extraordinary performance by transgender actor Daniela Vega, A Fantastic Woman dramatizes, in pitch-perfect and often darkly comic scenes, the slow, toxic burn of social ostracism and the resilience and rage required to overcome it. No less important, like last year’s Moonlight, it is a cinematic breakthrough, staking out new dramatic terrain for the portra
Sun, Oct 8, 2017 5:30 PM
Tue, Oct 10, 2017 3:00 PM
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Felicite

In the back of a crowded, rowdy club in the back streets of Kinshasa, you’ll find Félicité (Véro Tshanda Beya Mputu) singing her heart out, providing a soulful-groove serenade to the dance-floor flirting and bar fights started by her handyman boyfriend Tabu (Papi Mpaka). Their routine is shattered, however, when her teenage son is seriously injured in a car accident. Félicité races around town trying to raise money for his operation; when she fails to get enough cash in time, the songbird begins to lose her voice-and her sanity. Franco-Sengalese filmmaker Alain Gomis (Tey, MVFF 2012) crafts an incredible story of maternal endurance, driven by a vibrant soundtrack featuring everything from the Kasai Allstars’ rump-shaking Afro-pop to the city’s real-life church choirs, and orchestras. And in singer-turned-actress Mputu, he’s found a first-rate performer capable of breaking your heart with a glance or lifting you heavenward with a single transcendent note.
Sat, Oct 7, 2017 2:15 PM
Wed, Oct 11, 2017 2:00 PM
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Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool

In a sensational performance, Annette Bening plays Academy Award® winner Gloria Grahame, an American actress best remembered for playing femmes fatales in The Big Heat and In a Lonely Place, as well as starring in such Hollywood classics as It’s a Wonderful Life and Oklahoma!. Directed by Paul McGuigan (Victor Frankenstein, Lucky Number Slevin), Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool chronicles the final years of Grahame's life and her passionate affair with a young actor named Peter Turner (Jamie Bell, Snowpiercer), whom she meets while performing on stage in the titular northwestern English town. When the glamourous star’s health begins to fail, Turner's family steps in to help care for her. Based on Turner’s memoir of the same name, the film also stars Julie Walters, who is reunited with her Billy Elliott costar Bell; Kenneth Cranham; and Oscar® winner Vanessa Redgrave.
Fri, Oct 6, 2017 6:45 PM
Thu, Oct 12, 2017 9:00 PM
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Harold and Maude

An unparalleled dark comedy that simultaneously redefined cinema and captured San Francisco’s post-summer-of-love malaise, Harold and Maude is an indelible part of the American zeitgeist. MVFF screens this 1971 cult classic in honor of famed Marin casting director Ann Brebner, who cast the film locally-and nearly played the role of Harold’s mother. Harold (Bud Cort), a quiet and morose young man, has what his mother calls a “sense of the absurd” that manifests itself in an incorrigible desire to fake his suicide in increasingly outlandish ways. While attending one of many funerals, Harold happens upon Maude (Ruth Gordon) casually picnicking at the cemetery. A 79-year-old with a lust for life and a penchant for stealing cars, Maude is daring, impulsive, and political-everything Harold is not. Iconic music from Cat Stevens permeates the soundtrack, and the leads carry the film through their chemistry, resulting in a tragicomic romance that is just as groundbreaking and gratifying
Wed, Oct 11, 2017 3:00 PM
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I Still Hide to Smoke (À mon âge je me cache encore pour fumer)

FOCUS: HIDING & SEEKING In this tight, tense, and riveting drama, an Algerian women's hammam (bathhouse) proves to be both warm sanctuary and steamy political crucible for a group of culturally and religiously diverse women over the course of one momentous day. The central drama pivots on the fate of an unmarried pregnant teenager hiding out in the bathhouse-her destiny a microcosm of the violence and sexism imperiling the region. Award-winning actress Hiam Abbass (In Syria; The Lemon Tree, MVFF 2008; The Visitor; Munich) stars as Fatima, the hammam’s head masseuse who presides over candidly unveiled conversations with her patrons covering everything from religion to orgasms, terrorism to marriage. In adapting her own 2009 play, first-time feature filmmaker Rayhana Obermeyer offers an urgently contemporary and complex view of women living under patriarchal and theocratic law.
Mon, Oct 9, 2017 4:00 PM
Tue, Oct 10, 2017 11:15 AM
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In Syria (Insyriated)

FOCUS: HIDING & SEEKING Amid sounds of gunfire and shelling, an extended family wakes up to another morning in war-torn Damascus, the only remaining residents in a middle-class apartment building commandeered by combatants and thugs. In peacetime, she might be called a control freak, but in wartime, it is mother and daughter-in-law Oum Yazan who holds everyone together by barking out orders and stern reassurances that they will survive the siege despite the bombardments. Then intruders bang on the door and war’s horror comes inside. Belgian cinematographer Philippe van Leeuw follows up his harrowing 2009 The Day God Walked Away, about a woman in the Rwandan genocide, with another wrenching story of civilians caught in the middle of conflict. The winner of the Panorama Audience Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, In Syria boasts a remarkable ensemble cast and a stunning performance by its lead, Palestinian actress/director Hiam Abbass.
Fri, Oct 6, 2017 9:00 PM
Mon, Oct 9, 2017 1:30 PM
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In the Fade (Aus Dem Nichts)

Diane Kruger shines in her first German-language film as Katja, a woman living in Hamburg with her Turkish husband, Nuri, and their six-year-old son. Their connection is profound, passionate, and steady. But then, tragedy strikes. An act of xenophobic violence tears her life apart, and she must face prejudice and ignorance in order to find the truth and ensure justice is served. Director Fatih Akin (Head-On, MVFF 2004) crafts a drama in three chapters that skillfully follows Katja on her rollercoaster journey. Kruger’s raw performance as a complicated and simultaneously fierce and wounded woman won her Best Actress at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and ensures that the audience stays with her every step of the way. With all the suspense of a thriller and a career-high performance from Kruger, this movie rends its broad political themes deeply personal and relatable. In the Fade is a timely tale of how we cope when the unimaginable happens.
Sat, Oct 14, 2017 5:45 PM
Sun, Oct 15, 2017 5:45 PM
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The Inland Road

While hitchhiking across New Zealand’s South Island, 16-year-old Tia (Gloria Popata, in an unforgettable debut performance) finds unlikely shelter with a grieving family impacted by a fatal car crash. Indebted to her for saving his life, Will (David Elliot) invites the runaway to stay on the farm he shares with his pregnant wife Donna (Chelsie Preston Crayford). There, Tia becomes an unorthodox mother figure to Will’s six-year-old niece Lily (Georgia Spillane). Against the bucolic backdrop of the remote Otago region of New Zealand’s South Island, temptations awaken and familial roles shift as a wayward teen navigates her turbulent circumstances in search of a place of belonging. This assured feature directorial debut from New Zealand actress Jackie van Beek premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival where it was nominated for the Crystal Bear, and later won Special Jury Mention for New Directors at the Seattle International Film Festival.
Fri, Oct 6, 2017 3:30 PM
Thu, Oct 12, 2017 1:00 PM
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Jaha's Promise

An ancient and inhumane ritual still being performed to this day affects over 200 million women and girls around the world, as over 30 countries continue to treat female genital mutilation as a rite of passage and religious tradition. Twenty-six-year-old Gambian activist Jaha Dukureh was one of many newborns subjected to such an unthinkable act. Now, she is among the leaders of the global crusade against the barbaric custom that nearly ended her life. In this powerful and inspiring documentary, filmmakers Patrick Farrelly and Kate O’Callaghan follow Dukureh’s passionate fight to break the cycle of abuse and ban female genital mutilation across the globe, garnering support from world leaders and confronting her most fervent detractors, even those within her own family. Named one of the 100 most influential people by Time magazine in 2016, Dukureh is a real-life superhero whose remarkable resilience and exhaustive efforts have already begun to change the world and ensure a safer f
Mon, Oct 9, 2017 8:45 PM
Thu, Oct 12, 2017 12:30 PM
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