Hebe Tabachnik's Picks

SIFF Senior Programmer Hebe Tabachnik picks some of her highlights form the 2018 Festival.

Hebe Tabachnik

Killing Jesus

Killing Jesus

A thrilling and powerful autobiographical story from co-writer and director Laura Mora, winner of multiple awards including the 2018 Goya for Best First Feature, it follows university student Paula as she seeks revenge after his father's assassination. When she finds herself immersed inside the killer's poverty-stricken world, she discovers that they might both be victims of the same broken system.

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Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle

Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle

All 70-something Julita wanted out of life was to have lots of kids, a monkey, and a castle but when her country's tough economy forces her to give up her home, her colorful and dysfunctional family comes together for one last hurrah in this poignant, touching, and often hysterical love letter to life, winner of the 2018 Goya for Best Documentary.

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Hard Paint

Hard Paint

Haunted by loneliness and the aftermath of a violent attack, online sex performer Pedro finds his isolation challenged by fellow erotic dancer Leo, leading to an unexpected connection and the possibilities of love and a new life in this electrifying and hypnotic winner of the Teddy Award at this year's Berlinale.

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Giant

Giant

Home from war, Basque farmer Martin discovers his brother Joaquin (Eneko Sagardoy, Goya for Best New Actor) has grown to an enormous size, driving the ambitious elder brother to exploit his brother's condition and into a reckoning with his own soul in this stirring film based on a true story, winner of 10 Goya Awards including Best Cinematography and Best Screenplay.

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The Heiresses

The Heiresses

A daughter of Paraguay's fading aristocracy who's on the cusp of financial ruin, introvert Chela finds work as an ad hoc chauffeur, leading to an encounter with earthy, sexually adventurous Angy-and an unexpected late-in-life coming of age-in this sly, subtle, and brave feature debut from writer/director Marcelo Martinessi, a double Silver Bear-winner including Best Actress at this year's Berlinale.

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Rush Hour

Rush Hour

From cities as disparate as Istanbul, Mexico City, and Los Angeles, director Luciana Kaplan has crafted a searing and poetic look at the lives of three souls who each spend half of their work day traveling to and from their jobs, and the costs of simply keeping dreams alive in an increasingly demanding world. Winner of Best Documentary at Morelia Film Festival.

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Summer 1993

Summer 1993

Sent to live with her uncle and his family following her mother's untimely death, six-year-old Frida acts out her unspoken hurt in a strange new place in this autobiographical debut feature from writer/director Carla Simon. Winner of the Best First Feature Award at the 2017 Berlinale, Summer 1993 is an unforgettable film of disarming authenticity and beautifully crafted in every way.

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Champions

Champions

For pro-basketball coach Marco (Javier Gutiérrez, The Olive Tree) life is a game that's played hard and played to win. But when everything falls apart around him, he's thrown an unexpected lifeline: to coach a team of intellectually disabled basketball players. Champions is not just Spain's newest box office smash, but a rollicking and unforgettable reminder that none of us is truly "normal."

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Virus Tropical

Virus Tropical

Conceived in spite of her parents' best efforts during a stormy night in Quito, little Paola struggles to find her place within her boisterous middle-class home. This animated tale, winner of this year's SXSW Audience Award, breathes to the rhythms of real life, relatable to anyone who's fought to find themselves within the din of a troubled yet loving family.

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Virus Tropical

Ruben Blades is not My Name

Singer, songwriter, musician. acclaimed actor, Harvard educated lawyer, successful politician. The life and career of Ruben Blades has taken anything but the expected, well-trod path. On the cusp of retiring as a performer, salsa's renaissance man takes an honest and unflinching look back on a life rich with triumph, heartbreak, and above all, a deep and unshakeable love for his people.

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