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LFF 17_ Brochure high res

57 DEBATE SUN 8 MON 9 15:15 HAYMARKET 15:15 NFT1 A SORT OF FAMILY UNA ESPECIE DE FAMILIA TUE 10 WED 11 18:15 CINÉ LUMIÈRE 12:00 VUE7 THU 5 SAT 7 20:45 HAYMARKET 20:30 CINÉ LUMIÈRE THU 12 FRI 13 18:30 SOHO 12:30 VUE5 Dir Diego Lerman. Prod Nicolas Avruj, Diego Lerman. Scr Diego Lerman, María Meira. With Bárbara Lennie, Daniel Araoz, Claudio Tolcachir. Argentina-Brazil- France 2017. 96min. Sales Film Factory Entertainment Dir Lucas Belvaux. Prod David Frenkel, Patrick Quinet. Scr Lucas Belvaux, Jérôme Leroy. With Émilie Dequenne, André Dussollier, Guillaume Gouix. France 2017. 118min. Sales Le Pacte Dir Agnieszka Holland. Prod Krzysztof Zanussi, Janusz Wa˛ chała. Scr Olga Tokarczuk, Agnieszka Holland. With Agnieszka Mandat, Wiktor Zborowski, Miroslav Krobot. Poland-Germany- Czech Republic- Sweden-Slovakia 2017. 128min. Sales Beta Cinema A would-be foster mother with an unstable personal life becomes a desperate outlaw in this emotionally shattering drama from one of Argentina’s brightest young talents. Malena, a 38-year-old doctor from Buenos Aires, is contemplating an illegal adoption. But the child’s biological parents demand more money after it’s born, leaving her feeling taken for a ride and prey to a panicked ambivalence. Going from strength-to-strength since his 2002 debut Suddenly, Diego Lerman offers a powerful story of class conflict and a captivating character study. Spanish lead Bárbara Lennie marvellously intuits Malena’s mid-life anxieties and terror of solitude. Regularly failing to hold it together, Malena can seem troublingly ill-equipped for motherhood, but the film holds out hope that she’ll make it through. It remains rivetingly unpredictable right to the last shot. You’ll be hard pressed to find many stronger performances this year. Tim Robey SPOOR POKOT Featuring a magnetic central performance, Agnieszka Holland’s Berlin Film Festival award winner is an anarchist, feminist black comedy and ecological thriller. Adapted from the best-selling novel by Olga Tokarczuk, ‘spoor’ refers to the track of a hunted animal. Janina Duszejko, a crusader for animal rights, lives alone with her two dogs on the Polish-Czech border. One day, they disappear. Janina subsequently becomes convinced that a spate of unexplained murders might just be revenge exacted by persecuted wildlife upon the hunting community. However, local police and dignitaries discount her views as those of a crazy old woman. Agnieszka Mandat gives a striking performance as Janina, whose suspicions lead her to the local male-dominated hunting club. Like much of the film, it is symbolic of the current political situation in Poland, which recently relaxed the laws on environmental protection. Peter Hames THIS IS OUR LAND CHEZ NOUS Director Lucas Belvaux offers a cautionary picture of contemporary French politics, in a drama about the far right’s strategies of seduction. Controversially premiered in France before the recent presidential elections, this canny political piece from director Lucas Belvaux (Trilogy, Rapt) presented a timely warning about the advance of the French far right. Émilie Dequenne is superb as Pauline, a nurse in a French northern town who is approached to stand as a candidate for the RNP party headed by Agnès Dorgelle (Catherine Jacob) – a thinly-disguised version of Front National leader Marine Le Pen. Compassionate, tolerant Pauline considers herself a left-winger – but even she finds herself lured in by the PR strategies of a party cleverly whitewashing its extremity through appeal to the ‘good sense’ of everyday people. This taut realist drama offers a canny analysis of the contradictions of contemporary political rhetoric – and not just in France. Jonathan Romney THE VENERABLE W. LE VENERABLE W. Dir-Scr Barbet Schroeder. Prod Margaret Menegoz, Lionel Baier. With the voice of Maria de Medeiros. France-Switzerland 2016. 100min. Sales LES FILMS DU LOSANGE DOC Barbet Schroeder’s documentary about a Buddhist monk espousing anti-Muslim hatred is a frighteningly resonant account of racist and nationalist rhetoric leading to horrendous violence. Completing a ‘Trilogy of Evil’ that previously dealt with Idi Amin and ‘terror’s advocate’ Jacques Vergès, Schroeder’s latest centres on Ashin Wirathu. The Burmese monk’s rabidly Islamophobic sermons attacking Myanmar’s longsuffering Rohingya minority have fomented persecution, murder and ethnic cleansing – to which State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has turned a blind eye. The film mixes cell phone footage (some of it deeply disturbing) of riots and atrocities, filmed interviews – both with the coolly unrepentant Wirathu and with journalists and more traditionally peaceful monks critical of his vile ideology – and readings from Buddhist texts by actress Bulle Ogier. Schroeder eschews stylistic flourishes to construct an admirably direct film of near-classical clarity and restraint. Grimly illuminating and very powerful. Geoff Andrew


LFF 17_ Brochure high res
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