Contemporary World Cinema
SIFF always takes great pride in showcasing films from around the globe.
Swap your passport for some popcorn and experience an expansive selection of movies from over 80 countries.
Iran | 2018 | 100 minutes | Jafar Panahi
Internationally renowned filmmaker Jafar Panahi (THE WHITE BALLOON) co-stars in this richly layered metafiction.
France | 2018 | 75 minutes | Louis Garrel
A man’s ex returns to him a widow, also bringing her lovestruck younger sister into their already complicated relationship.
Taiwan | 2018 | 109 minutes | Ying Liang
Ying Liang exposes Chinese authoritarianism, based on his experiences after one of his films forces him into exile.
Netherlands | 2019 | 93 minutes | Willem Bosch
Teenaged Sam finds her mother waiting in the hereafter and plots to get them both back to the realm of the living.
Australia | 2019 | 102 minutes | Josephine Mackerras
2019 SXSW Grand Jury Prize winner about a woman who becomes a sex worker to make ends meet, only to find the work empowering.
Germany | 2019 | 100 minutes | Caroline Link
A sweet origin story of one of Germany’s most beloved comedians, Hape Kerkeling.
Germany | 2019 | 118 minutes | Edward Berger
A trifold drama exploring the lives of three 40ish siblings: a playboy pilot, a neurotic wife, and a harried student.
Norway | 2018 | 90 minutes | Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken
In this steamy Norwegian thriller, a hunky young man and his bored married gym teacher take turns stalking each other.
Italy | 2019 | 100 minutes | Simone Godano
Two families don’t realize they’re being brought together for a wedding for their aging patriarchs.
Poland | 2018 | 85 minutes | Raul de la Fuente, Damian Nenow
Animation and documentary footage combine in this tale of the chaos and devastation of the 1975 Angolan civil war.
Finland | 2019 | 106 minutes | Miia Tervo
A poor, hard-partying nail technician reluctantly agrees to play matchmaker for an Iranian refugee.
China | 2018 | 96 minutes | Liu Jie
A poor young woman goes to extreme lengths to save a baby born with a health defect from being discarded by her family.
United Kingdom | 2019 | 114 minutes | Gurinder Chadha
A Pakistani teen living in Thatcher’s Britain has his world blown open when he discovers the music of Bruce Springsteen.
Spain | 2018 | 105 minutes | Arantxa Echevarria
Stunning bride-to-be Carmen and ambitious street artist Lola find themselves in the throes of a secret first love, risking safety, status, and their own future within their highly conservative Roma community.
Taiwan | 2018 | 107 minutes | Ho Wi Ding
Three actors portray one tortured Taiwanese police detective in this sci-fi-tinged noir told in reverse-chronological order.
Iran | 2018 | 85 minutes | Soheil Beiraghi
No matter how good you are at soccer, if you’re an Iranian woman, you can’t travel to the finals without your husband’s OK.
France | 2018 | 111 minutes | Antoine Raimbault
Based on a real-life case, this French courtroom thriller brings together a man accused of killing his wife and a woman obsessed with proving his innocence.
Hong Kong | 2018 | 100 minutes | Jevons Au
Two troubled secondary-school students—a spoiled underachiever and a “bad boy”—and a struggling music teacher go on a journey of self-discovery and allyship when they reluctantly take part in a musical at a school for students with special needs.
Argentina | 2018 | 126 minutes | Luis Ortega
Baby-faced robber Carlos Robledo Puch, aka “Blondie,” becomes Argentina’s most wanted, feared, and infamous outlaw.
Belgium | 2018 | 87 minutes | Nicole Palo
Actress Emma decides to end her life and career on her 35th birthday, but fate intervenes when she meets a funeral director.
Canada | 2018 | 93 minutes | Jasmin Mozaffari
Two rebellious young Canadians attempt to escape their repressive small town in this scathing critique of patriarchal values.
Taiwan | 2018 | 127 minutes | Yen Cheng-Kuo
A dynamic, operatic, and extremely bloody gangster saga out of Taiwan tracking the rocky rise of a small-town gang leader.
Canada (Québec) | 2019 | 97 minutes | Denis Côté
The insularity of a small Québec town intensifies the grief and the mystery of a young man’s alleged suicide.
Iran | 2018 | 92 minutes | Ramtin Lavafi
A mysterious car accident leads two couples to confront each other, exposing secrets as the tension ratchets up.
South Korea | 2018 | 138 minutes | Bora Kim
14-year-old Eun-hee struggles with social pressure, her sexuality, and her indifferent family during the summer of 1994.
Romania | 2018 | 140 minutes | Radu Jude
An ambitious young theater director faces censorship when she attempts to stage a reenactment of the 1941 Odessa Massacre.
Germany | 2018 | 125 minutes | Thomas Stuber
A new supermarket night stockman falls in love with a sweets-selling married coworker in this working-class fairy tale.
France | 2018 | 102 minutes | Louis-Julien Petit
Actual women suffering from homelessness play themselves in this French comedy hit about a shelter threatened with closure.
France | 2018 | 103 minutes | Andrea Bescond, Eric Métayer
A young woman's present and past interact in this film based on writer/director Andrea Bescond's autobiographical stage show.
Brazil | 2019 | 155 minutes | Wagner Moura
A brutal biopic of Marxist activist Carlos Marighella (Seu Jorge, the Bowie-playing guitarist in The Life Aquatic).
Ireland | 2018 | 88 minutes | Hugh O'Conor
Estranged twin sisters—one a goth girl, the other a sunny popular girl—are home alone for their last summer together.
Dominican Republic | 2018 | 90 minutes | Natalia Cabral, Oriol Estrada
Preparations for biracial teen Miriam’s birthday get complicated when her online suitor turns out to be black.
Colombia | 2019 | 102 minutes | Alejandro Landes
Eight teenagers, in thrall to a mysterious guerrilla organization, eventually and brutally turn on each other.
Canada | 2018 | 91 minutes | Patricia Rozema
Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava play two aspects of a woman struggling to write a eulogy for her mother.
Hong Kong | 2017 | 118 minutes | Derek Chiu
This drama links the pro-Communist, anti-British riots of 1967 and the anti-China "Umbrella Revolution" of 2014.
Hungary | 2018 | 99 minutes | Zsofia Szilagyi
36 hours in the life of a harried mother whose frustrations are intensified when she suspects her husband of adultery.
Finland | 2018 | 95 minutes | Klaus Haro
An elderly art dealer wants to save his business and his relationship with his daughter and grandson.
Iran | 2018 | 102 minutes | Arash Lahooti
In northern Iran, an all-female crew in the formerly all-male world of orange farming has more to contend with than sexism.
Germany | 2019 | 100 minutes | Mehmet Akif Buyukatalay
During an argument, a Muslim man accidentally divorces his wife--and his love now conflicts with his faith.
Cyprus | 2018 | 95 minutes | Tonia Mishiali
Trapped in a decaying marriage, Elpida’s only solace is creative fantasies of vengeance.
Italy | 2019 | 110 minutes | Claudio Giovannesi
This harrowing tale tracks a naïve group of teens as they enter the unforgiving world of Neapolitan organized crime.
Israel | 2018 | 104 minutes | Boaz Yehonaton Yacov, Joseph Madmony
To cover his young daughter's medical bills, single father Menachem gets his rock band back together.
Turkey | 2018 | 102 minutes | Ali Vatansever
One desperate Istanbul resident must decide whether to take a job with the construction crew ripping up his neighborhood.
France | 2018 | 99 minutes | Camille Vidal-Naquet
A hustler transgresses many social norms, though he never stops seeking affection, in this intimate character study.
Canada | 2018 | 100 minutes | Gwaai Edenshaw, Helen Haig-Brown
A man spirals into insanity after killing his best friend’s son in the first film made in the endangered Haida language.
Turkey | 2018 | 95 minutes | Cagla Zencirci, Guillaume Giovanetti
In a remote Turkish mountain village, a daring young woman, ostracized for being mute, must confront multiple threats.
France | 2018 | 122 minutes | Gilles Lellouche
Suffering from a mid-life crisis, a man puts together his local pool’s first all-male synchronized swimming team.
Brazil | 2018 | 71 minutes | Alexandre Moratto
A no-punches-pulled drama about a homeless, family-less teen struggling to get by in São Paulo's ghetto.
Norway | 2019 | 114 minutes | Anne Sewitsky
Despite her sugar-sweet image, Norwegian skating star Sonja Henie was a monster, as this splashy biopic shows.
Jamaica | 2018 | 114 minutes | Storm Saulter
A dynamic coming-of-age portrait of a Rastafarian teenager dedicated to joining the national youth track team.
Australia | 2018 | 97 minutes | Stephan Elliott
Stephan Elliott’s colorfully crass look back at the loose parenting of the Decade of Decadence.
Estonia | 2018 | 102 minutes | Liina Trišhkina-Vanhatalo
A tough construction worker finds out his ex-girlfriend is pregnant, and chooses to raise the baby.
Luxembourg | 2018 | 97 minutes | Sameh Zoabi
An intern on a popular Palestinian telenovela meets an Israeli checkpoint commander with ideas for improving the show.
Guatemala | 2019 | 107 minutes | Jayro Bustamante
A just-out gay man faces brutal pressure to conform from his family in intensely Catholic Guatemala.
Hong Kong | 2018 | 93 minutes | Aditya Assarat, Wisit Sasanatieng, Chulayarnnon Siriphol, Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Four Thai directors imagine their nation a decade from now in visions surreal, satirical, and dystopian.
Turkey | 2018 | 95 minutes | Mahmut Fazil Coskun
A deadpan black comedy and true story about four retired colonels who attempt to take over Turkey’s national radio station.
Costa Rica | 2019 | 94 minutes | Antonella Sudasassi Furniss
Isa’s surrealist imaginings suggest a suppressed revolt against the societal and domestic pressures placed on her.
Spain (Catalunya) | 2019 | 95 minutes | Carlos Marqués-Marcet
A couple grapples with an unexpected pregnancy that will change the dynamics of their relationship.
Israel | 2018 | 91 minutes | Yona Rozenkier
A father’s demand that his three fractious sons come together one year after his death to complete his last wishes is the backdrop for Yona Rozenkier’s treatise on toxic masculinity, old resentments, and a society constantly in conflict. This debut feature is a 2018 SIFF New Works-in-Progress film.
Canada (Québec) | 2018 | 129 minutes | Denys Arcand
This biting satire on capitalism follows an idealistic delivery-truck driver who stumbles upon two bags of cash.
Mexico | 2018 | 93 minutes | Alejandra Marquez Abella
Sofia struggles to hold onto her status as the peso collapses, setting her adrift in a new reality in this sly satire.
Austria | 2019 | 108 minutes | Marie Kreutzer
In this Austrian psychodrama, a workaholic business consultant begins to feel her own mental state destabilizing.
Switzerland | 2018 | 114 minutes | Simon Jaquemet
A neurologist and evangelical Christian finds her convictions threatened when an ex-lover and comes back into her life.
Italy | 2018 | 97 minutes | Stefano Mordini
A slick, successful businessman wakes up next to his dead lover and becomes the chief suspect in this locked-room mystery.
Italy | 2018 | 103 minutes | Paolo Zucca
A Sardinian fisherman has somehow acquired the moon—and now an American agent must track him down and figure out how.
Russia | 2018 | 105 minutes | Natasha Merkulova, Aleksey Chupov
Diagnosed with cancer, a Siberian man, inspired by an ancient folk tale, tries to fool death by adopting a new identity.
Australia | 2018 | 136 minutes | Jennifer Kent
A vengeful Irish convict-woman and an Aboriginal tracker stalk British soldiers through the Tasmanian wilderness.
Spain | 2018 | 121 minutes | Rodrigo Sorogoyen
When a corrupt politician is made a scapegoat by his fellow colleagues, he must avoid prison by playing the system.
Uruguay | 2019 | 80 minutes | Lucia Garibaldi
Not only are sharks menacing 14-year-old Rosina's Uruguayan beach town, unrequited romantic interest is menacing her.
India | 2018 | 93 minutes | Ritu Sarin, Tenzing Sonam
A young Tibetan living in a refugee community in India is forced to re-face the trauma of her journey.
Vietnam | 2018 | 94 minutes | Ash Mayfair
A 14-year-old girl in 19th-century Vietnam enters a polygamous marriage to an older wealthy landlord.
Mexico | 2019 | 105 minutes | Hari Sama
Young friends in Mexico City in 1986 explore the city's sexually fluid New Wave subculture.
Romania | 2018 | 125 minutes | Adina Pintilie
This cool, cerebral exploration of sexuality and intimacy lies on the cusp of documentary and fiction.
Italy | 2018 | 96 minutes | Laura Luchetti
A young woman on the run and a man from the Ivory Coast team up to cross a bleak Sardinia.
New Zealand | 2019 | 90 minutes | Nicole Whippy, ‘Ofa-Ki-Levuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki, Matasila Freshwater, Amberley Jo Aumua, Miria George, Marina Alofagia McCartney, Dianna Fuemana, Becs Arahanga
A sequel of sorts to SIFF 2018’s breathtaking WARU, featuring eight vignettes directed by nine female South Pacific filmmakers about eight Indigenous women all connected by their name and their empowering island stories.
Russia | 2018 | 102 minutes | Sergey Livnev
An aging conductor and his troubled artist son are forced to reconcile before it’s too late.
Ukraine | 2018 | 106 minutes | Roman Bondarchuk
The surreal encounters of a government official stranded in the bleak badlands of Ukraine.
Philippines | 2019 | 94 minutes | Ben Rekhi
A widowed mother is forced to enter Manila’s dark underworld of cops, criminals, and drugs.
Germany | 2018 | 129 minutes | Sandra Nettelbeck
Beleaguered divorced psychotherapist Max falls for his patient Sophie in this German rom-com.
India | 2018 | 85 minutes | Praveen Morchhale
Her husband's fate a mystery, a Kashmir woman lives in a grueling legal limbo as a "half-widow."
United Kingdom | 2018 | 101 minutes | Tom Harper
Ex-con Rose-Lynn yearns to leave her humdrum Glasgow life and become a country-music star.
Czech Republic | 2018 | 85 minutes | Olmo Omerzu
Jim Cline finds water where it seems there is none. How is a mystery even to him.
Hungary | 2018 | 114 minutes | Karoly Ujj Meszaros
Detectives re-examine whether a string of suicides were actually murders from Hungary's Communist past.
Sweden | 2018 | 112 minutes | Anna Odell
This hard-edged social satire of filmmaking and gender deconstruction blurs fiction and reality.
United Kingdom | 2019 | 112 minutes | Danny Boyle
Yesterday, everyone knew the Beatles. Today, only Jack remembers them. He’s about to become a big deal.