The Navhind Times
November 22, 2011
The 42nd edition of the International film festival of India will kick off today with the opening film The Consul of Bordeux. Like every year, this year too there are a variety of films from different parts of the country and the world to cater to film lovers.
Among the other usual sections like Indian Panorama and cinema of the world there is a special package of 3D films, Sketches on Screen (a package of animation films), Retrospectives (Luc Besson, Phil Noyce and K. Balachander), Country focus (U.S.A and Russia, Poland) and Homages (Mani Kaul, Disney Lumet, Tareque Masud, Richard Leacock, Shammi Kapoor, Raoul Riuz, Elizabeth Taylor)
While no one has seen and hardly anyone has heard of the opening film, the Schindler List-esque plot does sound interesting. Directed by Manuel Gonzales the story is about the consul general of Bordeaux, Aristides de Sousa Mendes who helped thousands of Jewish refugees a safe haven, after Hitler’s forces invaded Belgium May 1940. The film ran into financial trouble while making and was eventually completed earlier this year.
The closing film meanwhile will be something to look forward to. Based on the life of Nobel Peace prize winner and Burmese activist Aung San Suu Kyi, The Lady stars Michelle Yeoh in the lead role and the film is directed by Luc Besson. One of the biggest stars of the East, Michelle Yeoh is also expected to grace the festival. The mid-fest film Golchehreh directed by Vahid Mousaian deals with the true story of the Taliban and how they destroyed the National film archive and closed down theatres in Afghanistan.
Here are some of the other and new foreign films that one can look forward to –
Shelter (Bulgaria) – This film about a 12 year old boy, his family and two intruders. It has been screened it at several festivals worldwide and also bagged a handful of awards.
Caveof Forgotten Dreams – Acclaimed director Werner Herzog’s documentary is shot in 3D and it’s about the Chauvet caves of Southern France, the oldest known pictorial creations of humankind. Herzog’s name itself is tempting enough for cine buffs to watch this film.
50/50 (USA) Directed by Jonathan Levine, this is a Hollywood product starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen. It is based on a true story about a young man who discovers that he has cancer. Laced with humor, the film talks about his struggle to fight the disease.
Tokyo Koen (Japan) – Director Shinji Aoyoma won laurels at Cannes for his film Eureka, Tokyo Coen is a story of college student who likes to clicks photographs and lands up with a mystery on his lap.
Bonsai (Chile/France) – Based on an acclaimed novel by Alejandro Zambra, Bonsai is a love story that also talks about the Bonsai tree which ‘reproduces the effects of nature on the tree’
Oranges and Sunshine (Ireland)-Starring Hugo Weaving this film deals with the child migration involving Australia and United Kingdom. A social worker discovers that one hundred and thirty thousand children were sent to Commonwealth countries primarily Australia with tall promises, but in the ended up facing hardships.
Bullhead (Belgium) – Based on true events his crime thriller has already made waves at several festivals around the globe. The story is about a young cattle farmer who strikes a deal with a shady beef trader and finds himself cornered.
The Kid With The Bike- Winner of the Grand Prize of the Jury at Cannes this year, the kid with a bike is a touching story of a boy who is abandoned by his father. A hairdresser takes him under her wings but he still gets swayed in bad company. A crisp and warm tale, this will be one of the picks at the festival.
SmallTown Murder Town– This film has been described as very Coen’isque and that’s a good enough reason to watch it this crime thriller.
Volcano – (Ireland) This is a story of an old man estranged from his family. He is retired and with the ample time on hand, he realizes about the emptiness in his life.
Elena – (Russia) Director Andrei Zvyagintsev has already made a name for himself with just two films like The Return and The Banishment. This third feature of his won the Un Certain Regard jury prize at Cannes this year.
18 Days – (Egypt) This is a brilliant film comprising of 10 short stories made by 10 different directors with the Egyptian uprising that took place earlier this year as its backdrop. Virtually each and every story here is an admirable piece of film making.
Poliss – (France) This is a story of a photographer from the Ministry who is covering juveniles and she gets involved with one of them.
Cracks in The Shell – (Germany) This film is about a young girl who is not a very talented actress but yet a well known director offers her a role for his play, since he is convinced that she has it her.
The Artist – (France) One of the most talked about international movie of the year, The artist, set in 1927, is a tribute to the black and white silent era of cinema.
Breathing – (Austria) One of the acclaimed German films of the year, Breathing is about a juvenile in a detention centre who doesn’t have a family. By chance, he comes across a dead woman who shares his family name prompting him to look into his past.
Enemies Of The People – This documentary about the killing fields of Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge takes a chilling look at the past.
Pina – This film directed by Wim Wenders is a part of the 3D package at the festival. It is inspired by Wuppertal Pina Bausch one of the most respected German choreographers.