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Alifu the Prince/ss

The struggle between upholding tradition and moving forward in the modern world is beautifully depicted in this heartfelt tale of the only son of an indigenous tribal leader in present day Taiwan. Alifu (newcomer Utjung Tjakivalid, who won a Best New Talent award at the Taipei Film Festival) lives in two worlds: In Taipei, she’s a hairdresser with a chosen family saving up to have sexual reassignment surgery; in rural Taitung, she’s still known as the son of the ailing tribal leader who is unaware of Alifu’s other life and wishes to pass the reigns onto his only son. With high production values and a number of sensational drag performances, Alifu, the Prince/ss intercuts the title character’s story with intersecting tales of romance among her chosen family, painting a diverse portrait of LGBTQ life in Taiwan and capturing the universal feeling of longing for love and connection, whether those feelings are reciprocated or not.
Sat, Oct 13 4:45 PM
Sun, Oct 14 2:15 PM
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El ángel

On the cusp of a sexual awakening, 19-year-old Carlitos (Lorenzo Ferro) meets a handsome classmate (Chino Darín), the son of a gun-toting father, and quickly graduates from adorable burglar to full-on sociopath. The titular “ángel” of Luis Ortega’s fourth feature, a box office smash in its native Argentina, is Carlos Robledo Puch, appearing barely post-pubescent with a soft white belly, golden ringlets, and a ruby-tinged pout—looking at odds with his starring role in a notorious 1970s crime spree. Bearing the artistic mark of Pedro Almodóvar (who co-produced the film), this true-crime tale deploys black humor, exuberant pop music, perfect period details, and some anachronistic art, providing subtle historical context in Argentina’s dictatorship and repressive machismo culture without excusing Carlitos’ behavior. Ferro and Darín deliver sensational turns as the criminal duo, with added support from the great Cecilia Roth (All About My Mother) and Mercedes Morán (La ciénaga
Sun, Oct 7 9:00 PM
Mon, Oct 8 8:45 PM
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Border (Gräns)

Customs agent Tina has a special talent for sniffing out all manner of malfeasance using her extraordinary sense of smell. Subjected to crude comments from co-workers and cruel treatment at home from her sponger boyfriend, Tina has become a target—for all the ways she is different from everyone else. But when she meets the mysterious Vore, the foundations of her universe begin to crumble. Based on a novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist (Let the Right One In, MVFF 2008), Border is a gender- and genre-bending love story combining equal parts magical realism, dark humor, and spot-on contemporary social critique, whirled into a jaw-dropping tale in which absolutely nothing—and no one—is who, or what, they seem. Featuring the prodigious acting talents of Eva Melander (Sebbe, MVFF 2010) and Eero Milonoff (The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, MVFF 2016), director Ali Abbasi won the Un Certain Regard Award at Cannes for this unforgettable film.
Wed, Oct 10 6:00 PM
Thu, Oct 11 9:15 PM
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Boy Erased

SPOTLIGHT: Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, and Russell Crowe deliver astonishing performances as a devoted Baptist family whose lives are turned upside down after a malicious phone call outs their teenage son, prompting them to send him to a church-sponsored gay conversion camp. Seventeen-year-old Jared reluctantly agrees to his preacher father’s ultimatum: Fix your same-sex attraction or leave the family. Quickly, Jared realizes that the camp’s aggressive, manipulative methods are doing little to shift his own sexual proclivities or those of his peers (which include Canadian auteur Xavier Dolan and pop superstar Troye Sivan), bringing him to a crossroads that will forever alter his life. In his second directorial outing, actor Joel Edgerton (Loving, MVFF 2016) takes the role of the camp’s leader. Edgerton’s adaptation of Garrard Conley’s harrowing memoir is a sensitive, elliptical coming-of-age tale that depicts a universal story of personal struggles that threaten to dissolve fam
Sun, Oct 7 6:00 PM
Tue, Oct 9 3:00 PM
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Can You Ever Forgive Me?

SPOTLIGHT: When her once-lucrative career as a journalist and celebrity biographer hits hard times, Lee Israel (a marvelous Melissa McCarthy) discovers a new avenue for her literary skills that will help pay her mounting bills: the specialized art form (and criminal enterprise) of forging witty and salacious personal letters from the likes of Noël Coward and Dorothy Parker and selling them to collectors. With a penchant for rubbing people the wrong way and an unmistakable preference for cats over humans, Israel finds kinship in fellow outsider and streetwise British dandy Jack (a resplendently reprobate Richard E. Grant), and together they become partners in crime. Adapted from Israel’s memoir of the same name and co-scripted by Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said), the sophomore feature from Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) offers a humorous and moving portrait of a dynamic oddball couple and their engaging misadventures in early 1990s New York City.
Wed, Oct 10 6:30 PM
Sat, Oct 13 11:30 AM
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The Favourite

In the latest audacious offering from world cinema’s leading provocateur Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer), Oscar® winners Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone vie for the affections of—and influence over—sickly Queen Anne (a gloriously unhinged Olivia Colman) as England engages in the War of the Spanish Succession. Hardened and loyal Sarah Churchill (Weisz), the Duchess of Marlborough, rests easy knowing her favor with the Queen, but the arrival of her distant cousin Abigail (Stone)—an affable, spirited servant whose ladyship was gambled away by her father—in the castle creates a dangerous triad of lust, jealousy, and power plays. With nods to Peter Greenaway, Lanthimos infuses The Favourite with his signature brand of hilariously deadpan humor, with the three leads perfectly matched to his bawdy wit in yet another truly unforgettable dissection of the darker side of human nature.
Sat, Oct 6 4:00 PM
Wed, Oct 10 2:15 PM
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From Baghdad to The Bay

Wrongfully accused of being a double agent due to his family ties to the Ba’ath Party, Ghazwan Alsharif, an Iraqi translator for the US Army, winds up detained, tortured, and interrogated by US Military Police. Under great duress, Alsharif confesses to a truth that has been hiding in plain sight for his entire life: He is gay. Unable to stay in Iraq due to the danger his position brings upon himself and his family, he seeks political asylum in the US and lands in San Francisco. Despite newfound liberation and an exciting career as a chef, the loss of connection to his family and homeland is felt throughout the narrative. Utilizing nearly a decade of footage that is vulnerable, candid, intimate, and at times humorous, From Bagdad to The Bay touches upon themes easily recognizable to those who have had to flee their homes to save themselves: alienation, post-traumatic stress, despair, hope, and rebirth.
Sat, Oct 13 2:00 PM
Sun, Oct 14 2:15 PM
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Holly Near: Singing for Our Lives

Singer, songwriter, and social activist Holly Near has been performing for well over 50 years and in the process created what Gloria Steinem called, “the first soundtrack of the women’s movement.” From small-town Northern California to sold-out shows on some of the most iconic stages to million-person peace marches, Singing for Our Lives documents the story of the activist and her art. It also serves as an important testament to a time—a time of protest and coalition building, and the weaving of a multicultural consciousness always rooted in contemporary activism. Featuring Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, Ronnie Gilbert, and Tom Hayden with appearances by Harry Belafonte, Pete Seeger, and others, this film, directed by Jim Brown (The Weavers: Wasn’t That a Time), elevates Near to her deserved status of iconic artist and activist, and speaks to anyone who believes in peace, justice, feminism, and humanity.
Sun, Oct 7 3:00 PM
Mon, Oct 8 3:15 PM
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The Parting Glass

An unexpected death. A family struggling with grief. An apprehensive cross-country road trip in winter. These events set the stage for a powerful, nuanced, and emotionally resonant drama centering on a grieving family’s pilgrimage to the apartment of Colleen (Anna Paquin) after her demise. The Parting Glass follows siblings Dan (Denis O’Hare), Mare (Cynthia Nixon), and Ally (Melissa Leo) as they reunite with their father (Ed Asner) and Colleen’s estranged husband (Rhys Ifans). The wonderful rapport of the stellar powerhouse cast makes them instantly believable as family—talking over each other, or bickering about something as simple as ordering breakfast, imbuing the film with an aura of honesty and tenderness in a deeply moving portrait of loss. This impressive directorial debut from acclaimed actor Stephen Moyer reunites him with fellow True Blood stars Paquin, who also co-produced, and O’Hare, who wrote the screenplay based on his own experience coping with his sister’
Sat, Oct 6 6:45 PM
Sun, Oct 7 3:30 PM
Fri, Oct 12 9:00 PM
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Rafiki

Life in Nairobi is pretty simple for Kena: Make good marks in school, help her father as he runs for local office, take care of her forlorn mother, and play football with her guy friends. Though the lanky, androgynous teenager is more likely to be seen skateboarding around her housing estate than donning dresses like a “proper lady,” somehow no one ever questions her sexuality…possibly not even Kena herself. But when the beautiful pink-dreadlocked Ziki, the daughter of her father’s political rival, catches Kena’s eye, a world of possibilities opens up. As they share dreams of breaking free of familial and cultural expectations, it’s not long before local gossips’ tongues start wagging. And in a place where homosexuality is blamed on demon possession, being true to yourself can have dangerous consequences. Banned in Kenya for “legitimizing lesbianism,” this sweet, coming-of-age love story—the first Kenyan film to ever play at Cannes—is a revelation and an inspiration for all ages and ge
Fri, Oct 12 6:00 PM
Sat, Oct 13 8:00 PM
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