What to watch at Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival: Don't miss Mother, City of Ghosts, Devil's Freedom

Rupleena Bose

Oct,05 2017 18:05 09 IST

(Editor's note: As cinephiles gear up for arguably the biggest film event in Mumbai, Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2017 — to be held from 12 to 18 October here's Part 1 of a comprehensive round-up on the films we're most looking forward to in the world cinema section. Part 2 will talk about the Indian films we're excited for, and will be published over the weekend.)

A teenage boy in the coast of Turkey helps his father in smuggling refugees trying to cross over to Greece.

In a creole language film, two incompatible teenage siblings kill a goat by mistake and must take a journey to fix it.

In the summer of 1993 in Spain, an orphaned young girl adjusts to life after her parents and her new adoptive family.

A lonely Japanese woman in Tokyo enrolls in an English class that gives her a blonde wig and an American name Lucy,

Coming of age stories — and an unlikely bunch of people — dominate the 13 features at the International Competition at the MAMI.

The films in this section are the best first features that have been around the Festival circuit gathering acclaim, including the satirical I am not a witch about a 9 year-old girl who, following a small incident in the village, is exiled to a witch camp in Zamibia. This film, by debut director Rungano Nyoni has garnered good reviews since its premiere at the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes Film Festival.

In the same section, Montparnasse Bienvenue (Jeune Femme) by Leonor Serraille is about Paula, broke, with nothing but her cat to her name. Paula is back in Paris after a long absence. As she meets different people along the way, there is one thing she knows for sure: she’s determined to make a new start.  (Camera D’Or winner, Un Certain Regard Cannes)

The world cinema section has 55 films from across the globe, bringing us cinema from places known and far.  In this section, there is Russian film Loveless by Andrey Zvyagintsev, (director of Leviathan, winner of best screenplay at Cannes 2014) the story about a bickering couple impatient to start their new lives until their son disappears.

 Mother by Darren Aronofsky (Black Sawn, Requiem for a Dream) is a much-awaited one by Aronofsky fans. The film, a psychological thriller with a stellar cast about a couple and the uninvited guests who arrive at their house has generated a range of divided reviews, interpretations and articles since its recent release.

There are three films by well-known South Korean director and Cannes regular Hong Sangsoo — On The Beach At Night Alone, Claire’s Camera and The Day After — a delight for anyone interested in his oeuvre.

Another film to watch would be the documentary Devil’s Freedom (La Libertad Del Diablo) by Mexican director Everardo González. In Mexico where cartels rein, the trail of violence is a tragic story in itself. Shown through firsthand testimonies of victims and perpetrators this film is a take on violence and a reality we only see fictionalized.

Among the classics, 24 Frames by Abbas Kiarostami is also showing at the world cinema section, a director whose films are always a pleasure to soak on the big screen.

The Prince of Nothingwood by Sonia Kronlund premiered at the Cannes Director’s Fortnight has a mix of real and reel. A few hundred kilometres from Kabul, the popular actor–producer Salim Shaheen comes to show all his 110 films and shoot the 111th one. A story about dreams, cinema and a tireless actor would make it a curious watch.

Stills from Mother, Devil's Freedom (L).

Documentary City of Ghosts by Academy Award nominated and Emmy winner filmmaker Matthew Heineman would be a must watch. It's a narrative set around five activists and citizen journalists when their homeland is taken over by ISIS.

Premiered at the Venice Film Festival, The Third Murder by acclaimed Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda has a defense lawyer questioning the idea of truth and judgment.

There are two films on art in this year’s selection, Loving Vincent by Dorota Kobiela, a fully oil painted film that brings the paintings to life to tell Van Gogh’s life narrative. The other film is the experimental Manifesto by acclaimed visual artist Julian Rosefeldt starring Cate Blanchett in 13 distinct roles, vignettes that incorporate all the art movements of the twentieth century.

The other acclaimed films to look out are Richard Linkator’s lyrical road movie, Last Flag Flying where three ex army men reunite to bury one’s son, Zama set in a South American colony of the 18th century where officer Zama waits for a transfer. Another one I would be interested to watch is Patti Cakes, a feature film by well known music video director Geremy Jasper. Set in the gritty strip mall suburbia, a rapper finds her voice as a hip-hop legend.

The Rendezvous section celebrating the best of French cinema is showing The Young Karl Marx by Raoul Peck among others, while the After Dark section promises a Ugandan horror film Bad Black shot over 5 years in the slums of Wakaliga, for merely 65$.

Running from 12-18th October, MAMI is showcasing a diverse range of films across sections like International Competition, World Cinema, After Dark, Restored Classics, India Gold, India Story, Marathi Talkies, Half Ticket across a range of venues across the vast city of Mumbai and beyond, including the grand Regal in Colaba and extending right up to PVR Thane.

The Film Festival, barely a week away, promises to bring us stories that are rare to find outside a film festival.