Made in Bangladesh, showing at the London Film Festival in October

Made in Bangladesh, showing at the London Film Festival in October

Image by Made In Bangladesh

Films from or about African, Asian and Latin American countries at the London Film Festival in October include:

 

Talking About Trees - follows four veteran members of the Sudanese Film Club as they attempt to restore cinemagoing culture back to the country despite religious and political resistance from all corners.

 

My Friend Feladocuments the enigmatic and often troubled life of the man whose myth and Afrobeat music has endured long after his death.

 

Hope Frozen documentary that chronicles a Thai couple struggling, as practising Buddhists who are also devotees of science, with their child’s survival.

 

Cold Case Hammarskjold - documentary that tries to solve the mysterious plane-crash death of UN secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld, while attempting to negotiate a ceasefire in the Congo.

 

Coup 53 - a decade-long investigation into the 1953 CIA/MI6-led coup that overthrew Iran’s democratic Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh.

 

The Kingmaker - the matriarch of the Marcos dynasty in The Philippines hopes to see her delusions validated and political power restored, while Philippine activists fight for transparency and democracy.

 

The Cave - the harrowing story of an underground Syrian hospital and its extraordinary staff.

 

The Man Who Cuts Tattoos – across two crucial periods in Nigerian history, two women ponder the painful sacrifices they are forced to make for love: scarification and abortion in a stunning depiction of provincial Nigerian life and the grit of urban existence.

 

Bombay Roseanimated feature that’s love letter to life and love in Mumbai through a collection of stories around two protagonists.

 

Ema - Chilean director Pablo Larraín’s character study of a beguiling woman who is ruled by heart and impulse.

 

Bacurau - brazen Brazilian weird western, a futuristic parable.

 

The Dude in MeSouth Korean body-swap comedy.

 

Krabi - highly original portrait of the Thai tourist town of Krabi, a playful portrait of a people, place and time that floats across fiction and reality.

 

La Llarona - Spectres of the past come back to haunt a retired Guatemalan general in a genre-bending thriller that melds horror, fantasy and courtroom drama.

 

The Gold-Laden Sheep & The Sacred Mountain - moves with ease between documentary observation and metaphysical fable about the impact of a plane crash in the remote Himalayas.

 

Moffie - haunting feature against the violent persecution of gay men under Apartheid.

 

The Cordillera of Dreamsdocumentarist Patricio Guzmán completes his trilogy about Chile’s troubled past, meditating on how the Andes shaped its sense of identity.

 

Monos - haunting feature set against the violent persecution of gay men under Apartheid.

 

The Perfect Candidate, inspiring drama about a young doctor unexpectedly becoming an electoral candidate, challenging Saudi Arabia’s strict social codes and what is expected of a young woman in the country.

 

Alanticd - genre-shifting portrait of a girl’s awakening in Senegal, flowing from social drama into supernatural waters and making lyrical use of the figure of the djinn.

 

House of Humminbird - coming-of-age drama about a dysfunctional Seoul family circa 1994. encompassing events and attitudes ranging from the collapse of Seongsu Bridge to society’s relationship with violence.

 

Scales - The story of a Gulf fishing village in thrall to mysterious sea creatures makes for a spellbinding feature and perhaps the most unlikely drama you’ll see this year.

 

Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes - meditation on landscape and the human condition, in which the emotional lives of its protagonists resonate across the broader environmental canvas of post-Pinochet Chile.

 

Heart - Fleabag meets Hong Sangsoo in this funny and savage film about an asshole filmmaker who seeks out the married man she slept with, on the night of the birth of his first child, so she can ask his advice about an affair with another married man.

 

Maternal - The notions of motherhood and the maternal care of a young girl are the focus of this powerful and poignant drama set in a women’s refuge in Argentina.

 

The Sky Is Pink - family drama with a big heart about parents (Bollywood superstars Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Farhan Akhtar) who will stop at nothing to save their sick daughter.

 

To Live To Sing - Gentrification hits working-class China and a Sichuan Opera troupe struggle to survive in vivid drama with fantasy flourishes, portraying tradition’s battle against time.

 

Incitement - slow-burn study of religious obsession tries to fathom what drove a law student to assassinate Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

 

So Long, My Son - four decades of modern Chinese life unfold, from the 1980s to the cosmopolitan present,

 

Walking With Shadows - In coming to terms with his sexuality, Adrian is forced to choose between a compromised existence and the life he would like to lead in a film that deftly discards the sensational for a depiction of queer Nigeria.

 

Wet Season - portrait of a woman on a journey to rediscover herself. as Mandarin-language teacher Ling continues with fruitless IVF treatment while taking care of her ailing father-in-law, in a simmering Singapore-set drama.

 

Desrances - civil war looms in Abidjan and relations begin to fray within a family in a tense and atmospheric thriller.

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Made In Bangladesh - in a Bangladeshi factory, a determined young woman discovers the possibilities of activism: a nuanced and quietly rousing portrait of the pleasures, possibilities and limitations of collective liberation and feminist solidarity.

 

Noura’s Dream - love story turns to nightmare when a husband is unexpectedly released from prison.

 

Ondog - witty, tender and visually bewitching tale of death, desire and camels on the plains of Mongolia.

 

A Son - a family trip turns into a nightmare when the car of a family driving home is hit by a stray bullet – the first of a series of twists that offers both a probing look at Tunisian society’s realities and questions about what you would do in the same situation.

 

Staff Only - follows a Spanish teenager forced to consider her whiteness on a family holiday in Senegal, spotlighting teenage angst and cross-cultural exploration.

 

Tlamessin an audacious challenge to conventional narratives. oscillating between realism and more enchanted imager, a young Tunisian soldier finds refuge in a lush forest and finds a woman living a lonely life of luxury but is lonely.

 

Tremors –a complex and provocative portrait of queer identity in Guatemala, a stiflingly tense exploration of destructive societal and religious pressures.

 

Waiting for the Barbarians J.M. Coetzee’s adaptation of his own book looks at the effects of colonial oppression on the oppressors themselves, brought to cinematic life on a vast desert canvas.

 

This Is Not Berlin - a young man’s life is turned upside down when he discovers the underground club scene of Mexico City in 1986 in a coming-of-age tale with real bite.

Jallikattu - Kerala’s bad boy director Lijo Jose Pellissery returns with his darkest film to date about a collective buffalo hunt fuelled by greed, lust, distrust, vengeance, and wild ferocity as boundaries between man and beast disappear.

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The Warden – drama about a strict Iranian prison warden’s attempt to transfer inmates to a new jail, culminating in a frantic manhunt for a prisoner in the building that’s meant to keep him imprisoned.

 

Again Once Again - motherhood, identity and relationships in focus in a combo of real life and fiction, bluntly honest and deeply personal, but also a relatable examination of the experience of being a woman, lover and mother.

 

Burning Night - edgy, impressionistic chronicle of the nocturnal encounters of a Rio cab driver that captures the strange unpredictability of a rapidly changing world.

 

Arab Blues - culture clash comedy about a Parisian psychoanalyst setting up a practice in a post-Arab Spring Tunis in a slyly effective satire.

 

Axone - bittersweet comedy following immigrants in Delhi attempting to organise a wedding party, but finding everything is going wrong.

 

It Must Be Heaven - Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman returns with another deadpan take on life in exile.

 

The Lost Okoroshi - a Nigerian wakes up to discover he has been  transformed into a traditional Igbo masquerade and in his quest to find a new home comes across a cast of colourful characters.

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Lucky Grandma - black comedy about an elderly widow who inadvertently steals from the Chinese mob and subsequently takes on the gangs to secure her fortune, teaming up with an affable giant bodyguard.

 

Maggie - bizarrey freeform journey through a Seoul beset by mysteriously appearing sinkholes – all narrated by a catfish.

 

The Unknown Saint - darkly comic feature in which a recently released Pakistani bandit is surprised to find a new shrine to the ‘Unknown Saint’, assiduously guarded by a wonderful array of locals.

 

Divine Love - an evangelical group fight to uphold the sanctity of marriage in this vibrant, playful science fiction story set in Brazil, 2027.

 

The Valley – documentary about locals on the mountainous border of France and Italy self-organising in order to help refugees, while law enforcers adopt underhand methods to intervene. No irony is lost with the town’s sign: ‘The Pearl of France is Happy to Welcome You’.

 

Lingua Franca - an undocumented Filipino immigrant in New York searches for safety and security in this poignant mix of love story and social drama. It’s a character study and an incisive critique on race and immigration in Trump’s America.

 

Overseas – observational documentary about Filipino women migrants, some working in conditions resembling modern-day slavery.

 

Vitaline Varella –poetic portrait of Lisbon’s Cape Verdean community, focusing on one woman’s sorrows and survivor spirit, a contemplation of race, grief and exile. 

 

White Riot – profile of punky reggae protest movement Rock Against Racism.

 

Monsoon – a Londoner travels to Vietnam to scatter his mother’s ashes and connect with the place he left as a child, but everything has changed until he meets a black American living in Saigon whose father served in the war. It probably resonate with anyone who has felt that unique sense of loneliness at being somewhere they once belonged

 

Ouvertures – experimental film seeking to reflect on the legacy of Haitian revolutionary Toussaint L’Ouverture.

 

Lunana A Yak in the Classroom – charming drama, filmed with solar-powered cameras, about a teacher struggling for inspiration who travels to the most remote school in the world, in Bhutan.

 

Muna Moto – revival of a classic social realist African masterpiece about a village romance that goes against tradition.

 

* https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/lff/Online/default.asp

 London Film Festival

 

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